The name itself may sound intimidating—microneedling—but that hasn't deterred countless beauty editors and girls in-the-know to wax poetic about the treatment's skin-rejuvenating benefits, especially when it comes to wedding prep. "It's definitely popular among my younger patients," says New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman. "It's perfect for brides in their 20s and 30s who have started to see the first signs of aging but don't want to get injections or lasers."
A less-scary name for it is collagen induction therapy; the treatment uses a roller with fine needles to create hundreds of tiny wounds in the top layer of skin, stimulating collagen production to tighten, firm, and reduce fine lines. Because it plumps the skin, Engelman says it can also help to eradicate pitted acne scars. Another bonus: Microneedling creates channels in the skin that let serums and lotions penetrate deeper to become more effective. "Those channels are open for about 20 minutes, so you can either apply your skincare first and then roll, or apply your products after," Engelman says.
You'll most likely experience mild pinkness immediately afterward, and depending upon the depth of the treatment, it does sting, but Engelman says topical numbing medicine can be applied beforehand to reduce pain. Another word of warning: If you do it yourself instead of heading to the dermatologist, choose a roller with needles that are calibrated to the same height. If they're not, they can cause tears in the the skin, Engelman says, and recommends Environ Skincare Cosmetic Roll-CIT. ("There's also a proper rolling technique to safely treating the skin: horizontal, vertical, and diagonal; two to five times in each direction," she adds.)
Depending upon the dermatologist and the penetration of needles used, treatments can range from $150 to $500 per session. If you want to try a series of in-office treatments before your wedding, Engelman recommends three to five, spaced out a month apart. The last one should be two to three weeks before your wedding, as collagen will continue to build during that time. So, plan ahead and start a few months before the big day!