Updated: Jan 14, 2021
The lower framework of our skin called the dermis is made up of mainly collagen, elastin and a jelly-like substance called glucosaminoglycans (or GAGs for short). If you think of this framework like a piece of material with its vertical and horizontal weave, collagen provides the vertical strength and making up more than 70% of this framework, elastin the horizontal and the GAGs the areas in between. Together, these components provide the skin firmness and bounce (collagen), elasticity and tautness (elastin) and hydration (GAGs).
When do we start ageing?
From about the age of 20, our skin produces about 1% less collagen a year. By the time we hit 40 we have about 10-20% less collagen and this decline keeps going. There is also the degradation of collagen which is caused by pollution, smoking and UV exposure. Production of elastin goes downhill by the time we hit puberty!
Skin lacking in collagen and elastin shows wrinkles, sagging, less firmness and elasticity. With increased age and more loss of these fibres our skin becomes thinner and more fragile.
What does skin needling do?
Dermal needling, micro needling, Collagen Induction Therapy are all the same thing. Using very fine, specifically placed needles it is a form of controlled wounding of the skin. These microscopic injuries kick off the body's inflammatory and healing phases. In turn this triggers release of growth factors and production of new collagen and elastin which will lead to plumper and tighter skin.
Our skin barrier called the acid mantle does a pretty fantastic job of not allowing external agents into the skin. Most products sit on top of this barrier and very little is absorbed past the surface. With skin needling tiny microscopic holes are made into the skin. This creates a channel for active ingredients to go in so that anything that is applied immediately after needling can penetrate in deeper. This means you can target specific actives to help repair certain skin problems. The actives can be anti-oxidants, or hyaluronic acid which is the most abundant material in GAGs, the jelly-like substance that gives hydration or even added growth factors for greater stimulation of collagen and elastin.
What's the difference between home and in-clinic needling?
Home or cosmetic needling is done with 0.2mm or 0.3mm needles. These create the microscopic holes to allow better penetration of ingredients from serums and creams. The clinical needling creates more than 5 times the number of holes and in addition, triggers production of collagen and elastin because the needles reach deeper and inflict controlled wounds into the dermis.
Does it hurt?
The skin is numbed before treatment so you usually feel a brushing or scratching over the skin.
How will I look afterwards?
Depending on how deep the needles go, the skin condition being treated and your skin type, there will be some redness for about 24 hours, sometimes up to several days following treatment. This is the normal inflammatory response from the body.
I always follow up the treatment with vitamin infusion to nourish the skin and Omnilux LED light to reduce the inflammation so this helps reduce the redness signicantly.
What can skin needling treat?
This is one of the best treatments to regenerate dermal tissue, re-produce collagen and keep the skin barrier intact. It also triggers production of elastin which is often not activated in other anti-ageing treatments. It has been successful in the treatment of pigmentation, rosacea, fading scars and stretch marks and to generally tighten the skin and soften lines and wrinkles.
When do I see results?
Individual results vary depending on the skin condition being treated, your skin health and your home care routine. Most people will start to see results a month after the 1st treatment although some see results as quickly as 2 weeks after.
As with almost all skincare treatments, if you want results, you need to invest long-term. After 1 session, you will notice more radiance and freshness. After session 2 you will start to notice some changes which are actually the results of session 1. By the time you get to the 3rd session the changes you see are the results of both sessions 1 and 2 and your skin has yet to catch up post session 3. Even several after session 3, your skin is still improving with tissue regeneration continuing up to 2 years after the 1st treatment.
How many treatments do I need?
For stretchmarks, scarring and advanced skin ageing 6 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart are recommended. For general anti-ageing 3-4 treatments are usually good to see results.
Very very soon I will be getting my collagen pin as I am upgrading from my clinical dermal rollers. With the pin I can customise the treatment to your face and adjust needle depth. I can adjust to treat thinner areas of skin such as around the eyes or where it is thicker such as the cheeks. Plus this creates at least 5 times more micro-holes than the roller so more effective skin rejuvenation.