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MICRONEEDLING 101 WITH DR. Gwendolyn Henao

beauty cosmetic skincare routine habits by tsc

+ Introduce yourself & your background in beauty.

Gwendolyn Henao: My name is Gwendolyn Henao. I’ve been a medical doctor for 18 years and in solo practice for almost 9 years now. I first got into aesthetic medicine during my OB/Gyn residency while I was in the operating room doing a vaginal reconstruction with a plastic surgeon.

I started picking his brain about other cosmetic procedures and was able to train to do injectables when it was so new. Since then, I’ve done several advanced aesthetic courses and continued training to do fun cutting edge rejuvenating procedures.

Approximately 9 years ago I shifted my practice to concentrate on predominantly cosmetic procedures. I offer multiple procedures like BOTOX/Dysport, Fillers, Micro-needling, Lasers, skin care, vitamin B shots, TempSure Vitalia vaginal tightening & rejuvenation, TruSculpt fat reduction, body contouring & skin tightening.

I recently made a full circle with my newest addition of vaginal rejuvenation! I also do PRP for G-spot enhancement, male & female hair restoration and so many more exciting procedures. In November I opened a new location in Rancho Santa Fe called Dolce Vita Aesthetic Medicine (previously BellaBotox, INK). I have rooms for a masseuse and aesthetician too so you can come get pampered! We cater to men, women and teens.

+ Micro-needling: WHAT THE HECK IS IT?

GH: Micro-needling with Collagen P.I.N. is also known as Collagen Percutaneous Induction Needling. Some doctors call it the Vampire Facial. It induces a controlled injury into the skin’s dermal and epidermal junction to induce growth factors which stimulate healing and rejuvenation, stimulates new collagen for fine lines, and stimulates elastin to tighten the skin.

Micro-needling causes much less damage to the skin than dermal rollers, laser or any other ablative treatment.

+ Does it hurt?

GH: No. You’ll be numb. I prescribe a medical grade numbing compound that will make you comfortable during the entire procedure. Patients describe it as a vibrating, tickling sensation.

+ What’s the process like?

GH: You numb 45 min prior to your appointment so that you’re comfortable. Then, when you arrive, a topical serum is applied to your clean skin ( in most cases a hyaluronic acid ) to help the Collagen P.I.N. safely glide smoothly across the skin’s surface while creating thousands of micro-channels every second.

This helps stimulate the skin’s natural healing process, while simultaneously delivering Hyaluronic Acid ( HA ) which is the building block for healthy new skin.

+ What benefits do you see with microneedling?

GH: You’ll have new collagen and elastin production which results in younger, healthier, plumper, and more firm skin. You’ll see reduced appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and acne scars for overall better tone & texture. You’ll get a more even skin tone, plumping up of fine lines, improvement in skin texture & healthier, smoother looking skin with a glow.

It also helps with stretch marks, scars, and hair restoration! Fibroblasts ( the cells that synthesize new collagen ) are active for up to as much as one year after just one Collagen P.I.N. treatment.

+ What other procedures work well with microneedling?

GH: Adding PRP is a bonus, jump-starting and enhancing the benefits of micro-needling.

+ What is PRP? What’s the difference?

GH: PRP is Platelet Rich Plasma. Your blood is drawn and it goes through a process to separate the PRP. Immediately following your micro-needling, the PRP is placed into open channels to boost the healing effects for even better rejuvenating results. This adds a few more minutes to the procedure but is well worth the time and cost for the boost. Quicker healing, better and longer lasting results.

+ How many times do you have to do it to see results?

GH: It’s recommended to do a series of at least 3-5. I recommend a minimum of 3. Some patients are so happy after just 1 treatment and come back after 6-9 months for a boost. It all depends on your needs and goals.

+ Who’s a candidate?

GH: Anyone looking to improve skin texture, plump up collagen, decrease fine lines, tighten pores, even out pigment, brighten skin, improve scars & decrease stretch marks. It can be done on most parts of their body including face, neck, décolletage, hands, arms, legs, abdomen, back.

+ What’s the pre/post care of microneedling?

GH: Before your treatment, avoid any skin irritants like retin-A and alpha-hydroxy acids and avoid direct sun exposure. After micro-needling, you’ll be red and flushed looking and it’ll feel like a sunburn, you may also get skin tightness and mild sensitivity to touch in the area treated. The redness goes away after 3 days.

It’s preferable not to wear makeup after the treatment and don’t exercise for 2 days after the treatment. You may get flaking and peeling for 3-5 days. After 4-5 days you’ll enjoy your new and improved, glowing skin.

+ You do Botox/Dysport too- what are your tips for someone who is thinking about it?

GH: Keep it natural. You can always go back for more. Not everyone requires the same dose. I can’t take away what I’ve put in but I can always add a little more. Keep yourself beautiful you….a refreshed you, but not a different you. You’ve got the rest of your life to do this, don’t go over board. A little does the trick.

+ Top three skin tips ( get detailed here! )

GH: The most important thing you can do for yourself is apply your daily sunblock! I know you love the daily moisturizer with caffeine and SPF. That’s a wonderful favorite for most of my patients. It has zinc, a mineral block, so it’s immediately effective and you don’t have to let it set in before going out. It’s a lovely makeup primer too. It’s an all-in-one, so it’s easy.

Retinol/Retin-A is HUGE! Use it nightly. It’s great for pigment suppression, improving fine lines and rejuvenating. If you can’t tolerate it at first then wean into it. Start off using it every other night or even every 2-3 nights until you can build up to nightly. You’re not too young to start.

Finally, be sure to drink plenty of water daily! Stay hydrated. Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. This is good for so many reasons. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. On top of it, it’ll keep your skin looking supple, plump and beautiful.

+ Where can people find you online?

GH: Find us at


  1. This definitely made my day! Thanks so much for including me.
    Wow! great blog thanks for helping us just by sharing the interesting and informative blog list thanks.

  2. Skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth, healthy skin is your goal, visiting a skin care professional can benefit you.

  3. Skin care treatments are wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. If smooth, healthy skin is your goal, visiting a skin care professional can benefit you.

  4. Very informative and detail-oriented blog. Thanks for the sharing of skin-related information. It’s very useful for me and clarified all the things. Cheers!!!

  5. I love the FAQ interview format for health and medical procedures like this. Really helps me understand what to expect as I consider my own skin treatment. Thanks.

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