Facial Rejuvenation FAQ's

Your Questions Answered

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WHO CAN PERFORM MICRONEEDLING? CERTIFIED MICRONEEDLING PROFESSIONALS 

Certified professionals have access to specialized equipment that is not readily available for consumer purchase.  At Leafline Acupuncture, Donna uses a top of the line premium class 2 medical device that has a disposable cartridge consisting of 12 tiny needles that oscillate at the very high speed of 18,000 RPM - creating approximately 216k precise micro-holes in the area of treatment every minute. The faster the oscillation of the pen, the lower the pain and more effective the treatment.

 

Be sure that anytime you receive a microneedling treatment [whether at home or from a professional] that the pens oscillates, and does not vibrate. Vibrating pens scratch the skin’s surface instead of creating controlled micro-channels.  

HOW DOES MICRONEEDLING DIFFER FROM DERMA-ROLLING?

Dermal rollers are perhaps the simplest and most elementary of microneedling devices. Like the motorized microneedling pens, derma-rollers introduce needles into the skin to trigger wound healing.  Rollers, however, insert the needles at an angle, creating a tear-like wound - as opposed to a vertical channel - which is more traumatic to the skin and has a higher risk of side effects and pain.  

 

The microneedling pen creates thousands of controlled micro-channels in the skin at a very precise depth, customizable to different skin regions.  This way, the needles reach the surface of the dermis with precision, ensuring collagen stimulation, serum penetration, and minimal skin damage. Dermal rollers do not offer that option. 

 

Ultimately, a derma-roller is great for at home use, as they offer convenience and minimal financial investment. They are great as adjunctive self-treatment when used in conjunction with Microneedling, but they are nowhere near as effective or sterile as a Microneedling treatment.

 

If you do use one, be sure:

  • Not to press too hard, as you can tear your skin

  • Sterilize and clean them well between each treatment, so as not to spread and introduce bacteria into your skin

  • Roll upward and outward 

  • Use a roller with stainless steel needles 

  • Replace frequently, as needles dull over time decreasing effectiveness

HOW DOES MICRONEEDLING WORK?

There are two major mechanisms at play that make microneedling effective:

  1. Tissue remodeling & wound healing

  2. Increased absorption of products

 

TISSUE REMODELNG & WOUND HEALING

The controlled micro-channels formed by the AcuMicro Pen trigger the skin’s incredible repair system, resulting in tissue remodeling through the production of healthy ratios of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, collagen and elastin. 

 

As the skin remodels and recuperates from the treatment, some of your dead skin will flake off (who needs it?!) and new collagen and elastin fibers will form a newer and brighter connective tissue layer.

 

Collagen, our skin’s most abundant protein, is known for its strength - and thus provides our skin with structure and support.  As we mature, collagen decreases in both quality and quantity, resulting in wrinkles.  

 

Elastin is softer and more elastic, allowing for stretching and gliding, and the skin’s recoiling back to the shape collagen gives it after we make a facial expression.

 

 

WHY IS DEPTH RELEVANT?  Deeper into the science

Historically, microneedling was performed deeper into the skin, often causing more harm than good - such as unnecessary levels of inflammation, exacerbation of scars, and the rupture of capillaries.

 

We’ve since learned that deeper is not always better, and sometimes less is more.  

 

At .5mm, microneedling targets the junction between the epidermis (our skin’s surface protective barrier) and dermis. The dermis, right below the epidermis, is where the important functions of our skin take place.  This is the layer where pimples are formed, where collagen and elastin proteins are, and also the home of our skin’s lymphatic system and blood vessels.  It is understood that whatever is going on in the dermis layer impacts what appears at the skin’s surface, the epidermis layer.

 

Cosmetic micro needling, at a depth of .5 mm or less, triggers the skin’s regenerative pathways while maintaining very limited inflammation.  Remaining at this depth (the DEJ) ensures that cells called keratinocytes stimulate genes for the production of Collagen.  

 

Medical microneedling (deeper than .5mm), on the other hand, involves growth factors and molecules that are pro-inflammatory, and can result in collagen that is not healthy, collagen that’s mass-produced in a state of emergency. 

 

 

Treating at the Dermal-Epidermal Junction (DEJ): 

  • Stimulates genes that are responsible for increasing the production of collagen. Thus correcting the loss of structural integrity caused by aging that results of wrinkles and skin laxity.

  • Stimulates keratinocytes: cells that recruit, stimulate, and coordinate the actions of multiple cell types involved in healing.  

