Microneedling is a noninvasive and effective skincare treatment involving tiny needles to create controlled micro-injuries on the skin. This stimulates collagen and elastin production, improving the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and stretch marks.

However, your aftercare is just as important as the actual treatment. After the treatment, your skin will have multiple micro-wounds, so it will be sensitive. For this reason, you can’t just return to your usual skincare routine immediately; you risk developing complications. There are also certain products you can’t use on your skin within the first days after the treatment.

We put together this article to help you better understand the dos and don’ts of proper microneedling aftercare. Here, you’ll find expert tips and advice on what to use, what to avoid, how to take care of your skin post-treatment, and whether it’s safe to exercise or consume alcohol after the treatment.

The Healing Stages: What to Expect After a Microneedling Procedure

  • Immediately After the Procedure

Immediately after a microneedling treatment, your skin may appear red, tender, or tight. This is normal and should subside within a few hours to a few days, depending on the intensity of the treatment. Some patients may also experience minor swelling, which can be alleviated by applying a cold compress to the treated area.

It is important to avoid touching or rubbing the treated area for the first few days post-treatment to prevent irritation or infection. You should also avoid applying any makeup or skincare products for at least 24 hours after the procedure to allow your skin to absorb the benefits of the treatment entirely.

  • Days 1-3 

During the first few days after a microneedling treatment, your skin may feel tight and slightly dry. This is normal as the micro-injuries created by the needles stimulate the body’s natural healing response, which can lead to increased skin cell turnover.

To ensure optimal healing and results, it is essential to keep the treated area hydrated by applying a gentle, hydrating moisturizer multiple times a day. You should also avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

  • Days 4-7 

You may notice some peeling or flaking of the skin. This is a sign of the skin’s natural exfoliation process and is normal as your skin sheds dead skin cells and reveals a fresher, brighter complexion.

During this time, it is important to avoid picking or scratching the treated area, as this can lead to scarring and delay the healing process. You should also continue to apply a gentle moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and protected.

  • Days 8-14 

Around day eight to 14 after the microneedling treatment, you may notice an improvement in the overall appearance of your skin. Your skin may appear smoother, brighter, and more even in tone and texture.

To maintain the treatment results, it is crucial to continue to care for your skin by using a gentle cleanser, hydrating moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen. You may also consider incorporating skin-rejuvenating products into your skincare routine to enhance the microneedling treatment results further.

Skin Care Products to Use or Avoid After the Procedure

  • Avoid Exfoliants, Retinoids, And Acids

After a microneedling treatment, your skin is already undergoing a natural exfoliation process. Using harsh exfoliants or scrubs can further irritate your skin and delay healing.

You must also avoid using retinoids and acids like glycolic and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) at least a week after your procedure.

Once 3 full days have passed, you can start wearing makeup again. Ensure you choose mineral-based formulas that are gentle on your skin and won’t clog your pores.

  • Use Gentle Cleansers, Hydrating Moisturizers, And Skin-Rejuvenating Serums

After microneedling, your skin may be more sensitive and prone to irritation, so it’s important to use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Run any cleansers or toners that you plan to use by your doctor to make sure the ingredients won’t worsen side effects.

Look for a moisturizer that contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides. These ingredients can also stimulate collagen production after your procedure. Skin-rejuvenating serums that contain peptides or growth factors can further enhance the treatment results.

If your skin feels dry, it’s best to apply only natural, organic products such as green tea oil and coconut oil. These oils lock in moisture, deeply moisturizing your skin and reducing the sensation of dryness.

Microneedling Aftercare Precautions

  • Protect Your Skin from the Sun

One of the most important things to remember after microneedling is to avoid sun exposure for about 1 to 2 weeks or more following the treatment. The newly formed collagen and elastin fibers are still fragile and can be easily damaged by UV rays, leading to hyperpigmentation and other skin damage. These rules apply to sun tanning and artificial tanning in salons.

If you need to go outside, wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every 2-3 hours. You may also want to wear a hat or use an umbrella to provide extra protection.

  • Keep Your Skin Hydrated

After microneedling, your skin may feel dry, tight, and flaky. Keeping your skin well-hydrated is important to promote healing and prevent further damage. Use a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to help soothe and hydrate your skin.

Avoid using products containing harsh ingredients such as retinoids, acids, or alcohol, as these can further irritate your skin and delay the healing process.

  • Avoid Makeup and Skincare Products

For the first 24-48 hours after microneedling, it’s best to avoid using any makeup or skincare products on your skin. This includes cleansers, toners, and exfoliants. Your skin needs time to heal; any products applied to it may irritate the skin and cause further damage. The same thing applies to cleaning brushes.

After the first two days, you can start using gentle products free of harsh chemicals and fragrances. Be sure to patch-test any new products before using them on your face.

  • Don’t Pick or Scratch Your Skin

It’s natural for your skin to feel itchy and flaky after microneedling, but it’s important not to pick or scratch your skin. This can introduce bacteria into the microchannels created by the needles and cause infection.

To prevent itching and irritation, use a cool compress or a hydrating mist to soothe your skin. You can also apply a healing ointment such as Aquaphor to help reduce redness and promote healing.

  • Avoid Strenuous Exercise and Hot Showers

For the first 24-72 hours after microneedling, avoiding activities that may cause excessive sweating or heat is crucial. This includes strenuous exercise, hot showers, and saunas.

Excessive sweating can increase the risk of infections in the micro-wounds on your skin, while hot showers and saunas can cause vasodilation, leading to increased swelling and inflammation.

  • Avoid Swimming

Another practice you should put on hold after your treatment is swimming. The salty sea water may cause stings due to micro wounds. At the same time, chlorinated pools are often high in bacteria. You risk developing an itchy rash and a skin infection in both cases.

  • Do not Take Alcohol

Alcohol is not recommended in at least 24-48 hours post-microneedling treatment. Alcohol can dehydrate your body and cause blood vessels to dilate, increasing the risk of bleeding and bruising.


Proper aftercare for your skin following a microneedling treatment can significantly improve the outcome of your treatment. Not only will proper aftercare alleviate any discomfort or symptoms, but you’ll also be protecting your skin from damage as it heals.

Contact Skin Clinic Robina

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and can rapidly spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. However, if detected early, it can almost always be treated successfully. Arrange for a skin check today, with one of our trained specialists at Skin Clinic Robina, the Gold Coast’s premier melanoma treatment clinic.