SKINPEN Microneedling Treatment: My Experience
By Amy McHaney
Published December 27, 2017
I seem to have a recurring theme in my beauty columns – the search for the Fountain of Youth. Maybe it’s because as of December, I’m halfway to 90. Maybe it’s because I wish I’d enjoyed my wrinkle-free skin when I had it. Whatever the reason, I am certainly on a quest for the elixir that will turn back the hands of time.
In 2016 I did a six-month Rodan and Fields trial that yielded impressive results and I still use the products today. One of my favorite aspects of the Rodan and Fields regimen is the super-cool microneedling roller that pricks teeny holes in your face to make products absorb more completely. This is great for everyday use, but if you’d like a little more punch, SkinPen takes microneedling to a whole different level.
My friend Jennifer first told me about SkinPen several years ago – she has raved about the results from the procedure by one of our favorite aestheticians, Mandy Faughn at Cherry Hill Med Spa. I was intrigued, but didn’t act – four kids, too busy, blah blah blah.
Last spring while at a local fundraiser I came across a SkinPen treatment package while perusing the silent auction offerings – the next thing I knew I’d won! I did a little research and scheduled the first of my three treatments – here’s how it went …
What is SkinPen?
Although Jennifer had given me the basics of what SkinPen entailed, I wanted to read more about it before I actually signed up for the procedure. I learned that Dallas-based Bellus Medical created the SkinPen, the name of the microneedling device that features 12 fine, surgical-grade needles that produce microscopic punctures in your skin. The minor injury to your skin stimulates the production of collagen and elastin – two key ingredients to younger looking skin. If you’re familiar with fractional laser treatments like Fraxel, SkinPen mimics that procedure but with very little downtime – and SkinPen does not risk burning or hypo/hyper-pigmentation since no heat is used. The difference between SkinPen and the Rodan and Fields roller is the length of the needles.
Who benefits most from SkinPen?
SkinPen is effective in treating acne scars, deep wrinkles and sun damage; multiple sessions are recommended at a frequency of about once a month. I had three sessions and scheduled them four weeks apart. SkinPen can be used to treat the face, neck, upper chest or décolleté, arms, legs, hands, stomach and back, and it works well in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
I arrived at my first appointment with the silent auction item donor, Gina Archer, the proprietor of Platinum Beauty, who had me lie back in a treatment chair similar to what you would recline in at the dentist. She told me the needles would be good long enough to treat my entire face, neck and the backs of my hands. I was especially excited about working on my neck, which is looking more and more like chicken skin, unfortunately.
The first step in the procedure is numbing cream; once on, Gina set the timer for 30 minutes to let the cream do its work. I found this to be an excellent time for a power nap. After the 30 minutes elapsed, Gina wiped my face clean of the cream, then applied a serum to help the SkinPen glide smoothly over my skin.
The SkinPen itself makes a buzzing noise as the tiny needles pulsate. The cream did a good job numbing my skin – although I could feel a few pricks here and there and the facial was not really relaxing, I did not find it painful. She worked quickly over my face, neck and hands.
After the SkinPen portion of the treatment was complete, Gina wiped the serum off my face then applied SkInfuse Rescue Calming Complex, which is basically a cooling gel. From start to finish the procedure was just under an hour.
The SkinPen definitely left my face, neck and hands flushed – it looked as if I had sunburn. Plus there were a few distinct needle marks here and there. My face felt tight and hot for the remainder of the day – I was instructed to apply the Calming Complex as necessary to soothe my skin. By the time I woke up the next morning, nearly all the redness had subsided, and what was left was not noticeable.
I have now completed all three treatments – the result? I think it’s pretty fantastic. I noticed the biggest difference after the third procedure – a fairly dramatic difference in the crepey-ness of the skin on the backs of my hands and my neck. Fine lines around my eyes are reduced and my pores are noticeably smaller. The photos tell the story of my progress, although I will have to show you the final photo in the next issue – the best results are five weeks post procedure, which was after my deadline.
Aside from noticeable improvement in skin tone, one of the things I liked best about the SkinPen procedure is that I was in and out in under 60 minutes, so it was easily doable on a lunch hour. And although my skin felt hot and appeared sunburned immediately after, it was not so uncomfortable or unsightly that I felt like I needed to go hide at home; it did not slow me down at all. Costs for the procedure vary, but around $300 per session is a good guideline – and is way less expensive than a face lift.
Overall I was very pleased with SkinPen – I say give it a try if you’re looking for great results with minimal discomfort and downtime.
Local Skinpen Providers
Gina Archer - Platinum Beauty | 903.407.3335
Mandy Faughn - Cherry Hill Med Spa | 903.757.2955