Avoid Doing These Things Before Microneedling

Microneedling, a procedure that boosts collagen production through the use of needles, is one of many skincare treatments that will up your facial game. It has seen a rise in popularity, but there are important precautions to take if you're looking to get the procedure done. Apart from knowing what not to do on the day of your microneedling appointment, there are plenty of other things that you'll want to make sure you're avoiding in the lead-up to the appointment itself, which might limit the timeframe of when you are able to get the procedure done. 


Per My Cosmetic Clinic, there are multiple factors you'll want to take into consideration well in advance of your microneedling appointment, including some warnings related to commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications. Since some of these can affect you months out from the date of your appointment, we've gathered a list of what professionals and clinics advise you to avoid before you plan your microneedling appointment, giving you plenty of time to switch your routines, if needed.

Do not take retinol and retinoids

First, My Cosmetic Clinic advises prospective patients not to use retinol or other retinoids, whether these are applied to their skin or taken by mouth. In particular, the clinic mentions that you should not take the prescription medication Accutane within six months of microneedling, which is especially important to note if you have been prescribed it and are looking into receiving microneedling in the near future. 


On its website, Zensa elaborates on why retinol and other retinoids are a bad idea prior to microneedling, mentioning that all retinoids should be avoided for six months in advance of your microneedling appointment because of the risk of developing a bacterial infection.

If you're taking or using a retinoid and aren't sure whether this advice applies to your situation, speak with your microneedling provider or the doctor who prescribed your medication for clarity on what is the safest route for you.

Avoid these other medications

Beyond retinol and retinoids, there are some medications — many of them over-the-counter medications — that you should not take prior to microneedling. In particular, you'll want to avoid a class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Fortunately, My Cosmetic Clinic points out that you don't have to stay off of these medications for as long. They recommend a week prior to your microneedling treatment, which certainly isn't as bad as the timeframe for stopping retinol and other retinoids.


The reason why you should not take NSAIDs prior to microneedling is because of their blood-thinning side effects as well as their potentially anti-inflammatory side effects. According to SKC Dermatology, apart from medications intended to thin one's blood, you should also avoid the class of antidepressant medications known as MAOIs.

Zensa is less strict about its timeframes related to the use of these blood-thinning medications but cautions that they should not be used 72 hours before or 72 hours after microneedling.

Dietary supplements may also be a concern

As it turns out, even if you don't regularly take prescription or over-the-counter medications, you're still not necessarily in the clear ahead of your microneedling appointment. My Cosmetic Clinic lists some dietary supplements as being a cause for concern when it comes to bruising and bleeding in the 72 hours before and after your microneedling treatment. These supplements include fish oil and vitamin E.


Spa 43 also adds that herbal supplements in general might also pose a bruising risk, but notes that you are safe to restart taking them one day following your procedure. If you are concerned about herbs that may be present in your meals leading up to your appointment, don't be. It is safe to consume smaller quantities of spices, such as ginger and turmeric, when they are included in food or drinks, according to Zensa. Just avoid taking them in supplement form.

Skip some of your skincare products

If you're someone who keeps to a regular skincare routine, you'll also want to prepare yourself to revise it ahead of receiving microneedling treatment. Though we've already brought up the need to avoid retinol and retinoids months before microneedling, there are some other ingredients that you're advised to avoid in the shorter term.


Spa 43 lists ingredients and products that should be avoided in the 48 hours before microneedling. These include benzoyl peroxide, exfoliants, and hydroquinone. Zensa adds skincare acids to this list, and both sites also mention any topical antibiotics. "Watch out for over-exfoliation or anything that's a little bit harsher," plastic surgeon Dr. Melissa Doft told InStyle. "You want to have your skin in its most calm state beforehand." 

Per Prizant Dermatology, you will have to reschedule your microneedling procedure if you have a skin infection or rash, and that unfortunately includes any acne breakouts.

Hair removal is mostly a no-no

Avoiding all forms of hair removal ahead of your microneedling appointment is also important, as noted by My Cosmetic Clinic. The clinic warns not to undergo laser treatments in the week before your microneedling appointment. Depilatory creams (such as Nair or Veet), shaving, and waxing are also no-no's as they can make your skin too sensitive to withstand the treatment.


It isn't all bad news if you're looking to ensure that you can maintain your usual grooming practices before you undergo microneedling, though. The advice that you are given in this regard also might depend on your microneedling provider. In fact, Okanagan Skin Care Centre actually suggests shaving the day prior to your appointment if there is hair that may interfere with the area where you are receiving your microneedling treatment. If you're not sure if you'll be able to remove any unwanted hair before your microneedling appointment, you should check with your specific provider.

Sun exposure is out

Another word of caution ahead of microneedling is related to your sun exposure. Whether you're getting those rays naturally or via a tanning bed, Zensa and Okanagan Skin Care Centre both warn that it's important to avoid them for a while. The timeframes related to this aspect seem to vary, with Zensa advising that it's necessary to avoid UV rays for five days prior to your appointment and Okanagan Skin Care Centre saying that it's necessary for two weeks. While you should take your provider's advice, we advise taking the more conservative approach if in doubt.


Don't be surprised if your microneedling provider is stricter than the guidelines we've already mentioned, though. For example, Spa 43 takes an even stronger stance when it comes to sun exposure, writing that its patients should not use any self-tanning products ahead of receiving microneedling, and warning that microneedling cannot be done on skin that has been sunburned.

Watch your diet beforehand

Another piece of advice that comes from Spa 43 is related to your overall health at the time of your microneedling appointment. While eating healthy is important in general, the clinic advises its patients to take this into consideration on the day of their appointment itself.


Because alcohol can also thin your blood, Zensa points out that you should not consume any in the 24 hours before your appointment, and adds that you should also limit your caffeine consumption on the day of your microneedling treatment.

Some providers may expect you to use an even greater degree of caution around what you consume prior to receiving microneedling. For instance, Family Health Matters in Salem, New Hampshire, provides a list of foods and drinks that its patients should avoid in the 24- to 48-hour period prior to microneedling. This list includes the aforementioned alcohol and caffeine, as well as spicy foods and refined carbohydrates, among others. 

Family Health Matters also notes that you should avoid cigarettes, so this is something else that you will need to consider if you smoke regularly.


Inform your provider if you get cold sores

Finally, you'll want to avoid developing any cold sores, in particular, before you undergo microneedling, since — as noted by WebMD — these sores are actually indicative of an active herpes simplex virus infection. This could really affect your plans if you've had to adjust the medications you're taking already, for example.


Since cold sores can pop up without warning, Spa 43 writes that if you have a history of getting cold sores, you should inform your provider of this ahead of your appointment. This is an important step that will allow you to be prescribed a form of medication taken by mouth to prevent you from getting a cold sore before your microneedling treatment.

The specific medications used for the treatment of cold sores are the brand names Valtrex and Famvir. Per RxList, both of these medications may interact with other medications you might be taking, so this is yet another reason to be proactive about discussing your microneedling plans with both your microneedling provider and your other medical providers.