Smart ageing or just hype? Lisa Armstrong tries DIY microneedling patches
I don’t have problems with blood (it’s pus that used to make me faint), but a beauty treatment that involves gliding a little implement studded with 3mm needles backwards and forwards across your face to create hundreds of bleeding pinpricks doesn’t strike me as the best use of anyone’s me-time.
Even so, Dermarollers (which you can buy anywhere, including Amazon and probably by the checkout in Tesco before too long) and microneedling (which you need to get done in a salon, although that, too, will probably be an option in Boots soon) are quite the thing.
One dermatologist told me, eyes shining, of a conference she’d been to where the ‘microneedling guru’ treated those in attendance to a film of faces with blood pouring down them. I waited for the doctor’s horrified verdict, but she was in awe.
The science goes like this: these micro-aggressions to the skin trigger its own healing mechanisms, including the release of growth factors that encourage the production of new collagen and elastin. The result – once the bleeding and the redness have calmed down – is a radiant, plumped-up complexion with the fine lines ironed out. If this all sounds hunky-dory to you, be my guest.
I’m no scientist, and I don’t doubt – in fact, I’ve seen – the short-term results. But it still sounds self-flagellatory to me, and I’m sick of this onslaught of draconian products and techniques that, in the end, really don’t make enough of a difference to be worth the time, pain and expense.
Of course trauma gets short-term results. But this seems barking, long-term. There are other, far gentler ways of achieving the same kind of thing. Gua sha – massaging your own face with a thin jade or rose-quartz stone – for a start. And these (ta da!): Vice Reversa’s microneedling patches – small half-moon-shaped adhesive patches made from medical-grade hydrocolloid (biodegradable transparent dressings) with a textured surface on one side, which contains multiple microscopic (0.3mm) ‘needles’ that dissolve into your skin over the space of a few hours (they’re great to pop on during a long flight). They release crystallised ingredients that penetrate the epidermis to kick some ass, nourishing and hydrating skin. There is even a formulation to address acne.
Pop the patches under your eyes and either side of your mouth, and pat them gently to increase their efficacy. Also, ensure that they’re sitting smoothly – you don’t want any creases or your skin will emerged creased. They’re not cheap: £34.95 for eight plumping patches, or £19.95 for the pimple ones. And I wish there was a bit less plastic packaging – they need to be kept sterile until you get your mitts on them.
But they are revolutionary: effective and painless. Use them twice a week, or the night before a special occasion. No blood taken.
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