Before I begin, I have to say that the thoughts on this process are wide and varied. Devotees everywhere swear it's better than lasers and dermabrasion and post amazing before and after pictures. There is a ton of information (and misinformation) out there, so I am attempting to get to the bottom of it.
Micro Needling, or CIT (Collagen Induction Therapy) is the official name of this process. The country girl in me can't get over the fact that you are essentially using a rototiller on your face. That said, I'm not bothered by needles (unlike my sister in law, Abz, who recoiled in horror when I showed her the roller) and I'm not that wimpy. And also as country girl, I totally get why 'tilling your skin could actually help improve it.
According to Dr. Joseph Greco, the technique of medical micro needling has been shown to increase the remolding of the skin by creating thousands of microscopic channels thru the skin, to increase the formation of new tissue by activating the body’s wound healing cascade (hemostasis-inflammation-proliferation-tissue remodeling). The micro-channeling causes the release of growth factors that promote scar-less healing and the deposition of normal woven collagen rather than scar collagen.
There are various delivery systems in micro needling, but micro needling via a roller system, which creates literally thousands of channels thru the epidermis, appears to be most effective. The roller channeling method is safe, cost effective, and simple. While it takes six weeks for new collagen synthesis and about six months for the full effect of the treatments, the common response by patients after the initial treatment is that their skin has a “glow” and that fine lines are diminished.
But opinions on the general practice of Micro Needling vary. Some pros say it makes them nervous anytime someone is causing trauma to the skin at home (you can opt for pro sessions, which achieve greater results than the at-home versions). Others say that the results are better than sessions with a Fraxel Laser - without the downtime and at as little as 1/10 of the cost.
I opted to try a Micro Roller with the most needles I can find, 540, versus the standard 200 per roller, which I presumed would give me more bang for my buck. I went for a Genosys Disk Needle Vibrating Roller. This roller is different from everything on the market for a few reasons:
1. It has over 300 more needles than basically everything else.
2. The needles themselves are star shaped, instead of round which, in theory, lets them last longer.
3. The needles are attached to the roller differently and have no chance of the pins coming off.
4. The vibration (which some say is helpful and others disagree) does take away from the slightly tingling sensation of rolling. You can also opt to turn this off and just roll without vibration, if you like.
5. These needles are 25% thinner, which causes less discomfort and allow the micro-channels to heal faster.
The kit I used included topical serums, a glycolic peel and the roller. Here's how it works:
Cleanse your face thoroughly.
Apply the 15% self-neutralizing glycolic peel solution (SRS), followed by the serum (AWS) to your face.
Begin to roll the roller over your face in one section at a time, going over each section in vertical and horizontal lines five times in each direction. You will be rolling over the same spots multiple times. It should take you about 10 minutes (or more) to do your whole face. I did this once per week, on Saturday night, because well, that's how I roll.
(My face was very red and slightly swollen after the first treatment. It felt like having a fairly substantial sunburn for a few hours.)
Here is what I looked like when I started the process:
(Before on the left. After on the right.)
Micro Needling Roller and products were supplied for review. Opinions are my own. Consult a professional before beginning this process.
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