Collagen is that magic substance that makes young skin look full, tight and smooth. Over time, a loss of collagen leads to saggy skin, wrinkles and larger pores. It’s a case of you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone—your average 16 year old doesn’t even appreciate all that beautiful collagen In her fresh face. We start to lose total collagen in our skin in our mid-twenties as skin begins to thin.
But our bodies are pretty miraculous. Just as you can heal from a cut or a bruise, you can generate more collagen. You just have to stimulate the production of collagen … without destroying your skin.
This leads us to the process we call Medical Grade Microneedling. A skin care specialist makes passes over your skin using a handheld wand with micro needles that stimulates the collagen producing fibroblast in the underlying layer of your skin, causing micro injuries that build collagen as they heal. I signed up with the goal of reducing my crow’s feet, tightening my pores and making a pre-emptive strike against years of self-inflicted sun damage.
You know it’s gonna be good when you start with microdermabrasion, usually a treatment all by itself. After Kari had blasted off all the superficial dead skin cells and cleaned my skin, she applied a topical numbing cream and allowed it to soak in for five minutes.
“Are you ready?” Kari asked. I discovered I was getting slightly numb. She asked if I wanted a more aggressive treatment for better results—more passes with the wand, deeper penetration and a faster speed—that would offer better results. “Why not,” I said. “If I’m going to do this, I might as well do it right.” And thus we began.
The forehead was the most sensitive area, as Kari warned it would be. There’s not a lot of soft tissue beneath the skin to absorb the repetition and depth needed for adequate results of the micro needles. But it was also over in just minutes, as Kari promised.
The rest of my face was easy peasy by comparison. It stung a bit over my cheekbones and eye sockets. But between the numbing cream and my soft cheeks, the process was relatively painless.
With each pass Kari applied hyaluronic acid to my skin. This wonder serum is naturally present in the body and skin, acting as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues. The micro-needles pushed the product into my skin to moisturize those micro channels, speed my healing and accentuate my results.
When we were done, Kari gave me a mirror so that I could see how my skin looked. I had a bit of bruising under my eyes and a great deal of redness–those multiple micro channels were evident. I expected my body to be pumping out collagen like Arnold Schwarzenegger used to pump iron back in the day.
By the next day, I was able to wash my skin with a gentle cleanser and apply SkinMedica Ultra Sheer moisturizer. I decided to lay low so that I could allow my skin to rest and return to a normal hue. The red faded throughout the day, and the mild bruising under my eyes was easy to conceal with Colorescience makeup by Day 2. By Day 3, my skin color was almost completely normal, and I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new collagen, which usually takes several weeks for normal production and healing.
No pain is no gain, they say. Fortunately, it didn’t require a lot of pain to see a tremendous gain. And repeated treatments—often a series of four—can provide truly noticeable results. Hello, collagen. You’ve been missed. Nice to see you again!