Meet Simone, a RealSelf employee and mother to a young daughter. With her skin feeling dull from the weather and a lack of sleep as a new parent, Simone started looking into cosmetic treatments. After spending a considerable amount of time researching, she settled on microneedling, a treatment that encourages rejuvenation by puncturing the skin with tiny needles.

Simone talked about her experience, how she decided on microneedling, and why she feels it’s important to share her story far and wide in the Q&A below.

What did you think about plastic surgery before having a treatment?

“Before I started working at RealSelf, I had a bias against plastic surgery. I thought it was all the people who had the overfilled lips, and the giant boob jobs, and things like that. But since I started working here, I really uncovered that things are a little bit different. It really helps people gain their confidence, and it’s something that people have most likely been researching for years and years, and have agonized whether to do it or to not. So I love that.”

How important was research and what were you looking for?

“When I was researching I was kind of a silent assassin. I was behind the scenes, and I was just reading a ton of reviews. I looked at a ton of before and after photos. I just wanted to make sure that people with my skin type, my skin tone—I want to make sure that people who look like me were actually getting the procedure and not just people who didn’t look like me. That was very important to me because I feel sometimes that we look at a bunch of pictures, but if they don’t look like us then and they have different skin types, it may not turn out.”

Is microneedling safe for all skin types?

What did your friends and family think?

“Some of my friends really understood it and they understood why I wanted to try it. I think other friends just kind of had that same initial reaction of, ‘Why are you doing this to your skin? There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re beautiful natural how you are.’ But it’s not really about being beautiful naturally. I wanted to treat some fine lines and just be a little bit more comfortable in my skin so I felt good about it.”

“People say you’re beautiful as you are, you don’t need any work done, you should just stay naturally pretty, you don’t need to fix XYZ, you’re perfect as you are. But they’re not you and they’re not walking in your shoes. They don’t know if this bothers me. I tried my best to let them know that everybody has things that they’re insecure about and they want to treat. It’s their business if they want to treat it and I feel the  same way about my body. I should be able to get surgery or get a procedure if I want to, and then everybody else … oh well, they can kick rocks.”

Treatments for dull or dry skin

Do you plan to talk to your daughter about your treatment?

“I think if my daughter came to me and said ‘Hey mommy I don’t like my arms’ or ‘Hey mommy I don’t like my legs, I don’t like my stomach, or I don’t like XYZ,’ and she’s under 18, then I would say ‘Hey let’s see how things progress. Maybe things will get better. Maybe you can change the way you think about yourself.’ But when she hits 18, it’s her body, it’s her choice. I really think that as long as I teach her that you need to love yourself and you need to be happy with your body… if it’s something that really is bothering her then we can sit and tackle that, and we can figure out if there’s a solution.”

“I’m so afraid of my daughter growing up and being bombarded with these images of, ‘This is beautiful; this is beautiful; you have to do this; you have to do that.’ But I think as long as I teach her that as long as you’re confident doing what you love and looking like you want to look, as long as you’re not hurting anybody you might as well just be comfortable with who you are. I try to teach her that especially around her hair — that your hair is beautiful; you’re beautiful; your skin is beautiful. She has blue eyes, and I always tell her you have blue eyes, Mommy has brown eyes, daddy has brown eyes, and try to show her that we’re all different, but we’re all the same. I just wanted to feel confident, and I want her to have that trust to come to me if something’s bothering her.”

Why do you feel it’s important to share your experience?

“I think the value about sharing my experience is to help take away that stigma from plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. People have this idea that there’s only a few procedures that you can get, and they’re very, very invasive, and I don’t think that’s always the case. There’s value in sharing and just starting the conversation, because you never know what other people are struggling with too. Just talking about it is the first step.”

“I was so excited when I got the procedure that I felt like it was my duty to share it with my friends and my family, and honestly anybody who asked me about it. I was very excited to share my experience and to encourage other people — if you have something that you want to change, that you can change, and you can find a good someone who’s going to do a really great procedure.”

Was it worth it?

“The biggest thing for me was I wasn’t prepared for how fun it was, which is kind of weird. But when I went to the office, I was pretty nervous. The staff made me feel so good and so at ease about just being there, and having this done, and how normal it was, and how so many people loved it, and what to expect. Afterwards, I left feeling way better than I thought I would.”

“It’s definitely worth it. I think for my procedure it was very minimally invasive, but anything that you do that you’ve been thinking about and planning and seeing if you have enough money and researching and finding doctors … if you’re thinking about it that much, and you find a provider that you really trust, I say do it.”

RealSelf employees receive aesthetic procedures too, and often want to share their experiences with the RealSelf community. This review reflects the experience of a RealSelf employee, and does not represent the opinion of RealSelf.