Something that isn’t often discussed is microneedling aftercare procedures following your treatment.
Microneedling actually punctures your skin, so you need to take steps to protect your skin’s barrier as it heals.
After the treatment, your skin is more sensitive because the tiny punctures are in the process of healing. For this reason, you can’t follow your usual skincare routine, and some products need to be avoided in the first 2 – 3 days.
Keep reading to learn more about what to expect after microneedling and how to take care of your skin afterward.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is also called Collagen Induction Therapy.
It’s a procedure which is done by a qualified therapist in a salon or clinic.
In this procedure, the therapist uses a tool with small needles to prick your skin.
The point of the treatment is to generate new collagen production since it can create firm, smooth, clean, and toned skin.
Dr Zoe Williams discusses the benefits of microneedling
What to Expect
After you have a microneedling procedure, some side effects are to be expected. When you leave your appointment, your skin may be flushed or bright red, as if you have spent the entire day out in the sun and have mild to moderate sunburn.
The redness and swelling will most likely persist for 24 hours or slightly longer. Even with careful aftercare, there isn’t much you can do to get rid of the redness immediately after microneedling.
Covering up the redness with makeup is one of the worst things you can do, as the makeup will block the pores on your newly exposed skin and might even cause breakouts. You’ll need to have some patience as the redness subsides, but in the meantime, you can apply gentle, unscented products with natural ingredients to get some relief.
Swelling and some skin peeling are all considered to be within the realm of normal up to 48 hours after the procedure. Other side effects, like bumps, breakouts, and dry skin, are also within the scope of what you may experience after microneedling, but not everyone will experience them.
Taking care of your skin with moisturizer and gentle cleansers can make your side effects as minimal as possible.
60 Minutes: Reddening and possible spot bleeding, pores still open.
Up to 24 hours: Rash, red dots, minor swelling.
1 – 2 days: Rash, red dots, reduced swelling, minor itching, dry/tight sensation.
- 2 – 3 days: Reduced rash, fading of red dots, dissipated swelling, reduced itching, minor skin flaking.
3 – 4 days: Potential slight dryness.
4 – 5 days: Full recovery with normalised function.
3 weeks: Improvement in pigmentation begins.
4 – 6 weeks: Improvements in lines, wrinkles and scarring begins.
Microneedling Aftercare Tips
#1. Avoid the sun after microneedling
Stay out of the sun and it goes without saying to avoid the sunbed or the solarium.
As a general rule, you should reach for sunscreen whenever you are exposed to the sun, for the first 2 weeks after microneedling. Sunscreen should be worn everyday regardless, but it is extra important to protect your healing skin from sun damage during the recovery process.
Always use sun screen SPF30 or above. Do not apply chemical sunscreen the same day as treatment.
Only use approved physical defense sunscreen.
#2. Avoid active topical skin care products after microneedling
Don’t use any products that have active ingredients such as retinol or alpha acids since these can irritate your skin even more. These include retinoid, hydroquinone, AHA, BHA, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol and chemical based sunscreen.
Only use products that your microneedling practitioner has recommended.
#3. Do not use makeup after microneedling
It is vital that you let your skin breathe for 24 hours after the treatment. The skin channels are open, and applying makeup can penetrate the pores causing further irritation. You should wait 24 to 48 hours before using makeup, leaving enough time for the skin to recover.
#4. Applying face masks after microneedling
You can use a cooling and hydrating face mask to give your skin a quick break. Also, this will help with any inflammation, just make sure you use a mild, and not a harsh mask.
#5. Avoid intensive exercise that will make you sweat
Sweating will cause your pores to reopen, meaning that any bacteria will be able to enter the skin punctures. This can lead to a either a reaction or infection.
This means you should skip the gym, and you also have a good excuse to avoid intensive house chores in the first 3 – 4 days!
#6. Avoid long hot baths and showers after microneedling
Don’t take a bath for 1 day, and don’t go for long baths and showers during the first week of your recovery. Avoid spas and saunas.
#7. Do not swim after microneedling
Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools or the ocean.
#8. Avoid tattooing after microneedling
This includes cosmetic tattooing such as Microblading.
#9. Avoid further clinical treatments after microneedling
These include but are not limited to microdermabrasion, laser, IPL, chemical peels and muscle stimulation.
#10. Avoid spray tan (or self-tanning) after microneedling
Do not apply spray tanning or fake tanning creams for 2 – 3 weeks after the treatment.
Microneedling Homecare Advice
Your practitioner will prescribe specialised post-session topical creams and serums. You will be provided with a skin care regimen to help soothe, calm and protect the skin.
For the first 1 – 3 days, the skin will may feel dry and tight. Frequent use of post-session topical creams will help alleviate this.
After 2 – 3 days, you can return to regular skin care products or as soon as it is comfortable to do so.
You shouldn’t wash your skin at all during the first 72 hours. After that, gently exfoliate the skin after 3 – 5 days to remove the flaky dead skin that commonly forms after treatments.
Use a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water, and make sure your hand motions are as gentle as possible. Also, you shouldn’t use any face brushes (goat or synthetic hair) for at least 7 days after the process.
Avoid alcohol-based toners for 10 – 14 days.
Vitamin A products are optimal and suggested (low dose).
You can use an antioxidant serum will promote healing and assist in soothing the skin and further irritation
As microneedling serves to stimulate the production of collagen, the skin needs higher amounts of collagen than normal to recover optimally. Collagen Stimulating Peptides assist in that process, further aiding in the stimulation of collagen production.
It is important to stay hydrated before and after your procedure to help your skin heal and rejuvenate faster. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
Oral supplements can help benefit the skin and improve the result of treatment. You can try taking:
- Omega 3
- Vitamin C, and
Microneedling Aftercare Starts with Self-Care
Professional microneedling helps bring new skin, new brightness, and new beauty to your face. But to really experience the benefits of this incredible procedure, prioritise care for yourself and your skin. Because being kind to your skin is being kind to yourself.
Take the time to enjoy these post-care rituals. Consider these as non-negotiables and you’ll be glowing from the inside out.
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