If peels and microdermabrasion aren't enough to undo decades of neglect, you can dig a little deeper with microneedling. It's an anti-aging therapy that uses a device to manually or mechanically puncture the skin with fine needles to create micro wounds that spur the body's healing process to fill with collagen. Studies have shown that it's effective at increasing collagen and elasticity in treated areas, and has a relatively short downtime of around 24 hours during which your skin looks like it has a light sunburn.
It's also used to deliver topicals to enhance collagen production. Ever heard of the Vampire Facial made popular by the Kardashians? That's microneedling plus your body's plasma applied over the wounds to generate even more collagen production. While the treatment is typically performed in medical clinics, some states permit microneedling in spas using needles with shallow depths using a tool that the esthetician manually rolls over the skin. But that may not be such a good thing.
"It's a reasonably invasive procedure that can introduce disease," says Hollmig, who refers to the service as, "the poor man's Fraxel" — a laser treatment that burns microscopic holes in your skin that fill with collagen as they heal. To prevent infection, spa goers will want to make sure that any needles used are sterile and follow proper aftercare, which means keeping skin clean and no going to the gym right after having their face punctured 1,000 or more times.
Verdict: Do this if you're not ready for lasers but want fast collagen growth with minimal downtime.