If you’ve just purchased a home microneedling device such as a dermaroller, dermastamp, or an electric needling device, then you probably have some questions regarding what you should and shouldn’t do after poking your face with a bunch of tiny needles.
When it comes to aftercare, one of the first questions people ask is, “Can I wash my face after microneedling?”
The answer is yes, you can.
However, you should wait a short period of time to give your skin adequate time to heal.
If you’re new to microneedling, then this article is for you! Today, we’ll talk about what to expect after microneedling, how to care for your face after microneedling, what you should avoid after microneedling, and how soon after you can resume your normal face-cleansing regimen.
Let’s take a look!
Microneedling and Dermarolling
First tested in 1901, dermarolling and other microneedling devices have been around for quite some time. Until recently, they were mainly found in high-end spas and cosmetic centers focusing on anti-aging treatments. However, thanks to the invention of a few nifty DIY devices and a lot of marketing, they’ve made their way to the mainstream public.
You don’t have to go to an expensive spa or hire a plastic surgeon. You don’t need to be a Hollywood actress or a million-dollar entertainer, either.
If you’ve got around $20 in your pocket, you can buy your very own microneedling device and have Hollywood skin in no time!
What To Expect After Microneedling
If you’ve never used a dermaroller or had a professional microneedling treatment before, then you’re probably a little bit unsure of what to expect. From the ads you’ve seen, you’ve probably heard the claims that microneedlers can:
- Remove acne scars (dermaplaning and light therapy are both good for this as well).
- Get rid of stretch marks.
- Treat skin discoloration.
- Shrink pores.
- Stimulate beard growth.
- Reduce deep wrinkles and crow’s feet.
- Get rid of fine lines.
- Make your skin look younger. See our anti-aging devices for more ideas.
When it comes to the beauty industry, let’s be honest- most things are overrated.
Every year, a hundred new creams, sprays, and at-home devices come out that promise to revolutionize your life, fix your skin, and make you look like you just descended from Mount Olympus with the gods.
Almost all of them are clever gimmicks.
They might work, but more often than not, they disappoint.
Every so often, though, there’s a diamond in the rough. A product that actually works. A product that’s simple, easy-to-use, and backed by science.
Although microneedling isn’t a new concept, it’s only recently become widely recognized. The process is simple and involves a small handheld device that rolls or stamps hypodermic needles into the surface of your skin. This process creates “micro-injuries” that stimulate your face to activate its built-in healing mechanism.
Once activated, your skin will be able to repair old scars, shrink enlarged pores, even your skin tone, and even help you grow a beard!
We admit it does sound too good to be true. But, as we mentioned, it’s backed by science! Multiple studies have shown that several months of regular treatment significantly reduced atrophic scarring caused by cystic acne and injury to the face.
A Stinging Pain
If you’re starting with a short 0.2 to 0.5-millimeter microneedling regimen, then you may not feel much pain. The needles won’t penetrate deep enough to hit the nerves, and you’ll feel at most a minor pricking.
However, in the hours after microneedling your face, you’ll almost certainly feel a bit of stinging. It’s completely normal, so don’t be surprised. After all, you are putting hundreds of tiny holes in your face!
If you want to avert this, you can apply a topical numbing agent to your face before microneedling.
Within about 10 minutes of rolling your dermaroller across your face, you’ll probably notice that your skin will turn bright red as if you just got slapped!
Again, this is normal.
After your body recognizes the injury, it increases collagen-rich blood flow to your face to initiate the healing process.
As more blood flows into your face, you may realize that your face is looking a little larger or puffier than usual. It’s not an allergic reaction or anything, so don’t be afraid. Your face is just swelling to the expanded blood vessels and extra fluid.
The puffiness should go down within about 5 hours.
For 24 to 48 hours after your microneedling session, you may realize that the surface of your skin is sensitive to the touch, even if the redness and puffiness have receded. During this period, you should be as gentle to your skin as possible.
Within 2 to 5 days after microneedling, your dead and dry skin will start to appear. After your skin is finished replacing all of the old skin cells with fresh ones, it will begin to shed the old ones, causing your skin’s surface layer to look dry and cracked.
This is to be expected and can be exfoliated away as long as your skin is no longer sensitive to the touch. See our article on dead skin after microneedling for more information.
Can I Wash My Face After Microneedling? Answered!
If you’re like most healthy people, then you probably have a daily cleansing routine for your face. The highschool experience of forgetting to wash your face and waking up with pimples the next day was probably enough to convince you to never forget to wash your face again!
As we mentioned above, your skin will likely be red, a bit swollen, and sensitive to the touch when you’re finished microneedling. It will usually remain this way for several hours until your skin has sufficiently healed.
During this brief window of sensitivity, you should avoid washing your face. The chemicals in your facewash can often cause even more stinging and inflammation since they’ll be absorbed directly into the pores. Additionally, scrubbing your face with a cloth or brush will only serve to cause you more pain.
Instead, we recommend washing your face before you start microneedling.
The best reason to wash your face prior to dermarolling is that it will remove all the dirt and bacteria from your face. The last thing you want when your poking holes in your face is to push bacteria into your pores. This could cause acne and topical infection.
Once your skin is no longer sensitive to the touch, however, you should be fine to go ahead and wash your face again!
What Should I NOT Do Immediately After Microneedling?
Aside from washing your face immediately after microneedling, let’s take a look at a few other things that you should avoid in order to protect your face and get the most benefit out of your microneedling routine.
Due to the rough, abrasive nature of exfoliation, you’ll want to avoid it for a couple of days following your microneedling session. It’s important to give your skin time to heal.
During this process, your skin will begin to fill in the scars and repair your skin. If you jump straight into exfoliation, you could hinder this process or worse- damage your skin.
However, a few days after microneedling, you’ll likely notice some dry skin start to pop out. By then, your skin will no longer be sensitive, so it’s a great time to break out the exfoliator.
Many of the popular anti-aging creams, etc. on the market can be harsh on your skin. As we mentioned, you want to avoid applying anything that contains chemical agents to your skin when it’s still raw and sensitive from dermarolling.
Give yourself about 24 before resuming your regular beauty product regimen. And wait a little while before jumping into your next microneedling treatment. It can take many treatments to get rid of acne scars.
Of all the things to avoid immediately after microneedling, makeup is the most important! Whenever possible, you want to ensure that makeup does not end up in your pores. Normally, this is what a good makeup primer is for.
However, after you microneedle your face, all of your pores will be wide-open. Even with a good primer, you could stand to clog up your pores and give yourself a bad acne breakout or even cysts.
How To Care For Your Face After Microneedling
Now that we’ve gone over some of the things that you should avoid after microneedling let’s take a look at some of the things that you should apply to your face to facilitate fast healing and skin regeneration.
If you have a good moisturizer on-hand, apply it immediately after dermarolling. This will help to reduce the inflammation, and since your pores are open, it will allow the moisturizer to seep deep inside and fully hydrate your skin.
This is the one and only beauty product you should apply to your face after microneedling. This product is a popular anti-aging agent that dramatically increases how fast your skin cells regenerate and can work hand-in-hand with the dermarolling process to ensure that your skin heals even faster!
The L’Oreal Skincare Revitalift Derm Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum is an excellent choice.
As we mentioned above, you do want to wait for at least 24 hours after microneedling to exfoliate your face. However, exfoliation is the best way to remove any dry and dead skin that may appear.