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75. Conversations with a Skin Therapist - What is Nano Needling?

Updated: Mar 21

I must admit, like you I hadn't heard of it and now it's trending... Nano needling... the nano I knew of was an apple device like a mini iPod that played music and was popular over a decade (or more) ago... so what is nano needling? They're silicone cones that are thinner than a strand of hair. It's a non-invasive advanced facial great for those who are needle averse or not able to have more advanced skin treatments. For those with busy lifestyles or who don't like a facial that involves needles...this might just be your 'thing'! There is no down time, no needle marks, no actual puncture to the skin tissue but still achieve glowing and plump skin results - amazing!!

I've been trained in microneedling as a level 4 skin therapist for many years, and recently went on a nano needling course with the International Dermal Institute to learn more about this non-invasive advanced skin treatment. I've had several clients asking recently what the difference is between the two treatments, and thought I'd share the discussions with you.


Microneedling has been around for a while and is offered in several forms, as a roller or by pen with disposable tips. Dermal rollers are a handheld tool that is covered in little needles and used to roll over the skin causing tiny punctures in the skin to aid collagen production and product penetration. In all honesty, this form of microneedling is not a favourite of mine as there are risks (in my opinion) that the skin could tear. When I trained, I was recommended to give the client the roller from the facial to take home and continue using... I never did this as in my opinion the needles can blunt and by reusing the roller it could cause damage or infection to the skin through cross contamination.

Fast forward a few years and newer more advanced technology has been created, thankfully!! We have only ever operated the new system which uses a microneedling pen that has individual tips for each facial. The tips contain either 12 or 36 needles and the pen ensures that it is a controlled wounding on the skin through a special zig zag method on the skin. The needles penetrate the skin in a mechanical tapping motion, a serum is applied to the skin and the pen is used to work over the face, neck and decollate enabling the serum to penetrate deeper. As the skin heals it becomes firmer, more hydrated, brighter and the texture is improved as the collagen plumps out fine lines and wrinkles. This treatment is great as a youth boost, to help scar tissue, acne scarring, brighten, firm and hydrate the skin. I would recommend this as a course of six over a period of time depending on the client's lifestyle, treatment goals and availability.


Nanoneedling is used with the same pen as microneedling but the tip is different. A nano needle contains hundreds of little silicone cones that are thinner than a strand of hair. They look like a minute little square inside the disposable tip. It works in the same mechanical method as microneedling where the tip goes up and down but the silicone cones work to separate the skin cells so that product can penetrate deeper. The process is slower more like a snaking 's' method to enable the cones to separate the skin cells. The face is worked over in a methodical process that divides the face, neck and decollate into 21 sections. A targeted serum is applied to each section before nano needling and moving onto the next area. Afterwards a masque is applied to soothe and hydrate the skin. The results is radiant, plump and hydrated skin immediately afterwards and maintains it's glow for weeks afterwards. Again this is recommended in a course of treatment ranging from six weekly facials to once a month. The treatment has an accumulative affect on the skin without any downtime - revolutionary!!

Who is it good for?

Nano needling is suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. There are a few things to be aware of pre and post treatment to ensure that you put your best face forward.

Before your treatment

Pre treatment guidelines are important to follow, so you can get the best results from your treatment. Some things to be aware of are...

  • wait 14 - 28 days after dermaplaning or professional resurfacing, but consult with your skincare professional as they'll know your skin and course of treatment best.

  • avoid dermal filler administration 14 days

  • avoid botox administration within 7 days

  • avoid facial waxing within 72 hours as this gently exfoliates the skin

  • stop retinol use at least 24 hours

  • avoid IPL or laser treatment 2 weeks before

  • don't shave the face on at the day of treatment to avoid skin irritation

  • avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption 24 - 48 hours before (and after)

After your treatment

Possible side effects also known as contra-actions to your skin after the treatment:

  • tightness or dehydration

  • mild to significant heat

  • mild to significant erythema

  • inflammatory hives

  • flaking

  • heightened sensation

Aftercare is critical for achieving your healthiest-looking skin - International Dermal Institute

Here are six aftercare recommendations to help maintain that healthy post treatment glow:

  1. Try to stay out of excessive sun exposure such as tanning and sunbathing for at least 10 days to avoid risk of hyperpigmentation and sensitizing the skin.

  2. Do not apply makeup immediately after treatment. Your therapist may apply Skin Perfect Primer if you have the treatment during the day, but avoid heavy makeup application for 24 hours and remember to wear SPF 30+ daily.

  3. Unless you skin has been prepared for bed, cleanse your face before bedtime with a gentle cleanser and leukewarm water.

  4. Use a hydrating spritz, serum and other skin care products that your skin therapist recommends.

  5. Avoid an intense or sweaty exercise session, saunas, and swimming for at least 48 hours after treatment so that the skin doesn't flush.

  6. Wait at least three days before reintroducing active skin care ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, fruit enzymes, exfoliating scrubs, and Vitamin A ie retinol.

Remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! Not only to try and drink two to three litres of water daily to flush out toxins and hydrate the skin, but use a skin hydrating spritz like Dermalogica's Hyaluronic Ceramide Mist. Spritz every couple of hours to give the skin a boost maintain barrier function and hydrate from the outside in.

For those of whom I look after your skin, know that I will always recommend a course of treatment for best results to individual skins and nano needling is the same. A course of 4 - 6 treatments combined with a customised homecare regime will give the optimum results. Ask your local skin expert or visit us

Thank you for reading ~ Diana x

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