Anyone who has done their research on skincare knows that the first step to maintaining a youthful glow and keeping your skin in tip-top condition is a good at-home skincare regime. It’s important to use the best skincare products that you can afford and concentrate on feeding your skin with active ingredients that are sure to show results. At-home skincare is super important but if you’re feeling like you need to bring in the big guns to tackle a specific skincare concern then professional treatments are no doubt the best approach.
If you’re serious about treating a skin concern, then investing in the right professional treatments is the best ways to get noticeable, long-lasting results. And, if it’s the best of the best skincare specialists you want, then look no further than medical aesthetics clinic, Pulse Dermatology & Laser.
World-class non-surgical aesthetic procedures
Located in Kenridge Durbanville, Pulse Dermatology & Laser is renowned for its results-driven approach to skincare. Owner Amy Knoetze is a well-respected Medical Aesthetics Therapist who started her skincare journey alongside London’s most celebrated dermatologists and plastic surgeons. She became a pioneer in the industry, going on to lead and train teams of medical therapists at E.F. Medispa – the top clinic chain in the United Kingdom – where she also lead the team to receive the UK’s Gold Standard Aesthetics Award in 2011. After returning to South Africa, Amy set her sights on a new journey in skincare and opened Pulse in 2014.
Offering world-class and cutting edge treatments for face, body and hair, Pulse Dermatology & Laser is a place where Capetonians go for the very best in non-surgical aesthetic procedures. Amy and her team of highly skilled medical aesthetic practitioners offer outstanding standards of care in a relaxing and comfortable environment. Pulse has become a much-loved spot for clients all around Cape Town seeking help for everything from unwanted hair to fine lines and wrinkles. The clinic offers a wide variety of medical aesthetic treatments, where you can choose from a menu of bespoke peels and facials, microneedling treatments, anti-ageing injectables, advanced fat removal and body sculpting treatments, advanced treatments for acne, and pain-free laser hair removal.
What is microneedling?
While I’m pretty good at maintaining a decent skincare regime at home, I have been noticing a few fine lines sprouting up around my eyes and mouth over the past year. Even with great results from my skincare regime and regular superficial peels, I felt like I needed to explore something a little more powerful to treat the early signs of ageing on my face… and when it comes to non-surgical treatments for fine lines and wrinkles, it doesn’t get more powerful than microneedling. I’ve been eager to start microneedling treatments for a little while now, so when I was invited to visit Pulse to meet Amy for a consultation and microneedling treatment I jumped at the chance.
Microneedling is a great treatment for those concerned with deeper acne scars, texture and pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and overall loss of collagen and elasticity. The minimally invasive treatment involves the insertion of micro-fine needles into the skin. The needles enter the skin at surface-level depth, puncturing the skin to create tiny ‘injuries’ which in turn stimulates the body’s collagen production. Collagen is an essential protein that helps keep our skin looking youthful, firm and smooth, but as we age, our production of collagen decreases and this contributes to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. To help facilitate healing after a microneedling treatment, the body produces and sends healing agents collagen and elastin to the skin, thereby helping to firm and smooth the skin while lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Getting to the point: microneedling at Pulse
The act of sticking tiny needles into your skin may sound crazy, but it’s so worth it when you see the results. Plus, in a reality, the treatment isn’t as extreme as it sounds. First off, you don’t ever see the needles and to do the treatment your therapist uses an automated micro-needling tool called a MicroPen. For my treatment at Pulse, Amy used the Eclipse MicroPen, one of the most advanced medical-grade automated micro-needling devices on the market. Using a sterile cartridge containing 12 tiny micro-points, the MicroPen enabled Amy to quickly and effectively treat my skin in just 15-minutes.
The treatment started with Amy applying a topical numbing cream to my skin (this topical anaesthetic really helps to minimise any possible discomfort during the treatment) which took about 30 minutes to kick in. Once the area was sufficiently numb, hyaluronic acid was applied to my skin, along with a special medical skin cocktail that Amy customised for my skin’s needs and concerns.
For each patient, the Pulse team applies a protein product as well as sterile Mesothetic solution based on the patient’s needs (for example vitamin A or C), to the skin. In many cases, Pulse therapists will combine the needling with a peel for collagen production to really intensify the treatment. This customised approach using cosmeceuticals and medical-grade skincare products to ensure optimal results is what truly sets Pulse apart from other beauty salons and spas offering microneedling treatments. On its own microneedling is a brilliant treatment but when paired with active ingredients that truly help to treat skin concerns, you’re ensured noticeable long-lasting results.
During the microneedling treatment, Amy gently pressed the pen against my skin and glided it across my face in a vertical direction, stopping every so often to concentrate on areas she thought needed more attention. This combination of a glide and stamping technique helps to ensure that the treatment is completely vertical, which offers better results and prevents the risk of creating micro-tears in the skin. The great thing about the Eclipse MicroPen is it’s tough enough to target any skin concern, but also gentle enough to treat more sensitive areas around the eyes and mouth where the skin is much thinner. This makes it ideal for targeting fine lines and wrinkles around the trickier areas which many other treatments can’t tackle.
After the microneedling was done, Amy applied a face mask and put me under an LED light to heal and nourish my skin after all that poking and prodding. The mask stayed on for 20-minutes during which time I was treated to a relaxing foot massage. The mask and LED light therapy offered an immediate cooling and soothing sensation for my skin, which was a welcomed treat after the intense microneedling session. I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort during the microneedling treatment, thanks to the numbing cream, but you can definitely feel like your skin is taking a bit of a beating as the pen glides over your face.
Once the first mask was removed, Amy applied a secondary soothing mask and SPF to protect my skin from the sun. Wearing a good quality SPF is extremely important in the weeks following a microneedling treatment as the skin is particularly sun-sensitive while it is healing. I was a little afraid to look in the mirror after the treatment but was pleasantly surprised to see that the mask and LED therapy had left my skin with a beautiful glow. Aside from a little redness, my skin looked radiant, fresh and rejuvenated.
Downtime and recovery after microneedling
If you’re interested in trying out microneedling treatments it’s important to remember that while minimally invasive, you will have some downtime following the procedure. It’s not advisable to book your treatment just before a special event or occasion. Your skin will be quite red in the hours following the treatment, and, at Pulse, you are sent home wearing a tailored-made mask, which means you can’t touch your skin for the rest of the day.
My skin was quite red in the evening following the treatment but calmed down a lot the next day. On the third day post-treatment, my skin started to peel quite noticeably on my forehead and chin. My skin felt very sensitive, tight and dry, almost like I had a sunburn. This continued for a few days afterwards but lucky for me, I had no social plans or meetings, so I just continued to follow a very gentle skincare regime until my skin healed. To combat the redness, I used Heliocare Gelcream tinted sunscreen which helped to cover the redness completely.
I had about a week of downtime after which I started to notice some truly incredible results. As the weeks went on I noticed that the fine lines around my eyes and lips were greatly reduced. The lines around my mouth went from a noticeable crease to a faint line and the texture of my skin was phenomenal. With every day my complexion improved, and I couldn’t believe how great my skin looked.
I experienced truly incredible results from the microneedling treatment at Pulse and will definitely be popping in to see Amy again to ensure I maintain the results. To really see long-lasting results from microneedling, it is recommended that you have a treatment once every four weeks. Depending on your concerns and the areas you want to treat, The Pulse team will advise you on a course of treatments but for people with mild concerns, a course of 3 treatments every 4 weeks is advised.
The price of microneedling treatments at Pulse Dermatology & Laser greatly depends on your skin concerns and the results you want to achieve. Treatment packages are tailor-made for clients after an initial consultation with a Pulse therapist, and they ensure to develop a treatment plan to match your needs and budget.
The microneedling treatment I experienced at Pulse is priced at around R2,500 per treatment, but Pulse Dermatology & Laser also offers great specials and packages for clients who commit to a course of treatments. While many other clinics focus on pamper treatments, Pulse is geared toward non-surgical aesthetic treatments, meaning they are results-driven, and real problem-solvers.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.