Needles For Aging Skin?

microneedle

One of my readers asked me about micro needling so here’s the breakdown on this popular anti-aging process.

About Skin Needling

Skin needling, also referred to as microneedling or collagen induction therapy, is the use of multiple needles at one time on a set gauge or length that is either rolled or stamped onto the skin.  Originally recognized as a method to repair scars in 1995 by Norman Orentreich, MD, and David S. Orentreich, MD, it was Des Fernandes, MD, who introduced skin needling as a skin rejuvenation method.

Different needle lengths will yield different results.  For example, shorter needles will increase product penetration and stimulate collagen production while longer needles may be used to treat deeper wrinkles and scarring.

How it Works

Skin needling is based on the premise of a controlled wound response than in turn stimulates collagen production.   Basically, anytime your skin is injured, it begins a process of wound healing that is followed by the production of new collagen and elastin.  In skin needling, the needles create tiny ‘injuries’ that prompt this wound healing process.

Skin needling treatments will also be followed by applications of, but not limited to vitamin C, retinoids, peptides and/or hydroxy based exfoliants.  Whereas microdermabrasion or chemical peels drive ingredients further into the skin by removing a layer(s) of skin, skin needling does the same without removing the top layer of skin.

Who’s A Good Candidate?

Most skin types and conditions can benefit from this treatment but may not be suited for skin that is sensitive or inflamed.  Skin needling is used for fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation and stretch marks.  Treatments can be tailored according to skin types and conditions by changing the device, needle depth and frequency of treatments.

 Things to Consider

A series of treatments are needed to achieve optimum results.

Treatments can range from $200-$500 per treatment.

The longer the needle is, this risk for infection increases; therefore follow your physicians instructions.

Procedures like these are usually performed in a medical office or medical spa- make sure the person performing the treatment is qualified and that he/she wears gloves at all times.

Although a topical numbing cream will be used prior to treatment, expect some discomfort.

Bottom Line: Skin needling is just one of many anti-aging options available that can generate great results. However, always do your research and consult with a professional to determine what works best for you.

I hope this article is helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

*Note: Although I love DIY treatments, this treatment is best left to professionals.  Doing this yourself can cause damage and lead to severe infections.   

 

 

 

 

Can We Reach Pore-fection?

Aside from anti-aging, pore size seems to be a huge complaint from customers.

A study conducted by L’Oreal Paris revealed that roughly “45% of women wish they could change the size of their pores and            almost one in three women  (28%) are more concerned about  their pore size than wrinkles.”

With so many products out there that claim to shrink or eliminate your pores, how do we know what works?  Let’s take a closer look at what a pore really is.

What is a pore?

A pore is a small opening in the skin that allows oil to reach the surface.  On average, an adult has five million pores on their body with approximately 20,000 on their face alone.   Without pores, our skin would be dry and cracked since oil produced in the sebaceous glands travel up the pore to the skin’s surface and naturally moisturize the skin.

How is pore size determined?

For the most part, pore size is determined by genetics and generally speaking, is most prevalent in men.  However, oil, dirt, dead skin cells and our lifestyle can impact pore size.  For example, avid sun worshipers often see an increase in pore size because the sun’s UV rays breakdown and weaken the skin’s elasticity; the same can apply to aging skin.  Oily skin types typically have an excessive accumulation of dirt, oil and dead skin cells, leading to large, visible pores and in some cases acne.

How to minimize pore appearance

Since you can’t get ‘rid’ of pores (and really, you don’t want to as they flush out toxins and help regulate temperature) here’s a couple of suggestions to help reduce their appearance.   

  • Thoroughly cleanse skin daily
  • Regular exfoliation with either enzymes or hydroxy acids (i.e. glycolic, lactic, or salicylic)
  • Those with oily skin types can benefit from using clay-based masks (look for kaolin or bentonite) about 2x/week
  • Limit excessive sun exposure and always wear SPF
  • Make sure you are using the correct skincare products/makeup for your skin type- makeup primers can help reduce pore appearance
  • Consult with a dermatologist and/or esthetician for other options such as chemical peels
  • Avoid pore strips as in the long run can stretch out skin even more

Questions? Comments? Have a pore-minimizing product you love? Do share!

What the Milia?

milia

If you’ve ever examined your skin and noticed tiny, white hard bumps that resemble sesame seeds, most likely you have a skin anomaly known as milia.  No need to panic though. Milia aren’t harmful, they’re just more of a complexion nuisance, and boy, are they stubborn!

Milia are usually found around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead and occur when oil, debris and dead skin cells become trapped beneath the surface of the skin.  Although they resemble whiteheads, milia won’t go away easily because they don’t have an escape route, meaning they’re not in the pores but rather ‘stuck’ under the outer layer of your skin. Therefore, trying to extract them yourself is NOT recommended since you can damage surrounding tissue and cause scarring.

So what options are available?

First, let’s examine the common culprits. Milia can be genetic and can also be caused by using too-rich ingredients such as mineral oil, lanolin, and isopropyl myristate.  If milia are prevalent around the eye area, make sure your eye cream and/or makeup remover is free from these ingredients.

Now, on to the treatment.  Thoroughly cleansing your face at night (read: more than just splashing your face with water) can help keep them from forming.  Mild exfoliation (enzymes are great for this!) and using a serum or cream with either hydroxy acids (lactic, glycolic, or salicylic) or retinol can also help.  If this solution doesn’t work (and frustratingly, it often doesn’t) or you want faster results, visit a dermatologist or esthetician where they can remove milia with a lancet.

Do you have milia? What treatment worked best for you?