Derma needling devices disclaimer
Derma rolling can cause more damage than healing if done incorrectly.
It is a good idea to get at least one professional treatment using the technology you are interested in to get first hand experience of how it is supposed to feel, what your skin will look and feel like afterwards, and the proper pre and post care to use.
If that’s not an option, then I would (cautiously) refer you to Youtube and the internet to do some research. PLEASE be wary, because a lot of the people posting videos are total newbies who happen to have adventurous souls and they could totally steer you down the wrong path. ALWAYS make sure the video or blog post you are referencing was created by a professional or someone who has demonstrable experience and integrity. Plus, read the manual that comes with the device!
You have to promise
Now, before I get into these fun devices, I need you to promise me you will slow your roll. I know you! I’m one of you! It is so tempting to over-do this stuff. You just want to throw caution to the wind and go hard and heavy, because some non-sensical little demon in your head is telling you that then you will get results FASTER. And that is all you’ve ever wanted. It is a LIE. It will bring nothing but DAMAGE (sometimes permanent) to your skin. So, rein yourself in and promise me you will be wise and responsible.
Derma Roller (Microneedling)
What it is:
Also known as micro-needling, a little roller with hundreds of needles attached is rolled over the skin to cause micro-wounding that stimulates the creation of collagen and healthy skin tissue. Dermarolling activates your self-healing mechanisms and rejuvenates aging or damaged skin. It has been used with tremendous success for acne scars, and is also used for wrinkles, stretch marks and even plumping lips.
You can also get a dermastamp which is not a roller, but a stamp with needles for more precise and targeted needling. Lastly, there is also something known as the dermapen which electronically pulses, kind of like a tattoo needle. Let’s leave this one to the professionals, mm’kay?
The size of your needles is important. Derma Rollers can have anywhere from 180 to 1000 micro needles on them. One of the most common sizes is the 540 needle roller. Less needles means a smaller roller for smaller area of the face and body and vice versa. If you get a shitty roller on amazon, there is a good chance the needles will be too fat and dull – recipe for disaster. This has been the case with almost every dermaroller I have purchased on Amazon! Get an esthetician-quality roller, even if it costs more. Some resources below.
The length of the needles matters as much as the thickness of the needles. Derma Roller needles can range in size from .25 to 3.00 mm in length. If you’re rolling your face, it’s safest to stick with a .30 to .75 mm Derma Roller. For around the eyes, use a very low needle length, like .25mm. But if you’re working on tougher skin, say on your thighs for stretch marks, you can use a 1.00 mm roller or larger. I recommend you start with a .3mm to .5mm length, no matter what your skin concern. Dermarollers aren’t too expensive and you can easily go up, but remember your promise above!
How to use:
If you need numbing cream, you’re probably doing it wrong. You don’t actually want to see any bleeding. Start light. Be careful not to drag the roller across your face, since that will create wounds that are too big, and will be counterproductive. Start with a needle that is .3 – .5mm, no bigger. Bigger does not mean better!
A good rule of thumb is to run the Derma Roller about 10 times over the area you’re looking to treat–this should take no more than a few minutes. The proper way to micro needle is to run the Derma Roller in every direction over the skin you’re treating. That means running the roller a few times from right to left, top to bottom and then diagonally over your lips or skin.
If you’re doing your whole face, divide it into areas, like forehead, left cheek, right cheek and chin.
Using your derma roller every day is a giant NO. Bear in mind that when you create the micro-wounds, they take about 40 days to heal completely. And that is what you want – complete healing is what will give you max collagen renewal and plump and smooth skin. If you needle too often, you are overwhelming your skin, leaving it in a perpetual state of trauma and in general, not keeping your promise (above)!
For a .3 roller, you can use it 2x per week. For a .5 roller, once every 2-3 weeks. For a .75, once every month (4.5 weeks). The bigger ones (which you are NOT using on your face), use every 6 to 8 weeks.
Since you’re creating small punctures in your skin, it’s vital that you sanitize your Derma Roller before and after use (I leave it in a shot glass of rubbing alcohol for 15 minutes) and do not share it with anyone. You also want your skin to be completely makeup-free and clean before rolling. I suggest doing it at night right before bed. Your skin may look slightly red and swollen so rolling before night allows your irritated skin time to calm down before going out.
When rolling, do it slowly and deliberately, not too fast and crazy. Make sure the needle doesn’t drag or skip. If your skin is loose, pull the skin taunt with the other hand before rolling.
So to prep, cleanse the skin well. Then roll. After rolling, be careful about what skincare you apply since not all ingredients are intended to sink deep into the skin and/or be introduced into microwounds!
Some experts advocate applying only serums that have skin identical ingredients. Others advise something with vitamin C. A simple facial oil can suffice. Do not use any exfoliants on the day that you roll and even a few days after. The best products to use are anti-aging ones with peptides, vitamin C or other wound healing/inflammation reducing properties. Potentci is what I use after dermarolling.
On the days I roll, I ALSO layer the facial oil Aurum over Potentci that night. For the next few days, I make sure to not be lazy and to apply Potentci am and pm without fail.
You should begin to see results after 3-4 sessions, sometimes even after 2.
What to shop for:
You can easily get dermarollers on Amazon for about $10-$40. DON’T DO IT. Most likely these dermarollers have needles that are NOT truly micro – they are too fat and dull and will damage the skin. Look for ones that have the needle length you want plus aren’t too big and bulky since these are harder to maneuver. Needles should be made of titanium or stainless steel. There are some products you can check out below that are higher quality.
Dermarolling WILL NOT heal active acne. In fact, DO NOT dermaroll if you have active acne! This will cause the acne to spread and get inflamed. DO NOT dermaroll if your skin is sunburned or otherwise irritated. It is best to use dermarolling for healing acne SCARS and wrinkles. DO NOT dermaroll too often – err on the side of TOO LITTLE.
Check these products out: