Skin Needling: We Try It-------
It’s popped up on Rachael Ray and CBS’ medical show The Doctors, and last summer, reports started circulating that Angelina Jolie swears by the suspicious-looking device for her flawless complexion. If you’re not familiar with the Dermaroller, here’s a refresher course. A small handheld roller covered in tiny steel spikes, the tool is designed to leave thousands of pricks as it glides over your skin, causing trauma to the epidermis and stimulating the repair process, thus boosting collagen production for a coveted youthful glow. It may sound suspect, but the technology behind it is legit, according to U.K.-based dermatologist Dr. Samantha Bunting, who has become one of its increasingly long list of acolytes. Dr. Bunting, who advised me against seeking out down-market versions of skin-needling kits for sale online or in drugstores on a recent trip to see her at Renew Medica in London, explains that the efficacy of the treatment lies not just in simply rolling needles over the face, but achieving the optimal needle penetration with pinpoint bleeding and swelling, which often requires a physician’s care. Don’t let words like “bleeding” and “swelling” deter you, though; the semi-frightening process can really do wonders for remedying acne scars and stretch marks, as well as increasing general radiance. It also has a lower risk for post-procedure problems, like pigmentation, than lasers and chemical peels—and is considerably less expensive (a single treatment with the good doctor costs about $485). But patience—as well as a high tolerance for pain—are necessary if you want to reap the benefits; three to five sessions over the course of four to five months are recommended for optimal results. And it’s not a particularly, um, pleasurable experience. Despite the fact that a topical anesthetic agent was used to freeze my face, the pain in some parts was well north of a ten. I was red and puffy for the first day, but by day two people started telling me how rested and “well” I looked. My skin tone was noticeably clearer, too, and the circles around my eyes had diminished. Call me a masochist, but I’ll take the pain for a noticeable gain. For more information or to book an appointment in London, call 011-44-207-499-4904.