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Muddy tries Dermapen

There comes a time when slapping super creams on your face just doesn't touch the sides – time to call in the big guns!

When Botox first started being used to smooth out the visages of celebrities some 20 years ago, I was like, yuck, why would anyone voluntarily have injections in their face. But, hey, there’s been a lot of aging happening on my own visage since then and, surprise, surprise, I’m not such a naysayer anymore. So, while I’m still a bit squeamish about Botox (though never say never), when Suzanne Lonterman from Absolute Beauty in Cheltenham came knocking on my door back in July with a Dermapen micro-needling kit under her arm, I grabbed her firmly with both hands. And five treatments later? Well, read on.

Dermapen practitioner Suzanne Lontermann

The lady with the magic needles, Suzanne Lonterman

So, what is Dermapen?

A micro-needling technology, Dermapen is a device fitted with teeny-tiny needles which can vary in length from 0.5mm to 3mm, which are rolled over your skin to create controlled punctures that force the skin into repair mode. Yes, that does sound painful, doesn’t it? Suzanne warned me to get some local anaesthetic numbing cream (Emla), but I forgot and you know what, it was fine. Even round the eyes and lips!

What does it do?

By forcing your skin into repair mode, it turbocharges your body’s natural ability to produce collagen and elastin which gives your complexion a firm, plumped-up look and also improves texture, reducing the appearance of scars, wrinkles, pigmentation, thread veins and stretch marks (yes, you can use it on your body too!).

What happens during a treatment?

While you can go to Absolute Spa, Suzanne also does house calls, which I would recommend as you’ve got to be makeup-free and you’ll probably feel more relaxed at home. I certainly did. However, the procedure doesn’t feel a million miles away from a facial. Suzanne assembles her pink massage bed, you lie down and she gets to work on your face with the Dermapen and a mixture of Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid firming serums – even applied normally these hydrate, correct pigmentation and boost collagen, but when they’re getting right down into the dermis they feed skin at a cellular level, which means even greater skin-plumping effects, woohoo!

You will feel it – I mean you can’t not feel your face being punctured by needles – but my experience of it was mild discomfort. The final treatment was perhaps the most uncomfortable and at its worst felt a bit like a mild electric shock. But it’s all over in around 15 minutes after which Suzanne applies an über-hydrating, anti-aging, post-treatment mask full of copper peptides, zinc and B5, which you leave on for 15 minutes while she massages your feet with coconut oil. (Suzanne is also a trained nurse, foot care specialist and sports masseur.)

Any downtime?

I rushed to the mirror after my first treatment expecting to be bright red, but I wasn’t. In fact, I looked glowing. After one of the subsequent sessions, though, I did look a bit rouged but Suzanne applied an anti-redness cream and I was good to go.

How long does it take to work?

Immediately after each treatment – I had five in total, spaced four to six weeks apart – I felt my skin looked tighter, brighter and more plumped-up, an effect that wore off after about a week. The cumulative effect was harder to judge myself, but after a couple of sessions, I did start getting compliments about my skin from colleagues at the fashion magazine where I was working, and when I saw an old friend in December whom I hadn’t seen since before pre-treatment, she told me I was glowing and looked like a woman who was having sex with a younger man who wasn’t her husband. So, *ahem*, you could think about that as an alternative treatment… Comparing some ‘now’ photos to ones taken in July, although the summer light was harsher, there’s a marked reduction in pigmentation, acne scarring and fine lines, especially around my eyes.

results of dermapen micro-needling

Before the treatment in July and after five treatments five months later, both makeup-free, eek!

What’s the damage?

The cost of ten treatments (£1,000) might make you clench your buttocks, but you’re unlikely to need that many – between three and six is more likely, which come in at £330 and £630 respectively. You can have scars, thread veins and stretch marks treated from £60 a session. Suzanne often has special offers, so it’s worth contacting her directly at

Is it worth it?

I’d say so – my skin is noticeably improved and what I like about it is it’s natural repair. Yes, you’re breaking the skin to trigger that repair, but you’re not introducing foreign substances into your body. It’s also long-lasting and the celebs who’ve owned up to using it – among them Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (do you think they did it together?!) – all look great with no hint of Frankenstein about them.

photographer taking a photo of jennifer aniston

Jennifer Aniston, who turns 50 next year, is a fan of micro-needling and what’s good enough for her…

Absolute Beauty, 10 Prestbury Road, Cheltenham GL52 2PW; tel: 01242 576600;

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