Maybe you haven't tried dermarolling yet and want to know what the heck it is. Or you already tried it, but you're not so sure if it actually worked for you. Or perhaps you are just curious to learn about the practice of stabbing yourself with hundreds of tiny needles at the same time.
If any of these is you, keep reading then!
What Is Dermarolling?
Dermarolling is a relatively new procedure in the beauty world. In 1994, scientists discovered the effect of it.
They would basically take a special needle, and with it, they would create a tiny wound within an acne scar. This is to help the skin underneath the scar, to start producing collagen. Eventually, the scar will be filled in.
This is why you can also hear dermatologists referring to this procedure as collagen induction therapy.
Dermarolling techniques increased its popularity in recent years. Different tools have been developed. You have probably heard of derma rollers, microneedling pens, and dermarolling stamps.
Dermarolling skincare therapy has gained so much interest, and it is used for a variety of purposes.
Dermarolling can help with:
Size does matter
The length of the needles is a vital factor to consider when choosing your dermarolling device or booking a treatment.
When looking for the right tool, you should know your "why." Different lengths and diameters are suitable for various purposes.
Dermarolling treatment can help:
- Boost your topical products' absorption
- Treat UV damage and hyperpigmentation
- Tackle shallow wrinkles
- Combat deep wrinkles and stretchmarks
- Treat severe scaring marks
Once you know the needs of your skin, you can quickly determine the size of the needles your derma roller should have. You can use my dermarolling needles size chart below
- Dermarolling is a relatively new procedure with not a lot of long-term data to look at.
- Techniques vary depending on the tool used.
- Dermarolling can be used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars.
- Consider your needs when choosing the needles' length
Is Dermarolling Safe?
So far so good
As I mentioned earlier, dermarolling is a process that stimulates the skin's natural ability to heal itself. This effect is done by creating collagen that fills in fine lines, reduces scars, wrinkles, pores, and plumps the skin.
Keep in mind
You have to be very careful when/if doing this at home because the risk of infection is definitely there.
Be sure to seek a professional's opinion before considering the procedure, and do your research beforehand.
I know it's a buzzy tool, very affordable and tempting to try. I got one myself, and I really like it, but before randomly choosing one, I sought my dermatologist's advice.
Bear in mind that there is a potential risk for needles breaking into the skin, inflammation, and even scarring if you purchase a low-quality tool.
Is there a bad time for dermarolling?
After contacting a specialist and choosing your dermarolling tool (treatment), the first thing to do is to look at the mirror. Do you see active breakouts, blemishes, and/or wounds?
If it's a yes for all of those, then you have a clear sign that dermarolling should be postponed until the skin has healed completely.
Important!!! If your skin is still irritated or red from the previous treatment, you should not start a new dermarolling procedure. Pay attention to your skin and listen to your body.
Check for active breakouts. The rolling action creates tiny wounds, and if you don't wait for the breakouts to heal, the needles can cause more damage than good.
- Check with your dermatologist if dermarolling is safe for your skin.
- Choose quality products.
- Don't use on eczema, open wounds, keloid scars, and active breakouts.
Dermarolling vs. Microneedeling
What is similar between the two is that both should cause mild to no pain at all.
As dermarolling is an "at-home" treatment, it requires needles shorter than 0.5 mm which can cause slight redness and plumpness.
Procedures that involve longer needles (everything above 0.5 mm) shouldn't be performed at home.
Microneedling is an office-based procedure. Meaning, this procedure should only be performed by certified cosmetologists or dermatologists. Topical anesthesia is also required for this procedure.
If you have a hard time finding a legit place, seek your dermatologist's recommendation.
Never let someone do a microneedling treatment to your face without topical anesthesia.
Depending on your pain tolerance, you might need to apply an anesthetic cream also before a dermarolling procedure. Personally, I find it close to painless.
Tools include rollers, pens, stamps, and so on. What makes the difference though is not the tool itself, but as I mentioned already, the size of the needles and subsequently whether they require the use of numbing cream or not.
- For 'DIY' procedures, make sure the needles don't exceed 0.5 mm.
