What is Microneedling Really Like?

by: Abigail White


I had microneedling done for the first time about two months ago, and I was immediately hooked.

Not familiar with microneedling? It’s a procedure that uses a device with tiny, shallow needles that create even tinier holes in the skin’s surface. This stimulates collagen and elastin production, which can plump the skin, fill in fine lines and break up scar tissue, resulting in a more youthful appearance. (For those of you who have seen a DIY version that you can buy online, file this treatment under “best left to the experts,” like a bikini wax.)

I’m 38 years old and my biggest skin concerns are anti-aging and anti-acne. I also have some discoloration on my skin from years of being out in the sun (oops) but I am now very diligent about wearing SPF 50 every day and doing things I didn’t do in my 20s and early 30s, like washing my face every night and adhering to a skin care routine that Maegan Griffin, NP-C recommended for me. Oh, and Botox! Who doesn’t love Botox?

Anyway, I had a lot of friends comment on how dewy and youthful my skin looked after my first microneedling procedure, but they were wary about things like whether the procedure is painful (it isn’t) and how much downtime they’d need to account for (not much).

Here’s what you can expect from microneedling, from the day of your procedure and the following week:
Day 1:
I arrived at Skin Pharm and lovely RN, Megan Stewart, removed my makeup and applied numbing cream to my face. I took the opportunity to flip through every magazine in the room (such fun!) while the numbing cream took effect, and then Megan returned to start the procedure with the SkinStylus, which resembles a tiny magic wand. As she’d been there for my first microneedling appointment, she noticed that my skin wasn’t reacting as strongly — it wasn’t as red, and I didn’t have any bleeding (it’s totally normal to have minor blood beading from the needles — you don’t feel it as you’re totally numb, and they heal incredibly quickly). Megan noted that we were even going about a millimeter deeper than we went the previous time, which means the microneedling was doing it’s job — my skin was growing stronger.

If you’re worried about what it feels like, I can attest that it does not hurt. The SkinStylus feels like a combination of a vacuum and a razor, and while you may feel some minor pressure around your jawline — and some major tickling around your nose! — it isn’t painful at all.

The whole thing took less than 15 minutes. Megan spread some Epionce Medical Barrier Cream on my face and I headed straight to the nail salon to get a pedicure (in case you didn’t notice, I was totally having a “me” day, ha). I thought I was going to get some weird looks, but nobody seemed to notice — it looked like I had a mild sunburn. I even met a friend for drinks after that — she was curious about microneedling and wanted to see what I looked like — and she was surprised by how normal I looked! I didn’t wear makeup the rest of the day and used the Gentle Foaming Cleanser from Epionce that evening. I applied Epionce Medical Barrier cream before bed.

Day 2:
When I woke up my skin felt a little tight, but most of the redness had faded from the previous day. I rinsed my face and put Epionce’s Medical Barrier Cream and SPF 50 lotion on before using my regular BB cream (by Dr. Jart). Even in the harsh, ridiculously unflattering fluorescent light in my office bathroom, my skin looked totally normal. It still felt a little dry, so I was happy to wash my face when I got home and applied more medical barrier cream and Cetaphil.
Without makeup.
With makeup.
Day 3:
My skin was a little dry and flaky, but returned to normal as soon as I put more Cetaphil moisturizer and Epionce SPF 50 lotion on. I don’t know if you can tell in the picture, but my skin was GLOWING. I barely needed any BB cream as the skin tone looked much more even, and overall I just looked refreshed and renewed. I continued to use the Epionce gentle face wash but used my regular night cream by Algenist and Intense Defense Serum by Epionce.
Without makeup.
With makeup.
Day 4:
I was definitely having a little more peeling on Day 4, so I used a mild exfoliant to get the dead skin off before applying Cetaphil and SPF 50. Once again, as soon as I put the BB cream on, everything looked normal. Well, better than normal — glowing, even skin tone, refreshed. I used my ZO Oilacleanse that evening and my aforementioned night cream/serum combo.
Without makeup.
With makeup.
Day 5:
By Day 5 my skin felt hydrated — the flaking had pretty much disappeared at this point and I hardly needed any BB cream to even out my skin tone. I did my normal skin care routine at night and everything felt back to normal!
Without makeup.
With makeup.

