Peeled, pierced, and pulsed. Think these are ways to juice fruits and veggies? How about steps to getting younger looking skin? A closer look at skin wounding as an anti-aging tool.
Don’t rub, pull, or stretch your skin.
If you didn’t hear this wrinkle prevention trick from your mom, you have surely read it in at least a few dozen magazines.
We try to take good and gentle care of our skin to keep it healthy and looking its best. No toxins to cause harm, safe UV protection to ward off premature aging, no overzealous exfoliating that could cause irritation or injury.
So what is up with this new skin wounding trend in anti-aging skin care and how do we feel about it?
What is Skin Wounding?
As it sounds, these techniques cause injury thru tiny punctures, pulses of light, or removal of top layer of skin. The idea behind the method? That the secret to youthful, glowing, line-free skin is achieved through the healing process.
The skin is an amazing organ, capable of patching itself back together. When the skin receives an abrasion, a response is triggered that stimulates collagen and stem cell production which, in turn, creates a healthier, younger looking complexion. Or so the theory goes.
What are the Anti-Aging Skin Wounding Methods?
Microneedling: Tiny needles are rolled over the skin, creating invisible punctures thought to promote cell turnover through the healing process. Pros say skin will be tight, warm, and red (no duh) post treatment, with a bit of bleeding. Dryness and flaking are common the week after microneedling is performed and it is important to protect the skin with sunscreen as it heals.
Laser resurfacing: Little pulses of light are administered to skin to boost collagen production and create a smoother, plumper appearance. More painful than microneedling, some anesthesia is usually recommended. After the procedure, skin will be swollen, red, and sore. There may even be some bleeding or oozing (yikes!) but this should stop within the first few days. So, not the ticket the day before a big event.
Chemical Peels: Acid-based peels get rid of dry, dead skin cells and reveal fresh layers of skin, and can be done at home or in office. Be careful if performing a chemical peel at home, as they can irritate the skin. We are all supposed to exfoliate regularly and appropriately for our skin type. Chemical peels do their job, but synthetic ingredients can be too harsh and cause irritation. In recent years, natural skin care pros have begun to believe abrasive exfoliants (even those that are natural) are better swapped out for a milder version of sloughing through fruit acids.
The Nitty Gritty On Skin Wounding
There are many proponents to the skin wounding craze. But as with all new things, the proof is in the pudding. Can repeated injury eventually cause scarring? What about inflammation? We’ll have to wait and see for now. In general, using any form of skin care that requires a numbing agent deserves some deep consideration.
If you do decide to hop on the skin injury trend, know this…not all skin types are created equally. Just because your thick-skinned friend had good results after a microneedling does not mean your more sensitive complexion will fare as well. Talk with a reputable professional before undergoing any procedure.
There are many natural ingredients that are effective in promoting healthy, youthful skin. A healthful diet and lifestyle do work wonders too.
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Image of microneedling tool via Shutterstock