Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t like needles. I mean—who does? So when I found myself heading to the office of Jenise Parris, Doctor of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, in midtown Manhattan one day to get prodded by nine(!) of them, I figured I must be going mad.
Yet there I was, about to subject myself to Rejuvapen, a treatment that rivals the results of laser, Botox, or microdermabrasion to rejuvenate and clarify skin, however using a more holistic approach. The clincher—and the advantages that set it apart from the other treatments—Rejuvapen doesn’t cause tearing, use toxic ingredients, nor leave scar tissue or damage.
What is Rejuvapen, a.k.a. microneedling?
Rejuvapen is a medical device that uses nine very fine surgical stainless steel needles to make channels into the epidermis and dermis to stimulate the release of growth factors that promote scar-less healing and the deposition of normal woven collagen rather than scar collagen.
“This treatment triggers the wound healing cascade to stimulate keratinocytes, fibroblasts, increases epidermal cellular turnover, collagen, and elastin, and works with the natural healing response very much like acupuncture,” Dr. Parris said. “This Acup+Pen was a natural to introduce into my practice as a way to offer cutting edge facial rejuvenation without introducing chemicals, toxins, heat or abrasive treatments.”
The promise of radiant skin was simply too good to pass up. Suddenly, a few needles could not come between my Shangrila and my 45-year-old face. Let me tell you: I am sold and would do it again. In fact, I did—twice: once in August and once in November. That’s how outstanding the results have been. More on that in a bit.
Acupuncture enhances results
But it was the smart methods performed by Acupuncturist Jenise Parris, LAC, that sealed the deal. Simply look at that radiant complexion in the photo above! She’s stunning at 61 (I know, you could never tell this ageless beauty is a proud 61-year-old!) with luminous skin and nary a wrinkle in sight. Yes, she performs the treatment on herself along with using her Beauty Waters judiciously.
As of now, there are no other practitioners in NYC to my knowledge who incorporate acupuncture with microneedling to boost results.
“I use acupuncture points that stimulate circulation to the face and body as well as boosting the immune function,” Dr. Parris explained. “The needles are retained for 20 mins while numbing cream is applied to the area of treatment.”
Aside from the fact that dermatologists are not trained in acupuncture, most (if not all) use preservative-laden products with microneedling.
Skin is particularly vulnerable at the time of treatment and anything on it penetrates to an even deeper level. Instead of using the topical products sold with Rejuvapen, Dr. Parris chooses to formulate them herself, sans potentially toxic chemicals.
The only formula that contains ingredients that don’t fully meet her standard is the numbing cream that she mercifully applies prior to using Rejuvapen. However, it does work brilliantly to make the session virtually pain-free (there were only a few areas on the face that felt more sensitive than others).
Other than that, her protocol consists of gels and serums designed to fortify skin and bolster the treatment that are entirely safe and natural, including the Armor Gel that she applies after Rejuvapen to aid in healing.
About the products
Dr. Parris incorporates her knowledge of aromatherapy and essential oils to handcraft her select products. “During the treatment, I use organic products that penetrate deeply into the dermis to enhance the health of the skin,” she explained to me during the process and in an email later.
“We want the healing cascade to occur for the best results,” Dr. Parris said, “so I don’t use ice or soothing creams directly after treatment. I do offer an after care kit that features essential oils of carrot seed and helichrysum essential oils infused within organic aloe vera gel as well as a nourishing serum to promote glowing healthy skin.”
The Healing serum contains cistus, helichrysum, frankincense, and chamomile that regulate cellular turnover, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation. These organic essential oils are in carrier oils of organic jojoba and evening primrose, both chosen for their healing properties for skin.
I came home with a post-procedural gel, serum, and Beauty Water mist that were instant hits with my temperamental skin. When my skin showed signs of redness the day after the first session, the products instantly toned it down on application.
Truly, these products put the treatment in a class all its own and I’d like to have a steady stash of these on hand at all times. So far, both have lasted through two rounds of Rejuvapen and there is plenty more for the third and final round.
As for the changes in my skin, even I, a total skeptic of exaggerated promises and overly quick results, was impressed. Not only are my fine lines softening, but my skin shows a resilience that makes it feel firmer and gives it a nice glow. But what I never expected is that a lot of the breakouts that I was getting before Rejuvapen stopped happening too. My skin is looking better than it has in a long time.
I noticed the changes after the first session and even more so after the second round.
For best results, Dr. Parris recommends three to four treatments spaced four weeks apart with follow up sessions every three to four months to maintain the health and glow of the skin. Even though I spaced mine a little longer due to scheduling issues on my end, I can still report positive changes in my skin.
One caveat: don’t plan any lunches or other engagements after treatment. Dr. Parris lets you know from the outset that you will not be street-ready. Skin will look red for the rest of the day, at least. Though my redness did diminish faster the second time around, it lasted into the next day after the first session. That temporary “sun-burnt” complexion is actually a desirable outcome and keeps the “healing cascade” (Gosh, I love that term!) going on for longer.
At $350 a treatment (at least half the cost that dermatologists charge), it isn’t cheap but it does make this organic green beauty rejuvenation treatment more accessible. I for one am hooked and would definitely recommend it. You will see results.
*Jenise Parris generously gave me the opportunity to try Rejuvapen in exchange for an honest post about my experience. Should you decide to use her services, I do not receive any form of compensation or benefits.