x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Try micro-needling as an anti-ageing alternative to Botox

Micro-needling mesotherapy, offered at The Cure Beauty Spas in Dubai, is popular with those seeking alternatives to Botox.

Micro-needling uses a roller set with 300 microscopic needles. Courtesy MicroNeedle Roller System
Micro-needling uses a roller set with 300 microscopic needles. Courtesy MicroNeedle Roller System

Botox is not the only way to delay ageing. With all the talk of preventative measures being as important as curative, I decided to try out micro-needling mesotherapy – offered at a few clinics and salons in Dubai and popular with those seeking alternatives to traditional Botox or fillers.

The Cure Beauty Spas in Dubai have been offering the treatment since 2011 and the founder, Nadia Ivanova-Briggs, says it is now one of the most popular treatments in The Cure menu.

What is it?

A roller set with 300 microscopic needles is run over the face, and collagen and vitamin C are then smoothed onto the skin; the claim is that these serums are absorbed more efficiently after micro-­needling. The roller, which is also said to stimulate collagen production, is then used once more to ensure optimum absorption.

The US-based Dr Joseph Greco, who created the treatment, says the technique increases the remoulding of the skin by creating thousands of microscopic channels in the skin, thus increasing the formation of new tissue by activating the body’s healing properties, a method of collagen-­enhancement therapy.

“We decided to add micro-needling mesotherapy because it is in high demand in the beauty facial industry because it is a non-invasive way to improve your skin, fight ageing and improve the complexion,” says Ivanova-Briggs. “It is quite popular among all women regardless of age as it solves different issues based on the cocktail of serums [vitamins, collagen, etc] used.”

The history

The earliest form of micro-­needling comes from ancient Chinese acupuncture. Nappage, a French skin rejuvenation technique that’s been around for 50 years, is another form of micro-needling where micro incisions are made in the skin placing a drop of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to replace depleted cellular levels.

At The Cure, the therapists are trained by Nimue, the dermalogical brand that also provides the products for the hour-long treatment.

The treatment

While my session was an hour long, the micro-needling takes only around 10 to 15 minutes, being applied on the face, neck and decolletage. For long-lasting effects, six once-weekly sessions are recommended. I found it to be a fairly uncomfortable process, especially around sensitive areas such as the eyes and the forehead although Flor, my therapist, was gentle. Later, a cooling face mask was applied, during which I was given a massage. I can honestly say that there was some reduction in my fine lines, my main concern being my smile lines.

The pros and cons

Dr Hassan Galadari, an associate professor at UAE University and a dermatologist at Galadari Derma (galadariderma.com) in Dubai, says micro-needling mesotherapy is seen as an alternative to injectables, such as Botox or collagen, but believes that collagen cannot be absorbed this way and says it “needs to be injected to have any effect”.

Does topical application help? “Well, standardised studies are lacking, although some reports say it works but requires multiple treatments, which can be expensive,” says Galadari. “We know antioxidants are important, but I wouldn’t call this an immediate result. If there are surface issues, mottling and creping [of the skin], then by all means, go for micro-needling. But to treat lines, hollowness and wrinkles, injectables such as Botox are the way to go.”

The details

While a single treatment costs Dh650, a course of six sessions is recommended. The roller costs an extra Dh250, which can be used for up to 12 sessions. The package costs Dh3,250; the sixth session and roller are complimentary. The Cure has branches in Dubai Media City and Green Community. Call 04 391 6485 to book.