Holli's Story

Holly Margell.jpg

Meet Holli

Mom of two and owner of a photography business based here in West Seattle, Holli Margell, was ready to take her self-care, and skin care, to the next level. She shares how and why she chose micro needling sessions with the Skin Butik in the Morgan Junction to achieve smoother skin and scar-resurfacing.

“I went in feeling ready to take the next step to restorative skin care," said Holli.


Her skin changed a lot right after puberty, like so many of us. In her early teens, she had a few blemishes, but in her later teens, she began to develop more cystic types of blemishes. These were deep in her skin and painful to touch, plus these types of blemishes would leave scars more readily.

Holli’s skin care awareness began at an early age. Her family doctor recommended a few options: birth control to help with her skin and a few over-the-counter (OTC) products. She recalls using an OTC product and while it was effective, it also felt harsh and left her her skin feeling raw and tender. Disappointed in the choices and outcomes at the time, she opted to make more dietary changes to get and keep her skin from breaking out as best she could. She found that a vegetarian-based diet that minimized intake of animal products didn’t eliminate all the breakouts, but breakouts were no longer cystic. She says, at this time, the acne “got tolerable.” As she moved into her 20’s, she had some great skin years, she shares. A few breakouts here and there, but nothing painful, and no scarring.

Her late teens and early 20’s brought about exciting life changes including a marriage and first pregnancy. Her skin was amazing and she was loving it! Her second pregnancy was a completely different hormonal shift and she found that the bad acne had come back, in addition to more complications. It was a really tough time “to be a female”, she notes.

Diagnosis Endometriosis

Acne was no longer a main priority, in comparison with the severe pain Holli was regularly experiencing. This condition was so bad that she was diagnosed in the emergency room after a few years of pain and suffering. Her question to her doctors was: “Is there anything besides high-level pain medication or surgery as an option?” Disappointed with these recommendations, Holli’s mom suggested a completely different method. Holli found a system based in Chinese herbal medicine and lots of self care that manages her endometriosis and keeps it at bay.

Skin Care Comes Back into Focus

Last year, Holli met Sara, and found out about this technique. Holli felt excited about this method of skin care, and the prospect of removing, and at least minimizing the scars left by cystic acne.

“I finally felt like my body was in a stable place, where it wasn’t breaking out all the time. I have a routine to help keep my endometriosis at bay, I wouldn’t say I’m cured, but it’s manageable without surgery or hardcore medications. And my skin is now consistently clear. I thought about seeing a dermatologist, but again I was afraid of toxic chemicals or procedures that were harsh. I don’t want to do anything new that’s painful. So, I met with Sara, she explained the technique and I also went to her for my first professional facial. That first facial was such a relaxing experience. It was actually more like going and having a massage. It was amazing," said Holli.

Let’s talk about skin resurfacing

“I tried microdermabrasion shortly after my first facial, and it was my first skin resurfacing experience. It also felt more like a massage/exfoliation process. After 3 or 4 sessions, Sara had become trained in micro needling and suggested I would be a good candidate for that and would get faster results than with the microdermabrasion. Looking back on the whole path taken thus far, I’d recommend micro needling for faster results especially with scar resurfacing. I think of microdermabrasion now as more of a deep exfoliating process than a rebuilding or resurfacing technique," said Holli.

My experience with micro needling: 

“I already felt comfortable working with Sara. I trusted her judgement and her high standard of client experience. Plus, Sara understood what my skin was like going into it. She was really great about explaining the process thoroughly. She preps you with the explanation, and also takes steps to prep your face before she begins with the actual micro needling procedure.So, your face gets cleaned, and there’s a numbing lotion or gel she applies before she begins the process. There’s a take-home ointment with clear instructions to help the skin heal and restore itself.” Additional instructions to stay out of the sun are also shared. Sara also checked in with me the next day to be sure all had gone well and that I was feeling good. Despite the use of needles, I found that this process was not painful. There are settings that are selected for each session and during the first session, we used the lowest setting. The next day I was delighted to not have that raw or tender feeling. And my skin felt different as well. It felt fuller, like it was fully hydrated, (not puffy or swollen)," said Holli.

Each session built on the next one. 

In the 2nd session and 3rd sessions, the scars on Holli’s skin began to smooth out and become noticeably less deep. She affirms it was a re-texturing of the skin and was also using a higher level on the machine, and not the lowest setting.

My skin looks better than it ever has

“I was more self-conscious of the texture of my skin and scarring in my 20’s. It bothered me a lot when I was younger. If it had been available when I was younger, I’d have done this sooner. Micro needling has made me excited about being able to have my skin look better than it ever has. It definitely boosts my self-esteem to see my skin looking smoother and more polished in a gentle way that feels more natural and less invasive than laser-based methods. It’s more expensive than a facial, of course, but way more affordable than the laser types of skin resurfacing methods too," said Holli

Holli Before

Holli Before

Holli After

Holli After

Holli shares surprises from her micro needling sessions:

"The absence of pain was a pleasant surprise. How well my skin responded was a wonderful surprise. Again, my experience was that I was told by my doctors from my teens through my 20’s, that my skin was a certain way, 'prone to breakouts and scarring' and this completely changed that old thinking, based on real experience. I haven’t experienced any bleeding or additional breakouts during or after these sessions."

Holli recommends you explore micro needling as an option if you are:

A man or woman who’s kind of given up on the idea, or hope, of being able to have nice skin
Ready to level up your self care
Not actively breaking out

One more thing:

Holli says, “Don’t be intimidated by the waiver. It looks like a giant menu. Sara, or your favorite Skin Butik expert, will walk you through it.

Your skin’s texture can be smoother and more healthy with a gentle technique that doesn’t cost as much as laser-based methods.

If you can invest the time and money to do a full series of 6-8 sessions, as recommended by Sara, it’s really worth it.”

Now is a great time to schedule a facial and request a skin assessment regarding micro needling.