What To Put On Skin After Microneedling Treatment

Dermaroller needle with serum in glass bottle. Anti wrinkle skin care. Derma roller and serum bottle. Beauty treatment, mesotherapy or medical collagen production stimulation. . High quality photo
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Microneedling has become a go-to option for skincare and restoration, whether you use a dermaroller for microneedling at home or go to a dermatologist and get the long needles.

Besides skin enhancement, the benefits of microneedling include the fact that it doesn’t carry a high risk of discoloring your skin, unlike other facial rejuvenation treatments like lasers, which usually leave behind some type of scarring.

This is why microneedling is a very popular way to get rid of things like acne scars, large pores, and even wrinkles.

In this article, I’m going to go over what to put on your skin after microneedling, so that you can take the extra care your skin will need after your treatment.

The long and short of it: you want to hydrate your skin, and hyaluronic acid serums are great for that. Additionally, SPF is needed to protect your fragile skin from skin damage.

I’ll go into detail below.


What To Put On Skin After Microneedling

Following microneedling treatment, your skin will be in rough shape. You’ve basically just stabbed it with a bunch of needles, and abused it!

But the purpose of this is to stimulate the natural skin healing response. Collagen and elastin will be produced, which will result in supple, beautiful skin in the end.

Your main goal in the days after microneedling is to protect your skin from damage. You’ll want to use sunscreen and moisturizers.

The most important things to put on your skin for the best results after microneedling:

  • Use a hyaluronic acid cleanser
  • Apply a good facial sunscreen
  • Use vitamin c serums and peptides, but wait at least 3 days

Following microneedling treatment, your skin will be in rough shape. You’ve basically just stabbed it with a bunch of needles, and abused it!

If you have microneedling done at a dermatologist, you will receive detailed instructions on what to do after your treatment. This will be based on your skin type and medical history, which is why you should follow them carefully in the days after microneedling in order to avoid any complications like developing an infection.

They will also prescribe a topical antibiotic cream that you’ll need to put on your face to stop bacteria from getting into the tiny wounds. You must wash your hands before applying it to your skin, so as not to cause any cross infection from bacteria or dirt you might have on them. It’s best to avoid touching your face as much as possible.

Microneedling Aftercare in the Days After Treatment

Immediately after your treatment, and for the next three days after microneedling, your skin may feel tighter. You might even have a stinging or burning sensation, just like a sunburn. You may also find that your skin feels dry and flaky, but don’t worry, because this is normal.

And this is why you need to take extra good care of your skin, while it heals from the tiny wounds left in your skin after the treatment.

Most of the redness and swelling that you will probably experience after you’ve had microneedling done will disappear after about two days, although if you have any flaking, peeling, or breakouts afterward, then these might take a little longer to go away. 

You will notice some visible healing of the top layer of skin, but it can take up to two months for this process to reach the punctured layers, which can take up to eight weeks. 

There isn’t much that you can do to eliminate the redness and swelling, because this is your skin’s natural reaction to the healing process. Even if you follow your aftercare procedure as your dermatologist suggests, you have to prepare yourself for this discomfort during the first couple of days until the swelling subsides.

It’s the dark night you have to go through in order to get to the clear skies of clean, flawless skin.

Your dermatologist will give you detailed instructions on what to do after your treatment, which should be based on your skin type and medical history, which is why you should follow them carefully in order to avoid any complications like developing an infection.

They will also prescribe a topical antibiotic cream that you’ll need to put on your face to stop bacteria from getting into the tiny wounds. You must wash your hands before applying it to your skin, so as not to cause any cross infection from bacteria or dirt you might have on them.

It’s the dark night you have to go through in order to get to the clear skies of clean, flawless skin.

Best Products To Use After Microneedling

Here are a few great choices to apply to your skin in the days after microneedling.

1. Gentle Cleansers With Hyaluronic Acid

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser

Obviously, your skin will be feeling extra sensitive, so any products that you do use should be as natural and as gentle as possible. For instance, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser will gently cleanse your skin and keeps its hydration boosted to keep dryness at bay.

Free of harsh ingredients like synthetic fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and alcohol, this cleanser also contains hyaluronic acid, which can work to help stimulate collagen production, while protecting your skin’s moisture barrier as it heals.

Coconut oil can be used on your skin if it is in need of hydration since it is considered a safe emollient that will lock in moisture, as well as hydrate your skin. This natural oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties, so will help to calm down your irritated skin. It also works to increase collagen production.

You will also need to avoid sun exposure for at least the first two to three weeks after your microneedling procedure, because your skin will be extremely sensitive to UV light, and therefore more prone to sunburn.

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2. Gentle Sunscreen with High SPF

EltaMD UV Restore Broad Spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen

If you have to be in the sun for even a short length of time in the days post microneedling, you need to protect your skin from UV rays. Use a clean sunscreen that won’t block your pores like EltaMD UV Restore Broad Spectrum SPF 40 sunscreen, which is also an oil-free and anti-aging moisturizer.

Its vegan and paraben-free formula contain squalene for maintaining moisture, and ginger root extract to promote a healthier complexion by minimizing the appearance of redness. 

If you are in any doubt about a product that you already use that is on the more natural side, then bring it along to your microneedling appointment, and ask your dermatologist whether they consider it safe to use immediately after your treatment.

