Why a Microneedling Treatment Might Not Support Long-Term Skin Health
As a natural skincare company, we get questions from our community about all kinds of different facial treatments.
Microneedling treatment is one you’ve all been dying to know about, so let’s explore.
It’s sort of popped up out of nowhere as the latest skin fad, right?
Our community is asking questions like:
→ What is microneedling?
→ How does microneedling work?
→ Is microneedling dangerous?
→ What are microneedling benefits?
→ What is required for microneedling aftercare?
→ Is microneedling permanent?
→ How many microneedling sessions to see results?
→ How helpful is microneedling for acne scars?
→ Can I do microneedling at home?
You may not love all our answers, but we believe in full transparency when it comes to your skin health. With the mindset of full-body health to guide you, we want you to feel empowered to make educated decisions.
We’ll never tell you what to do, but we will give you an honest, thorough answer.
First, What Is Microneedling?
Well, simply put, a microneedling treatment is a skin treatment that uses a tool with tiny needles to puncture little holes in your skin. These wounds stimulate collagen and elastin production to “reset,” heal, and regenerate your skin.
A Peek Into a Typical Microneedling Treatment
- The professional applies a numbing cream.
- Once the skin is numb, the microneedling device with tiny needles is run across the skin several times in each direction.
- The needles create superficial wounds in the skin.
- The microneedling treatment usually ends with a serum to assist the healing process or address specific skin concerns. *Sometimes the microneedling procedure is even done in conjunction with platelet application to speed up skin healing. This is called microneedling with PRP.
- The patient will return in 4-6 weeks for another microneedling treatment until they achieve the desired results.
What Is Involved in Microneedling Aftercare?
Generally, you’re supposed to be extra careful since you have open wounds on your skin. Professionals recommend keeping your face clean and away from harsh chemicals or exposure to the elements.
A microneedling aftercare protocol usually includes:
- Only using lukewarm water to wash your face for 48hrs
- Keeping all makeup off your skin for 1-2 days to let the wounds heal
- Staying out of the sun since you’re much more prone to sun damage
- Not using any exfoliating tools or scrubs on your open wounds
This is a relatively quick procedure (only about 30 minutes) and some say that it feels similar to a mild sunburn on the face.
How Soon Do You See Microneedling Results?
Like most skin procedures or changes you’d like to see, it can vary from person to person based on a variety of factors such as:
How Many Microneedling Sessions Needed to See Results?
Similar to the question about how soon you’ll see microneedling results, the general consensus seems to be that it can vary. You might see results right away, but you likely won’t see the full expected results until you finish the round of prescribed microneedling treatments.
Most people usually have to do at least a few sessions. Desired results can take up to 6 months because each microneedling treatment is spaced 4-6 weeks apart. The treatment spacing is intentional to give your skin enough time to heal fully between microneedling treatments.
What Are the Microneedling Benefits?
- Improved skin texture – this is one of the most sought-after microneedling benefits. Many spas and traditional skin care professionals boast the power of a microneedling treatment to improve the skin’s overall tone, texture, and glow.
Our take: we believe you can achieve the same results without injuring the skin – you can build upon skin health instead of tearing it down. Our skin has incredible healing capabilities, even protecting us from infection during microneedling aftercare.1
- Minimizing wrinkles + fine lines – while we don’t think aging is a bad thing, it’s true that a proper microneedling treatment can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This is the biggest microneedling benefit to some.
Our Take: we encourage and embrace the concept of aging gracefully.
- Controlling or minimizing pigmentation – because a microneedling procedure creates injured skin, the skin is forced to regenerate, often reducing pigmentation of the skin.
Our take: so many beautiful herbs and plants have these same healing effects on your skin, only without invading the structural support of your skin.
- Reducing Acne Scaring – microneedling acne scars are one of the most common reasons that patients seek this treatment.
Our take: there’s definitely evidence to back up the microneedling benefits in this category. But our question is, at what cost to the integrity of your long-term skin health?
If you want proof that acne scarring can drastically improve with natural remedies and consistent facial gua sha, check out this tutorial from our Shipping Lead, Maddy, who’s experienced life-changing results with Primally Pure’s products.
Is Microneedling Safe?
