What to Put on Skin After Microneedling? A Guide Through the Best Ingredients

List of ingredients to use after microneedling

Microneedling is an extremely beneficial treatment, however, it can be harsh on your skin. Causing hundreds of micro-wounds on purpose means you need to provide your skin with some additional care.

Microneedling and serums help amplify each other’s effects. The treatment boosts the serum’s impact, while serums provide substances that speed up skin rejuvenation or other desired effects.

But what products should you be using and when? Here’s a quick explanation of what to put on skin after microneedling.

Why Use a Serum After Microneedling?

By now you probably know that a serum isn’t just a fancy word for a face cream. It’s a lighter and much more impactful product. Serums contain a higher concentration of powerful ingredients that penetrate the skin deeper than thicker creams would be able to do.

Woman using the derma rollerImage source: Freepik

When to Apply the Serum?

On the day of the procedure, especially if you’re getting a professional treatment, just one product should be applied right after the treatment and you really shouldn’t be doing anything else to your skin for the rest of the day (unless your technician specifically tells you to).

Before you leave the salon, your technician will apply everything your skin needs. You should only wash your face gently and without a cleanser after a few hours.

Your technician will prescribe the best serums to use in the days after the treatment. They’ll recommend a specific product or tell you which ingredients to look for (see our suggestions below).

If you’re DIY-ing the treatment, be very careful with the product you’re using right after microneedling. Not all serums you can buy are suitable for use on broken skin. Double-check if the serum is suitable for this application, or if it’s an exclusively topical product.

Applying your go-to serums, no matter how beneficial they normally are, can trigger a skin reaction or irritation as they may contain unsuitable ingredients, or suitable ingredients but in too high concentrations for the compromised skin barrier.

In terms of serums you use in the days to follow, be aware that the microchannels in your skin will close up relatively fast, but regeneration processes will continue internally.

So, begin with gentler, non-irritating ingredients. After about a week or two, you can start reintroducing stronger formulas again. Read on for a timeline with specific ingredients.

What to Put on Skin After Microneedling?

After microneedling, you should opt for ingredients that promote skin regeneration and healing, encourage collagen and elastin production and keep the skin hydrated.

Here’s what you should use at each stage post-microneedling. Quick disclaimer – if you’ve consulted a dermatologist beforehand or are getting a professional treatment, use whatever they prescribe.

Immediately After Microneedling

The following ingredients are fine to put on skin after microneedling immediately (just make sure the rest of the product formula is also fine for this use):

Hyaluronic Acid

When it comes to what to put on skin after microneedling immediately, hyaluronic acid is the best choice.

The hyaluronic acid serum is universally beneficial for all skin types. It’s a component of the connective tissue in your body, and since our body produces it, it’s unlikely this ingredient will cause any reaction.

It helps bind the water, creating a temporary barrier, and keeps the skin moisturized as it heals.

Hyaluronic acid is used to formulate the majority of skincare products because of its hydrating properties. That means there are plenty of serums out there that work great for microneedling aftercare (just double-check if it’s okay for use on broken skin).

We recommend Cosmetica Skincare’s Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Peptides

In general, if you’re already using a peptides serum, you can use it immediately after microneedling. If you’re not, postpone use for a few days.

Peptides, or polypeptides, are amino acids that make up collagen. Collagen is too big to be absorbed through the skin, but peptides are not! They sink deep, stimulating the cells to produce more collagen and elastin.

Incorporating peptides into your skincare routine can help improve the skin barrier, reduce wrinkles and make your skin more elastic.

The Complete Skin Solutions Copper Peptide Face Serum is a good choice and the brand claims it’s approved for microneedling on Amazon.

Days 1-7 After Microneedling

From the day after microneedling, you can keep using the serums mentioned above, or switch to a different ingredient. The microchannels will have closed up, but the skin is still sensitive and prone to irritation.

Epidermal Growth Factors (EGF)

EGF is a protein in our skin that is involved in the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. It’s in charge of maintaining the skin healthy, dense, and youthful.

EGF was developed to speed up wound recovery which is why it’s referred to as a healing agent. It stimulates skin growth at the cellular level. And although wrinkles aren’t exactly injuries, because of this property, EGF is often used as an anti-aging ingredient.

If you are looking to incorporate it into your skincare routine or just use it after microneedling sessions, the Icelandic brand BIOEFFECT has one of the best EGF serums.

Ceramides

Ceramides are lipids that make up about half of your skin’s uppermost layer. They help replenish and repair the skin barrier when it’s healing. In other words, ceramides help to seal in moisture and protect the skin from harmful elements.

Products with this ingredient, like Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Serum are a great choice to aid in skin recovery.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a soothing ingredient. It keeps moisture locked in and thus aids the skin’s natural cell turnover process. It also balances oil production and makes your pores look smaller.

It’s a great ingredient overall, but it shouldn’t be used sooner than about 72 hours after microneedling so it wouldn’t disturb the skin’s natural inflammatory process.

We’ve explained the effects of niacinamide after microneedling in this article, plus offered some product suggestions.

Days 7-14 After Microneedling

Your skin is now ready to handle more ingredients. You can reintroduce the following to your skincare routine:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a great skincare ingredient, especially because it can accelerate the healing process. However, you need to wait a while to start using it after microneedling.

Even if your technician applied it after the procedure, that doesn’t mean you can apply it on your own without checking with them first. The concentration of vitamin C and other ingredients might differ and you can’t know how your skin will react to a different serum.

Vitamins work great when paired together. One of the best combinations is vitamin E and C. Vitamin E scavenges free radicals, while vitamin C helps regenerate vitamin C molecules.

Pure, concentrated vitamins are more often found in oils, while serums are frequently a well-formulated blend of more than one vitamin.

TruSkin Serum is one such product that contains a blend of both vitamin C and E.

Day 14 and Onwards

You can now introduce retinol (back) into your routine.

Retinol

Retinol is a form of vitamin A and it’s an exfoliating ingredient.

Vitamin A is naturally found in your body. By amplifying the body’s healing process, it can really help with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – something that can occur after microneedling.

But you need to let your body finish natural healing first before you start using retinol again. Wait for about 2 weeks, and then you can start off with something effective, yet gentle, like CeraVe Retinol Serum.

NOTE

Something you definitely need to put on skin after microneedling is SPF. You should wear it daily. Consult your dermatologist or cosmetician for product recommendations.

What Ingredients to Avoid After Microneedling?

Not using ingredients that can harm your skin is just as important as using the beneficial ones, even more so. Microneedling increases absorption, which means that it increases side effects too, not just efficiency.

Here are some ingredients that could potentially cause a problem. We recommend staying away from them at least until 2 weeks have passed since you’ve gotten microneedling done.

  • Exfoliators like glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids.
  • Vitamin A and vitamin C, if the concentration is very high or if your skin is very sensitive.
  • Vaseline. If you’re a fan of slugging we’ve got bad news for you. Vaseline shouldn’t be applied to recently microneedled skin because it contains mineral oil which can cause foreign-body inclusion cysts to form.
  • Products that contain silicones and parabens and other reactive ingredients.

Final Advice on Taking Care of Your Skin Post-Microneedling

To sum everything up, deciding what to put on skin after microneedling is pretty much gonna make or break your results. Assess what the skin needs and choose your skincare accordingly.

If you’re in doubt about what to put on skin after microneedling, going with hyaluronic acid is the best bet.

However, don’t disregard your technician’s advice. If they provide you with specific instructions and products, follow their guidelines. If you’re doing your microneedling at home, it’s still best to consult a dermatologist and have them prescribe a routine.

Here’s more information about at-home microneedling.

Cover image source: Freepik

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