I Tried At-Home Microneedling And It Completely Changed My Skin
By Danielle Fontana , Assistant Editor |
Whether the process occurs in-office or in your bathroom, it's safe to say that everyone and anyone has heard of microneedling—a microinjury method that consists of rolling tiny needles into your skin to stimulate new collagen production via the healing process—and it’s definitely raised a few eyebrows. After reading what seemed like the hundredth review of the treatment singing its praises, I decided I needed to give it a try. Reluctant on which device to try (those things look intimidating online), a press release came across my desk for the GloPRO ($199) tool, a high-tech microneedling device that features LED lights and a vibrating function, which the brand explains help promote more collagen and enhance the results. It sounded great, and with Victoria Beckham and Tom Cruise using it, I thought I couldn’t go wrong. Two days later, the tool (it comes with a serum and a bottle for your antibacterial spray, which you should use before and after each treatment) was in my hand and I was ready to go.
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As you can imagine, before I got things rolling, I did my fair share of research. The instructions on at-home microneedling vary—I've read instructions that say to use your tool every other day, some that say wait three days in between and others that say to do it weekly. Curious to see how the results would vary, I tried a few different methods. I also found that the best approach to at-home microneedling is to section your face into four areas (left cheek, right cheek, forehead and chin) and tackle those separately. Within each area, apply the roller vertically twice (working the roller from left to right and then back to where you started), horizontally twice, and diagonally twice. While this sounds excessive, you get used to it, and it's the best way to ensure the entire surface area is being covered and treated. Here’s how my experience went:
Day 1: Excited (and anxious) to get started, I applied bareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Fusion ($48) serum to my skin before using the micro-roller, waited until it felt absorbed enough, and began the process. After rolling (my first time took a little less than three minutes total) I applied a second layer of serum and already noticed a huge difference in how fast my skin absorbed product. After applying the first layer pre-roll, my skin was very wet to the touch and the serum sat on my skin. The second time around (this time post-roll), my skin absorbed the product immediately, leaving it dry enough that I wondered if I should apply more. The process didn't exactly hurt (it felt like tiny little pinches here and there), although I was a little sensitive and uncomfortable in the areas with thinner skin like the lips and around the eyes.
Day 2: Although I didn’t wake up with a new, shockingly even skin tone, my skin was super soft and applying my foundation was so much easier. Come nighttime, I knew I shouldn't use the micro-roller two nights in a row, but I wanted to see what would happen anyway (anything in the name of beauty, right?). After getting started, I noticed my skin was more easily irritated half way through, so I decided to stop and wait a full day before using the tool on my skin again.
Day 3: My skin was still smooth in the morning; I gave my skin a break from the roller at bedtime.
Day 4: I woke up excited to use the roller that night (weird, I know) and see what other results it would deliver. After work, I removed all my makeup and got to it—both layers of serum and all. I noticed that my skin wasn't as sensitive to the needles, and since I knew exactly what to do, the process was done in less than two minutes. I decided to nix the second serum and apply a thick nighttime moisturizer instead to see how well my skin would absorb it (I’m usually hesitant to use thick creams because my oily skin disagrees with it, but I knew it would work out this time) and it went on like a dream.
Day 5: I woke up to arguably the softest skin of my life and—much to my surprise—the darkness under my eyes had subsided a significant amount overnight! Again, my foundation also went on easier (and I’ve been using less product as a result). I met my mom for dinner that night, and before I even sat down, she told me how great my skin looked and asked me if there was a new cream she should know about. Talk about a compliment!
Day 6: At this point, I was honestly taking the soft morning skin for granted and barely noticed (what a great feeling when baby-soft skin is your new norm). That night, I used the roller again, but decided to switch up my topical routine again afterward. While I usually think a light serum is best post-roll to guarantee quick absorption after the process, I decided to see if my skin would look significantly different overnight if I applied a light retinol formula and had it penetrate even deeper into the skin for optimal results (probably something an expert would scold me for, but again, I did it so you didn’t have to). I decided to apply Kate Somerville's DermalQuench Liquid Lift ($98), which sprays out as a foam and then transforms into a light liquid. It definitely stung my skin at first, but then subsided.
Day 7: I jumped out of bed to look in the mirror to see if the retinol experiment had worked. I found my face to be more luminous than the night before and even softer than it had been the rest of the week—seriously, I couldn't stop touching my face all morning before I applied my makeup. My skin tone was more even than the week before, my breakouts were nonexistent, and my under-eye circles were on their way out the door in seven short days. If you didn't already guess, it's safe to say I'm officially hooked.