Similar to our stance on Botox procedures, choosing a microneedling treatment is something you’ll ultimately have to decide for yourself, based on microneedling benefits vs. microneedling dangers. We want to help you have all the information to make the best decision for you and your skin health.
But our honest opinion? We won’t be participating in this particular treatment.
Our skin is so powerful at regenerating and healing when we support it with the right practices. So instead of intentionally creating wounds that could put our skin (or our health) at risk, we prefer to lean on a holistic view.
Our focus is preventative and gentle skincare instead of more invasive procedures like a microneedling treatment that damages the skin.
And remember, just because many of the natural alternatives are gentle doesn’t mean they aren’t effective!
Surface Level: Dangers of Microneedling Treatment
At a quick glance, the microneedling procedure seems pretty harmless since your skin does recover. We just want you to keep in mind the potential for inflammation, swelling, or bruising, but if you’re willing to take the risk for the microneedling results, it might be worth it.
Let’s go deeper and talk about the rest of the risks associated with microneedling treatments before you make your decision.
The Deeper Level: Unseen + Ignored Risks of Microneedling Treatment
- Deep penetration of serums – what serums are being applied during the microneedling treatment? Because of the nature of this treatment, it’s essential to consider what type of serums or creams might be applied after (or during) the microneedling treatment. These serums will absorb even quicker into the skin, at a deeper level. If the products contain chemicals, you’re also sending those chemicals to a deeper layer of the skin, adding to your toxic load.
So if you’re thinking about microneedling, we’d encourage you to do some digging on the ingredients of the skin care products the trained professional will use with your microneedling treatment.
A “bandaid fix” for skin – a microneedling procedure is not a long-term fix. What most people don’t understand is that the skin has a limited “store” of collagen and elastin. This means you could be encouraging premature aging. And yes, you can increase collagen production through certain foods and supplements like bone broth, but you can’t create a “stockpile” for future use. That’s just now how it works.
Simply put, we don’t like pulling from your limited stockpile of collagen and elastin to heal the skin when there are a variety of other natural, non-invasive options to bring optimal healing to the skin!
Microneedling is not permanent – Many people interested in a microneedling treatment want to know: is microneedling permanent? Some might argue it’s a permanent fix for issues like acne scarring, but we take a different stance. Because collagen is not permanent in the skin and will continue to die off and decrease as you age, how could this procedure possibly be permanent when it relies on collagen?
Dr. Ben Johnson explains this best: “Forcing skin turnover will temporarily result in improved skin appearance, but with time will weaken the skin’s support structure, accelerating aging processes. Furthermore, the skin can recover only about 90 percent from its wounds, so those who continuously wound it are creating a permanent level of inflammation that, over time, leads to skin deterioration.”
- Physically/Psychologically scarring experience – not to be a Debbie downer, but there are lots of needles involved. There’s always the chance that something could go wrong and leave you emotionally/mentally stressed and without your desired results.
If you’re going to have a microneedling treatment done, do your research and ensure you’re seeing an experienced, licensed professional!
Intentional wounds – this is our biggest issue with microneedling. Yes, microneedling results prove that your skin can recover, but it’s not meant to be repeatedly wounded. It’s not a natural process that supports our best skin health over time.
Holistic skincare does not tear down to rebuild – it boosts from within and supports nourishing external practices.
Access to microneedling at home – honestly? This is… well… kind of crazy to us. Besides the many things that could go wrong with injecting needles into yourself without proper training, we just don’t feel good about the sanitation here.
We’ll be staying far away from cheapened at-home procedures like this. As tempting as the price point may be if you opt for microneedling, it’s always best to let a trained esthetician or medical professional perform your microneedling treatment instead.
Our Honest Answer: Microneedling Results Aren’t Worth It
Our opinion on microneedling is this: there’s not enough reason to risk it.
We believe in skin health as our guiding principle, above all else. Sure, there’s a good chance you’d see microneedling results. But to us, the bigger picture is that it’s creating unnecessary tears and trauma to the skin.
And yes, the intention of a microneedling treatment is to bring healing, and some would argue that the wounds are minuscule. But our skin is ALREADY capable of healing on its own if we give it the right resources and support.
But achieving your dream skin can feel like a huge mountain to climb – let’s break it down into a few main concepts.
