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  • Writer's pictureMayra Bravo

What is Morpheus8?

Morpheus8 is a treatment that combines microneedling and radio frequency. Its purpose is the stimulate collagen in order to tighten and resurface the skin.

Gone are the days of overfilled duck lips and uncomfortably tight face lifts. Current cosmetic trends are all about enhancing one’s natural beauty in a classic, minimalistic (read: deniable) way. This has brought about a rise in the popularity of non-invasive cosmetic procedures, from microneedling to radio frequency treatments. Until recently, these cosmetic procedures have been the well-kept, expensive secrets of celebrities and the incredibly wealthy.

What is microneedling?

Celebrities first started enhancing their skin through the benefits of microneedling in the 1990s. The purpose of microneedling, which entails the use of tiny needles to pierce the skin, is to stimulate collagen production. This treatment has proven to have several benefits including treating scars, enlarged pores, wrinkles and stretch marks (Yale Medicine).

However, it wasn’t until two decades later that a type of microneedling device – dermarollers – started to gain mainstream popularity due to social media and the rise of DIY beauty. Dermarollers can still be conveniently purchased from Amazon and basically any beauty supplier, however, the risk of infection, scarring and hyperpigmentation is significantly high. Unfortunately, many learned these lessons the hard way, which is why the treatment “should only be performed by a qualified practitioner” (Refinery29).

What are laser/radio frequency (RF) treatments?

In reference to Morpheus8, the terms laser facials and radio frequency treatments are often used interchangeably. The purpose of these treatments is to tighten skin. Laser and RF is the technology behind nonsurgical facelifts and similar procedures. Like microneedling, these treatments have been the secrets behind countless red-carpet faces. However, laser and RF are more accessible and affordable than ever before. These treatments are so in-demand that there are now several providers that offer them on a subscription basis.

What are the benefits of combining microneedling with laser?

The benefits of Morpheus8 are, seemingly, endless. By combining the technology of microneedling and radio frequency, one can undoubtedly expect tighter and smoother skin. Morpheus8 fans love that the treatment is a heavy duty, all-in-one treatment. In addition, another impressive feature is that Morpheus8 is not exclusively for the face. Last year, interest in the treatment spiked when Kim Kardashian shared via social media that Morpheus8 was her favorite laser for stomach-tightening.

What is the overall process of undergoing Morpheus8?

Most professionals will recommend a minimum of three sessions per treatment, which are scheduled one month apart. About 30 minutes to an hour prior to each session, numbing cream should be generously applied to the skin. However, regardless of the use of numbing cream, the experience of this procedure will range from uncomfortable to extremely painful.

During my first session, certain areas of my face, like my cheeks, were significantly numb and all I could feel was a warm sensation from the laser. In contrast, I was shocked by the pain I felt on my forehead. I had spent about an hour with gobs of numbing cream on my face, and still, it literally felt as though someone had taken a stapler to my face.

My third session, however, was almost intolerable in every area of my face, from start to finish. I held my breath with every stamp. Tears streamed down my face as my nurse offered to take a break, but I knew that a break would only prolong the inevitable and so, we ventured forward.

The aftercare is fairly simple. I was told to stay out of the sun, as I could not apply SPF for the first couple of days. In addition, my beloved multiple-step routine was reduced to my favorite hyaluronic acid serum and Aquaphor. (Pro-tip: It was not part of my provider’s aftercare instructions, but Evian’s facial spray was such a lifesaver when my skin felt its itchiest.)

On the third or fourth day after each session, my skin would feel a bit scaly. This was my cue that I could finally use a gentle cleanser, (my go-to is Youth to the People’s Superfood Cleanser), as well as reincorporate an effective SPF back into my routine.

During these few months, I made sure to avoid the use of retinol and exfoliants. Also, I was religiously devoted to sunscreen, with iPhone reminders that nagged me to reapply every two hours.

Is it worth it?

Morpheus8 is fairly expensive, as most professionals will recommend a minimum of three sessions per treatment. The cost can vary in price from $600 to $3,900 per session (RealSelf). The intensity of the treatment increases with each session and, in turn, the downtime of each session increases, as well.

After my first session, I saw significant results within a week. My skin was dewy and tight, and I felt eager to return for my next sessions.

From left to right: Immediately after first Morpheus8 session (July 28, 2022); One week after first Morpheus8 session (August 4, 2022).

In contrast, I experienced noticeable swelling and irritation well over a month after my third session. I was filled with anxiety and regret that I might have ruined my skin forever, just for the sake of trying out a new procedure. For this reason, I did not record my recovery, however, I estimate that the healing process lasted almost three months.

Overall, I will say that I did experience a tightening in my skin, specifically along my jawline and cheekbones. However, the results were not drastic enough to justify the pain or encourage me to consider another treatment in the near future.

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