Choosing what to put on your skin after microneedling is essential to provide the building blocks to hydrate, replenish, and help heal the skin. But how do you find what’s the best for your own unique skin? We have done the research on microneedling aftercare through our own experiences and provided what we believe will support fast healing and optimal results. Below we discuss the best formulas, ingredients, and products as a guide to what you can put on your skin after microneedling in a clinical setting or after using a derma roller at home.
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How To Choose What To Put On Skin After Microneedling
The goal when choosing products is to provide the skin cells with essential nutrients and building blocks to optimize health, which will then result in an improved appearance. Serums and topical products should be linked to the conditions you are treating. The correct products will deliver active ingredients to target a variety of skin issues. Ask your dermatologist to determine what will work best for your individual skin type and issue.
What To Put On Skin Immediately After Microneedling
In the days after your microneedling treatment, you will generally experience several mild side effects which can include redness, swelling, and sunburned feeling skin. The micro-channels created provide little time for product penetration of topical creams and serums. The only product to be applied in the first 24 hours post treatment should be Hyaluronic acid.
Applying the right products immediately after microneedling will help reseal the skin, calm inflammation, and provide moisture and nutrients to combat signs of aging.
Hyaluronic acid should generally be the only product to be applied within the first 24 hours following treatment. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent lubricant and skin-rejuvenating ingredient that provides lasting moisture to your skin. Chemically, it’s a sugar molecule that’s produced naturally in the body and is most often found in your skin.
Applying high molecular weight hyaluronic acid to your skin will keep it moisturized and protect its natural barrier from outside pollutants. It also has amazing anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe swelling and calm sensitive skin. HA should be applied throughout the next week or two.
⭐️ Best Value
⭐️ Reputable Brand
📍 Thick Texture
Why We Love It: A staple in everyday skincare routines. Calms dry, itchy, and sunburned feeling. Helps stimulate collagen production.
Cos De Baha presents a premium high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) that proves exceptionally advantageous during microneedling or at-home derma roller sessions. Its superior quality makes it an ideal choice, offering a smooth gliding experience for the tool across the skin’s surface. Beyond its functionality, this HMW-HA also delivers anti-inflammatory advantages.
What To Put On Skin After Microneedling (After 24 hours)
Days 1-5 are known as the inflammatory phase, where your skin will feel very dry and tight. Redness and swelling typically disappear within 24 hours of the procedure, after which you can apply some other ingredients to your skin to expedite overall healing and augment the results of the procedure.
Here’s what you should put on your skin 24 hours after the procedure and beyond:
After 24 hours, you can now wash your face with a gentle cleanser. A gentle, hydrating cleanser is a must for your aftercare regimen. Use a cleanser that contains milder ingredients like Vitamin E or green tea. Choosing a product formulated particularly for sensitive skin will help keep your skin hydrated, supple, and soft. Avoid using products that contain artificial fragrances or other irritants.
⭐️ Very Gentle
⭐️ Free of Irritants
📍 Not Best For Oily Skin
📍 Can Dry Out Skin
Why We Love It: Formulated with great ingredients to keep skin clean for treatments or other serums.
Vanicream Gentle Cleanser is a standout option for those seeking a mild and effective facial cleanser. Its fragrance-free and non-comedogenic formula is suitable for sensitive skin types, gently removing impurities without causing irritation. With its minimalist ingredient list, this cleanser provides a soothing cleansing experience that leaves the skin feeling refreshed and balanced.
There is no better antioxidant than green tea to protect the skin from environmental stressors like UV radiation. Due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, you can use it to minimize swelling, redness, and irritation on the skin. It can be used in your regular routine and works well when used in combination with LED.
When used in a concentrated form, green tea extract acts as a powerful exfoliant to eliminate dead skin, bacteria, dirt, and other pollutants from your pores. It may also be effective against hyperpigmentation and swelling.
⭐️ Deep Moisturizer
📍 Not Best For Oily Skin
📍 Ok Smell
Why We Love It: ISNTREE provides a great green tea toner as well as a serum. Mainly formulated with green tea extract (80%) to soothe and revitalize your freshly needled skin.
ISNTREE Green Tea Fresh Toner is a refreshing and hydrating addition to any skincare routine. Infused with green tea extract, it offers antioxidant-rich nourishment while maintaining the skin’s moisture balance. Its lightweight consistency absorbs swiftly, leaving skin feeling revitalized and prepped for subsequent products.
Kiwi oil is a mild, fast-absorbing moisturizer that leaves little to no oily residue on your skin upon application. It is concentrated with fatty acids that help calm irritated skin and reduce skin sensitivity. Due to its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, kiwi oil prevents infection or inflammation after microneedling.
⭐️ Superb Moisturizer
⭐️ Rich in Omegas
📍 Not Widely Available
📍 May Clog Pores
Why We Love It: Great for post-microneedling as it works well for dry and sensitive skin and helps to avoid peeling. Applies great moisture without the greasy feeling.
