Blood and Glory

Men's Health (UK) - - Saving Face -

Now, I’m go­ing to blame my­self for what hap­pened next, be­cause I hadn’t re­searched it prop­erly. I’d as­sumed that mi­cro-needling would be a gen­tle pro­ce­dure, dur­ing which five or so tiny nee­dles would be brushed against the sur­face of my skin by an an­gel on a cloud. I mean, they don’t call it macro- needling. So, I signed up for a ses­sion at Re­gents Park Aes­thet­ics in Lon­don – and was in­stantly proved wrong.

This is what mi­cro-needling ac­tu­ally en­tails: a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional rubs a pen across your face. The pen has 32 nee­dles in its tip, each of which bur­rows 2mm into your skin at a rate of 12,000rpm. I was ex­pect­ing five stabs, tops. If I’ve done my maths right, it was closer to seven mil­lion. Seven mil­lion face stabs. And I felt ev­ery sin­gle one of them.

Mi­cro-needling works by cre­at­ing tiny in­juries to your face that your body rushes to fix. This en­cour­ages re­gen­er­a­tion and in­creased col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, which helps you look brighter and younger, with pores that look less like me­teor craters. It was good for gen­eral use, I was told, but es­pe­cially great for any­one with acne scars.

How­ever, it hurt. Je­sus, God in heaven above, it hurt. Even with anaes­thetic cream ap­plied be­fore­hand, it hurt like noth­ing else on Earth. It felt like get­ting sun­burned, then hav­ing your sun­burn stung by a mil­lion bees, then be­ing wa­ter­boarded with vine­gar. Half­way through the treat­ment – and I prom­ise this isn’t an ex­ag­ger­a­tion – I started to

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