- Microneedling involves needles longer than 0.5 mm.
- Microneedling is an office-based procedure.
- Microneedling requires topical anesthesia.
- Seek your dermatologist's opinion before considering any of the procedures.
How to use a Derma Roller
Step 1 - Research / Choose
When it comes to stabbing your face with hundreds of needles at the same time, you should trust nobody. Blogs like mine are great to give you an initial idea of what the procedure is like and what to expect, but you should always seek a dermatologist's advice before grabbing the tool.
The needles of the derma roller I use are 0.25 mm in length, as my primary need is to help my skin absorb serums and oils easily.
Step 2 - Disinfect your derma roller
Soak your derma roller in 70% isopropyl alcohol for about 5-10 minutes. The alcohol kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Let the roller dry then get to the next step.
Step 3 - Prepare the skin for rolling
Stabbing your skin with needles creates tiny wounds. If your skin isn't thoroughly cleansed, you face risks like infection and inflammation. So make sure the area you intend to work on is free of makeup and has been cleaned well.
If you plan to do a dermarolling or microneedling procedure, you should avoid treatments like waxing or laser work two weeks before. Extended sun exposure is not recommended either.
Step 4 - Apply numbing cream, if necessary
Depending on your pain tolerance or skin sensitivity, you might need to apply numbing cream. However, you'll most certainly want some anesthetic cream for anything above 0.75 mm.
When using numbing cream, make sure you follow the instructions and remember to wipe it off completely before you begin rolling. A great option is Uber Numb (2 oz) 5% Lidocaine ($15.68).
Step 5 - Begin dermarolling
Start with splitting your face into sections. This will make it easier and prevent rolling the same area twice. You should avoid the eyelids and the under-eye area.
Roll in one direction 5-8 times, depending on your skin sensitivity and pain tolerance. Make sure you lift the roller after each pass. Repeat this until you have covered the whole section then move to the next one.
Now when the entire face is covered, it's time to repeat the rolling, this time in perpendicular direction.
Step 6 - Post-rolling care
Rolling is done. Now it's time to benefit from the increased absorption of skin care ingredients and nutrients. The hour after rolling is the best window to apply your anti-aging serum and oil blends.
The two most commonly used products for preventing infection and enabling your skin to heal faster are Vitamin C serum and Hyaluronic Acid. I like this TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C-Plus Super Serum ($24.79) because it's a combination of both.
However, the skin doesn't have selective permeability. Meaning, together with the rich serums, your skin will drink up toxic or irritating substances if they are present in your products.
So check the ingredients list for names like parabens (such as benzoic acid), artificial fragrances and colors, preservatives, etc.
Step 7 - Care for your derma roller
After you are done with soothing your face, it's time to take care of the derma roller. Rinse the tool with soap and water. Finish by soaking it again in the 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for 5-10 minutes. Let it try then store it in its case.
You should never share your derma roller.
Derma Roller Recommendation
If you are now on the hunt for the ideal derma roller, a good option is Sdara Skincare's derma roller.
This brand's derma roller comes with titanium microneedles in 0.25mm, plus a free storage case. The quality you get is top-notch for such an affordable price. So much so that I just have to recommend this quality product. I've been using this ever since I got into dermarolling, and it has not let me down since.
If you need more confirmation on this product's quality, check out the more than 1000+ reviews of happy customers. The brand sellers are also active in answering questions. So if you have any doubts, feel free to contact them through Amazon.
Dermarolling is an excellent method to wake your skin up, increase the topical product absorption rate, and treat fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and scaring marks.
When performed correctly, rolling can be very beneficial. However, if you do not take your skin type and needs into consideration, and/or do not consult with your dermatologist prior use, dermarolling can cause more harm than good.
I hope you are now well aware of the dermarolling treatment, its benefits, and what should you have in mind before considering it.
Stay healthy and take skin care
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The Information on this website has not been evaluated by FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The content is for educational purposes only and not intended to substitute medical advice. You should seek the advice of your health care practitioner before undertaking any health changes.
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