Microneedling and lactic acid, one is a favourite treatment, the other a popular skincare ingredient. With both delivering impressive results, you are left wondering how or if you can combine these together. Before we investigate, let’s have a brief recap on what lactic acid is and how microneedling works as this will hopefully make a lot more sense, and we can see who’s paying attention in the back!
What is Microneedling?
- Using tiny, sterilised needles, microneedling helps to stimulate the production of collagen.
- The needles vary from a diameter of 0.5 to 2.5 and feel like a slight prick. They will not penetrate too far into the skin surface.
- It can improve the appearance of scars caused from acne and minor surface wounds.
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, whilst helping the skin become firmer.
- Combat areas of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and sun damage.
- Can be used on the whole body, from skin, scalp, and feet.
- This minimal invasive treatment dates to 1995 and has come on leaps and bounds. With new technology and a tidal wave of new skincare fans searching for their nearest practitioner.
- Will deliver rapid results as well as establishing plumper, younger looking skin for the long-term too.
What is Lactic Acid?
- A chemical exfoliant that belongs in the group of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)
- Derived from soured milk and synthetically developed for skincare products
- Has a larger molecular size meaning it is unable to penetrate the lower layers of the dermis and cause irritation and dryness.
- Works on the outer surface to slough away the layer of dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt, and debris that can build-up and cause breakouts and leave the complexion looking dull and lack lustre.
- Contains humectant traits meaning it can draw moisture into the skin and lock it into the skin barrier keeping it strengthened and able to protect against exposure to free radicals and other environmental aggressors.
- If you wanted to know more about lactic acid and the benefits it can deliver to the skin, check out our dedicated blog post.
Can I use lactic acid after mirconeedling?
Not really, even though lactic acid is one of the mildest forms of AHAs, applying it to the skin after mirconeedling. This is because exfoliation is one of the main benefits of lactic acid, which will cause too much irritation. When the small needles are rolled over the skin during microneedling, the skin is triggered into thinking the surface is damaged and so kick starts the collagen production. Whilst the skin is stimulating this, it is also left weakened temporarily meaning anything applied to the skin will penetrate deeper into the skin, this can spell trouble for a product such as an acid as it will become too potent leading to irritation and other unwanted side effects.
When can I use acids after microneedling?
During the healing stages after your microneedling treatment, chemical exfoliants and similar acids, such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid should be avoided for at least 2-3 days. This will inhibit these exfoliants from over stimulating the skin and causing flare up in redness, dryness, and irritation. You should also avoid applying other active ingredients, such as any form of retinoids as this will result in negative side effects.
If the acid you’re using is hyaluronic acid however, then this can be applied to the skin once you have completed your microneedling. This is because although it is called an acid, HA does not work the same way as it doesn’t exfoliant the skin. Instead, it is known for its humectant abilities making it an effective ingredient as it will lock in moisture, boost collagen production, and keep the skin hydrated.
Once 2-3 days have past you will be able to apply acids onto the skin, but I would suggest doing this after you have applied hyaluronic acid to avoid any irritation. It is also very important to apply a daily SPF containing a factor 50 to keep the skin protected from UV damage.
What should you not do after microneedling?
As I have already mentioned, after mirconeedling you should avoid skin ingredients such as retinol, AHAs, BHAs, and vitamin C. You should also avoid anything that is heavily perfumed, and this will result in redness and increased sensitivity.
It is suggested by many dermatologists, you must leave at least 48 hours before applying any form of makeup or cleanser to the skin. You should wait an extra day before applying any active ingredients, especially ones as potent as retinol, and vitamin C.
If you have any concerns about what to use on the skin after microneedling, I strongly suggest you consult with your doctor, dermatologist, or ask the professional who performed your treatment for advice.
What serum should I use after mirconeedling?
Hyaluronic acid is the best serum to use after mirconeedling. As I have already mentioned, the clever humectant can deliver impressive, hydrating results without the risk of increasing skin sensitivity and unwanted reactions.
Because HA can bind together double its molecular weight in water it leaves the skin supercharged with hydration. The skin surface is left looking plumped and youthful whilst calming the skin after the treatment is carried out. Quite often the skin will become tight and dry after microneedling which if left can result in a lot of discomfort and leave the skin barrier weakened. This results in the skin becoming susceptible to further damage as well as kick starting the sebum production, which will then lead to excessive oil and a knock on effective of frequent breakouts, problematic skin, and no clarity for the complexion.
Is it OK to use vitamin C after mirconeedling?
No, not really, this is because vitamin C can cause irritation to the skin after you have had microneedling. You’ll find the potent powerhouse will penetrate too far into the dermis causing increased sensitivity, severe dryness, irritation, redness, and weakened skin barrier. In other words, you skin will become more damaged with existing damage becoming worse. Just like the other acids I have mentioned, for optimal results without the side effects, wait 2-3 days before applying vitamin C after microneedling.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions, you can find out more over on our Instagram and find one of our skin experts in the direct messages who are happy to help.