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3. Vitamin C Peptide Serums

Olay Vitamin C Peptide Serum

Vitamin C serums can help restore your skin after microneedling, but in most cases, it’s too rough on the skin to be used immediately after microneedling. Wait at least 3 days to consider applying any serum, unless specified by a dermatologist.

Light peptide serums can help soften wrinkles and amp up the hydration. The Olay Vitamin C Peptide Serum is an excellent choice for mild hydration and rejuvenation. You can use this cream day or night to moisturize, hydrate, and keep the skin healthy.

Note that some dermatologists may recommend using a very small amount of vitamin C serum immediately after microneedling to speed healing, but you should only do so if you’ve been told to by a dermatologist.

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When Can I Wash My Face After Microneedling?

You can wash your face using a gentle cleanser after your skin is no longer sensitive to the touch. Typically this takes at least 8 hours, and potentially up to 24 hours for any significant sensitivity to fade.

After that, stick to mild cleansers, don’t scrub your skin to avoid irritation, and use cool to warm water.

What Not To Put On Your Skin in the Days After Microneedling Treatments

Microneedling is considered a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment, because it punctures the skin, albeit not very deeply. 

But this means that there are things you should definitely steer clear of putting on your face for at least 48 hours, or until the swelling subsides, while the tiny wounds on your face heal.

One of these things is your usual skincare routine, especially if your products contain active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and glycolic or salicylic acids. 

In addition, products with ingredients that work to exfoliate your skin, those with added synthetic fragrances, or skincare that contain harsh chemicals like sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, and/or parabens should be avoided for the first couple of days after your microneedling treatment. 

Products with ingredients that work to exfoliate your skin, those with added synthetic fragrances, or skincare that contains harsh chemicals like sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, and/or parabens should be avoided for the first couple of days after your microneedling treatment.

It is best to not apply any of your makeup for at least 72 hours to protect the skin. And even then, you should only do so after having cleaned your brushes. Makeup is well known for being contaminated with bacteria, and you definitely don’t want this infecting your newly exposed skin. 

And besides being careful not to expose your skin to the sun, you also don’t want to sweat either. So, this means taking a break from any hardcore workouts for at least three days, while also avoiding having saunas, and even swimming pools, due to the harsh chlorination.

Why not use this downtime to factor in some much-needed rest? Because the more relaxed you are in your body, the faster it will work to heal your skin so that you can get back to normal — with a fresher face, of course!


The Basics of Microneedling

Sdara Derma Roller Microneedling Treatment

Microneedling is a popular and non-surgical cosmetic procedure that helps to increase your skin’s blood circulation. It leads to more collagen and elastin production, leading to healthier skin and new skin cells.

This means that many people find microneedling helps to reduce acne scars, as well as reduce the appearance of other skin concerns, such as burns, enlarged pores, stretchmarks, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

You can do this process at home with a dermaroller or microneedling pen, or go to a spa to have a certified dermatologist perform the procedure. Dermatologists will use much longer needles, and the process is over-all more intense, but the results are similar.

Should you choose to visit the dermatologist, the preparation, which includes numbing your skin, as well as the procedure itself, can take several hours. 

This is because your skin is actually punctured with tiny needles, which means that the dermatologist has to take precautionary measures to safeguard you and your skin, even before the procedure begins. 

However, this also means that you need to follow the aftercare instructions that you’re given by your dermatologist to give your skin the extra care that it needs while it is healing, in the days following the treatment.

And weirdly enough, the necessary aftercare that you must follow after a microneedling procedure isn’t something that is frequently discussed.

What Are The Benefits Of Microneedling?

Microneedling, which is a minimally invasive procedure since it punctures the skin, has many advantages because it can be done not just on your face, but on areas including your back, neck, arms, and legs to improve your skin’s texture. 

Microneedling, which is a minimally invasive procedure since it punctures the skin, has many advantages because it can be done not just on your face, but on areas including your back, neck, arms, and legs to improve your skin’s texture.

The dermatologist uses thin and tiny needles to penetrate the top layer of the skin. The damage caused encourages the skin to produce more elastin and collagen, which helps to speed up the healing process. 

This results in much smoother and firmer skin. Depending on the condition of the skin that’s being treated, you may need multiple sessions a few weeks apart. In general, most people need a few treatments before they get the results that they want. 

And it can take up to three to six months after you’ve had your last procedure done before you will really notice the results, depending on how fast your dead skin cells turnover.

Microneedling can help anyone who has skin conditions that include: 

  • Acne scarring
  • Age spots
  • Enlarged pores
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Hyperpigmentation from excess sun exposure
  • Stretch marks 

Any follow-up maintenance that may be needed can be done about once a year. This is one of the reasons why microneedling is a popular procedure, especially since it doesn’t cause any discoloration as microdermabrasion or laser treatments can, and so it is suitable for those with darker skin tones. 


Final Thoughts

Once two or three days have gone by after your treatment, you may want to use some of your most basic products again instead of your usual full-on routine. 

For instance, you may want to leave out any retinol or exfoliating products for another week or so, which will also allow for faster healing of your skin.

So, what to put on your skin after microneedling? Hyaluronic acid cleansers, and sunscreen.

Follow any instructions that your dermatologist provides you with, and stick to natural and gentle for the first couple of days. After three days, you can slowly make your way back to your normal skincare routine with better skin to play with.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).