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My skin has started to change now that I'm getting older. I'm noticing a change in the texture (especially on my forehead), mild 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 noticeable. I recently went for a HydraFacial treatment, and while I was there I mentioned some of these changes to my skin specialist, who then recommended microneedling - radiofrequency microneedling (also known as RF microneedling) in particular.
After doing some research on the process and benefits, I decided to go for it. As a treatment it's said to be great for early signs of aging on the skin, acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, large pores, and even stretch marks on the body. The service comes highly recommended from people online who want something that gives more noticeable results than skin care but is less invasive and permanent than injectable treatments like fillers or wrinkle-freezing solutions.
How Does Radiofrequency Microneedling Work?
Radiofrequency microneedling uses a tiny, fine needle to create tiny wounds in the surface of the skin. This triggers the response system in your skin to naturally produce elastin and collagen, two key proteins that start to dwindle as you get older.
This is the same as with a standard microneedling treatment. Where radiofrequency microneedling is different is that the needle releases radiofrequency waves into the skin as well. This causes additional controlled "damage" to the skin and therefore additional repair, meaning the skin comes back stronger and smoother than with standard microneedling.
What to Expect During Radiofrequency Microneedling
The process of microneedling was actually pretty straightforward. I didn't find it painful or invasive at all, and at some points I kind of forgot what was happening.
My skin specialist started out by cleansing my skin carefully before adding a relaxing face mask onto 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 you'd just prefer for your skin to be numbed ahead of the procedure, then it's worth checking this out. I've had a lip blush treatment in the past and I don't think I could have had it done 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 got it done all over, minus my nose, with particular care on the areas of concern like my forehead, eye skin, and around my chin - to make micropunctures in the skin. As it 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 sensation of the needle, I definitely couldn't detect anything else going on. Some areas of the face were more sensitive than others, but it was nothing I'd describe as painful.
Because the small punctures to the skin are said to help skin-care products penetrate more deeply and easily into the skin, applying serum and moisturizer like you would in any other facial was the next step.
What Downtime Is Required After Radiofrequency Microneedling?
My skin was extremely red after treatment, as you can see in the above photo, and it's advised that you steer clear of makeup and keep skin care to a minimum for at least 24 hours after your treatment. Some people experience slight bleeding after their treatment. Luckily, I didn't have anywhere urgent to be after my appointment, so I'd definitely recommend not making plans immediately after radiofrequency microneedling. The process continues to work for 24 to 48 hours after, so you have to be gentle on your skin during this time.
Your skin might look red, blotchy, or slightly scabbed the first day or two while it's healing, and I was warned that I might experience some mild peeling as my skin renewed and reacted to the treatment. My skin heals relatively well in general, so I wasn't too worried about that, although it was a little blotchy the day after. I skipped makeup (not even my favorite tinted serum) for a few days after treatment just to be safe.
Results of Radiofrequency Microneedling
I wasn't expecting to see a big difference after just a few days, but my skin already looks and feels different. By 48 hours post-treatment, it felt super smooth and glowy. I could still see some tiny marks around my chin that is likely the pattern of the needle, but I'm not experiencing any overwhelming issues with peeling or scabs. It's recommended that you have a course of treatments for best results (anywhere from two to four), so I'll be going back for my next few sessions. If the results are anything like I've seen this first time around, then the best is yet to come.