Microneedling: The gory procedure that banishes fine lines and plumps skin
1 April 2019, 11:02 | Updated: 1 April 2019, 11:06
It might seem counterintuitive, but can being stabbed in the face with a needle REALLY make you look younger?
Microneedling has been heralded a the solution to a variety of skin complaints, from acne scarring to fine lines and sagging jowls.
But can repeatedly stabbing yourself in the face with needles really be the secret to plumper, younger looking skin?
Microneedling first became popular in 1995 when it was used by a US doctor to give ageing skin a boost.
The science behind it is that by putting the skin through trauma, your body’s natural response is to produce collagen - which makes the face look younger and plumper by forcing it to release the skin boosting substance that depletes naturally with age.
A variation, the Vampire Facial, first rose to provenance after Kim Kardashian posted a selfie showing her smizing at the camera with blood all over her face.
The difference between Vampire Facials and straight microneedling is that ahead of the treatment, the patient’s face is covered in a thin layer of numbing agent, before a doctor draws a small amount of the patients’ own blood and extracts platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
This is an element of the blood that contains active proteins for tissue healing and growth stimulation.
After microneeding, the PRP is then smeared over the skin, sinking back in to the pores and giving the skin a further boost.
Like so many things endorsed or shown off by the round-bummed mum-of-three, these Vampire Facials are becoming the norm - and you don’t need an A-List bank balance to have one.
Scores of everyday women have undergone the prickly procedure - and it's a favourite with soap and reality stars, too.
Former Coronation Street favourite Catherine Tyldesley recently revealed that the secret of her glowing skin are these PRP-based treatments, although if you have ‘bad veins’ or are just a bit too squeamish about your blood, there are man-made alternatives to PRP that are equally effective.
Catherine, who is treated by the team at ONE Aesthetic Studio in Cheshire, said: “The treatment uses the goodness in your own blood and the results are fantastic. "I've had it done two or three times and when I've had it done my skin has felt amazing.
"They're great for if you're feeling a bit tired and your skin is looking a bit dull. And it doesn't hurt at all.
“I’m so much more confident about my skin.’’
There is an element of downtime after the procedure, with people comping their reddened and scabbed skin to having a case of sunburn.
For most people, they are back to 'normal' in less than five days, with results from the treatment becoming visible in approximately four weeks.
I underwent the treatment myself at Regent's Park Aesthetics, under the expert care of qualified aesthetics nurse and founder Kay Greveson - and eight weeks on can't believe the difference in my skin.
Despite lying there with a bloody face, I didn't feel any discomfort during the microneedling as my face had been numbed with special anaesthetic cream.
Later, after having synthetic PRP applied to my freshly microneedled skin - my veins were too tricky to take my actual blood from - it was time to head home.
Jumping on the Tube I tried not to think about what I might look like, my skin starting to tingle as the cream wore off and the cold February air hit me.
Getting home and braving a look in the mirror, I was shocked - I was definitely very red!
Just as I had been advised, the next few days I felt like I had a bad case of sunburn, with the tightness and redness fading away around a week later.
Now I can't stop telling people how much I rate microneedling - with one colleague having weekly treatments to combat acne scarring.
While it sticking needles in to your face might seem like going backwards to go forwards, it really is a miracle remedy for reinvigorating a tired, dull and lacklustre complexion.