Friday, May 19, 2017

Vivace Microneedling Experience with Blackhawk Plastic Surgery

Photos by Rene
Note: I received Vivace Microneedling courtesy of Blackhawk Plastic Surgery. All opinions are my own.

As I have mentioned before, I have long struggled with my skin. You can read about my journey to clear-ish skin here.  Now that my skin is mostly under control, I am more focused on my acne scarring.  To be fair, I got away fairly easy...I don't have deep pitting, but I do have some texture on my cheeks as a reminder of my former acne. After a skincare consultation with a very knowledgeable nurse at Blackhawk Plastic Surgery, she suggested Vivace Microneedling to help with the scarring. Because my texture is fairly mild, microneedling is a gentler alternative to laser resurfacing.  

Click through to get the nitty-gritty on the procedure...and to see some not-too-flattering-but-very-informative-photos on how it works and the results!

First things first...let me tell you the theory behind microneedling.  Basically, tiny needles make little holes/injuries (they like to use the word 'channels') in your skin.  This forces your skin to repair itself and stimulates collagen production, making scars and wrinkles less severe. A lot of places offer microneedling, but Vivace is currently the only FDA-approved procedure.

When you go in for the service, you show up with nothing on your face (not even lotion).  I actually thought serum would be okay, but they had me wash my face when I got there, oops.

After you have a clean face, they rub numbing cream all over your face. It sits on your face for 20 minutes, so I basically hung out and checked email. I have never had my whole face numbed and it felt really weird tbh.


After 20 minutes, you wash your face again and they power up the machine. The Vivace system has a little square set with the tiny needles that are pushed into your skin. The needles can be adjusted to go in different depths to make shallower or deeper channels. It also has blue or red light depending on what you are trying to treat.  Blue light is to kill the acne bacteria, so we used that on my t-zone and chin.  Red light is for wrinkles/skin tightening, so we used that on the side of my face.

They went over my entire face twice, working in specific sections at a time.  In the beginning, I basically could not feel anything. Look how relaxed and/or dead I look here...no flinching!


As we got farther into the service, the numbing started to wear off, so I could feel it more.  It did not really ~hurt~ it was more like a pinch. But you can see below I could feel the needles going in:


Also yes, that spot on my cheek is a small amount of blood! You can see that my face was getting red (especially around my lips/chin).  At the end of the service, I actually was looking like I had scales, as you could see all the little squares where the needles were applied:


The whole service took about 30-40 minutes. At the end of it I was BRIGHT red. They used a serum on me, so I am also a little shiny:


They gave me a sheet mask to cool the redness a bit so I didn't look so crazy when I left.  Ideally, you don't wear makeup or put anything on your face for 24 hours (although the channels close after about 8), so I was anxious to get the redness down so I didn't look like a lobster all day.


Then I was done! After the first treatment, you start seeing some results after about 3-4 weeks, when everything is fully healed.  I took photos about once a week so I could track the progress:



That big dark spot btw is not a pitted scar, its actually hyperpigmentation (the issue I am tackling next, skin-care wise).  Microneedling does not help with discoloration, but I have been using Cliniques Even Better Clinical Serum...I guess it seems to be working a little bit (albeit slowly) based on these photos.

CONCLUSION: My skin has improved a little after one treatment.  Luckily when I take outfit photos, DSLRs tend to really smooth over skin imperfections...you usually can't tell I have some texture. But now I can stress a little bit less about my skin. It still isn't perfect, but every little thing helps! Also FYI, they suggested 3 services to get the best results, and the above photos are after one treatment.

If you are interested in Microneedling, check out the about page here!

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