Australia’s leading specialist Samantha Appel on everything you wanted to know about skin needling

An expert Esthetician and the go-to for skin needling in Sydney, Samantha Appel answers our biggest needling questions.

Samantha Appel, founder of Sydney’s The Skin Bar and one of Australia’s leading skin needling specialists cracks the myths and misconceptions on the non-invasive treatment making waves in the skincare world. Not only does it treat a variety of skin concerns from acne to ageing, the popular treatment has even been dubbed ‘the best alternative to Botox’ and the before and afters speak for themselves. Here, Samantha answers everything you need to know about skin needling.

Q: What is skin needling and which skin concerns is it best for?

A: Skin needling is also known as collagen induction therapy. This is the best alternative to Botox there is to generate new growth factors of collagen and elastin. Skin needling is a cosmetic treatment suitable for most skin types and used to improve the appearance of a variety of skin conditions including fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage and melasma while improving congestion, increasing elasticity and reducing pore size.

We’re also seeing incredible results on the body for treating stretch marks and reducing the appearance and density of scarring.

Q: How does it work and what are the benefits?

A: We use a medical grade skin needling device in our clinics. This device is handheld and rotates around the face or body for approximately 10 minutes. The discomfort level is a 2/10. This device creates invisible miro-channels, which uses our bodies own ability to repair damaged cells and generate new growth of collagen and elastin.

The benefits include tightening of the skin, instant skin plumping, reduction of pigment and age spots and an even skin tone. Results can be seen starting from five days post treatment.

Q: How does in-clinic needling differ from at-home needling?

A: We never recommend at home needling, in fact I refuse to retail home rollers. There is research proving that home rollers can injure telomeres (your DNA which is our cells ageing clock) and also cause trauma to the skin if used incorrectly. I’ve seen some irreversible capillary damage from rollers. In-clinic needling can achieve a depth of 3.00mm, home rollers can only achieve 0.5mm. If you’re after a skin needling treatment, leave it to the professionals.

Q: Are there any myths or misconceptions about needling you wish we could clear up?

A: Yes there are a few. The first is that you can’t have skin needling if you have any active acne or congestion. I’ve achieved incredible results in a short amount of time by using skin needling while infusing antibacterial actives to treat congested skin. Think about it: congestion is a blocked pore which is breeding bacteria and skin needling will penetrate through the blocked pore and expose it to oxygen, this oxygenates the pore and destroys bacteria.

We also control the treatment with blends of active ingredients to target different skin concerns.

The next myth is that it hurts. It doesn’t hurt! Clients have described the feeling of the treatment similar to an electric toothbrush rotating over your face for 10 minutes.

Lastly, the misconception that this treatment is only for females. It’s also a great treatment for males wanting to improve signs of ageing and reduce sun damage. Skin needling is your ultimate no fluffy stuff, results delivered treatment.

Q: How many sessions are generally required? Are regular follow-up treatments key?

A: For anyone with a targeted concern, I recommend four to six treatments spaced four weeks apart.

Once you have achieved your goals, you can do less frequent needling sessions. I personally do my skin needling sessions once every six weeks ongoing as my ultimate facial. This has allowed me to be Botox free. Who wouldn’t want extra collagen stimulation every six weeks?

Q: What makes it different to other treatments like laser and light therapy?

A: This treatment does not use heat to generate new collagen. New research is showing we can do more harm than good with heat based treatments, as it heats up collagen. Heat based treatments have been found to have an adverse effect and can be considered counterproductive.

Skin needling uses your body’s own ability to generate new growth. This is called our wound healing response. In short, our cells instantly recognise the micro-channel created from the needling treatment and our cells instantly start to generate collagen and elastin.

Q: How does needling support and supercharge your existing skincare routine?

A: Professional skin needling will target your dermal layer of skin (deepest layer). In turn stimulating that new growth of collagen and elastin. It also physically breaks down pigment damage and scarring. This is where all the serious good stuff happens.

If you are using the correct active ingredients at home (which you should always have prescribed for you by your dermal therapist), you will achieve extremely visible results in a short amount of time.

I often use say your in clinic treatments are like a personal training session for your skin, and your existing homecare routine is your healthy eating plan, you need both to achieve optimal results.