I recently participated in an Instagram LIVE with Niko Lopez, the lead international makeup artists for NARS Cosmetics, where we did a demonstration of micro-needling at home. He was an established client at my center in New York and had previously received multiple combined deep chemical peels and micro-dermabrasion.
I had made as much progress as possible with those treatments on three scars on his face. Since Niko Lopez was also on an intense retinoid program, I decided he was a great candidate for micro-needling on these three small portions of the skin — the rest of this skin was already perfect.
Remember that before you even think of using a micro-needling device, you need to be checked out by a licensed skin professional. They will determine whether your skin is in the right condition to be treated responsibly and safely.
There are many reasons I don't like the idea of micro-needling at home. However, since they are on the market and my clients regularly ask, we should do it right.
To get the best results from your micro-needling, I’ve created a “recipe” Niko Lopez and I followed. Please join us…
The first step to anything skin-care related is cleansing.
Take three-to-five minutes and make sure your skin is clean and toned. Your follicles will need to be completely clean in order to absorb any applied actives.
I recommend using a Foreo™ with your cleanser. It is very effective because its vibration gets the cleanser down into your follicles. When using it, or applying anything on the face, use upward strokes. Foreo™ is very safe to use because it is gentle, unlike a Clarisonic™ which, in my opinion, is harsh, especially for my skin.
Every towel or cloth that touches your face should to be washed with bleach to disinfect it. I use my disinfected cloths to remove the cleanser and then we repeat the cleansing a second time. By using a soft cotton washcloth, we are also creating a gentle mechanical exfoliation of the skin so that it becomes radiant and glowing. A mentor of mine constantly reiterated to me that the skin loves to be cleaned and purified.
On Amazon: Foreo (link to external website).
Toner should always be used to lower the pH of the skin and provide an additional level of cleansing. Lowering pH has a positive influence on skin’s hydration. DermaWand®
uses a form of radio frequency. The first high-frequency device was patented by Nikola Tesla in 1896.
It was originally used in hospitals to treat skin infection. Almost every skin therapist in the world uses it. It has recently had a revival because of its effectiveness and because it’s easy to use.
High-frequency devices increase blood flow and when you increase the blood flow, the skin is supported in the repair and rejuvenation process.
You can use the DermaWand®
on your face and neck to increase a more steady flow of nutrients to the skin. It can be used every day, and regular use will create a cumulative effect of the benefits.
In this case, we’re using the DermaWand®
to also sanitize the skin. Please read the instructions on the packaging very carefully. Remember that this device should always be moving on the skin. It is possible for the skin to burn if the device is left in one place for any length of time. I quickly run the tip over the surface of the skin. I do it every evening on my neck, face and on the backs of my hands.
You can almost see the skin’s color improving immediately, which is to be expected, as it is connected to a healthy blood flow.
If you use it with a little space between the tip and your skin, you’re creating more ozone (O3) which is one of the most powerful disinfectants — the same one our immune system uses to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi.
After you sanitize the skin with the DermaWand®
, do not touch your face with your hands. It’s ready to go.
On Amazon: original DermaWand®
The micro-needling device causes what we call “controlled damage.” The controlled damage is going to induce cytokine release which creates acute inflammation/hemostasis. The proliferative phase will follow. And then we will leave the skin alone — you should leave at least a month in between treatments.
I suggest using a new micro-needling head for each treatment. The spikes should be titanium and should not exceed 0.25mm in size — that’s enough for almost every kind of skin. Don’t let the head touch the sink or your used towels. You only have one face, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Use your index finger and thumb to stretch the area you’re going to treat — pull it taut. This is very important. Roll on that area of skin. Don’t press too hard — start light and go by what you feel. You may feel the spikes — it can be a little annoying. The beauty of micro-needling is that for as hard as you press, you cannot go deeper than the length of the 0.25mm spikes.
Stretch the skin and roll in horizontal, vertical and diagonal paths. You should work any facial scars for about five minutes. You do not want to see any droplets of blood. (If you do: stop immediately, disinfect the skin and apply an appropriate medicated balm)
You can also roll the upper lip. When we professionals look at this portion of the skin we often see fine lines. This area is very prone to what professionals call dynamic and static lines.
On Amazon: sanitary Derma-Roll with disposable headsFacilitate Recovery
After micro-needling, a minor, light edema, or swelling, is normal. You will want to soothe the skin to improve the recovery time. There are several wonderful soothing products on the market: a growth factor cream or serum is certainly smart support, when used during the recovery phase, post-treatment.
Lastly, zinc oxide-based sun protection is a must every day. Zinc oxide is a well-known skin healing agent, so it serves double duty.
On Amazon: COOLA Zinc Based Sun Protection; fragrance free.