Microneedling involves using either a small roller covered in tiny sharp spikes, or a pen type device tipped with a grid of tiny sharp needles, to punch thousands of very small holes in the skin. That might sound like a terrible idea, but there are a couple of compelling reasons for doing it.
One reason is that making holes though the tough protective outer cells of the epidermis means that any skincare product that you slap on immediately afterwards can get direct access into the skin — so if that’s a high-tech serum with skin-repairing benefits, it will be more effective.
The other reason is that, if the needling is done with long enough needles, it can stimulate a wound-healing response in the skin which floods the skin with growth factors and prompts the skin to create new, firming collagen.
These two reasons tend to get run together and conflate in people’s minds into seeing microneedling as something really scary that will leave their faces smeared with pinpricks of their own blood (I looked up a Kim Kardashian post, which didn’t help).
But when microneedling is on offer as part of a facial, it will be done with short needles — say, 0.5mm long, which really don’t hurt as they don’t sink far enough into the skin to hit the nerves or to cause bleeding. By contrast, collagen-stimulating needling requires needles that are more like 3mm long — and yes, they will cause pinpoint bleeding, and you will need anaesthetic cream beforehand.