One of skin care’s biggest trends right now is microneedling patches, and for good reason. They work. In fact, COVID-19 researchers are currently testing a coronavirus vaccine candidate that would be administered through a microneedle patch.
When it comes to acne microneedle patches, the reason they are more effective than topicals is because the dissolving microneedles allow ingredients to physically penetrate the skin in order to really do their job.
But before we dive into microneedle patches, let’s take a look at the treatment that inspired them – microneedling.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling is the process of inserting very fine, short needles into the skin to renew the surface by increasing cell turnover and releasing proteins. The procedure has been around since the mid-90s and usually takes place at a dermatologist’s office. Many dermatologists use a roller device or a pen-shaped automated microneedling device, both of which contain micro-fine needles ranging in diameter from 0.5 and 2.5 mm. There are also at-home versions, or dermarollers, typically made with microneedles that measure between 0.2 and 1 mm.
When the needles create microscopic punctures in the skin, it triggers the body’s natural wound healing process, which promotes cell turnover, boosts collagen production and helps to reduce future acne breakouts. The punctures also allow any treatments or serums that have been applied before microneedling (such as vitamin C or hyaluronic acid) to reach the deeper layers of the skin.
Microneedling and dermarolling are safe for most skin types, but should not be used on skin with active breakouts or cystic acne. The procedure could potentially increase irritation, cause inflammation and spread bacteria.
Microneedling in patch form
Microneedle patches basically apply the concept of microneedling to increase the efficacy of active ingredients that target specific skin concerns, like acne or hyperpigmentation. Instead of metal needles, the patches use self-dissolving “needles” to penetrate the skin’s surface. Like other patches, the application is quite simple. You just press them on a little longer (15-30 seconds) than a typical patch to ensure that the sharp points slightly pierce the skin’s surface. Those tiny pricks (which don’t hurt at all) prompt the body to begin breaking down the outer components of the “needle” so the active ingredients can get to work in the problem area of the skin.
There are several different types of dissolving microneedle patches (and more coming out every day), but the two types specifically designed for acne-prone skin target blind pimples and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Since blind pimples (aka early-stage pimples) are under the skin and don’t have a visible head to treat, the physical elements dissolve powerful ingredients straight into the source of a hidden pimple. The primary active ingredient in these patches is blemish-busting salicylic acid, which eliminates the dead skin cells and sebum that clog pores. Look for patches with a 0.5% concentration, which won’t irritate sensitive skin. Beta-glucans, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are a few of the other common ingredients found in microneedling blemish patches.
To address post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, microneedling patches dissolve powerful ingredients to target dark spots and even out skin tone. Brighteners such as tranexamic acid, niacinamide and vitamin C work together with replenishing ingredients like beta-glucans to refresh skin texture and appearance.
While microneedle patches have been used in the medical world for quite some time, they are relatively new to the beauty world. The production processes and technology used to manufacture microneedle patches is much more involved than a regular acne patch, which is why the price point is also higher.
Hero Cosmetics' microneedle patches retail for $12.99 with six patches per box – the most affordable in the market!
In traditional microneedling, needle size is a major factor factor in the treatment’s effectiveness. Most people require needles that are 1.0mm or longer to reach the dermis.
When it comes to microneedling patches, size still matters, but it’s also about shape. Because the needles aren’t physically pushed into your skin like they are during actual microneedling, their design is a major factor into how deeply they can penetrate the skin.
As you can see, most patch microneedles look like funnels with a flat tip. Hero’s patch microneedles (or micropoints, as we call them) have a unique, proprietary pyramid shape. That means that no other patch on the market uses ultra-fine needle tips for smooth and deep penetration. In every Hero microneedle patch, 173 micropoints made of super-hydrating hyaluronic acid flood your skin with gentle, effective hyperpigmentation or acne treatments.
To attack early-stage pimples, Micropoint for Blemishes is formulated with the pimple-fighting trifecta. Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells, beta glucan soothes irritation and hyaluronic acid replenishes lost hydration.
To give post-pimple dark spots the boot, Micropoint for Dark Spots dissolves powerhouse skin-brighteners like tranexamic acid, niacinamide and vitamin C.
And if you happen to be in between the early-stage pimple and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation phases, do not reach for a dissolving microneedle patch! Active breakouts, when you can see pus or a whitehead, should be treated with a gentle hydrocolloid patch so you don’t spread bacteria or worsen the breakout with penetration.
That’s right – we’ve got your back (or face) at each and every stage of a breakout. 😉