before + after micro-needling for acne scars

many of you are curious to know the results of my micro-needling experience to help reduce the appearance of textural scarring from acne. for a reminder about what textural scarring is and how micro-needling may help it, check out this blog post.

i received 6 full micro-needling treatments from natalie at the center for holistic skin rejuvenation in san francisco. during my initial consultation with her, i expressed that my main goal was to help reduce the appearance of the deep pitted scars on my cheeks where i used to have inflamed acne.

what were the treatments like? each treatment was one hour long. she began by cleansing my face with skinSALVATION charcoal cleanser, which i asked her to use to avoid future breakouts. she used a disposable needle roller on each area of my face for a total of about 10 minutes, which felt comparable to the pain of receiving extractions. after needling, she did full body acupuncture to help with internal issues like stress management, digestion, and hormone balance. i would lay on the table for 30 minutes with the acupuncture needles in, a heater on and relaxing music playing. this was my favorite part and felt like a total treat after the pain of the face treatment. at the end, she used safeguard sunscreen to help protect and moisturize my skin.

my skin felt hot and flushed for the remainder of the day and stayed pink for about 3 days post treatment. during these 3 healing days, i used hydrating cleanser morning and night, safeguard spf and hydrating cream. i didn’t use any other active products and did not apply makeup.

i waited at least 10 days before and after micro-needling treatments to receive extractions or chemical peels from skinSALVATION.

other than reduction of textural scarring, what did i notice? the micro-needling helped break up old scar tissue in my chin that looked like small seeds that we could never extract. i believe that these seeds were trapped so deep beneath scar tissue that they hadn’t been able to come to the surface before. micro-needling helped to bring these seeds to the surface, so i had a little bit of a, “purge” where i broke out. ultimately, this helped me be more clear and have a smooth chin.

am i happy with my results? yes. the reduction of my pitted textural scarring on my cheeks is not as dramatic as i anticipated. i hoped that after 6 treatments on micro-needling, the skin on my face would be flawless and as smooth as porcelain, but that wasn’t my experience. however, i love that:

  1. the scarring on my cheeks is much less noticeable
  2. i was able to bring the deep seeds in my chin up to the surface and get rid of them for good
  3. the acupuncture portion of the treatments helped me reduce overall stress and balance my hormones. my usual painful cramping associated with menstruation was MUCH better when i was receiving regular acupuncture from natalie.

who would i recommend this to? i would recommend micro-needling to people who have raised textural scarring on their skin. this might feel like little bumps on the skin that aren’t acne. if you aren’t sure if you have scarring or acne seeds, ask your esthetician at skinSALVATION.

if you have minimal pitted textural scarring, micro-needling may help you get closer to having completely smooth skin. like many treatments, there is no guarantee that you will have 100% success with this treatment. success depends on your skin type, genetics, natural collagen production, and severity of scarring.

the photos on the left-hand side are from before my treatments and the photos on the right are after 6 treatments, approximately 4.5 months later.

 

 

as you can see from the above photos (especially if you zoom in on them), there is some noticeable reduction in scarring on my cheeks and a reduction in hyper-pigmentation. the pigmentation is most likely lighter as a combined result of the micro-needling and chemical peels that i received during this time at skinSALVATION.

 

 

 

the opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal experience. this does not reflect the opinions of practitioners who perform micro-needling.

 

collagen powder – our new favorite skin-loving supplement

by kerry watson

if you read my blog post about gelatin then you won’t be surprised to learn that collagen powder is my new jam. collagen is the main structural protein found in the connective tissue of all animals. with time, our bodies produce less and less of it which plays a big role in how we age. this is part of the reason that we experience more joint pain, slower wound healing, wrinkles, loss of volume and increased laxity of the skin.

by now we all  know that bone broth is a super healing food that everyone should be downing by the mason jar. bone broth is made from cooking down animal bones and joints which are loaded with collagen (which later becomes gelatin). most of us don’t have time to make bone broth everyday or even once a week for that matter. earlier this year i learned about taking collagen powder from my bodyworker, tasha berg. i went to see her for an appointment last december and i noticed that she was looking more fabulous than usual. when i asked her what she’s been doing she told me that she is taking collagen powder. her skin was glowing and she looked super well-rested. i decided that i had to try this new fountain of youth supplement. after a couple of  months taking 2 tablespoons twice a day i started noticing that my nails were strong and growing fast, my hair wasn’t as frizzy as usual and my skin looked great! it was less red, i needed less makeup to even out the tone and my tiny fine lines became almost nonexistent.

i started thinking, “hey, if this works for me maybe it could help out our sS clients.” i started mentioning it to my clients with textural scarring. i explained that it takes months to see a difference and a few clients were ready to give it a try. we have been keeping track of the progress with photos and one client was nice enough to let us share them. she’s been taking 2 TBSP of this supplement twice a day religiously and switched over to this one a few months ago (both work great, the second one is easier to mix into cold beverages and has less of a taste to it). the first set of photos are from her consultation (her first visit to sS – when she was still breaking out). the second set of photos were taken after she started really clearing up and right when she let us know that she was starting the collagen supplement. the third set of photos was taken three months after that and the results were fantastic. the tone and texture  of her skin improved, the redness has diminished and the depth of the textural scarring is more shallow. in addition to taking the collagen powder, this client works with an amazing herbalist named joshua muscat, who in addition to helping regulate several systemic imbalances, worked specific herbs into her daily tonic that help improve collagen production. 

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there is some question as to whether these results are permanent. after extensive research online, i have seen that most people who have taken collagen supplements for their anti-aging effects felt like the progress was lost after stopping the supplements. we are unclear as to whether or not this will be the same for textual scarring. if we have clients that decide to stop taking it after seeing improvement we will keep you posted on the results.

in addition to its obvious benefits in improving the appearance of textural scarring, collagen powder may improve the results and shorten the healing time after other treatment modalities geared towards improving textural scarring like micro-needling and laser. the possibilities are very exciting. if you decide to try this or this supplement (or a different one) please let us know. if you could take progress photos, we’d love to see them as well.

disclaimer: any reference to outside support (i.e. working with an herbalist and/or bodyworker) are from this client’s and my own personal experiences and are not endorsed  by or necessarily reflect the ideas or recommendations of skinSALVATION.