This review of Morpheus8 is part of Shop The Street, FLEETSTREET’s beauty review series. Our editors curate collections of new + noteworthy products (and let you know why you should add them to your shopping list).
I’m no stranger to neuromodulators and other cosmetic injectables, but I recently decided to go deeper – quite literally – with my tweakment routine. It’s a star favourite skin care treatment to tighten the skin and stimulate collagen. Victoria Beckham, Bella Thorne and Kim Kardashian are known fans. The Morpheus8 technique is a combination of microneedling and radio frequency. Exactly 24 eight-millimetre needles are inserted into the facial skin to “create a controlled trauma” to the skin. It’s dubbed “the world’s most painful non-invasive cosmetic procedure,” and it can set you back around $1,200 for one session. But fans of the cosmetic treatment say it results in tighter skin in the face, improving the appearance of jowls and wrinkles, as well as improving texture.
But is Posh Spice’s go-to treatment worth the pain? I put it to the test with Dr. Shoghi Nikoo from Park Medical Aesthetics in Toronto.
The Morpheus8 process
Think of Morpheus8 as a microneedling treatment with the intensity turned all the way up. “Microneedling, generally speaking, is probably the best treatment you can get for your skin,” Dr. Nikoo tells me. “It causes ‘micro-traumas’ [in the skin] that then trigger healing and collagen production. It blends [the benefits of] microneedling and radio frequency technology together.”
In a nutshell, this medical facial involves the insertion of ultra-fine eight-millimetre needles into the skin to prompt the body’s natural healing response from the minor injections, stimulating collagen production and encouraging skin regeneration. The combination of microneedling and radio frequency allows for deeper penetration and more targeted results.
Before the treatment, I got a consultation with the Park Medical’s staff. They looked at my skin and made an assessment for my Morpheus8 treatment. After that, three sessions are booked to ensure optimal results. Each Morpheus session begins with face numbing, which takes over an hour. But the procedure itself is only 20 minutes.
How much does Morpheus8 cost?
The cost of the Morpheus8 treatment depends upon your dermatologist’s fees, as well as what area of the body you are treating, and if you are treating multiple areas of the body at once, such as the face and neck. Generally, the average cost for each session can range from $750 to $1,700. Dr. Nikoo recommends doing three sessions, one every month for three months. For some people, he says, it essentially pauses the aging process for up to 12 to 18 months.
Is Morpheus8 painful?
Not going to lie, I had done some research prior to heading into my appointment, so I was a little nervous. I saw some posts on TikTok and had some friends weigh in, which likely didn’t help with the nerves. I was given a stress ball to hold while I laid on the table, just in case I needed to clench the anxiety and the pain away.
After the first “stamp” of needles, I felt my anxiety ease a bit because it wasn’t as painful as I had anticipated. I think my nerves had made it a lot worse than it really was. I will say though, without the numbing, this would be an unbearable treatment. They do two passes over the face. By the second passing over, I was ready to be done.
Immediately after, I could see small particles of blood on my face, but overall I looked rosy. As time went on, my face and neck were slightly red, and the skin felt a bit itchy. But it was nothing compared to the redness from a previous microneedling experience at another clinic.
With microneedling, the facialist moves the microneedling pen back and forth across the face, whereas with Morpeus8, they use a large wand tool connected to the Morpheus8 machine and stamp it across the face. The stamping method ensures a deeper penetration as well as emitting the radio frequencies into the skin. Dr. Nikoo said that in some cases, patients can see grid lines on their skin, but only subtly. I did notice this very faintly on my neck but I feel like I saw it only because I was looking for it.
The day after my treatment, I was pleasantly surprised by how I felt, even though my skin felt dry. I had a bit of a breakout a few days later. My face looked a bit bumpy from the acne that was purging from my skin. Within a week, though, I looked glowy and tighter. I did notice a bit of minimization with the acne scarring on my cheeks.
Post-treatment, Dr. Nikoo recommended I avoid wearing makeup and follow an active-free skin-care routine for at least two days. He suggested a gentle cleanser, patting my face dry instead of wiping, and applying moisturizer and sunscreen every day. I got a post-procedure skincare kit from Alumier from Park Medical Aesthetics. It included a medical-grade cleanser, recovery balm and sunscreen.
I was diligent with the post-care procedure, as I was expecting the same redness and dryness I had with microneedling. This was a lot more bearable and had a lot less downtime. I used the products they sent me home with and made sure to over moisturize. Three days after my treatment, I used a tinted SPF and then moved on to a tinted moisturizer later in the week. My skin was still quite dry heading into days four and five as I started to integrate wearing makeup back into my daily routine. I could see the dry skin poking through the makeup which I expected but didn’t like.
Who is a good candidate for Morpheus8?
I would think this treatment could work for anyone looking to tighten and smooth their skin. Anyone who has some enlarged pores, wrinkling and some drooping in the jowl area, could also consider this treatment.
“When recommending Morpheus8, I look at people who have a couple of different skin issues, if they have laxity issues, specifically,” says Dr. Shoghi Nikoo. He adds that the best patients for Morpheus8 are those who have mild to moderate skin laxity, which is why patients who are between 20 and 50 tend to have better results from the procedure (although those closer to 20 wouldn’t really have lax jowls, right?). That’s because they have more naturally occurring collagen in their skin. Also, those who are looking to deal with fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, acne scarring, and those looking for an overall improvement in the look of their skin could also be good candidates for this.
I think I’m a good candidate for Morpheous8, as I do have some acne scarring, enlarged pores and some fine lines and wrinkles. While I only did one session and wasn’t able to fully see all of the benefits of doing all three, I did still see some minor results from it.