Dear Derm: Micro-Needling And Chemical Peels, Are They For Me?

Not all facial peels are created equal.

Peels sometimes get a bad rap.

While they’ve been proven to reduce serious signs of ageing – fine lines, rosacea acne, uneven texture – and hailed as the miracle product by dermatologists across the globe, a handful of cautionary tales (and at least one infamous Sex and the City episode) linger in the imagination.

And yet, according to experts, the resurfacing treatments remain one of the most effective skin solutions out there and are completely safe for year-round use.

Here, Dublin-based skincare specialist Ciara Darcy shares her top tips for peeling safely for all skin types. 

"As much as I love SATC, that episode has scared so many people about peels," she says.

"To look like Samantha (if you haven't seen it - red raw!) you would need to go to a doctor for a TCA peel. This is a whole other level.

"The peels I do are light to medium depth. They work by gently loosening connections between dead skin cells, encouraging exfoliation and stimulating new cell growth. Your skin immediately after looks so glowy, so much so that you'll want to wander around your local Tesco in hope that you bump into someone you know!

"There is minimal downtime - leave your skin free from products the day you have it done, no exercise for 24 hours. You can wear makeup the next day if you wish. I recommend having a peel done two weeks before an event, I feel like it takes 7 - 10 days to really see the results. Absolute game-changer if you've never had one done!"

Ciara – who boasts over ten years in the industry – has just recently moved into a new spot in Upper Pembroke Street and offers micro-needling and peels to anyone looking to stave off Botox for another few years. 

Her results have to be seen to be believed, ranging from drastic inflammation overhauls to complete fine line elimination

A fervent believer in her treatments, she assesses skin thoroughly and engages with each customer on a personal level before suggesting anything. 

Micro-needling is one of her most popular treatments. 

"Microneedling is a skin rejuvenation treatment using a derma roller or derma pen. It creates tiny incisions in the dermis using microscopic needles. This stimulates the fibroblasts (where collagen and elastin are made) so it increases cell renewal.

"It also creates little channels in the skin for vitamins and hyaluronic acid (used during treatment) to penetrate deeper in order to work more effectively. I use a numbing cream beforehand which makes it virtually pain-free. Your skin is three thousand times more absorbent after a micro-needling treatment, three thousand - mental!

"The results with micro-needling are phenomenal - pores are less visible, skin feels & looks smoother, fine lines shrink and acne scarring over time disappears. I can't rate micro-needling any higher than I already do."

For those dealing with long-suffering skin issues, the thought of potentially aggravating anything further is enough to swear you off treatments for life. But, Ciara's gentle approach and thorough skin assessments mean that your skin is in good hands. 

"When you have a skin condition you can feel like the only person in the world suffering," Ciara says.

"Acne and rosacea are so common. One in ten people has a form of rosacea. Treatments and products have advanced so much that it is easier to treat than you may have originally believed. Finding a skin specialist that you trust is probably the hardest part.

"Get advice from a few before deciding what treatments & products you want to start using. For scarring, I would recommend micro-needling. For acne and rosacea, I would recommend peels. A skin consultation above everything else is paramount."

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