Can I Use Vitamin C Serum After Microneedling?

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Microneedling is known to have many benefits, from improving acne scars to tightening and smoothing aging skin. Although it can be an excellent way to achieve results without surgery or downtown, there are some precautions you should take with this procedure. 

Aftercare can make or break your results with microneedling, so it’s essential to be aware of what will help or interfere with your outcome. When applied correctly Vitamin C serum can do wonders for your skin, but is it helpful to use it after microneedling?  

Microneedling treatments involve using a device to create tiny holes or tears in the skin, therefore using a highly potent vitamin C serum immediately after a microneedling procedure will likely cause irritation and slow healing. Most experts recommend waiting at least 48 hours after your treatment before applying vitamin C serum. 

But there is a caveat to this; some dermatologists do promote applying a mild C serum low in acidity to actually speed the healing process. 

In this case, it is recommended to stick to a C serum containing Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP), which is a gentler form of vit C that is much less likely to cause skin sensitivity. Other variations such as L-ascorbic acid will be too harsh. 

To further understand how this procedure can help correct skin concerns, it’s important to know what micro-needling actually does. Let’s take a look…

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling also called collagen induction therapy, is a treatment that uses a handheld device with tiny needles to create microchannels in the skin. These channels allow for better penetration of topical medications, vitamins, and other treatments.

The procedure has become very popular because it helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, acne, and stretch marks.  

It also promotes collagen production, making the skin tighter and more elastic.

How Does it Work?

The microneedles penetrate the outer layer of the skin, creating small wounds that heal quickly. This allows medications to reach deeper layers of the skin where it can work on its intended purpose.

When our skin experiences any type of trauma, collagen and elastin production increases to help heal the wound. Collagen and elastin are important proteins found in connective tissue which help keep our skin firm and elastic. 

In response to the microtraumas created in this treatment, an uptick in collagen production can then result in smoother, clearer skin.  

The Benefits of Microneedling:

  • Improves Skin Tone and Texture
  • Tightens Skin
  • Reduces Fine Lines & Wrinkles
  • Promotes Collagen Production
  • Improves Acne Scarring
  • Reduces Stretch Marks
  • Fights Aging

What is Vitamin C Serum?

Vitamin C serum is a liquid formula with a high concentration of vitamin C used to target several different skin concerns. These serums can be oil or water-based, and often contain additional ingredients to boost their effectiveness.  

How Vitamin C Serum Helps Your Skin

Vitamin C is one of the best serums to include in your skincare routine. It is one of the most effective treatments for hyperpigmentation, aging, and acne. Vitamin C serums have antioxidant properties that help to protect the skin from the free radical damage that occurs with sun exposure. Free radicals can change the cellular structure and cause inflammation. 

This structural change in the cells will also lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin which are the building blocks of healthy skin. 

Vitamin C can help to improve skin tone for a more even appearance.

It inhibits the production of melanin, fading dark spots and brightening skin tone, giving it a more healthy glow.

Like microneedling, Vitamin C helps to stimulate collagen output and improve skin health. This results in better texture and elasticity, fewer lines and wrinkles, and more radiant skin.

Research also indicates that applying vitamin C serum under a broad-spectrum sunscreen is more effective at reducing free radical damage from sun exposure than just sunscreen alone. 

Using Vitamin C Serum After Microneedling

It is clear that both the effects of microneedling and topical Vitamin C can be very beneficial for your skin. But do the two of these work in tandem? This is controversial as not all dermatologists agree.

Some believe that vitamin C should be avoided for 2-3 days after a micro needling procedure to prevent sensitive skin from further redness, mild swelling, and irritation. Others prescribe vitamin C for aftercare to speed healing. 

As mentioned earlier, there are different forms and concentrations of vitamin C. A lower concentrate in a milder form such as Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate can help to limit any of the negative side effects.

But in researching the after-care protocols of over 100 board-certified dermatologists, Vitamin C in the first 48 hours after collagen induction therapy is overwhelmingly discouraged. Most feel that the risks outweigh the possible benefits. Can it be done without any problems? Yes, but according to the experts, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  

What to apply after microneedling?

It is imperative that any product you apply after a microneedling treatment is natural, non-abrasive, and free from fragrance and irritants. After collagen induction therapy, your skin will often be inflamed and dry. 