  • Stimulates keratinocytes to proliferate and communicate with fibroblasts.  These two cell types are major players involved in restoring and repairing healthy tissue.  

  • Results in increased anti-inflammatory growth factors and cytokines, thus resulting in healthy collagen formation (as opposed to scar tissue collagen).

  • Result in a decrease of inflammatory growth factors and cytokines - playing  preventative role in premature aging

  • Activates components that restore skin adhesion.

 

 

When we stay at the DEJ, we’re ensuring a a reduction in side effects and downtime, and a lower level of pain.

 

 

INCREASED ABSORPTION OF PRODUCTS

Microneedling technology helps us FEED the skin! 

 

Skincare ingredients applied  - during or directly after the procedure - are absorbed far more effectively than when used topically, due to the micro-channels created in the skin

 

Up to 80% [compared to 7-10%] of product is absorbed into the skin, stimulating repair and regeneration at a cellular level.  

 

This is really exciting since it is difficult for traditional cosmetic serums and moisturizers to penetrate beyond the skin’s barrier surface layer.  As mentioned above, research finds that topical application is only absorbed at 7-10%. 

 

 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT?  Does it hurt?

A topical numbing cream is applied before treatment to improve your comfort level.  While this sets in, a constitutional acupuncture treatment is administered to encourage optimal health - because as we all know, beauty is reflected from the inside out.    

 

Patients say that the process feels similar to the rubbing a pumice stone or sandpaper across the skin.  Some even opt to forgo the numbing cream, as many feel the procedure is more of a tolerable discomfort and virtually painless at .5 mm.

 

The more sensitive areas, such as the forehead, are even performed at .25 mm.

 

The actual microneedling itself only takes about 25 minutes, during which your skin will turn pink, and will feel similar to as if you’ve been sunburned.  This is alleviated by the comfort of a cool soothing and hydrating aloe mask, and should only last a few hours.  

 

 

WHAT IS NANO-NEEDLING?  Will that be included in my treatment?

Nano-needling involves the same type of oscillating motion as microneedling, but instead uses 81 hair-like silicone tips and only treats at a depth of .15 mm, staying in the skin’s epidermal layer.  

 

This procedure still enhances product absorption and hydration, but to a lesser degree. With nano-needling, the skin experiences a gentle exfoliation, increased circulation, pore reduction, fine line reduction, and improvements in skin tone and texture.  

 

The best part of this less invasive therapy is that we can treat places that microneedling cannot; namely under the eyes and on the lips to hydrate and plump. It’s also helpful for blackheads, reducing pigmentation, and an excellent way to do touch-ups and maintenance between microneedling sessions. 

Nano-needling is also the preferred treatment for those over 70, whose skin is more refined and thinner.

 

 

BEFORE MY VISIT

  • Stay out of the sun for the 24 hours leading up to your treatment.

  • Arrive at the clinic with a clean face and no makeup.

  • Avoid using any retinol-based or aggressive acids on the skin for the week prior to treatment.  The milder, the better.

  • If you've had fillers or botox done, be sure not to schedule your microneedling appointment within a week and a half of either of those treatments (before or after).

 

 

WHEN WILL I SEE RESULTS?

Generally, it takes 2-4 weeks to notice any significant changes in the skin, though some have reported seeing smoother, more radiant skin just a week after their first treatment. These initial results may be skin tone evening up, reduced pore visibility, or a small reduction in the visibility of acne.

 

However, do not get discouraged if that is not the case for you. Every individual is different, and some will see skin healing and turnover faster than others. 

 

Also, depending on the severity of your issues, you may not see results until you have received 2 or 3 treatments. If scars are being treated, it can take a few more months to see results and results will vary from person to person. 

 

There is no exact answer to this question since everyone has a different skin healing time and different skin types.

 

Of course, results are compounded and your skin will continue to change over the months as you receive treatments.

 

 

HOW FREQUENTLY DO I NEED TO DO MICRONEEDLING?

Treatments must be spaced at least one month apart. The skin requires time to replenish, remodel, and heal between treatments.  Receiving microneedling any more frequently than that can cause a prolonged and unhealthy inflammatory state. 

 

For optimal results, it’s recommended that you receive between 4 and 6 microneedling sessions, each approximately one month apart.  

 

 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER - how much down time?

Since Donna performs microneedling at the shallow depth of the .5 mm, there is very little down time and minimal side effects are to be expected.