Botanical Beauty Kiwi Seed Oil is a natural treasure for skincare enthusiasts. Packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins, this 100% pure natural oil deeply nourishes and hydrates the skin, leaving it soft and radiant. Its lightweight texture absorbs well and can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine, especially for promoting a healthy and glowing complexion.
Vitamin C Oil
A Vitamin C serum or oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that calms the skin and reduces puffiness. When used in a concentrated form, vitamin C acts as an exfoliant to clear out dead skin and unclog pores, both of which help reduce acne and dark spots. Use vitamin c to brighten your skin, smooth skin texture, and fight fine lines and wrinkles.
⭐️ Affordable Price
⭐️ Powerful Formula
📍 Irritable For Sensitive Skin
📍 Oily Texture
Why We Love It: Ideal for uneven skin tones and those that suffer from dullness or uneven texture.
Stratia C+C stands as a potent and gentle variant of Vitamin C, adept at addressing premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and skin firmness concerns. A robust blend of antioxidants, including CoQ10, Ascorbic Acid, and a Vitamin C derivative, takes center stage within this serum’s silicone base. Suitable for all skin types and particularly beneficial for those grappling with dullness or uneven texture, this water-based serum offers a comprehensive solution.
Sunscreen is of significant importance in the following days post-treatment and should be the last thing applied in the morning before you head out for the day. Sunscreen Photosensitivity is one of the most common side effects of microneedling. It can last from a few days to more than a week, depending on the extent of your treatment. Long micro-needles create deeper wounds that create higher photosensitivity and take more time to heal.
Dermatologists typically recommend avoiding sunscreen for the first 24 hours. However, if sun exposure is inevitable for you during that time, go for a zinc-based sunscreen that stays on the skin’s surface to block UV rays. Sunscreens that absorb deeply into the skin can hamper the healing process. Stick to a minimum SPF 30 and use the sunscreen liberally and reapply it often.
⭐️ Absorbs Well
⭐️ Everyday Use
📍Too Light For Dark Skin Types
📍 May Leave White Cast
Why We Love It: A mineral-based, broad-spectrum SPF with hyaluronic acid and formulated with oxides. Provides great protection with excellent hydrating properties.
ElatMD UV SPF 46 is a standout tinted sunscreen offering reliable sun protection. With its high SPF level, it effectively guards against sunburn and helps prevent skin damage. The lightweight, non-greasy formulation makes it a practical choice for daily use, ensuring comprehensive coverage and maintaining skin health.
Frequent use of a moisturizer will help alleviate the dry and tight feeling after microneedling. Hyaluronic acid can serve as a moisturizer immediately following treatment, but in the following days, you may be looking for something new to replenish your skin throughout the day and night. Adding a gentle, basic moisturizer back into your routine after 24 hours will restore balance and provide nourishment.
⭐️ Great For All Skin Types
⭐️ Dermatologist Recommended
📍May Dry Out Skin
📍 Not For Oily Skin
Why We Love It: This powerful anti-aging cream provides a visibly firmer and healthier look to your facial skin. It’s free of all parabens and fragrances and loaded with nutrients such as ceramides, peptides, and Vitamin E.
The DRMTLGY Peptide Night Cream is a potent addition to any nighttime skincare regimen. Packed with a blend of peptides, this cream aims to promote collagen production, improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. The rich and nourishing texture of the cream provides deep hydration, leaving the skin plump and revitalized in the morning. With consistent use, this product proves its worth by contributing to a smoother and more youthful complexion.
Speaking of peptides….Products containing copper peptides are designed to improve skin firmness and elasticity. This skin-restoring ingredient promotes the production of elastin, collagen, and certain polysaccharide molecules that smoothen out the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
⭐️ Reputable Brand
⭐️ Appropriate Price to Quality
📍 Not For Oily Skin
Why We Love It: A great peptide blend that can help stimulate collagen production.
The Ordinary Buffet Copper Peptides is a unique and intriguing addition to The Ordinary’s lineup. Formulated with copper peptides, this serum offers a multi-dimensional approach to skincare, targeting signs of aging, texture irregularities, and overall skin health. With regular use, it appears to enhance skin firmness and smoothness, while also providing a dose of antioxidant benefits. Its lightweight consistency makes it easy to incorporate into a skincare routine, making it a promising option for those looking to address multiple skin concerns.
Growth factors are proteins that stimulate cell proliferation and wound healing. They are produced by the skin cells to heal and repair damaged skin along with other cells. Due to their skin-repairing properties, they are found in a wide range of skin care products including serums and creams. The naturally occurring proteins are also capable of stimulating collagen and elastin products which helps improve skin firmness and elasticity.
