As an aesthetic professional, you probably get asked a version of this question a lot, because Microneedling and Botox are among the most sought after treatments by patients who want to improve the appearance of fine lines, acne scars, wrinkles, as well as boost collagen and elastin production.
Unfortunately, as you know, the internet is full of misleading and inaccurate information. Plus the sheer amount of information makes filtering so difficult that even the best of us get it wrong sometimes. Since we manufacture and sell one of the best microneedling pens on the market, we’d like to think we also know at least a thing or two about this conversation.
Our goal with this post is that you pick up a thing or two to help you talk to your clients about their options. If you’re a consumer reading this, consider yourself ahead of the game 😉
So is microneedling better than Botox? The answer is, of course, it depends.
Microneedling addresses different skin issues and deciding which one to choose depends on your client’s skin goals and preferences. So, in order for you to help your client make the best decision for them, you need to be on the same page about the key differences between Microneedling and Botox.
What Is Microneedling?
We know you already know what Microneedling is. But here’s how we would explain (not sell it) to patients:
Microneedling is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that uses fine needles to treat and improve common skin issues such as acne scarring, wrinkles, pigmentation and stretch marks. Microneedling works by creating tiny, superficial punctures on the upper layer of your skin, activating your body’s natural healing processes. These microneedles penetrate your skin from 0.25 millimeters to 2.5 millimeters in depth depending on what skin condition is being treated. That’s why it’s called Microneedling, the punctures are so thin that they cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Your body responds to these tiny punctures in your skin by creating new capillaries that work to improve blood flow and enhance your skin’s texture and structure. There are virtually no adverse signs of the procedure once healed and you don’t have to worry about scarring.
This treatment can technically be used all over the body but is more commonly used as a treatment against facial lines, enlarged pores, acne scars, and other facial problems. These micro injuries created by a microneedling pen or tool rejuvenize the skin by activating collagen production and boosting its skin renewal efforts.
How Is Microneedling Different From Botox?
Again, we know you know this already, but your patients may not, and how you answer questions like these certainly counts. Our version goes like this:
As you know, as we age, our skin loses elasticity, producing saggy skin, fine lines, and a lack-lustre complexion. Yes, injectables like Botox remain a well-known option when it comes to reversing the effects of aging and environmental damage.
But while Botox is great in the hands of a professional, not everyone is excited about the idea of injecting a foreign substance into their bodies if they don’t have to. Also Botox is only effective on dynamic muscles, those that are created by movement (Ex. crow’s feet and forehead lines). These are some of the reasons why Microneedling is steadily gaining popularity, and why more beauty enthusiasts are wondering whether to book Botox or a Microneedling session as part of their skincare regimen.
Here are some reasons why many people are choosing Microneedling as the go-to skin resurfacing procedure over Botox the muscle relaxer:
As with most dermatological procedures, Botox injections cost an average of $350 per treatment. This can go upwards of $500 to $700 depending on the size of the area being treated and how many units you need to see the results you want.
On the other hand, Microneedling procedures cost an average of $200 per treatment to as much as $600, depending once again on your location.
2) Sustainability & Safety
Saving $100 by choosing Microneedling procedures as opposed to Botox definitely adds up over time. That’s an easy win.
Invariably some of your more research-oriented clients will mention or ask about DIY Microneedling. Unlike Botox injections which have to be done in-clinic only and can’t be purchased by the general public, patients could potentially buy dermatologist-approved microneedling devices online (we require a license number for MD Needle Pen) and attempt to use them at home. We strongly advise you not to do that.
Getting the best results from Microneedling requires training, practice, knowledge of skin conditions, treatment depth, and skin care products. Ensuring your safety requires specific operation protocols along with disinfection and cleaning.
If you buy a home roller – it’s not the same thing and won’t give you the same results. Derma rollers cannot be adjusted to specific depths in different areas of the face as compared to professional microneedling pens. These rollers will stimulate blood vessels temporarily to brighten the skin, but won’t give you the same results as professional microneedling. And, both home microneedling and derma rollers can and will spread germs and cause infection if not cleaned properly, something that most people are just not set up to do well at home.
3) Flexibility of Use
Botox is a standalone injectable that mainly addresses skin problems of fine lines and wrinkles. Microneedling, on the other hand, can be used as a standalone treatment but it can also be supplemented with active skincare ingredients such as serums and acids, as well as radiofrequency treatments.
4) Treatment Use
Botox is still one of the best treatments for fine lines, but it doesn’t really offer anything other than that. Its primary ingredient, botulinum toxin, limits muscle movement, which prevents the formation of fine lines altogether. While it is a wonder miracle against crow’s feet and glabella and forehead lines, it fails to address a whole other range of skin concerns.
Microneedling, on the other hand, is a diverse treatment that is used for a variety of purposes, including fine lines and wrinkles. Microneedling is used to address problems regarding complexion, pores, acne scars, oiliness, pigmentation and texture. Studies are even seeing the potential of Micro needling as a treatment against stretch marks and hair regrowth, making it a viable treatment for a host of skin problems.
Results from Botox may show up fast but it comes at the cost of looking natural. There is a potential for patients to have the unnatural “frozen” look, where one area of the upper face is totally flat and then there are strange wrinkles in a different area. Even having no facial movement anywhere is not ideal for most patients. Botox results do take 10 to 14 days to show up and only last 3 to 4 months.
In contrast, Microneedling results are immediate but don’t produce unnatural changes to your appearance. Patients see a gradual improvement on their skin texture and complexion three to four weeks after the procedure, without going through the unnatural phase that the majority of Botox patients do. Plus, Microneedling results continue to improve for up to 3 months after the procedure!
What Are the Main Benefits of Microneedling vs Botox?
Here are the specific reasons why you and your clients may want to consider Microneedling instead of Botox:
1) Microneedling Boosts Collagen Production
Botox works by freezing muscle movement which effectively prevents the formation of fine lines and softens wrinkles. Microneedling works by naturally stimulating collagen production that lessens the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars. This is especially useful for older patients who no longer produce the same amount of collagen without the use of any harsh chemicals or risky laser procedures.
2) Fewer Side Effects and Little to No Downtime
Botox can cause an unnatural look along with eyelid droop. In addition, lasers and chemical peels cannot safely be performed on all skin colors and can be harsh on the face, especially if your skin is not particularly used to such treatments. Microneedling is compatible with all skin types and can be adjusted to different configurations for specific skin conditions. Dermatologists can customize your treatment depending on your skin’s needs in that specific area of the face.
Results show up in as little as 24 hours after the procedure. Unlike injectables and laser treatments, side effects that take anywhere from a couple of days to a full month to heal, Microneedling lets you get back to your life as quickly as possible. Although side effects like swelling and redness are common, they are typically resolved 24 to 72 hours after your treatment.
3) Microneedling is a Non-Invasive Procedure that Addresses Scars and Sun Damage
Treating scars and hyperpigmentation often require lasers and dermal fillers, which may not always be the most effective option for patients. With Microneedling, patients can undergo a non-invasive procedure specifically designed to increase the rate of cell turnover and break up scar tissue, improving the appearance of hyperpigmentation spots and acne scars.
Ultimately, deciding between Microneedling and botox depends on your beauty goals and skincare routine. If you want a no-fuss way of maintaining your glowy skin while making natural improvements to its appearance, an in-office microneedling treatment is what you need to get amazing results.
Learn more: Is Nano Needling Better than Microneedling?