Here Are Our Top Three Things to Remember for Your Skin Health Journey
- Take it one step at a time. Start with a simple routine that nourishes your skin, and have grace for yourself (and your skin) throughout the process.
- Commit and stick to it. Building healthy habits takes time, but soon you’ll be on your way to glowy, healthy, and youthful skin.
- Remember, your skin health is much deeper than surface level. Our skin is a beautiful mirror that alerts us to the issues and deep-seated struggles we’re harnessing inside. (If you can’t get on that level of woo woo, just trust us, your skin health is connected to the health on the inside of your body too.)
To us, truly healthy skin is about having a whole-body perspective. We want to respect our innate need for a delicate balance in mind/body/spirit.
Even tiny traumas that may seem insignificant can wreak havoc on your skin’s natural defense mechanisms. Trying to fix skin issues by tearing down to build back up just doesn’t sit well with us.
But if you choose to do a microneedling treatment, we’re still here to support you!
Here are a few suggestions:
- Research the ingredients in the serums or products used and opt for natural products. (Ask them if they can swap for products you’re more comfortable with.)
- Seek out natural SPF options like Little Hands Hawaii or Raw Elements to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals in sunscreen.
The beautiful thing is that everyone’s skin has unlimited potential with the right mindset, nature-derived and nourishing ingredients, and a supportive lifestyle. We don’t need needles.
Natural Alternatives to Microneedling
When it comes to skin health, we’ve got plenty of options, thanks to the ancestral wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our bodies have so many self-healing modalities ready to get to work – they just need gentle activation.
We lean on natural, non-invasive treatments because they consider whole-body health and are proactive instead of reactive. If we can prevent cystic acne, pigmentation, and other skin issues from escalating in the first place, there’ll be no need for a treatment like microneedling.
This means we don’t have to interfere with the delicate skin balance – goals!
This quote from Dr. Ben Johnson (we love his perspective) sums it up perfectly:
“I want to help people move away from the old idea of wounding the skin to create change and embrace the idea that even better results can be had by nurturing a partnership with the entire body that empowers healing and fosters balance.”
If you’re on the fence and want to test a natural alternative to microneedling treatment first, check out our suggestions – we’re living proof that they work. It’s worth a shot, right?
Here are a few of our tried and true practices and products to build + maintain your ultimate skin health in a non-invasive fashion.
Gua Sha Stone for the Face
Our gua sha stone has a ridged edge great for fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring. The gua sha stone works to move lymphatic fluids, which are essential for bringing oxygen and nutrients to the face.
(Check out our gua sha tutorial that targets fine lines and wrinkles.)
You can usually expect to see some results immediately after use, and you can tell a noticeable difference after only a few weeks (psst! That’s quicker than microneedling).
Infrared Light Therapy
Infrared lights are known to absorb readily into your skin, promoting healing and regeneration.
Along with healing, infrared light therapy can:2
- Improve circulation
- Increase blood flow to the face/body
- Reduce inflammation
- Regulate temperature
- Balance hormones
Coincidentally, infrared is often paired with a microneedling treatment for optimal effects. Why not pair your facial gua sha practice with the added benefits of infrared light?
We love Joovv’s infrared line for safe, at-home use – check them out!
Primally Pure’s Clarifying Line
Our clarifying line targets the healing of damaged skin with scientifically-proven nutrients, especially those that help with breakouts and scarring.
We’ve got reviews for days to prove the effectiveness of this skincare line.
Facial Dry Brush
Facial dry brushing techniques only take about two minutes to activate your lymphatic system. This includes your skin’s detoxing pathways, skin circulation, and cell turnover for increased collagen and elastin, which promote healing and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, naturally.
P.S. Be sure to clean your brush regularly to keep it free from bacteria!
Making an Educated Decision for Your Skin HealthIf you struggle with severe skin issues, maybe a one-time microneedling treatment is the route you choose to get your skin on the right track and regain confidence. Whatever you choose, remember that you can always supplement with clean, non-toxic products.
What other skin care treatments or procedures are you curious to learn more about? We’re here to make it easier on you, supporting your journey as an empowered buyer who can make educated decisions.
Here’s to you + your skin health.
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