As people increasingly seek alternative means to rejuvenate ageing skin without the horrific wind-blown, Bride of Wildenstein appearance that too much knife work can give, more natural methods like Cosmetic Stimulation Therapy™ (also known as micro-needling) are coming to the fore.
Pioneering South African plastic surgeon and founder of Environ skincare Dr Des Fernandes developed the process of pricking the skin with multiple tiny needles to stimulate collagen production without causing any damage to the epidermis. The treatment is creating dramatic results and is now available in beauty salons as well as medi-spas. Unlike laser or deep peeling treatments, this treatment does not work by damaging skin to force new collagen tissue. It is also the first treatment that has been shown to create fresh elastin in addition to collagen.
Cosmetic Stimulation Therapy™ enables skincare and aesthetic clinic professionals to provide effective, minimally invasive anti-ageing treatments, without the need for sedation. The rejuvenating treatment is designed to be used on all parts of the face and body to improve the appearance of wrinkles, shallow acne scarring, lax skin and stretch marks.
The Cosmetic Stimulation Therapy™ principle is simple and induces a natural process of skin rejuvenation. The Environ tool, which incorporates multiple ultra-fine surgical steel 1mm long needles, is rolled repeatedly in different directions across the treatment area to create minute channels which breach the dermis. These temporary tiny needle punctures stimulate the skin’s natural healing response. This induces numerous growth factors and healing mechanisms to produce new collagen and elastin in the subsequent days, without any damage to the overlying epidermis.
The treatment is easily performed by a trained aesthetic professional with topical anaesthetic cream and there is virtually no downtime. Clients can return to work the day after treatment with no outward signs other than flushed skin, similar to the appearance of mild sunburn. By penetrating only to a depth of 1mm, the risk of bruising and swelling is minimal. Unlike other treatments which provide needling alone, the effects of the procedure are enhanced by preparing the skin with Environ’s vitamin A and C topical products prior to the treatment course – and continuing use thereafter, to further promote healthy growth factors, collagen and elastin.
For best results, a series of six Cosmetic Stimulation Therapy™ treatments should be done at intervals between one week and one month, depending on time and budget available.
The procedure helps restore the tightness of the skin and can delay or avoid the need for a face-lift or brow lift, and remarkable results have been achieved on slack underarm skin, with Environ vitamin A and C homecare used to maintain results over long periods. It thickens and rejuvenates the skin, softens fine lines, restores elasticity, reduces pigmentation marks, stretch marks and scars. It also diminishes the appearance dilated blood vessels. Thin skin can be treated and because the epidermis is perfectly preserved and healing is rapid, there is no sun sensitivity afterwards by contrast with laser, dermabrasion and deep peels.
On-going skin care and needling trials have been run at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and at the University of Hannover, Germany, with a number of studies completed which prove the method’s efficacy.