 

You will experience redness of the skin for up to 12 hours. The duration and intensity of skin redness varies from person to person, and often skin will appear that it’s simply glowing after just an hour or two post-treatment.  Aloe vera can help reduce any skin redness.

 

For up 5 days following treatment, you may experience peeling and flaking as your skin cells turn over, and new growth occurs. Some experience this as an itchy sensation.  Use a gentle moisturizer, preferably with Hyaluronic Acid and vitamin C to help combat dry, itchy skin during these days.

 

If any sporadic imprint marks are noticeable, you will notice that they fade more and more each day, and should clear within 5 days.  

 

Some people experience minimal bleeding and/or bruising, but these are less common.

 

Besides that, there’s almost zero down time.

 

 

AFTER CARE - how should I care for my skin after treatment? 

 

These instructions are designed to help your skin heal so that you can get the results you wanted from the treatment.

 

  • REDNESS - expect your skin to turn pink or red for up to 12 hours.  The duration and intensity varies from person to person - aloe vera is advised for reducing redness.  

  • NO EXERCISE - please avoid exercise the day of, as sweat can irritate the face.

  • NO SUN - it’s advised that you stay out of the sun for the remainder of the day.  The next day sunshine is fine.

  • MINERAL SUNSCREEN - it’s recommended that you use a zinc based sunscreen for a week after your microneedling session, or any time you’ll be spending time in the sunshine.  

  • NO MAKEUP - only for the day of treatment.  

  • HYALURONIC ACID - use before bed after treatment, and any time you feel dry over the next few days as your skin layers and flaking and renewing.

  • NO FACIAL SOAP - only wash your face with water on the day of treatment.

 

You can return to your normal skincare routine the following day!  

 

 

HOW LONG DO THE RESULTS LAST?  How frequently is maintenance required?

For the good and the bad, skin is always changing.  The skin’s adaptability is the very reason why rejuvenating treatments such as microneedling are able to make an impact on skin’s health and appearance.  No matter how much we’re able to slow the aging process, we cannot stop the hands of time - collagen naturally gets broken down every day, and cell turnover drastically decreases over time.  

 

No skin enhancement procedure is permanent, and microneedling is no exception.  

 

Once your skin reaches the desired results, it’s important that you maintain an effective home care skin and health regimen and use zinc based sunscreen to prolong your results.

 

The lasting power of microneedling treatments will vary person to person, and so too will the frequency of maintenance treatments. Most people will enjoy great results for at least 6 months and up to a year.  Some people are lucky enough to go 18 months before feeling they need a maintenance treatment.  

 

Your age, skin type, the areas being treated, and the conditions you are treating for, will determine how long your individual results will last.

 

Just as we actively maintain our dental health every 6 months, microneedling eventually does require maintenance.  While frequency will vary for each individual, but typically once or twice a year is optimal for most.

 

 

 

CONTRAINDICATIONS -  who should NOT get microneedling?

Those who meet any of the below should not undergo microneedling.  Facial acupuncture will be okay for most.  

 

  • Tendency toward keloid scarring 

  • Active eczema - facial acupuncture is okay!

  • Psoriasis and other chronic conditions

  • Warts or active herpes/cold sores

  • Active acne 

  • Pregnant women - nano needling and facial acupuncture are okay!

  • Scleroderma, collagen, or vascular diseases.  Cardiac abnormalities

  • Blood clotting conditions or those taking blood thinners

  • Active bacterial or fungal infection

  • Immunosuppression

  • Patients undergoing chemotherapy 

 

 

FACIAL REJUVENATION ACUPUNCTURE VS. MIRCONEEDLING - how do they differ?

MICRONEEDLING

  • Better at treating generalized wrinkles throughout the face

  • Great for age spots, scars, skin tone, acne scars

  • More generalized treatment to address the entire face & resurface the skin layer with fresh new collagen

  • Must be spaced at least a month apart

  • 4-6 treatments advised to start

 

FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE

  • Better at lifting, firming, tightening

  • Targets deeper wrinkles

  • Great for sagging neck, cheeks, eyelids

  • Addresses the whole body and treats the constitution 

  • Can be performed at any time, with any frequency

  • 12-24 treatments advised to start

 

 

 

INTEGRATION

Facial acupuncture and microneedling synergistically work together to transform skin, making it brighter, tighter, more luminous, and erasing years off of your appearance.  

Call Donna at 914.393.0105 or email donna@leaflineacupuncture.com to learn more or schedule your first session!

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