Nanoneedling - All You Need to Know

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on November 2, 2022

Nanoneedling has been a popular skin treatment that’s often combined with other facials to improve a wide range of skin concerns. Here’s all the info on it.


Image source: Instagram

Nanoneedling is one of the gentlest skin treatments you can get, yet it’s also an effective one. It’s somewhat less popular than its big sister – microneedling – but it’s done very often as an add-on to other treatments to maximize their effects.

Here’s everything you need to know about nanoneedling – how it’s done, what it does for your skin, what can be achieved with it, how much it costs, and more. Plus, we’ve compiled a collection of before & afters!

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What Is Nanoneedling?

Nanoneedling is a skin treatment that uses controlled puncturing of the skin to stimulate skin cell turnover, but also increase the absorption of skincare products.

It’s a transdermal delivery system that creates pathways for substances to penetrate the skin deeper and thus work more intensely. For this reason, nano needling found its use in many compound facials.

what is nanoneedling
Image source: Instagram @trulybeautyesthetics

How Exactly Does It Work?

The treatment is performed by pressing thin, pin-like needles shallow into the skin, to separate skin cells and create nanochannels in the epidermis.

Nanoneedling uses the same device as microneedling – the derma pen – but different cartridges. The cartridges end in a sort of disk with several rows of short pins. The tip of the cartridge is pressed against the skin, and as the device is activated, the pins go in and out of the epidermis.

The depth at which they penetrate is usually around 0.15 mm, and never more than 0.25 mm – that would be microneedling, it would afflict much more trauma, and entail longer healing.

Moving the device across the area you want treated, thousands of these nano channels are opened. The body perceives this as a really minor injury, so it starts the skin regeneration process to close them up.

This means improved skin.

But in the meantime, the serum you apply on top of your skin will sink further into it than it ever could on unbroken skin. This means it can reach its full potential and give your skin the full benefits.

Which means even further improvement for your skin!

However, since the nanochannels are so shallow, you can’t expect an overnight change, and it won’t exactly be major.

how does nanoneedling work
Image source: Freepik

Does It Hurt?

No. Since the pins go so shallow into the skin, there shouldn’t be any pain associated with nanoneedling.

But you will likely feel some vibrations from the machine, and pressure. You might feel something like tingling, which some find more uncomfortable than others. Some compare the sensation to that of microdermabrasion, if you’ve ever had one.

Is It Safe?

Yes, as long as you use sterile nano cartridges. The pins only affect the epidermis, so they don’t really reach far enough to cause any damage. Still, there’s a minor chance of infection if contamination occurs.

That’s why your face needs to be cleaned prior to the nanoneedling, and you need a sterile new cartridge every time.

Also, you should bear in mind that nano channeling will increase the absorption of your skincare, so if you’re using a potentially irritating product, the irritation can also be increased. But this has more to do with the product than nanoneedling.

Nano needling is safe and suitable for all skin types and tones. The only contraindication is compromised skin – there can’t be any active acne, lesions, wounds, rashes, or inflammation.

What Conditions Can Nanoneedling Treat?

Since it’s so gentle and non-invasive, it can work for minor imperfections and bring an overall improvement to your complexion.

So, nanoneedling works best for:

  • Refreshing dull skin
  • Improving skin texture
  • Minimizing large pores
  • Slightly evening out the skin tone
  • Slightly and gradually working away fine lines
  • Slightly and gradually diminishing scars
  • Refining the complexion with consistent use

Nanoneedling also brings about increased blood flow into the area, so it gives you that healthy glow. It can also cause an increase in collagen production, but this shows improvement over time.

what conditions can nanoneedling treat
Image source: Instagram @skinbykayleigh

How Many Sessions Do I Need?

Nanoneedling is more of a maintenance treatment than it is a one-off.

If you’re just starting out, most technicians recommend doing a series of 4-6 weekly treatments. If that gives you an improvement you’re satisfied with, you can do maintenance treatments every once in a while.

But nanoneedling is also safe enough to be performed at home, and many people DIY it. If that’s something you prefer, it’s still best to stick to once a week or once every 2 weeks, regardless of what some YouTubers and beauty influencers advise.

What Treatments Can Be Combined with Nano Needling?

Nanoneedling can be done on its own, but it’s often done as part of more complex facials, to boost the efficiency of other procedures.

It’s often combined with hydrating treatments, like various masks or ampoules, as it increases the absorption of those products. It’s also often done in combination with dermaplaning, to maximize the exfoliation.

But the most common use of nanoneedling is actually as part of the BB glow treatment.

BB Glow & Nanoneedling

Nanoneedling is actually the technique most often used for performing BB glow treatments.

It’s perfect for it, since it only affects the epidermis, the layer where BB glow serums are supposed to go. The serums are tinted – they contain a certain concentration of pigment – and when implemented into the epidermis, they even out the tone of the skin.

Now, since the epidermis renews itself every 4 weeks or so, it takes several sessions to get the pigment concentration high enough to give more long-lasting effects, and occasional maintenance sessions are needed to keep them.

Now, you might be thinking – wouldn’t it be better to go for microneedling and implement the serums deeper, so they’d stay there longer? But actually, this is a problematic practice. BB glow serums shouldn’t go past the epidermis.

If they reach the dermis, the pigment particles stay stuck. Over time, they inevitably change color and can go greenish and yellowish.

So it’s better to go with nanoneedling and have maintenance more frequently, than to risk unattractive color changes that can be hard to get rid of.

We have to note, though, that even with the nano needling technique, there are certain risks associated with BB glow. Learn more about BB glow gone wrong in this guide.

What to Expect After Nano Needling

Nano needling entails no downtime. There’s no real aftercare other than using non-irritating skincare and avoiding exfoliating treatments (wait a week). And not touching your face with anything that could cause contamination for some time after the treatment.

You also need to wear SPF to prevent sun damage.

In terms of side effects, you might expect some minor redness for a little while. Up to 24 hours is normal, but it’ll probably be less.

what to expect after nano needling
Image source: Instagram @pnwesthetics_by_andrea

Nano Needling vs Microneedling – Differences and Similarities

Nanoneedling is a much more non-invasive, gentle and universal version of microneedling. But it’s also a less effective one.

Let’s compare these 2 treatments based on the most important points:

  • Invasiveness. Microneedling reaches deeper into the skin – into the dermis – and it’s more invasive. It often involves some pinpoint bleeding and it hurts more, so it’s done with numbing.
  • Intensity. Although they target the same concerns, microneedling is more intense, so it’s suitable for more intense cases, line wrinkles or deep-rooted hyperpigmentation. Nanoneedling is suitable for less severe cases, like fine lines around the eyes and lips.
  • Effects. Nano needling gives more subtle effects and it requires relatively frequent maintenance to keep them. Microneedling has a more profound effect. It boosts collagen and elastin production more.
  • Recovery and aftercare. Nanoneedling entails no recovery and almost no aftercare. Microneedling brings about some side effects and you need to pay some more attention to your skin. Learn more about microneedling recovery here and the aftercare here.
  • The tools. Although the same derma pen can be used for both, microneedling is done with needle cartridges with actual tiny needles, while nanoneedling is done with nano cartridges with much shorter cone-shaped pins.

This list is not final, so if you want to learn more about microneedling, here’s our guide!

Nanoneedling – Main Takeaways

Nanoneedling is a completely non-invasive, gentle treatment that improves your overall complexion. It’s pain-free and virtually risk-free, and the general consensus is that it’s fine to do at home. It’s perfect for diminishing minor skin imperfections, but its effects are limited. If you’re looking for a more intense improvement, look into microneedling.


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