I try to be OK with my age and the changes that come along with getting older. But sometimes when I look in the mirror I think: “WHAT is that? Let’s see what we can do about that.” And then I search Google until I find ways to remove the offense. Think it won’t happen to you? I totally thought that too. Before the things started happening.
Sometimes the techniques I find are ridiculous. As in, they’re crazy expensive, might make me look worse rather than younger, might not work, or might cause great physical pain (case in point). Finding some reasonable mix of cost, pain, and potential results is the challenge.
I’ve dabbled in Botox (I like it in moderation for the forehead, do not like it around the eyes), fillers (they can work wonders in moderation), I have a NuFace, which is a bit time consuming but I like it, and here are a few other things I use. As you can see I’m not virgin when it comes to beauty technologies. So when SkinSpirit got in touch about a new procedure called MicroNeedling, I was intrigued, despite the sound of it. Wisely, they’ve changed the name to MicroPenning.
It involves what the original name sounds like: teeny-tiny needles create “controlled micro-injuries to the skin.” In the process of repairing itself, the skin produces collagen and elastin, improving texture, softening wrinkles and acne scars, and breaking up patches of pigmentation. The micro-channels created by the needles also make skin treatments like topical gels, creams and serums work better.
Skinspirit uses an improved version of the technology made by Eclipse, which is a pen that approaches the skin vertically, The old version was sort of a roller ball—a teeny-tiny mace, if you will—that rolled across the face. The new vertical pen creates a smaller wound site and is a more efficient channel for your beauty products. It also makes the procedure faster and less uncomfortable—so if you’ve tried MicroPenning in the past and found it painful, you might want to check it out again.
See more before and after photos here
I first went in for a consultation at SkinSpirit in Palo Alto, where I filled out questionnaires as I partook of the lovely tea selection in the waiting area. Then Karen Fernandez, manager of aesthetics and a clinical aesthetician, checked out my skin to make sure I was a good candidate for for the procedure. She asked me, with a bit of suspicion (that I probably projected) if I’d had cosmetic surgery to which I proudly answered “No.” I asked about pain, and told her about my nightmarish experience with radio frequency. She said I’d get a numbing cream (this costs extra, $55 for 15+ treatments, FYI) to apply an hour before the micro penning, and that she typically received the treatment without numbing cream so not to worry.
Two weeks later I went in for my treatment. The pain was a bit more than I expected, to be honest (maybe I really am a wuss?), but definitely tolerable. It felt like what you would expect of a square-inch pen-shaped device puncturing your skin with thousands of tiny holes. Kind of like sandpaper being rubbed on your skin, and some areas were more sensitive than others. But I felt no desire to commit violence and the treatment only lasted about 20 minutes. Also the technician can adjust the length of the needles for a more aggressive treatment if the pain is tolerable, or vice versa.
Afterwards, my face looked flushed, but had I anyplace to go I would not have caused alarm. Karen gave me SPF 45 to apply diligently because my skin would be extra-sensitive to sun post-treatment. She also gave me a peptide gel, which would race into those micro channels and plump things up. I peeled a little bit for about three days, after which my skin was indeed very smooth and lovely. I hadn’t had Botox in my forehead since February (seven months!), and this seemed to get me at least another month. My nasolabial folds were also softer. While I was shopping with a friend last week, she gave me a good long look and said: “You look great, by the way. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” So there’s that!
MicroPenning at SkinSpirit typically costs $275, but they have a special going on at the moment for $50 off, so it would be $225 for you! The healing mode, i.e. the most noticeable effects, last about 3-4 weeks. But if you get a series of treatments, the benefits can last 4-6 months after treatment and even longer, because the results compound upon themselves. It’s also safe for all skin types and colors. Woo! If you try it, please let me know how it goes!