Day 6:
I woke up to a stupid hormonal pimple on my cheek – FOILED. Fortunately the rest of my face looked fabulous and it was easy to conceal so I didn’t stress over it. I hadn’t been using my usual anti-acne treatment (ZO Offects TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment and spot treatment with Aczone) as I was worried it would dry out my skin as it healed from the microneedling, but I used it this morning and at night along with my regular skin care routine.

Without makeup.

With makeup.

Day 7:

Thank goodness I have the photo to prove this as I wouldn’t believe it, but that pimple disappeared overnight. Not sure if that’s a benefit of the microneedling, but I woke up to clear, even, glowing skin. I even made it another makeup-free day because I didn’t feel like I needed it. If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be voluntarily going makeup-free, I wouldn’t have believed you. That’s one of the best things about getting into a good skincare routine — once you figure out what works for you, it streamlines your entire beauty routine because you’re not wasting time concealing your skin. Microneedling actually treats and improves your skin, and there’s nothing to hide about healthy skin, right?

Without makeup.

Featured on Clara’s Clean Eats Blo

On pursuing a career in dermatology: 

After I completed nursing school, I went from the ICU to plastic surgery. I loved working in cosmetics, but I found myself drawn to dermatology because I wanted to help people with the overall health of their skin instead of just injecting Botox. Don’t get me wrong, I also love working with Botox and other injectables, but skin health is so much more than what you can inject in your skin or what cream you put on it. For example, I really love treating acne, and you really have to work with a patient one-on-one to develop the best treatment plan. It’s so gratifying to see the results and the transformation in someone’s skin quality — and their confidence level — after employing a treatment plan.- Maegan Griffin, MSN, NP-C

View full interview at Clara’s Clean Eats to learn how Skin Pharm came about and how Maegan Griffin balances practicing as a Nurse Practitioner, running a clinic and being a mother.

Featured in NFocus

Be sure to check out the July edition in NFocus to learn the most common question we hear from our patients.

NEW! Gold Standard Microneedling by SkinStylus

The SkinStylus® Microneedling System is a revolutionary, minimally-invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure that involves the use of a device that contains fine needles. The needles are used to puncture the skin to create controlled skin injuries and stimulate growth of new collagen. Doing this improves fine lines and wrinkles, pores, scarring and helps even skin tone with a series of treatments and high quality skin care.

Microneedling with the SkinStylus® can be alternated with other treatments such as fractional laser therapy, chemical peels, IPL, and other modalities.

The cost of a microneedling facial treatment is $425/session and includes a post procedure skin care kit valued at $192. Results are best achieved when done in a series of 4+ treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart.

NEW! Botanical Based Skin Care Line

We’ve picked up a new skin care line and we’re in love. Epionce is a clinically-proven, botanically-based line that is free of sodium laurel sulfate, gluten, fragrance and paraben. The line is also animal-cruelty free.

These dermatologist-backed products contain restorative botanical ingredients to improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. Unlike many other products on the market, Epionce does not contain harsh ingredients that irritate the skin or cause unnecessary dryness. The result is healthier, younger-looking skin.

From improving the visible appearance of skin aging to problem skin, Epionce can be incorporated into your skin care regimen to solve your specific skin concerns. Ask us what products are best for you and your skin!

Featured in Style Blueprint

Our skin changes with the seasons and our skin care regimen should, too! Be sure to check out our feature on styleblueprint.com to learn more on skin tips to stay healthy this summer.


“If you are rarely outside, a product with SPF 30 is sufficient. If you are outside for extended amounts of time, you should apply a water-resistant product with SPF 30 or more. Keep in mind SPF 15 filters about 93 percent of UV radiation, while SPF 30 filters 97 percent and SPF 50 filters 98 percent. Frequent application is best. You should apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. One of the best things you can do in addition to applying SPF regularly is wearing a wide-brimmed hat to reduce sun exposure.” — Maegan Griffin, MSN, NP-C

Natural-Looking Filler Results

Fillers that can address facial wrinkles are nothing new, but these take a new approach to achieving natural-looking results.

