Full Day-By Day Guide on Microneedling aftercare23.09.2022
Because it can effectively address a wide variety of skin issues, including signs of aging and scarring, microneedling is a very popular procedure. It has lasting effects, which is the best part. Dr. Amanda Doyle, a dermatologist, explains that microneedling stimulates collagen and elastin, which can help with facial rejuvenation, scarring and reducing pores.
She adds that there is a caveat. “The treatment of skin afterward determines healing and, ultimately the result.” To ensure the best outcome, you need to follow a skincare plan. Avoiding certain ingredients and products (as well the sun) can interrupt the skin’s natural healing and cause infection.
We assembled a team consisting of top dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other experts to assist you in the first seven days after your procedure. This section will help you understand what to do, what not to do, how to clean your face after microneedling and what is happening to your skin during this critical time.
Before we get started, a quick reminder: Although the advice you are about to read is from specialists in their fields, it does not replace any instructions your doctor may have given you regarding after-microneedling care. Consult your practitioner if you have any questions or feel that your healing is not going according to plan.
Dr. Ramanadham states that it is common for the skin to feel tight and dry on the day of microneedling. You may also experience mild burning sensations. Dr. Doyle says that microneedling will leave small holes in your skin so avoid touching it and don’t use your usual skincare routine to prevent irritation or infection.
Use a mild, non-fragrance cleanser after treatment: Dr. Ramanadham says that less is better. Some patients are advised not to wash their faces after microneedling, as they may absorb any serums, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell/growth factor treatments. Dr. Doyle suggests that you wash your face with only neutral cleansers and emollients, which are oil-free and fragrance-free, unless the technician applied sunscreen afterward.
You can use a minimal amount of skincare to heal your skin. If you have dry skin, thicker products may be applied for your post-procedure treatment.
- Do not exercise/do any heavy physical activity. Dr. Ramanadham advises against sweating or working out for the first few days as it can cause clogging of pores, infection or breakouts. Also, saunas, steam rooms and hot baths/showers are all acceptable.
- Sun exposure: Avoid the sun. If you can’t avoid it, she suggests wearing a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face. She also recommends moisturizing with a high-SPF sunscreen.
- Makeup: Avoid using makeup on your face for the first few days.
- Active ingredients/exfoliation: Dr. Ramanadham says to avoid any and all skincare products containing retinoids, vitamin C, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). Also, no scented products. No exfoliation, scrubbing or rubbing.
- Skincare tools: She recommends storing away all skincare tools, such as jade rollers and gua sha. These tools could cause skin irritation and infection.
- Ibuprofen: Because microneedling uses your body’s natural inflammatory processes, Dr. Engelman advises against taking ibuprofen in the healing phase. It can interfere with the recovery.
Tip: If you are a frequent wearer of protective masks, it is a good idea to schedule your microneedling treatment when you can be without mask for a few days. Dr. Ramanadham stated that prolonged mask use can cause skin irritations.
Dr. Engelman states that the skin may appear pink or red, similar to a mild sunburn. The skin may feel tight and dry, and you might also notice bruising or scratches. Dr. Doyle states that the skin will be active healing at this point. Therefore, you should continue gentle skincare for the first three to fifth days.
- Keep your skin minimally sanitized. Use gentle cleansing and moisturizing products. Dr. Engelman suggests that you add a serum with hyaluronic acids to your skincare routine to improve hydration. However, make sure it does not contain any of these no-go ingredients.
- Get lots of water. She says that proper hydration is crucial for skin cell renewal. Keep a full water bottle handy.
- Apply sunscreen: Dr. Engelman advises that SPF should be used. “After microneedling, skin is very sensitive to sun damage. So sunscreen should always be applied daily for two weeks.”
Similar to above: No exfoliating, working out, sweating, makeup or use of skincare products or excessive sun exposure.
Most of the symptoms should have subsided by the third day. However, there are still some variables to consider. Dr. Doyle advises that redness, sensitivity and swelling can all be reduced. However, some sensitivity may persist depending on the severity of treatment. Dr. Ramanadham says that many people experience a roughness, or dryness of their skin at this stage. It can feel like sandpaper. Dr. Engelman also explains that this stage is normal for peeling and the formation of mild breakouts or milia.
- Gradually you will return to your normal skincare routine: Dr. Ramanadham states that by day three you can reintroduce your normal skincare routine, but avoid any products that could cause irritations. Stick to hydrating moisturizers, moisturizers and mild cleansers.
- Dr. Doyle suggests that you gradually add physical activity to your daily routine as long as it isn’t too painful for your skin. Don’t do it too often, and wash your face afterwards.
- Apply makeup: Dr. Doyle says that light makeup is okay at this stage, but it is best to consult your doctor first to make sure your skin is healthy.
- Drink water: Dr. Engelman suggests drinking as much water as you can to aid cell regeneration.
- Active ingredients: Even though the skin is healing, all three doctors recommend that you avoid active ingredients that could cause further irritation to your skin. These include AHAs, BHAs and retinoids as well as exfoliants, skincare devices, and other acids.
- Sun exposure: Dr. Doyle suggests that you limit your outdoor time to between 8 and 4 a.m. and wear a hat with lots of sunscreen.
- Picking at dry skin: While it might be tempting to pick at the skin that is peeling, Dr. Engelman advises you to stay far from your skin. Forcibly peeling skin may affect the body’s natural healing process. She also explains that it can transfer bacteria from your hands onto your face. This should be avoided.
Dr. Doyle claims that the channels created by microneedling in your skin have closed up by day 5. Most of the irritation, redness, flakiness, and sensitivity will have subsided by then. Dr. Engelman states that a few patients may experience more peeling after the fifth day due to increased cell turnover.
- Dr. Doyle says that active ingredients can be reintroduced as long as the skin is completely healed. This means that your skin will not become reddening or itchy again. If you have any skin irritations or itching, only try one product at the time. Contact your doctor immediately.
- Increase hydration: Dr. Ramanadham states that most skin needs extra hydration within a few days of treatment. To increase hydration, you can add a hyaluronic serum or heavier moisturizer.
- Apply makeup: Dr. Engelman recommends that you avoid makeup for the first three days and then resume it by day five. A tinted sunscreen is recommended by Dr. Engelman that doubles as a sunscreen, protecting your skin from the sun and giving you a light tint to help even your skin tone.
- Treatments that can stress the skin: Dr. Ramanadham recommends that you avoid chemical peels, laser treatments and tanning. You should also avoid using your beauty tools, such as jade rollers or gua sha, for a few days more.
- Peeling your skin: Some people still have problems with peeling. Here’s a reminder – keep your fingers from your face.
Dr. Doyle states that the skin should be fully healed by day seven. Some people notice a difference in their skin texture and fine lines, while others start to notice a change in their skin’s texture. Dr. Ramanadham says that collagen will continue to be produced and remodeled over weeks so expect even greater improvement.
You can resume your normal skincare routine: Our experts agree that you can resume your regular skincare routine within a week. This includes makeup. You should monitor the sensations of your skin to ensure that you don’t damage the barrier function.
Dr. Ramanadham recommends that you avoid any invasive procedures for several weeks, such as microneedling or waxing.
The Final Takeaway
Our experts all agreed that microneedling is extremely beneficial when performed correctly and in sterile conditions. They stressed the importance of the healing process for good results. If you want beautiful skin, then follow proper aftercare protocols.