“24 needles come out pushing superficially into your skin. The machine is moved all over your face puncturing the skin in patches, one inch at a time…It was not pleasant, to say the least. There was no turning back though. I held through till the end, fighting the urge to swat the wand away every time it came near me.”
Seeing such great results from my first facial at the Korean spa led me to a skin consultation with the owner. Upon meeting her I understood what an immortal might look like. How old was she? 50, 60, 120 years old? I couldn’t tell, but her skin looked pretty flawless. After observing my skin and chatting with me for a while, her recommendation was a micro-needling laser treatment. She told me it would lift and smooth my skin, which sounded great.
Simply put, micro-needling is the insertion of fine short needles into the skin which causes micro injuries and pushes the skin to heal. In the short term, experts say it can help the skin look plump and luminous. If done repeatedly for a few sessions, the Korean spa owner told me it could increase collagen and elastin in the skin. I saw some impressive before and after pictures. I thought to myself how amazing it would be if I could get those results and booked my first session then and there. I wasn’t really thinking about the pain factor at this point.
A few days later, I arrived at the spa for my first-ever in-spa micro-needling session. The esthetician started by massaging numbing cream into my skin. After 45 minutes, I couldn’t feel my face. I asked the esthetician if it was going to hurt. Without hesitation, she nodded and said yes. It was a confident, firm yes. She didn’t even try to sugar coat it or assuage my growing fear. I thought to myself that my skin felt numb and I probably wouldn’t feel it. Also, I’ve always had a hunch that I would be part of that small percentage of people who don’t really feel pain. I learned quickly that this small percentage likely doesn’t exist.
The micro-needling machine at the spa has a wand that is pressed to the skin. 24 needles come out pushing superficially into your skin. The machine is moved all over your face puncturing the skin in patches, one inch at a time. At first the pain was tolerable. It felt like tiny pricks. Once my face realized what was happening though, all the nerve endings woke up. When the machine went in for round two, I definitely felt it. It was not pleasant, to say the least.
There was no turning back though. I held through till the end, fighting the urge to swat the wand away every time it came near me. It took about 15-20 minutes and afterward they put ice on my skin to cool it down.
When I was done my skin was red all over, like I had committed the cardinal sin of skincare and baked in the sun without sunscreen. By the next day, I did notice a slight pinkish glow to my skin but nothing more. I kept waiting for my skin to look tighter but nothing really noticeable happened. The owner had recommended at least two treatments, each one month apart.
I haven’t gone back and I don’t think I will. I think I could’ve justified the pain if the results had been noticeable, but in the end, at least for my skin, it didn’t feel worth it to me. I think I’ll explore some other facial treatments new on the market instead and pick my next skincare adventure. In the meantime, I’m going to stick to the face massage facials at the Korean spa I love and my DIY micro-needling roller that I got from Amazon.