Have you heard of microneedling facials? They’ve been in the press a lot lately, especially since Kim Kardashian shared a selfie after her first experience, and are said to improve fine lines and wrinkles, scars, age spots, acne, stretch marks and hyperpigmentation, to name only some of the benefits.
I’m always game to try something new to improve my skin (I’ve been self-conscious about it ever since the acne years of the mid-90s), and I was also interested to check out RX Cosmetics, a new professional medical spa in Lindsay. I met with the founder and medical director, Sarah Reynolds (she’s a nurse practitioner) and we agreed to partner up for a series of three microneedling facials so I could bring all this information to you, my dear readers.
Here’s what a microneedling facial is: a special “pen” with tiny, sterile needles is used repeatedly to puncture the skin. The skin responds to these slight injuries by forming new, collagen-rich tissue, which is why the process is also referred to as collagen-induction therapy. (There are at-home rollers that work in a similar way but do not achieve anything near the results of the professional treatments.)
Now, along with a microneedling facial, you have the option (with a fee) to have the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) spun out of your own blood and applied to the skin afterwards. This is what Kim Kardashian experienced, and where the term “vampire facial” comes in. I did NOT choose to take this step; my facials were followed by a lovely serum but not my own blood products.
My experience with microneedling facials:
First of all, I would be remiss if I did not describe the beautiful new RX Cosmetics office.
While of course professional, clean and safe, as you would expect from any medical clinic, it’s also very well-decorated, bright and really pretty…an aspect that maybe shouldn’t matter, but really helps set you at ease and enjoy the experience of being there. A lot of effort has gone into creating a welcoming space for patients which does not go unnoticed.
(In addition to microneedling and a variety of other facials, RX Cosmetics also offer dermaplaning, chemical peels, fillers and relaxers.Look them up to see what might be a fit for you!)
After the requisite paperwork, nurse Hilary performed my first facial. I already had a lot of information and answers from my consultation with Sarah, but Hilary gave me even more, and we decided to go with the 0.5 mm (length) size of needles. (RX Cosmetics also has the 0.25 and 1.0 sizes.)
My skin was cleaned, and then a numbing cream was applied and massaged into the skin long enough to make sure that it was effective. Then Hilary fired up the pen (the noise made me a bit skittish, I will say – it’s designed with the same technology as a tattoo pen!) and started with my forehead and nose, which tend to be the most sensitive. It didn’t feel good by any means, but the pain was certainly bearable. The microneedling itself only takes a couple of minutes, as the pen is moved around the entire face (neck and decolletage are included if you wish). Afterwards, serum was applied and off I went. (Related note: nurses are not allowed to accept tips.) I was in and out of the office in about an hour (though I still felt a bit numb for at least another hour after that).
Right after the first procedure
In terms of downtime, while I had no pain or discomfort whatsoever after the procedure, after using the 0.5 mm needles I had “pinprick bleeding” red dots on my forehead and nose, which were barely noticeable by the next morning, but I was glad I had nowhere else to be the same day.
A month later, I returned for my second facial, and again Hilary performed the treatment. I wanted to try the 1.0 size of needles as I really liked the idea of maximizing the possible benefits, so we went for it. (I also brought Eva along as a photographer – and because she loves to check out things like this!)
I’m not going to lie: I was extremely sensitive to the change in size (by “extremely sensitive” I mean there may have been some tears), particularly on my forehead – even with numbing cream and the two painkillers I decided to take before the appointment! My advice would be that if you have a low pain tolerance, you may want to stick with 0.5 mm needles.
You can thank Eva for this little video of the process (and thank me for allowing you to see me like this, lol!)
The larger size of needles also led to more pinprick bleeding over my entire face, which was prominent even the day after (and took a few days to fully fade away), so I chose to stick close to home.
For the third facial, nurse Marci saw in my file that Hilary had noted my sensitivity from the previous session, and she suggested sticking with the 1.0 on fleshier, less-sensitive areas like cheeks and chin, but going back to the 0.5 mm size on the forehead and nose, which we did. I certainly had some discomfort still, but the combination of two sizes seemed to work better for me.
Because I care about you, dear readers, and want you to always have the most helpful information, here is a close-up of my skin after arriving home from my treatment. (Again, I was glad I didn’t plan on being anywhere the day after, as the redness took a few days to gradually subside.)
Now, let’s talk about the most important part: the results of microneedling facials! Since starting my series of three treatments almost three months ago, I’ve definitely noticed a smoothing of my skin. Some of my pitted acne scars seem more shallow, and I’m also seeing a more even skin tone (some sun damage and darker patches are looking the right colour now.) To me, even many of my fine lines are less noticeable, so I can certainly say microneedling gets results over time. I’ve also had two different people ask me what filter I used in photos of myself that actually had no filter – which I think is another good sign that things are looking pretty good!
In terms of cost, microneedling is comparable to other specialized facial treatments, and my mom actually priced out a few difference locations for microneedling and found that RX Cosmetics offered the most competitively-priced package in our area (yes, she is getting it done as well!)
I would definitely recommend microneedling to those who have a bit of pain tolerance, and would highly recommend RX Cosmetics as a medical spa – check out their website for all of their available treatments. They also have an online booking system which I love – no need to wait for office hours to get someone on the phone to make your appointment! Thanks to Sarah, Hilary and Marci for their warmth, friendliness and professionalism. I knew I could trust you with my face!
Feel free to ask in the comments or through social media if you have any questions at all!
I’ll leave you with a no-filter-and-I’m-okay-with-that selfie of my skin today – one week after my third treatment. (Nothing on my face but I AM wearing eye makeup…I don’t love you guys that much!)
Disclosure: I was provided with my microneedling facials for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.