Dubbed the next best alternative to Botox, microneedling patches have been said to work on fine lines, wrinkles, stubborn acne and even pigmentation spots. The inspiration? The microneedling treatments you get at the doctor’s office.
According to Dr Coni Liu, dermatologist at DS Skin & Wellness Clinic, microneedling involves using very fine short needles to penetrate the skin, enhancing the absorption of skincare products and stimulate collagen production.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
“The skin is a barrier that keeps external elements out to protect itself against irritation. This also means when a skincare product is applied, only a percentage of that product is actually absorbed,” says Dr Yannis Alexandrides, founder of skincare brand 111Skin.
And that’s exactly what makes microneedling patches so ingenious. Similar to the microneedling treatments you get in the doctor’s office, these patches are able to provide a more efficient delivery system for the active ingredients in your skincare products, compared to regular topical application.
Microneedle patches are able to provide a more efficient delivery system for the active ingredients in your skincare products.
Think of them as a hybrid of sheet masks and DIY microneedling tools. Each patch contains very tiny and fine “needles” or micro-darts that are packed with high concentrations of active ingredients. When applied to the skin, it creates tiny openings or micro-channels that allow the ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Plus, it promotes “blood circulation, collagen production and skin metabolism… towards tighter, brighter and firmer skin”, according to Dr Alexandrides.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of the microneedling patch is its water-soluble “needles” that dissolve into the skin to release the active ingredients and deliver them to the targeted areas of concern.
Patches may work but they might not rival a trip to the derm.
While these patches come with many benefits, Dr Liu cautions against unrealistic expectations since many of them have shorter needle depths. “For microneedling to work and reach the dermis, it needs to be at a depth of 0.5 to 1mm,” she says.
While these patches can’t rival a trip to the derm, experts agree that they still offer better results than regular topical skincare application. For best results, Dr Liu recommends using them no more than once a week.
WHAT DO THEY CONTAIN?
The main ingredient in a microneedling patch is hyaluronic acid, a hydrator that soothes skin and combats signs of ageing. While it holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, the molecular weight means it’s often too large to be fully absorbed into the skin when applied topically. By diffusing the hyaluronic acid deeper into the skin via the “micro-channels” in microneedling patches, it is better able to attract and retain moisture to keep skin well hydrated, and plump fine lines and wrinkles.
DOES IT HURT?
First off, these aren’t the big pointy needles you’re picturing. There might be slight discomfort – think teeny pinpricks – but it subsides quickly. After a few minutes, you probably won’t even remember that the patches are there.
Here, we suss out some of the microneedling patches to try.