The tiny punctures that penetrate the natural skin barrier allow moisture to dissipate causing dehydration and dry skin. But these small ruptures also allow for greater transdermal absorption, so this is an opportune time to apply specific products that will moisturize and supplement the deeper layers of the dermis. 

In considering skincare products to apply immediately following a treatment session, you must be sure to only apply products that are soothing and will enhance collagen production without causing further skin irritation.

Since this treatment increases transdermal absorption, it is also essential to only apply natural products that can be safely absorbed into tissues and blood.  

To aid in hydration, most dermatologists recommend using a serum consisting of hyaluronic acid only. Many serums contain other vitamins or ingredients that will be abrasive or aggravating, so these should be avoided.  

Your skin will be much more sensitive to the sun, so you will want to use a mineral-based full-spectrum sunscreen 2-3 days following the procedure, but for the first few days avoid sunscreens and stay out of the sun.     

Some skincare experts favor the use of Green Tea Oil also known as Tea Seed Oil (not to be confused with Tea Tree Oil). This natural substance contains a readily bio-available form of vitamin C and E to help heal and protect the skin. Because these vitamins occur naturally in Green Tea Oil, they are much more easily absorbed than synthetic forms, therefore a smaller concentration is needed to obtain benefits. 

Since Vitamin C can be irritating in higher concentrations, Green Tea Oil is a topical product that can provide the benefits of Vitamin C without causing sensitivity. The vitamin C in Tea Seed Oil can provide some protection from sun damage as well. 

What To Avoid After Microneedling

Because this treatment initially creates micro-injuries to the skin cells, products that contain abrasive or inflammatory ingredients should be avoided for the first few days. In essence, washing with tepid water and moisturizing with a pure hyaluronic acid serum are the only essentials. The following is a list of things to stay away from for at least the first 48 hours after your procedure:

  • Vitamin A (retinols)
  • Perfumes
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) 
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid(BHA)
  • Scrubs
  • Cleansing brushes 
  • Direct sunlight or tanning beds
  • Sweating or intense exercise
  • Swimming pools or hot tubs

When can I moisturize after microneedling?

You can moisturize with pure hyaluronic acid serums immediately following microneedling. Other moisturizers with reactive ingredients other than hyaluronic acid should not be used for the first 48 hours as they can lead to blocked pores and other adverse reactions. 

What is the difference between Microneedling and Dermarolling?

Microneedling (collagen induction therapy) refers to an in-office procedure performed by a licensed esthetician or medical professional using an automated pen with tiny sterile surgical grade needles to create very controlled micro-injuries to the skin. 

In contrast, Derma rolling is usually done at home and is performed using a small wheel covered with fine needles to gently prick the face.

With a microneedling procedure, the needle’s depth and penetration rate (how quickly the pen vibrates) is carefully controlled. 

Unlike microneedling, it is impossible to perfectly control the amount of pressure used when derma rolling. This can lead to irritation and scarring if not done correctly.  

Also, in collagen induction therapy, needles vertically enter your skin. Dermal roller needles enter your skin at an angle because of the round shape of the roller. The slanted angle of the needles can cause tearing and scarring. 

These two skin treatments have the same end goal: to create micro-injuries to the skin that will in turn boost the production of collagen. But as you can see derma roller treatments at home have risks that you might not want to take. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of antioxidants?

Your skin needs antioxidants to fight off the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative damage.

What are Serums?

Serums are lightweight liquid skincare products with a high concentration of their active ingredient designed to target a specific skin concern such as acne or aging skin. 

How much does microneedling cost?

A professional microneedling session can cost anywhere from $100-$800 depending on where and who performs it. Generally, it will take 4-6 sessions to obtain the maximum benefits for your particular skin concern. 

What are the risks of microneedling?

Because microneedling works by creating tears in your skin, it makes your skin more prone to irritation and infection in the first few days afterward.

Can vitamin C help prevent skin aging?

Vitamin C’s free-radical fighting and collagen-boosting properties help to improve skin texture and tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and protect against future damage. Although many skin care products with vitamin C are marketed for their anti-aging benefits, vitamin C can help keep your skin healthy, strong, and clear at any age.

More On The Amazing Powers of Vitamin C Serum

Click the links below to learn more vitamin C serums

Can I Use Vitamin C Serum After Microdermabrasion?

Does Vitamin C Serum Help With Acne?

How Often Should I Use Vitamin C Serum?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Special offer for our visitors

Get your Free Skincare Guide

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions