Microneedling Aftercare: Easy Tips For the Best Results

Microneedling is a skincare treatment used to treat skin issues such as wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation, and much more. It is worth noting that the aftercare is just as important as the microneedling procedure itself.

Microneedling aftercare includes using sun protection, avoiding exfoliants, applying a follow-up serum, and avoiding certain types of makeup. Aftercare is important in order to prevent skin infections that can occur while your skin heals from microneedling.

This article will cover in detail how microneedling works and share tips on proper aftercare. Read on to learn more about microneedling.

microneedling aftercare chart

How Does Microneedling Work?

A microneedling procedure involves puncturing the skin with tiny needles. While that sounds pretty painful, your skincare professional most likely will numb your skin beforehand to avoid any discomfort. 

Each puncture from the needles results in tiny abrasions that increase collagen production as they heal.  Collagen serves as one of the main building blocks of our skin. Sadly, collagen production starts to decrease in our 30’s and our skin slowly loses the scaffolding of those building blocks. The end result is sagging skin and increased wrinkles as we age.  

Multiple sessions spaced 3 to 6 weeks apart are usually required for best results. I’ve written an article all about how often to microneedle, and the dangers of microneedling too frequently, here.

The Benefits of Microneedling

Microneedling has become very popular because of its many benefits. Here are some of the ways microneedling can benefit your skin: 

  • Increases collagen The increase in collagen production reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and prevents sagging skin.
  • Fades acne scars Microneedling has been proven to greatly improve the appearance of acne scars.
  • Improves stretch marks Microneedling has been proven to lessen the appearance of stretch marks. I’ve written an article all about how to best treat stretch marks with microneedling here. 
  • Reduces the appearance of large pores By increasing collagen and elastin production microneedling greatly improves skin texture, which helps pores appear smaller.

Another great option for fading acne scars and reducing the appearance of large pores is chemical peels. Although chemical peels have great results, they are also more expensive and can have more side effects. Check out this article comparing microneedling with chemical peels to help decide which is best for you.

Now when will you see these benefits? It most likely won’t be immediate. Microneedling takes time to stimulate collagen growth in your skin and allow serums to penetrate deeper. Check out this article to learn when you can expect to see microneedling results.

microneedling derma roller on skin

Microneedling At Home vs In Office Microneedling

Microneedling can be performed both in an office setting and at home. Microneedling at home seems to be the preference for most skincare enthusiasts due to the following: 

  • Expense Microneedling sessions with a professional can be expensive, while microneedling at home only requires a derma roller and alcohol to keep it sterilzed. 
  • Convenience By doing the sessions yourself at home, you save time as well as money. 
  • Less invasive Doing microneedling at home with a derma roller will not have the same results as an in-office procedure, because the needles are much shorter. However, if you only have minor skin concerns, microneedling at home may be all that you need. 

So if you’re looking to do your own microneedling sessions at home, you’re in luck! There are many reasonably priced derma rollers that you can buy online on Amazon and use in the comfort of your own home.

Side Effects of Microneedling

Microneedling recovery time is minimal, lasting up to a few days to a few weeks depending on the procedure. During this period, you may experience irritated skin and redness. This is a normal response to having had tiny holes drilled in your face. 

The side effects should be pretty minimal. However, showering and using certain products during the recovery period may worsen them.

When Can You Shower After Microneedling?

You can shower around 72 hours after each microneedling procedure whether you decide to microneedle your skin at home or trust yourself to a professional. This will help you avoid infection, while using any antibiotic cream your dermatologist may prescribe. 

Aside from showers, you will also want to avoid sauna, swimming pools, and sweating heavily. So it would be advisable to plan your workouts around your microneedling sessions to avoid infections!

Products To Avoid After Microneedling

Seventy-two hours after your first microneedling session, whether done at home or at the office, there are many skincare products you will want to avoid, as some ingredients may worsen the side effects you’ll be experiencing. 

To heal and avoid infection, you should avoid: 

  • Exfoliant 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Retinols 

Most exfoliants are packed with chemicals that will harm your freshly punctured face. It would help if you also avoided anything with glycolic acid and alpha hydroxy acids, as well as anything scented. 

Vitamin C and retinol need only be avoided for the first two days after your session because they can cause irritation.

infographic comparing0 C02 laser, microneedling and pulsed dye laser (PDL) for acne scar treatments

Home Microneedling and Aftercare

Microneedling your skin at home will take even less time than with a dermatologist. You will need your:

  • Derma roller 
  • Skin cleanser 
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol 
  • Follow-up serum 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Disinfect your derma roller. This step is essential to prevent infection. For a thorough disinfection, you soak your derma rollers in 70% isopropyl alcohol for up to ten minutes.
  2. Wash your face. Using a skin cleanser with a good pH balance, wash your face gently.
  3. Start rolling. An easy way to use the derma roller is to roll it across each section of your face, starting with both cheeks and sides, the chin area, and the forehead. Be sure not to drag it across your skin, which can cause small tears in the top layers as opposed to punctures.
  4. Sanitize the derma roller. Wash your derma roller with soap, then sanitize it again with 70% isopropyl alcohol by soaking it again for ten minutes. 
  5. Use a follow-up serum. A follow-up serum is a moisturizer that is safe to use on your newly-punctured skin. A good follow-up serum will have peptides and hyaluronic acid. Avoid serums high in vitamin C, AHA, and BHA for the first 48 hours.
  6. Wait at least four hours before washing your face with clean water. Use lukewarm water and pat it dry with a towel.
  7. Lay on your back when sleeping. Try not to let your face touch the pillow or blanket as the fabric might irritate your skin and worsen the redness.

Final Thoughts on Microneedling Aftercare

Hopefully this article has helped you take care of your skin after microneedling. Microneedling is one of my favorites skinicare treatments to do at home- and believe me I’ve tried them all! While it’s not without risk, it’s generally safe and pretty easy to do inexpensively. If you’re interested in skincare treatments at home I’ve linked to articles I’ve written on some of my other favorites below.

Red and Blue Light Therapy

Hydrodermabrasion: Everything You Need to Know

The Incredible Benefits of Dermaplaning For Your Skin