If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing, it would be to prioritize skincare over makeup. I’ve written tons of blog posts about skincare, and have been very honest about my struggle with cystic acne and acne scarring.
I’ve spent years and hundreds (probably thousands) of dollars on serums, lotions, creams, masks and everything in between trying to a) clear my acne and b) lighten the scarring that has happened as a result.
Probably about a year ago my friend and coworker, Andrea Kerbuski, told me about her experience with microneedling. Andrea has beautiful skin and, looking at it, I could hardly believe that at one point in time she was so self-conscious about her skin that she didn’t want to wear her hair up.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Last summer I started seriously considering microneedling but had some reservations. For starters, the initial out-of-pocket cost gave me a serious case of sticker shock. Sure, if you consider all the money I have spent on lotions, potions and weird gimmicky shit to fix my skin, the cost of microneedling pales in comparison. But, I’ve purchased those things over time—not in one fell swoop.
If I’m being honest, I also was really skeptical about the results. My face is really scarred, and the scarring ranges from light to dark, superficial to deep and old to new. I wasn’t sure if microneedling would be able to address and correct the myriad issues I was dealing with and I was concerned that I would pay for something and be unhappy for the results.
I started doing research in the form of YouTube videos, RealSelf reviews, and the skincare rabbit hole that is Reddit and was amazed at some of the before and afters. I decided to schedule a consultation with Jennifer at Aesthetics Med Spa (formerly Lake Lansing Family Practice).
I had my consultation with Jennifer on Nov. 21, 2018. I had a call that morning that I had to be in the office for and it was the first time in my adult life that I had gone to work sans makeup.
Jennifer looked at my skin and told me that I was definitely a candidate for microneedling. She told me that I would likely see the best results from doing a series of 3 microneedling sessions, spaced 6 weeks apart. She showed me multiple before and after pictures and I was sold. I purchased my package before I left that week and couldn’t wait to get back and have my face punctured with needles.
NO TURNING BACK
I had my first appointment on Nov. 30, 2018. I scheduled the appointment for a Friday morning so I could take the entire day off to be incredibly red in the privacy of my own home. While you can wear makeup 12 hours after having microneedling, I wanted to have the entire weekend to let my skin heal breathe without wearing makeup.
I was more excited than nervous about my appointment. I am definitely a “no pain, no gain” kind of girl. Pain is temporary, but if the results are forever I’m willing to power through just about anything.
Jennifer put a hair net on me and rubbed numbing cream on my face, which she left on for about 20 minutes. During that time, we talked about the process and what would happen. She explained everything to me and answered any questions that I had, which were a lot.
I started getting a little bit nervous while I was numbing because, despite all the videos I had watched and all the questions I had asked, the anticipation was building. When she finally turned on the pen and began the actual process I was astonished about how little I felt. The sound is intimidating, but I felt absolutely no pain whatsoever. I could tell that something was touching my face, and I could feel a slight vibration but there was no pain at all.
I was able to feel the sensation of microneedling more on certain parts of my face versus others. For instance, I felt virtually nothing when she ran the pen over my cheeks. I was able to feel the pen a little more on my chin and forehead because there isn’t as much padding there, but I can’t stress enough that there was absolutely no pain. It’s hard to describe, but the best analogy I could offer would be if you’re brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush. You can hear and feel the vibrations, but there is no pain.
Throughout the entire process, Jennifer kept checking in with me and asking me if I could feel anything or if I needed to take a break. The only time I was uncomfortable was when she was microneedling my forehead which, again, had nothing to do with pain and everything to do with the fact that it made me feel like I was going to sneeze.
I left the office with instructions on how to care for my freshly microneedled face, a vial of hyaluronic acid to use throughout the first day and a sheet mask to use on day 3 to combat dry skin.
My face continued to get more red for about 15-30 minutes after I left the office. I honestly was so amazed by this entire process. I think it is so cool that by causing relatively superficial trauma to the skin, our bodies are able to heal themselves from the inside out. Science is so fucking cool.
I made sure to take lots of before and after pictures so I could see my results. I had my first appointment on Friday and by Sunday my scarring was noticeably diminished. Very much so. Below are pictures I took of my face immediately before my first appointment.
Here are pictures of my face on Sunday, exactly 48 hours later. These were taken with my iPhone 8 Plus and have not been retouched whatsoever.
Managing your expectations is arguably the most important lesson a person can learn, and I tried very hard to temper my expectations of this process. If I’m being honest, the results that I saw were more impressive than I could have ever imagined.
I had my second appointment with Jennifer on Jan. 24, 2019, roughly six weeks after my first appointment. The results from my first microneedling session were so mind-boggling to me that I couldn’t wait to get back for my second appointment.
Here is what my skin looked like while I sat in the waiting room before my second appointment (please disregard the giant stress pimple that popped up on my forehead the day before).
Here is what my skin looked like 48 hours later. So crazy!
Because my skin responded so well to the first session, Jennifer was able to go deeper during the second session. I feel like my initial results were so impressive and I will continue to refine those results with each additional session.
Microneedling is hands down the best money that I have ever spent. I wish that I could go back and advise my younger self to stop wasting money on products that don’t work. If I had any idea that microneedling would produce such noticeable results, I would have done this years ago. Yes, I paid a lot for this, but I can’t put a price tag on the way that it has impacted my confidence and the way that I feel about myself.
If you live in mid-Michigan and are interested in having microneedling done, I can’t say enough good things about Jennifer at Aesthetics Med Spa. You can call her at (517) 574-4655, or find her on Facebook or Instagram.
Microneedling is amazing, worth every single penny, has minimal downtime and doesn’t hurt.