Restylane® Refyne and Restylane® Defyne are the latest FDA-approved dermal fillers for the treatment of “smile” and “laugh” lines. These are next-generation hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers manufactured with XpresHAn Technology, creating gels that offer a range of flexibility for expression and motion. Restylane Refyne is for the treatment of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, while Restylane Defyne is for the treatment of moderate to severe, deep facial wrinkles and folds. Both of these products have been shown to maintain effectiveness for up to 12 months.

“I’ve injected Restylane Refyne into superficial lines and wrinkles of the lower face and it corrected beautifully- similar to honey. I’ve added a small remainder of the syringe to lips and it added a nice touch. I find Restylane Defyne ideal for filling deeper structures like the nasolabial folds and lower face creases such as the mental crease (horizontal line in the chin). Refyne and Defyne fill an unmet need in my practice and patients are loving the results.” -Maegan Griffin, MSN, NP-C

Stop Hiding from Rosacea

Rosacea may be transient, recurrent or persistent, and is characterized by frequent flushing or blushing, redness, prominent blood vessels (telangiectasia), dry and flaking skin, red bumps (papules and pustules), swelling, aggravation to sun exposure and other triggers (i.e. spicy foods, alcohol, emotional stress) and enlarged nose. Identify your triggers and limit or remove them from your routine. Most common factors include exposure to heat, sunlight, extreme cold, exercise, stress, and alcohol consumption.

If you are diagnosed with stage I rosacea, treatment may include topical antibiotics and/or antiparasitics and cosmetic lasers. An oral low-dose antibiotic (Oracea) is often added to stage I and stage II rosacea.

Vascular laser treatments work very well in treating all stages of rosacea and are frequently the only acceptable cosmetic treatment. -Maegan Griffin, MSN, NP-C

Early diagnosis and treatment can control the signs and symptoms of rosacea and help prevent this skin condition from worsening. The most common treatment plan for our patients involves a combination of the above recommendations.

Skin Care for Every Budget

“Yes I want that!  Um… wait, how much is it?”  Even the upwardly mobile are budget conscious, so don’t feel bad if this question has crossed your mind when contemplating cosmetic treatments.

It’s understandable that the natural assumption is there’s a hefty price tag attached to amazing results. However, the latest advances in technology and skin care are more affordable than you might think. While the saying “Cheap cosmetic treatments are never good, and good cosmetic treatments are never cheap,”  holds true, there are some fantastic options available that won’t break the bank. Below I’ve listed a few of my favorites that are all under $1,000. In fact, I started my list with game-changers from just $200.

$200 – It’s all about the right products. Those little bottles go a long way and pack quite the punch when it comes to making sure your skin has the proper care. From day to night, proper care is priority #1, so begin your day with a broad spectrum 30+ SPF every morning and a retinol product every night.

$300 – In addition to the right product lineup, freshen up with a chemical peel. Get some extra glow, minimize fine lines, improve pores and smooth out uneven skin tone.  It’s so easy, you can do it during lunch!

$400 – Let’s plump it up! Add in a laser-boosting collagen treatment. These procedures have no downtime and are safe on all skin types.

$600 – Bring on the injectables. Why live with forehead lines and crows feet when they can so easily be treated? Botox and Dysport are my go to injectables to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

$600+ – Depending on age and desired results, you may want to consider adding fillers to your skin care routine.  Juvederm and Restylane work wonders to regain lost volume as we age.

Getting a second wind now that you know cosmetic treats are obtainable? We hope to see you soon!

Meet Maegan Griffin, Founder and NP

Maegan Griffin is known for her innovative work in cosmetic dermatology, facial rejuvenation techniques and aesthetic medicine utilizing the latest cutting-edge technology. An early adapter of injectables and skin laser technologies, Maegan’s artful work has secured her reputation as a practitioner who helps her patients create meaningful internal and external changes in their lives while finding a balanced approach to anti-aging and beauty.

“The point of meeting with me is to establish a plan to create and maintain an overall healthy appearance. I often see the domino effect — once someone’s skin improves, their diet improves, the sleep routine improves, and so on. I live for hearing people tell me their mental and physical health improved after starting a professional relationship with me.”

A clinical expert in the field of cosmetic dermatology, Maegan’s work has been featured in NFocusNashville Scene and Style Blueprint as well as many local blogs.

In addition to her busy practice, Maegan enjoys giving back, supporting a variety of local nonprofits. She is an avid traveler and passionate mother to her baby girl and soon-to-be baby boy.