November 09, 2019 at 12:00AM by CWC
You get it: Microneedling is legit. The skin-care technique inflicts teeny teeny-tiny wounds in the epidermis to boost collagen production and enable products to be more efficacious, which in turn reaps a whole host of benefits including reduced hyperpigmentation and scarring, smoother, more even skin, and fewer wrinkles. Microneedling is so effective at achieving an overall glow, in fact, that beauty editors and MDs alike swear by at-home devices as their deserted island dermatology tool of choice. Proof:
It’s reasonable to question, then, whether or not you should be puncturing more than just your face. If microneedling is so effective, it seems logical to assume it could provide some benefit to your bum, chest, neck, thighs, and arms, too; however, in a world where we’re busy AF, beauty maintenance can feel never-ending. I thought it made sense to question the pros before adding yet another step to overwhelmed beauty regimens.
Kerry Benjamin, CEO and founder of Stacked Skin care says that while, of course, you don’t “need” to microneedle your entire body (you also don’t “need” Apple ear buds, 20 different pairs of leggings, or Twitter, but *shrug*), it can be “very” beneficial to do so. The most obvious place to extend care is to your chest, which can feature some of the same concerns as your face. “If you have hyper-pigmentation from sun damage, microneedling your chest with the correct serums can significantly help to even out the skin tone and texture of your skin,” she says, adding that it can also help with those lines you get as a result of sleeping on your side. (Um, wait—that’s the origin of those bosom wrinkles? Mind. Blown.)
Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon Sheila Nazarian, MD, tells me she also microneedles her patients’ necks and—wait for it—the backs of their hands in order to promote collagen and elastin production. Collagen stimulation is helpful for even less obvious areas of the body, too, adds Benjamin. “As we age, our skin becomes crepey—you can especially see this in your calves and arms,” she tells me. “Microneedling these areas will help to stimulate collagen and drive hydrating ingredients deeper to help prevent that crepey skin.”
This singular skin-care technique can also help with two of the most stubborn issues in all of dermatology, according to the pros. Board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, for example, says she uses microneedling on her own cellulite to promote blood flow to the area, but hasn’t seen a major effect. Benjamin, meanwhile, recommends it for stretch marks—and one Reddit user seems to have found significant benefit to the practice for this purpose. Lisa Goodman, PA, founder of GoodSkin, cautions, however, that the treatment is likely to be most effective (or, effective at all) on new stretch marks (think red rather than white).
Of course, since microneedling devices are creating micro-channels within the skin that allow ingredients to sink deeper into the skin, these devices can also help to make your products more effective as well. If you’re trying to amp up hydration for instance, microneedling in a hydrating body serum such as Necessaire Body Serum ($45); while, if you’re trying to get rid of hyperpigmentation, you might opt for a brightening ingredient such as Drunk Elephant C Firma Vitamin C Serum ($80) to spots that need some love.
The best tips the pros say to take with you? The larger the area and the thicker the skin, the more important it is to pay attention to the size of your microneedling device, because your face roller might not be right for areas where the skin is thicker in the buttocks or thighs. Microneedling devices specific to the body are available from a host of purveyors—GloPro ($329), ORA ($85), Skinmedix ($36( and soon, says Benjamin, Stacked Skincare, too—and they tend to be affordable. While the idea of trying to microneedle my face, neck, chest, arms, hands, thighs, and buttocks sounds beyond exhausting, it also seems like it could be worth it. Perhaps it’s time to replace Netflix and scroll with Netflix and roll?