I was recently called “Ma’am.”

I never thought I’d be one to really agonize about aging.  I imagined I could and would age gracefully.  Of course, I’m careful about sun exposure, don’t smoke and eat a lot of healthy fats.  Maybe I was overly optimistic.  I don’t spend a ton of time examining my face in the mirror but lately, as I enter my mid-30s, even a cursory glance indicates some fine lines and, more disturbing to me, age spots!   

I’ve always had freckles, but this is more than that — hyperpigentation, an overproduction of melanin cells.  They’re likely due to sun exposure I had as a kid… as our skin cells shed, sun damage that could be 20 years old eventually comes to the surface.

More than a few of my friends are dabbling with Botox and/ or fillers like Juvederm or Restylane.  Always in search of a natural alternative, I decided to research anti-aging methods that don’t require injecting foreign substances into my body.  While fractional lasers are a great technology, treatment price can be prohibitive.  I have read some things about excessive thermal injury, where the heat actually cooks the fat under the skin, melting it away.   The fat layer in my face is pretty much the only one I’ve always been grateful for — I know our precious fat layer is what keeps us looking youthful!  I have also heard of more than a few cases where a fractional laser treatment actually created more hyperpigmentation.  These are not risks I’m willing to take.

Collagen-Induction Alternative

So when I learned about the Dermapen, a micro-needling device which uses a sterile tip of 11 needles, which creates micro-channels in the skin, I was sold.  Of course, as an acupuncturist myself, the needle approach is always appealing to me.  It makes sense that creating micro-injuries will encourage blood and qi to come to heal the area.  In more Western terms, a healing cascade takes place where the melanin cells, keratin cells and fibroblasts are brought into balance to create new collagen and elastin, and reduce excessive pigmentation.  In layman’s terms, wrinkles are reduced and prevented, skin discoloration is lessened, skin is brightened and firmed.

Skin Rejuvenation Reduces Signs of Aging

Then I started to learn more Dermapen’s skin rejuvenation powers, and its ability to reduce scars, including burn scars, acne scars, surgical scars and even stretch marks. Amazing.

I was excited to get certified and, of course, to receive my own Dermapen treatment.   I have pretty thick skin, so I went with a slightly deeper depth than someone with very thin, papery skin would use.  Numbing products are optional, but I really wanted to see what it felt like.   My forehead was the most sensitive, but it certainly wasn’t painful.  We went over my entire face, and focused on my furrowed brow (the “Elevens”) and Naso-Labial folds (laugh lines).  I was a little flushed and pink afterwards; my skin felt taut and tingly.  Although the tingling subsided after a day or two, I know that my skin cells will continue to heal, and collagen and elastin cells will be produced for up to 2 years from now!  While change is perceptible immediately, most people really notice the results 6 months after starting treatment.  It’s recommended to receive a series of 4-6 treatments, one every 4-6 weeks.

It feels good to know that I’m doing something that is good for me and good for my skin.  Potential for side effects are minimal, much less than an injectible or laser, and somehow, I feel like I’m taking control of the inevitable.  Yes, of course I’ll age — but hopefully older and wiser, not wrinklier!