image source: Getty
My skin has started to change now that I’m getting older. I notice a change in texture (especially on my forehead), slight signs of aging like crow’s feet, and I have a scar on my forehead that has always been visible but seems to be getting more visible. I recently went for a HydraFacial treatment, and while there I mentioned some of these changes to my skin specialist, who then recommended microneedling – radio frequency microneedling (also known as RF microneedling) in particular.
After doing some research on the process and the benefits, I decided to go for it. As a treatment, it is said to be excellent for early signs of skin aging, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, large pores, and even stretch marks on the body. The service comes highly recommended by people online who want something that gives more visible results than skincare, but is less invasive and permanent than injectable treatments like fillers or anti-wrinkle solutions.
How does radiofrequency microneedling work?
Radiofrequency microneedling uses a small, thin needle to create tiny wounds on the surface of the skin. This triggers your skin’s response system to naturally produce elastin and collagen, two key proteins that begin to decline as you age.
It is the same as with a standard microneedling treatment. Where radio frequency microneedling is different is that the needle also releases radio frequency waves into the skin. This causes additional controlled ‘damage’ to the skin and therefore further repair, which means the skin comes back stronger and smoother than with standard microneedling.
What to expect during radiofrequency microneedling
The microneedling process was actually quite simple. I didn’t find it painful or invasive at all, and at times I kind of forgot what was going on.
My skin specialist started by thoroughly cleansing my skin before adding a relaxing mask to the skin and leaving me with soothing music for 10 minutes. After the mask was removed, my skin was cleansed again and a numbing treatment was applied to my face. Not all practitioners do this, so if you have a low pain threshold or just prefer your skin to be numbed before the procedure, it’s worth checking that out. I’ve had a lip blush treatment in the past and I don’t think I could have done it without a numbing cream, so I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
Then the RF microneedling began, using the microneedle on small sections of my face – I did it all over, minus my nose, with particular care on areas of concern like my forehead, eye skin and around my chin – to make micropunctures in the skin. As this was my first treatment, my practitioner had it on a fairly low setting. I didn’t find it painful at all; while I could feel the feel of the needle, I certainly couldn’t detect anything else. Some areas of the face were more sensitive than others, but it was nothing that I would describe as painful.
Because small pricks on the skin are supposed to help skincare products penetrate deeper and easier into the skin, the next step was to apply serum and moisturizer as you would in n any other facial treatment.
How much downtime is required after radiofrequency microneedling?
My skin was extremely red after the treatment, as you can see in the photo above, and it is advisable to avoid makeup and keep skin care to a minimum for at least 24 hours after your treatment. Some people experience light bleeding after their treatment. Luckily, I didn’t have any emergencies after my appointment, so I would definitely recommend not making plans immediately after the radiofrequency microneedling. The process continues to work for 24-48 hours afterwards, so you need to be gentle with your skin during this time.
Your skin may look red, blotchy or slightly crusty for the first day or two during healing, and I was warned that I might experience some slight peeling as my skin renews and responds to the treatment. My skin heals relatively well in general, so I wasn’t too worried about it, although it was a bit spotty the next day. I skipped makeup (not even my favorite tinted serum) for a few days after the treatment just to be on the safe side.
Results of radiofrequency microneedling
I didn’t expect to see a big difference after just a few days, but my skin already looks and feels different. 48 hours after the treatment it was super smooth and shiny. I could still see tiny marks around my chin that are probably the pattern of the needle, but I’m not having any overwhelming issues with peeling or crusting. It is recommended to follow a series of treatments for best results (two to four), so I will come back for my next sessions. If the results look like what I saw this first time, then the best is yet to come.
Image source: Lucy Thorpe