Ever since ancient times, women have been using unconventional methods to enhance their beauty. In ancient Egypt, they crushed up beetles and used it to add colour to their cheeks, In the Middle Ages, women applied leeches to their cheeks to achieve an alabaster complexion and during the Renaissance period they used lead based paint to whiten their skin – even though it was highly toxic .

Manuscripts, paintings and historical documents all prove that women have worried about their skin for hundreds of years  – and have tried just about everything to enhance their allure.

And now the price of beauty has been estimated in a report that has discovered the average woman will spend close to a staggering  €18,000 on her face in her lifetime.And while expensive cosmetic surgery has been seen as an  extreme option – there’s been a huge growth in so-called  “quick fix” beauty treatment that promise similar results.

How can we forget the ‘Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge’ that went viral in 2015? The craze saw teens who were desperate to emulate Kylie’s fuller lips  use shot glasses as a vacuum on their mouth; the results were nothing short of a disaster.

Lesson learned.

Lauren Malone – Beauty Editor

Now it’s 2017 and we are still as driven as ever in our bid to retain young and blemish free skin. Move over chemical peels, because Micro-Needling is taking your place as the most sought after beauty treatment.

So what is Micro-Needling you ask?

According to Therapie, one of Ireland’s best know asthetic beauty clinics,  this new  treatment can be used to treat a number of complaints : “The basic idea behind Micro-Needling is to stimulate the production of new collagen. Using the skin’s ability to heal itself, puncturing the dermis with microscopic needles triggers the production of new collagen.”

They continue by saying “it is used to improve skin tone and texture, treating the appearance of ageing, scarring, stretch marks and pigmentation marks from acne and sun damage.

So, if you fall into any of those catagories and are looking for an intense treatment, Therapie have a special offer on at the moment for €850 (for six sessions, with one session normally costing €200 alone). https://therapieclinic.com/skin-treatments/micro-needling-treatment/

But if you can’t affor an expensive salon treatment, it’s easy to do this at home – once you have the right tools.

 I opted for a home kit from Banish Acne Scars – a US brand that is only starting to become popular in Ireland. I received the ‘Banish Kit’ which contained the Banisher (Micro-Needling Roller), Banish Oil, a cleaning container and a cute little storage bag.

The kit cost €167.50 and I was charged €40 customs charge when it arrived (so nearly the same price as one session in Therapie!). This was a bit of a disappointment, but a risk you take when ordering from the States I suppose!

The packaging did not enthral nor excite me, it comes in plain brown glass bottles and tubs, with the Banish logo reminding me of a 1950’s catalogue advertisement. The results, however, did change my mind.

You have to start with clean skin, and a sanitised roller (so you need to also purchase Isopropyl Alcohol from the chemist which is an extra cost). You then roll the Banisher in one direction on your skin (avoiding the eyes and lips, and also active acne – to prevent the spread of bacteria).

I started gingerly on my cheeks, and if I am honest, it was a little bit unpleasant which is to be expected, they are micro NEEDLES after all! It felt like my hair was tickling my face, irritating but not unbearable. I would rate it a 2/10 on the pain scale.

As I moved to my nose, upper lip, chin and forehead, the pain worsened slightly to maybe a 4/10 and my eyes started to water – these areas went slightly pink as well (which is normal). When I finished, I then applied the Banish Oil and gently pressed it in using my sanitised hands – this stung more than the rolling!

I read the ingredients and was not surprised to find out it had witch hazel in it – which is extremely astringent and of course it was going to sting! I then gave my skin 12 hours down time with no more products applied and let it settle as advised.

I noticed an improvement in my skin in literally 24 hours. I looked healthy, glowing and honestly much more even in colouring. My scarring seemed to improve and my active acne began to retreat. It was truly remarkable, I would take the 4 or 5 minutes of pain any day for those results

I don’t think I would repurchase simply for the fact that I had to pay a high customs fee – but it was a great kit to start me off with.

When researching the home procedure a little bit more I was surprised to find that there are so many home kits available on the market with many priced at under €100. So definitely shop around if you are confident about using a home kit, otherwise, leave it to the professionals at a skincare clinic!

I even discovered a brand called Radar,a which used 3D printed patches that work in a similar manner to micro-needling but are pain-free and completely sterile as they are single use only.www.radara.co.uk / www.askinology.com

This is a craze that actually delivers results, requires very little downtime, and unlike a chemical peel you don’t end up with all of that icky peeling skin before you see results. There are different sizes of micro-needles to suit everyone’s skin type and tolerance, so do a little reading to make sure you get the right one.

To finish, you can apply products like Hyaluronic Acid directly onto the skin, and it will penetrate the micro channels created by the micro-needles deep into the dermis where it will work its magic from the inside out.

The Net Result. An effective salon type treatment that actually works and delivers impressive results.