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How to Care for Your Skin After Microneedling

All the best tips and products to soothe skin and make your glow last longer after a treatment.

Whether you’re looking to do away with pesky dark spots, reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks or improve your skin’s texture and boost its elasticity, microneedling can be a game-changer. The minimally invasive collagen-boosting procedure is gaining in popularity thanks to its ability to tackle a wide variety of common skin concerns with very little down time. The catch? Reaping all the benefits of microneedling goes beyond a visit to the dermatologist’s office—to maintain the results and make the most of that investment in time and money, a good skincare routine is essential to heal the skin and keep it looking its best for longer. Here, we break down the dos and don’ts of microneedling aftercare.

What is microneedling?
To understand how to make the most of a professional skincare treatment, it’s important to know how it works and how it affects the skin. So, what’s the deal with microneedling? Also known as collagen induction therapy (CIT) and percutaneous collagen induction (PCI), microneedling is a medi-spa treatment in which a device equipped with tiny needles is used to create micro-injuries to the skin to trigger its natural healing response. The needles (providers of the treatment use various lengths based on your goals) create empty “channels” that lead skin to kick up its collagen and elastin production to fill them in and repair the skin barrier. This boost in collagen is a great way to tackle signs of aging and scarring, and microneedling benefits include smoother and firmer skin as well as an improvement in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, scars, stretch marks and pore size. Those microscopic channels also allow skincare products to penetrate deeper into the skin to deliver maximum results.

Unlike many harsher treatments like laser and chemical peels, microneedling is safe for most skin types and can be performed on delicate areas such as around the eyes and mouth and on the chest and the back of the hands. Microneedling aftercare can be performed at home with a skincare routine focused on healing and hydration, as outlined below.

How to care for skin after microneedling
Wondering what to do after microneedling? A good post-medi-spa skincare routine is the best way to protect your skin, your results and your investment. (After all, professional treatments don’t come cheap!) While gentle, microneedling injures the skin and can lead to temporary redness, swelling, peeling and dryness. It’s therefore important to switch up to a skincare routine that won’t further irritate sensitized skin. With the right care and products, microneedling’s benefits far outweigh its side effects.

Cleanse: Keeping skin clean after microneedling is key to the healing process as post-treatment skin is more vulnerable to pathogens and irritants. Ditch scrubs and soaps for a gentle face cleanser. A good option is SkinCeuticals, Gentle Cream Cleanser, which is formulated to cleanse, hydrate and soothe post-treatment skin.

Pro tip: Use lukewarm water when you cleanse, as hot water may further irritate and dehydrate the skin, and skip the use of abrasive cleansing brushes in favour of your fingers for a gentler touch. You’ll also want to avoid facecloths, which can harbour bacteria.

Hydrate: After a treatment, skin may be red, sore, swollen and dry for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Microneedling aftercare should focus on repair and hydration, with nourishing ingredients that won’t sting or irritate freshly wounded skin. Keeping things simple is also recommended: Start by spritzing the skin with a , followed by a soothing mist, followed by a hyaluronic acid serum and a hydrating face mask to seal in moisture.

Hyaluronic acid after microneedling is always a safe bet. SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Essence Mist stars both hyaluronic acid and glycerine to boost hydration levels in the skin as well as a blend of botanical ingredients that include cucumber, thyme, olive leaf, boldus leaf and rosemary extracts to soothe and calm the redness that occurs after microneedling. It’s the perfect skin prep for a hyaluronic acid serum like SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier and SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Mask, both of which are suitable for all skin types and gentle enough for daily use after a medi-spa treatment.

Protect:An effective microneedling aftercare protocol requires that you stay out of the sun for a few days post-treatment to protect already sensitized skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. If you can’t avoid stepping out, be sure to wear UV protection, like a hat, sunglasses, sun-safe clothing and a mineral  sunscreen. Formulated specifically for post-procedure skin, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 is the perfect addition to your microneedling skincare regimen, thanks to its mineral filters that deflect rays and its natural tinted finish that covers up redness without any irritation.

What skincare ingredients should I avoid after microneedling?
Because microneedling injures the skin, the days that follow a treatment are all about letting it heal. During that process, the skin barrier (the outermost layer of skin whose function is to keep irritants and allergens out and trap in moisture) is compromised and vulnerable to irritants and harsh skincare ingredients, including fragrance, retinol, vitamin C and chemical exfoliants such as alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids.

Thanks to the newly created channels in the skin, topical products penetrate deeper. It’s a good idea to skip makeup and vitamin C for 48 hours until the swelling subsides, while retinol and exfoliants should be avoided for up to a week after microneedling. When in doubt, the best course of action is to follow your treatment provider’s instructions.

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