SkinPen Microneedling Review

Hello lovelies, and welcome back to The Amanda Kennedy Blog! Today, I’m going to walk you through the science, background info, and my experience with a popular new beauty treatment: Microneedling.

General info:

The skinpen, a company operating out of Fort Worth, TX recently earned its claim to fame thanks to the develpoment of their “revolutionary” new treatment: microneedling. Microneedling, in essence, is exactly what it sounds like. A handful of tiny (hence, micro) needles contained in a pen-shaped device that can be operated by a trained professional to create small puncture wounds in the skin. The needles can be set to pierce the skin at different depths depending on the area of the face being treated, as well as the sensitivity of the skin.

What is the procedure like?

Sound terrifying? It shouldn’t be. That is, if you know what to expect. The treatment itself doesn’t actually take all that long. To start, whoever is preforming the facial will cleanse the skin, sterilize with an alcohol prep pad, and then apply a topical numbing cream that takes ~15 minutes to kick in. Once you are sufficiently numbed, the cream is removed, and the skin is cleansed again to remove any residual cream or other impurities. Then the fun starts! My esthetician started with my forehead, which is arguably one of the most sensitive areas during the treatment due to thinner skin near the hairline, and lots of nerve endings. The actual procedure pretty much consists of working the “pen” containing all of the microneedles across the skin in a back-and-forth and criss-cross pattern until the entire face has been treated.

Does it hurt? What does it feel like?

I’d be lying if I told you it was painless. After all, you are intentionally stabbing needles into your face. However, the numbing cream does a good job of making it treatment bearable. Certain areas are definitely more uncomfortable than others. Anywhere the skin is thinner or packed with more nerve endings will likely be uncomfortable. On the other hand, areas like the cheeks tend to just feel like an electric toothbrush vibrating against your skin. There were parts of the treatment that were uncomfortable, but for the most part, it wasn’t so bad. But- I will say, this is not the treatment for you if you’re just looking for a relaxing, pampering facial.

Pre-treatment information

A week before my treatment, I stopped using all retinols, acids, and other exfoliants. You’ll be causing pretty invasive trauma to the skin, so you don’t want to go into the treatment with more sensitized skin to begin with. I’d also suggest going in make-up free to ensure your skin is as clean as possible before the treatment. More importantly than anything, I’d suggest clearing your schedule for the next 24 hours. I walked out of my appointment looking like a tomato, and remained pretty red for 12 hours.

Recovery process

This was probably the most surprising aspect of the treatment, although it probably shouldn’t have been. Don’t get me wrong, I expected to be red and splotchy, and not be able to wear make-up for a while. But I definitely underestimated how long my face would stay bright red. To be honest, it could just be my personal experience, but everything I read about before the treatment led me to believe the intensity of the prolonged redness wouldn’t be anywhere as bad as it actually was. I was SCARY red for at least 12 hours. The 5-6 hours following the treatment, my skin was also kind of hot and tight feeling as well. As that feeling started to go away, the redness lessened slightly. No blog post would be complete without AWFULLY unattractive close-up pictures of my face post-treatment… so enjoy!

Left: Just before the treatment; Right: Immediately following the treatment. This picture honestly doesn’t do the redness justice. I was a literal tomato, with the lovely accompaniment of dry, tight, sensitive skin. I got my treatment at about noon, and when I woke up the next morning, I was honestly still really red. Fortunately, we didn’t have plans to go anywhere or do anything, because you aren’t supposed to wear make-up for 48 hours after the procedure.

8 Hours Post-Treatment. I was definitely still super-red, even after 8 hours. The tightness/hot feeling in my face was probably the worst at this point. I’m also pretty sure this is the point where my husband was REALLY concerned lol. I try a lot of different things, but never anything that had me red this long!

24 Hours Post-Treatment. The redness had cleared up a lot at this point, but I was still a lot redder than I care to admit. My skin was still dry and flaky feeling, so I was slathering moisturizer on as often as I could.

36 Hours Post-Treatment. The redness contiued to subside, but I definitely had some patches of flakiness starting to pop up, as well as several smaller red spots.

48 Hours Post-Treatment. Excuse the REALLY cute middle photo, but I wanted you guys to be able to see which parts of my face had started peeling. The redness left was easily covered by make-up, but the peeling I couldn’t do much about.

On Monday (~60 hours later), I had to go to work, but I was still fairly red. A full-coverage foundation was able to cover the redness pretty well. For the most part, the redness didn’t completely clear up until day 5 or 6 after the procedure. Compared to the 12-24 hours most other people seemed to describe, my recovery process was much lengthier. But the real kicker, is that a lovely scabby/peely phase came after the redness. I peeled mildly (compared to a chemical peel) along the middle portion of my face. It was the worst around my mouth and chin. Supposedly, areas in which you peel the most signify the most damaged area of your skin. Based on my results, I would buy that. I have some hyperpigmentation/sun spots and mild discoloration from acne on my chin.

So does it work? What’s the scientific explanation behind this procedure?

The fundamental premise behind microneedling is the idea that causing tiny microinjuries to the skin will stimulate the skins own natural healing processes, which leads to skin cell turnover, shedding of dead skin cells, and the stimulation of collagen production. If you recall from some of my previous posts, collagen is the plumpening component underneath the skin. Collagen production declines as we age, as well as when the skin is exposed to certain environmental factors, such as UV radiation, pollution and smoking.

In theory, this treatment should help rid you of any lackluster, dull, skin, stimulate new skin cell production, as well as collagen production. Microneedling is especially heavily marketed for those with hyperpigmentation, deep acne scarring, and those concerned about aging.

So what did you think of the treatment?

Honestly… for me personally, I don’t think it was worth it. The treatments can cost upwards of $300 each, and to see the results most people are after, you’ll need a series of 3-4 treatments. I also have pretty darn good skin to start with, so I just didn’t see enough of a change in my skin to justify paying for another treatment. The treatment was also uncomfortable, not relaxing, and the recovery time was substantial (in my case). While I’m happy with the way my skin looked 8-9 days after the treatment, I just don’t think it was worth the money, discomfort, or recovery time for my personal skin concerns.

Please keep in mind, everyone’s skin concerns, budget and lifestyle is very different. Just because this treatment wasn’t a huge hit for me, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be for you. If you’d like to see more information about the treatment, feel free to check out the skinpen website.


I know this was a REALLY long post, but I wanted to cover the topic VERY thoroughly, as this treatment is definitely an investment in time and money! I hope you learned something through my experience. As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions.

-Amanda Kennedy

Follow along on IG: @amandadev4

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