Microneedling and red light therapy are hot topics in the world of dermatology. They’re favorite cosmetic procedures for skin rejuvenation.
At first glance, these treatments appear to have similar anti-aging results, such as an increase in collagen synthesis. But that’s where the similarities end.
In this article, we’ll explore how both methods work and how to use red light therapy after micro-needling, to give you younger-looking skin.
Can you use red light treatments with microneedling?
We know that combining certain skincare treatments could backfire. For example, hydroxy acids and retinol are both used to speed up skin cell turnover and to reduce signs of aging. However, these could cause painful burns when used together.
Red light and microneedling treatments are not mutually exclusive, even though they share a few similar benefits. Here’s an overview of how they work together and how you can amplify your results by using both.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling, which is sometimes called collagen induction therapy or derma rolling, involves repeatedly pricking the skin with very small, extremely sharp micro needles mounted on a pen-like device or a small roller.
The Effects of Microneedling
Microneedling procedures can stimulate healthy skin by a process called hormesis, which is the practice of using controlled injury to stimulate the body to repair itself stronger and better. When you exercise, microscopic tears form in muscle fibers. As they heal, they heal stronger.
It’s the same with skin. As the pen or rollers pass over the skin, they cause microscopic damage to the tissue, which is then allowed to rebuild better than before.
Many signs of aging like thin, papery or sagging skin and fine lines and wrinkles can be improved with better blood flow as well as more collagen and elastin production.
As the healing process begins, the area becomes tender and red, a sign of acute inflammation and of a surge of white blood cells to the treatment area. This stimulates the production of collagen to essentially ‘stitch’ the damaged tissue together. Subsequently, fine lines and wrinkles become less prominent and your face often feels fuller and firmer.
Microneedling should be done in moderation, with most patients needing fairly significant breaks between treatments. Professional sessions are often limited to once every 4-6 weeks.
Now, let’s look at a few terms involved in this process in a bit more detail.
During treatment, the needles cause small wounds in skin tissue. This elicits the body’s healing responses, which include acute (temporary) inflammation, more collagen and elastin production, and improved circulation.
Collagen is a protein that makes up about 80% of the skin. It is also present in nearly all of your tissues. Its function is to provide structure and strength to give skin a firm, full feeling. This is why microneedling treatment is sometimes called collagen induction.
Elastin is also a protein found in the skin. Its function is elasticity, which allows the skin to bounce back into place when it is stretched temporarily. Elastin is one of the key hallmarks of youth.
Good circulation is a key element of facial rejuvenation. Both microneedling and red/NIR LED treatment boost blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells and lymph flow to remove waste and toxins.
Benefits of Using Red Light Therapy After Microneedling
Bathing your skin in red and NIR wavelengths following a microneedling procedure can have several beneficial effects.
Microneedling treatments can sometimes cause discomfort, especially in people with sensitive skin. Red and NIR wavelengths have a soothing analgesic effect which will help your skin feel better during the healing process between needling sessions.
Daily Cell Support
Red/NIR LED therapy supports healing after needling sessions. While you’re having a recovery break, LED treatments continue stimulating blood flow and collagen production.
LED treatment supports cell health in the form of reduced inflammation, increased circulation, and increased energy production. This is the main benefit of using the treatment right after microneedling treatments.
These same results are additionally useful to daily users of RLT even without microneedling treatment.
If you develop an irritation or even an infection from microneedling or other procedures, you can continue using an LED device to soothe and heal irritations, and to continue with facial rejuvenation.
LED therapy addresses a variety of skin conditions including the causes of aging, which can give you more profound results, especially when used along with a derma roller or needling pen.
Long-Term Success and Lasting Results of RLT
Both treatment modalities are a "long game" that involves supporting the production of more collagen to improve your complexion. They are not quick fixes but can lead to a significantly younger-looking complexion when used together.
A combination of microneedling and LED light therapy can potentially treat acne scars, tighten loose skin, and treat thin papery skin. It can also treat a blotchy, rough complexion, help repair stretch marks, repair sun damage, and treat fine lines and wrinkles.
Once you’ve achieved the results you want, you can continue with both microneedling and LED treatments as part of your skincare routine to maintain a more youthful look.
How to Use Red Light Therapy After Microneedling
How soon after microneedling should you use red light therapy?
The treatment should be applied as soon as possible after microneedling, while the body is in intensive repair mode. Once you get home, a relaxing LED treament session can soothe discomfort and amplify the benefits of microneedling.
You can use LED treatment safely even when your face is red, inflamed, or uncomfortable after microneedling. Its analgesic effects can ease any post-microneedling discomfort.
Apply LED light therapy to bare, clean skin so nothing interferes with light absorption. Wash off any numbing cream and avoid applying oil, lotion, serum, or cosmetics until after your LED treatment session. Your medical professional will guide you on whether serum use during your microneedling break is advised.
We recommend limiting your LED treatment to 3-20 minutes daily. Consistency is more important than treatment duration.
‘More is not better’ with skin treatments. Rebuilding a healthy, youthful complexion is a process that can be supported, but not rushed.
Along with regular microneedling, daily LED sessions are a valuable part of a daily skin care routine.
When can you expect to see a difference using LED light sessions after microneedling?
Everyone’s skin is different both in terms of sensitivity and in terms of damage. Visible results often come after about a month of regular treatments and the longer you continue treatment, the more your face will rejuvenate.
To sum up, the main benefit of an LED light treatment after microneedling sessions include:
- Amplifying the effects of microneedling between sessions
- Relieving discomfort
- Accelerating recovery from microneedling procedures
- Reducing the primary causes of aging, including chronic inflammation, which leads to mitochondrial dysfunction
Check out the PlatinumLED BIOMAX series panels for optimal results.
The next section discusses some of the benefits of RLT more broadly.
Red Light Therapy Solutions
You may have seen all-in-one derma roller devices that also use red light. An all-in-one device may be a great concept, but it has a severe limitation: the light output is very weak (and therefore nowhere near as effective) compared to a larger and more powerful LED light treatment device.
A combo microneedling/LED device means you won’t be able to boost your results with LED treatments or enjoy the analgesic benefits of light therapy while your skin is recovering. You also won’t have a way to continually treat inflamed tissue that could be causing rapid aging, instead of only focusing on the outer appearance.
A powerful LED panel that delivers intensely concentrated red and NIR wavelengths to the skin will ensure that maximum absorption into the deepest layers of the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
A small panel such as the BIOMAX 300 is ideal for targeted applications: anti aging, arthritic hands, hair loss, and wound healing. It's the perfect size for travel, too.
The slightly larger BIOMAX 450 is a great step up for treating areas up to 31"x32" at the highest power. For example, you could use this panel to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and to reduce acne scars.
You can also use this device for other applications:
- Treating rosacea
- Fighting eczema
- Treating psoriasis
- Relief from carpal tunnel syndrome
- Treating cellulite
- Treating tennis elbow
- Relieving osteoarthritis knee pain
- Relieving low back pain
- Hair regrowth treatment
The SaunaMAX Pro is also now also available, for those seeking home, in-sauna treatment.
This is only a small sampling of what this natural treatment can do to support overall well being.
Take a look at our extensive red light therapy learning center to learn more about the various benefits of RLT.
From targeted applications, such as anti-aging, to full-body well-being, LED light treatment is an incredibly potent complement to your beauty routine, fitness routine, and healthcare.