⭐️ Restores Youthful Glow
⭐️ Skin Repairing Properties
📍May Cause Breakouts
Why We Love It: Award-winning oil-free EGF serum that increases collagen and elastin production to fight off wrinkles and repair damaged skin.
BIOEFFECT proves highly effective in addressing a range of skin concerns, including hyperpigmentation, deep acne scars, and wrinkles. Infused with Epidermal Growth Factors (EGF), it accelerates healing and encourages cellular repair, fostering increased elastin and collagen production. By prompting damaged skin cells to regenerate and thrive like youthful cells, this serum counteracts the age-related decline of EGF levels, revitalizing the skin’s radiance and youthful luminosity for a rejuvenated appearance.
A carefully formulated serum can do wonders for your skin after microneedling. Almost all of the ingredients mentioned above are available in the form of water-based serums. A lightweight water-based serum containing any one or a combination of the above-mentioned ingredients can be used as a part of your skincare routine following microneedling.
Most dermatologists recommend using a hyaluronic acid serum to support multi-depth hydration. You can also include both an oil-based and a water-based serum in your skincare routine. Apply the oil-based serum before going to bed as it takes longer to absorb into the skin.
Check out our list of Best Microneedling Serums
What To Put On Skin After Microneedling At Home
The aftercare regimen for microneedling performed at home should not be different from that of office-based sessions. However, as office-based procedures often use longer needles that penetrate deeper into the skin, the side effects are more severe when microneedling is performed in a clinical setting.
Nonetheless, all skincare products containing harsh chemicals or strong exfoliants must be avoided for at least three days after the microneedling procedure. Avoid using retinol, vitamin C, glycolic acid, and other AHAs after micro needling or derma rolling at home.
Apply hyaluronic acid immediately after the procedure to calm swelling and minimize skin irritation. Products that contain the ingredients below are ideal for use after microneedling at home to help boost skin healing and enhance the results of the procedure:
- Vitamin A C or E
- Growth Factors
- Beta Carotene
Important Ingredients To Consider
Incorporating antioxidant-rich products in your aftercare regimen is one of the best things you can do to augment the effects of microneedling. Antioxidants alleviate oxidative stress which breaks down collagen, triggering inflammation and hampering skin’s natural healing process. Regular application of antioxidants will protect your skin against free radical damage and improve the skin’s renewal process.
Resveratrol has incredible skin-soothing properties that help with both redness and swelling. However, it cannot be used immediately after the procedure due to its high potency. It’s used for a variety of inflammatory skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. It’s also a good idea to incorporate it into your regular skincare routine.
Vitamin A can be great in the days following microneedling. With the ability to prevent cell damage, vitamin A is an excellent choice for people having active acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, sunspots, and/or uneven skin tone. It promotes cell regeneration and protects the skin from environmental stressors like pollution and UV radiation. It’s recommended to wait between 5 to 7 days after treatment to avoid irritation.
If you experience severe dryness post microneedling, you must include a product containing vitamin E in your aftercare regimen. It forms a natural barrier on the skin to lock in moisture and provide sustained hydration. When used in combination with vitamin C, the fat-soluble vitamin can help fade dark spots and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Due to its protective effects against UV rays, vitamin E is widely used in sunscreens and sunburn relief creams. If your sunscreen contains vitamin E, using other products with this ingredient may not be a good idea. Putting too much vitamin E on your skin can cause irritation or a rash.
What Should You Not Put On Your Face After Microneedling?
Avoid products containing harsh chemicals such as exfoliants, acids (AHAs/BHAs), alcohol-based toners, preservatives, or fragrances. Increased use of facial moisturizers containing emollients or humectants may cause acne and dry out the skin. While many of these ingredients are popular in most modern-day skincare products and are sometimes unavoidable, they should be used in moderation.
Remember, choosing the right products to apply to your skin after a microneedling treatment is all about formulas and ingredients, not branding. This guide provides a great starting point to find what works best for your unique skin. Choosing the right products will help calm the effects of the treatment while also providing an anti-aging defense in the days after microneedling.
Should I Wash My Face After Microneedling?
You may rinse your face with warm tepid water after microneedling but do not use a gentle cleanser until after 24 hours.
When Should I Moisturize After Microneedling?
You should moisturize immediately after treatment with Hyaluronic Acid.
Can I use Cerave after Microneedling?
CeraVe products should be avoided until after the first-day post-treatment. CeraVe has some great moisturizers and hyaluronic acid products to use after the first 24 hours.
Can I Use Niacinamide After Microneedling?
Niacinamide should not be applied right after the microneedling procedure, but you may safely include it in your routine after about 72 hours, as long as your skin feels fine. If your skin still has redness and irritation, wait until it heals more.
How To Remove Dead Skin After Microneedling?
After treatment, do not attempt to remove the dead skin. Instead, moisturize to conceal the flakes, or use an enzyme peel around days 4-5.