Microneedling expert Samantha Appel owns a clutch of gorgeously green salons. Emerald tiles and pastel painted walls surround you at The Skin Bar, while rich tan leather salon beds welcome you to your treatment of choice.

“Green, to me, [communicates] a safe space, holistic, natural – that relaxed vibe. We’re steering away from injectables,” Appel tells Broadsheet.

Appel and her team recently opened the first Melbourne clinic in Armadale (a South Yarra location is also on the way), while Sydney has sites in Bondi, Cronulla, Double Bay, Narrabeen, Rozelle and Mosman. And the first Queensland Skin Bar is set to open on the Gold Coast in July.

Never miss a moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


While it’s a botox-free offering, your skin will be punctured if you head in for the hero skin needling treatment. A half-hour needling appointment sees very fine, medical-grade needles pierce your skin, causing a “controlled injury”. Your body’s natural healing process will be triggered, increasing blood flow to the surface and amping up the production of collagen and elastin. If you’re looking to improve pigmentation, rosacea or melasma – or target wrinkles or acne scarring – skin needling could be the treatment for you.

If you’re already a fan, you know what you’re in for. You’ll arrive at your serene digs of choice and have a chat with your facialist before a cleanse and a layer of numbing cream (if you choose) is applied. You’re left to tingle for 15 or so minutes, then the needling will begin.

“For me, The Skin Bar’s been a personal journey,” Appel says. “I had cystic acne from the age of 16, and I went through high school just having no self-confidence. Hiding from the world, essentially, not really wanting to go out in the day. Cystic acne is just soul-destroying, and I battled that for 10 years. In that journey, it created an obsession with skin.”

Expect redness following your session, so plan some down time. Avoid touching your face while it’s still sensitive, and ditch the actives – just a simple cleanser and moisturiser while you heal. Seven days later you’ll notice the difference. It’s reported to leave you with bouncy, healthy skin – and an even complexion and skin tone. Appel recommends you start with one session every four weeks for six months, though it depends on your skin concerns. The Skin Bar also offers RF skin needling, where a dose of radiofrequency joins the needling, plus a range of facials.

“We’re skin needling specialists, we like to empower women and men to embrace their natural beauty and don’t feel the social pressures to feel better about themselves by injecting or using fillers or filters. [These are things] we’ve been almost brainwashed with in the beauty industry for the last 10 to 20 years, in particular with influencers. We’re trying to create a culture where we’re giving people their confidence back by embracing what they have and nourishing their skin.”

Appel has turned her eye to holistic wellbeing, opening The Bath House in Sydney’s Rozelle. In this decidedly soothing space, it’s about switching off to sweat in an infrared sauna, then meditating and breathing through an ice bath session. “It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when work was ramping up and I started to get to know myself more, that I started to recognise patterns of stress within my day-to-day life,” she says. “I would come home and not know how to disconnect from work to home life. I would pour a glass of wine, and then I would switch off. I was like, this is not sustainable. It’s not healthy.” So her new obsession began.

“I’d get the biggest boost of serotonin post-sauna – like, I’m glowing, I feel like my body’s detoxed. It’s nice to create a space that’s not revolving around alcohol or a bar. For me that was the main objective: create a hangout space that made you feel better.”

Use the code SKINBAR40 for 40 per cent off your first skin needling or RF needling treatment.

The Skin Bar
69 O’Brien Street, Bondi Beach
02 7227 5682

28A Cronulla Street, Cronulla
02 7227 5682

5/402 New South Head Road, Double Bay
02 7227 5682

732 Military Road, Mosman
02 7228 3020

1459 Pittwater Road, Narrabeen
02 7227 5682

634 Darling Street, Rozelle (The Skin Bar and Bath House)
02 7227 5682

1240 High Street, Armadale
03 7036 0823

2 Avoca Street, South Yarra (Coming soon)
03 7037 0168

Gold Coast, address yet to be announced


We hope you like the products and services we recommend on Broadsheet. Our editors select each one independently. Broadsheet may receive an affiliate commission when you follow some links.