SkinPen Microneedling vs. Traditional Treatments: Which is Right for You?

Esthetician giving skinpen microneedling treatment | The Steele Vault in Holladay, UT

Choosing the right skincare treatment can be daunting, especially with the myriad options available. Microneedling, also known as collage induction therapy, has become well-known for those looking to improve their skin’s texture and tone, but not all microneedling treatments are created equal. Traditional microneedling has been a go-to for years, offering notable benefits for various skin concerns and skin tightening. However, SkinPen microneedling has introduced a new level of precision and efficacy, promising enhanced results with less downtime. Familiarizing the differences between these treatments is key to determining the best fit for your skin’s unique needs.

What is Traditional Microneedling?

Traditional microneedling is a skincare procedure involving a roller device covered with tiny needles. These needles induce micro-injuries on the skin’s surface as the device is rolled across it. Inducing these micro-injuries stimulates the body’s natural healing reaction, which in turn creates new collagen and elastin cells. Collagen and elastin are proteins that sustain the skin’s firmness, elasticity, and overall health.

The technique has been used for many years to manage various skin concerns, including fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin texture. The small punctures the needles create to trigger the skin’s repair mechanisms, producing new, healthy skin cells. 

A key feature of traditional microneedling is its ability to enhance the absorption of topical treatments. Creating channels in the skin allows for deeper penetration of serums and other skincare products, maximizing their effectiveness. However, the roller device can sometimes cause uneven penetration and increased bleeding or pain, particularly when used on small or curved face areas.

Introducing SkinPen Microneedling

SkinPen microneedling is an advanced skincare treatment that has gained recognition for its precision and effectiveness. Unlike traditional microneedling, which uses a roller device, SkinPen employs a pen-like device equipped with fine microneedles. This design allows for more controlled and consistent micro-injuries to the skin, promoting a more uniform healing process.

As the first FDA-cleared microneedling device, SkinPen is backed by rigorous clinical testing and a commitment to safety and efficacy. The procedure involves three simple steps: inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. Initially, the microneedles penetrate the skin, triggering an immune response that disinfects, removes debris, increases blood flow, and activates the creation of new tissue. During the proliferation phase, the micro-channels created by the SkinPen are rebuilt with new granulation cells that include collagen proteins. Finally, new dermal tissues rich in collagen and elastin are formed in the remodeling phase, resulting in improved skin quality.

The main key feature of SkinPen microneedling is its minimal downtime. Patients typically experience little to no recovery time, allowing them to renew their daily activities quickly. This makes it an attractive option for busy people who still want to achieve significant skin rejuvenation.

The precision of the SkinPen device makes it applicable to all skin types, even sensitive skin. It is particularly effective for treating surface-level concerns such as scars, large pores, and fine lines, providing visible skin texture and tone improvements. The SkinPen’s customizable settings also allow practitioners to adjust the treatment to each patient’s individual needs, enhancing the overall experience and results.

Key Differences Between SkinPen and Traditional Microneedling

SkinPen microneedling offers a more precise, controlled, and comfortable treatment experience with consistent results and minimal downtime:

Device Design

  • Traditional Microneedling: Utilizes a roller device covered with tiny needles.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: Uses a pen-like device with fine microneedles, offering more precision and control.


  • Traditional Microneedling: The roller device may penetrate the skin at various angles, leading to uneven penetration.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: The pen-like device ensures vertical needle penetration, providing consistent and uniform treatment across the skin.

Precision and Control

  • Traditional Microneedling: Less precise, which can cause additional bleeding and pain, especially on small or curved areas.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: Highly precise, allowing for targeted treatment on small or intricate areas of the face with minimal discomfort and bleeding.

Depth of Penetration

  • Traditional Microneedling: Penetration depth can vary, potentially affecting the consistency of results.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: Offers adjustable needle depths, ensuring optimal penetration for various skin concerns and consistent results.


  • Traditional Microneedling: Suitable for general skin improvement but may not be ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive or delicate areas.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and can effectively address surface-level concerns such as scars and fine lines.

Recovery Time

  • Traditional Microneedling: Recovery can involve more redness and longer downtime.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: Minimal downtime, with most patients experiencing only mild redness that subsides quickly.

Treatment Results

  • Traditional Microneedling: Effective for enhancing skin texture and tone, but results can be inconsistent.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: Provides superior skin rejuvenation with more predictable and visible improvements over time.

Safety and Efficacy

  • Traditional Microneedling: Generally safe but less regulated compared to newer technologies.
  • SkinPen Microneedling: FDA-cleared and clinically tested, ensuring a high standard of safety and efficacy.

SkinPen Microneedling Before and After Care

By following these before- and after-care guidelines, you can maximize the benefits of SkinPen microneedling and ensure a smooth, effective recovery process​.

Before Care

  1. Consultation:
    • Consult thoroughly with a certified practitioner to discuss your skin concerns, medical history, and desired outcomes.
    • Evaluate if SkinPen microneedling is the right treatment for your skin type and condition.
  2. Pre-Treatment Skin Care:
    • Avoid using retinoids, exfoliants, and other potent skincare products for at least 48 hours before the treatment.
    • As advised by your healthcare provider, discontinue the use of blood-thinning medications and supplements, such as aspirin and vitamin E.
    • Ensure your skin is clean and free from makeup, lotions, or other skincare products on the day of the procedure.
  3. Sun Exposure:
    • Minimize sun exposure and avoid tanning beds for at least a week prior to the treatment to reduce the risk of irritation and complications.

After Care

  1. Immediate Post-Treatment:
    • Expect some redness, swelling, and mild irritation similar to a sunburn. These effects typically subside within a few hours to a couple of days.
    • Avoid touching or applying anything to the treated area for at least 24 hours.
  2. Skin Care Routine:
    • Use gentle, hydrating cleansers and moisturizers as recommended by your practitioner.
    • For at least a week after treatment, avoid using active ingredients like retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).
  3. Sun Protection:
    • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, even if staying indoors, to protect the skin and prevent hyperpigmentation.
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible for the first week.
  4. Healing and Recovery:
    • Refrain from strenuous activities, heavy sweating, and swimming for at least 48 hours post-treatment to prevent irritation and infection.
    • Avoid makeup for the first 24 hours to allow the skin to breathe and heal properly.
  5. Follow-Up Treatments:
    • Multiple sessions may be needed, depending on your skin concerns and goals. Your practitioner will plan an appropriate treatment schedule.


Experience the precision and efficacy of SkinPen microneedling at The Steele Vault. Our staff ensures you achieve the radiant, youthful complexion you deserve.

Book your assessment today and discover the benefits of SkinPen microneedling. Visit The Steele Vault to schedule your appointment and take the first step toward healthier, rejuvenated skin. Don’t wait—your best skin is just an appointment away!

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