A Quick Guide: Nano vs Micro-needling - by Kin Aesthetics

A Quick Guide: Nano vs Micro-needling

Posted by Sarah Kinsler-Holloway on

I thought it would be important to just do a quick write up on the differences between nano-needling + micro-needling.  With the launch of the new Kin Dermal Needling Pen, I've been getting a lot of questions about needling in general. 

There are two types of needling: Cosmetic (up to .3mm) and Medical (.5mm and deeper).  

Cosmetic Needling

Cosmetic needling is used for enhanced absorption of serums and ampoules.

Within cosmetic needling, you'll find nano-needling, also known as nano infusion, and dermal infusion.  It's used with serums, and some masks, like the Omega Green, to help increase absorption.  

Nano cartridges typically have an array of pyramid-like nano pins, which are smaller in diameter than a single strand of human hair. 

The micro-channels which are created when nano-needling, create a direct line to deliver nutrients into the skin.  

This is a pain free treatment, and is safe for all skin types, although caution should be taken with those who have rosacea, dermatitis, or severe barrier impairment.

Unless nano-needling a treatment mask, the most common time to nano-needle serums into the skin is at the end of the facial.  We love using KrX's line of ampoules; they are fragrance free, and rich in peptides. 


Medical Needling

Medical needling should be considered a professional treatment for stimulating growth factors and breaking down scar tissue. This is not within scope for all estheticians, so always check with your state board. 

Most pens have an adjustable dial; our pen allows you to needle from .25mm to 2.5mm, although we don't ever recommend going that deep unless specifically trained.


Clinical Endpoint

According to Dr Lance Setterfield, a micro-needling pioneer, "As far as end point goes, pinkness is adequate. Bleeding or pettechiae are no longer desirable end points. Less is best."

When using a micro-needling pen it is very common for erythema to be delayed.  So Dr Lance Setterfield suggests to "trust that adequate treatment has been achieved after 10 swift passes, despite lack of erythema"


Recommended Products

Granulomas are a real thing and can happen when using the wrong topical products.  When needling past .25mm we strongly suggest only using a high molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) or saline solution. Save the serums for cosmetic needling. 


If you're looking for more information on micro-needling, we can't recommend Dr Lance Setterfield's online training enough.  He also has a fantastic book called The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling, which is a great reference book and every esthetician should have one! 

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