I’m a beauty junkie. And as such, I’m always looking for new products and new ways to improve my skin complexion. As I’m getting older, one of my main concerns has been to keep my skin as youthful-looking as possible.
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the benefits of micro-needling therapy. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s the new trend making waves in the beauty world. As soon as I heard about it, I had to get my hands on a derma roller and give this one a try.
It’s hard to say exactly when this trend got started. But if I had to guess, I would say it got started when Kim Kardashian posted a selfie of herself on Snapchat with her face covered in her own blood. The picture went viral quickly, and people’s reactions varied from horror to slight curiosity. Everyone wanted to know what had happened to her face. Some people even expressed some concerns about her safety. Later on, it was revealed she had a procedure done called the “vampire facial”.
A “vampire facial” is, essentially, a form of regenerative therapy. It takes the person’s own blood and injects it back into their face. If that sounds too extreme for you, there’s no need to worry. Micro-needling is nothing like that, except for the idea of poking your face with needles.
If you haven’t been introduced to micro-needling therapy yet, you might want to get your hands on a derma roller right away. This little tool might be the best thing that ever happened to your skin.
Now, let’s talk about the derma roller itself:
What is a derma roller?
A derma roller — also known as a microneedle roller — is a device with a bunch of tiny needles attached to it that you can roll into your face.
There are two different types of derma rollers: the ones made with titanium needles and the ones made with stainless steel. There are no huge differences between the two — both will get the job done — except titanium needles will last you a little longer while stainless steel needles are more sterile.
Now let’s talk about the procedure.
What is exactly micro-needling?
It’s a cosmetic treatment designed to rejuvenate the skin and stimulate collagen production. This is a technique that has been around for quite some time but only recently it has become more popular.
Up until a few years ago, micro-needling was a procedure that you could only do in a dermatologist office. Nowadays, with a derma roller, you can perform this treatment on yourself, safely, at the comfort of your own home.
How does it work?
The idea is to puncture the outer layer of the skin with tiny needles. This will create controlled injury, which in turn sends a signal to your body to produce more collagen and elastin to repair the area. These will plump the skin thus reducing the appearance of pores, fine lines and, wrinkles.
What are the benefits?
Some of the benefits of derma rolling include improvement of conditions such as acne scars, pore size, skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, brown spots, and even stretch marks.
Doctor Mona Gohara, M.D, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine says: “It can be effective at boosting the penetration of topical skincare and plumping skin. A study found micro-needling may be as helpful as lasers and other resurfacing devices for reducing acne scars”
Doctor Manish Shah, M.D, a plastic surgeon based in Colorado says: “In my opinion, micro-needling is the single best treatment for stretch mark reduction”.
What size roller should I use?
That will depend on what you want to achieve and the condition of your skin. Each size is for a specific purpose. Here are the options you can choose from, along with their benefits:
0.2-0.3 mm size derma roller
These are the smallest size needles you can get. They are great for better skin absorption of skin products. Because the needles are so small, they don’t cause any superficial damage. These won’t help with collagen production, but they will help thicken the skin. There are no side effects with using 0.2-0.3mm needles, and you can use them safely every other day.
0.5 mm size derma roller
This needle size is perfect if you’re looking to treat shallow wrinkles, sun damage, light scarring, and hyperpigmentation. It also boosts product absorption of the skin. You can use it twice a month, once a week, or more often as tolerated. In the beginning, it’s not recommended to use it more than once a week until your skin gets used to it.
You will start seeing improvements in your skin after the third use. It’s normal to notice some redness right after use, but it should go away in under 30 mins. You can follow up with your normal skincare routine.
Sun exposure and make up are not recommended right after use. The skin also needs at least 6-8 hours to recover. For this reason. the best time to use your derma roller is right before bedtime.
1.0 mm size derma roller
This size is very effective for collagen production but should be used with caution. Because of the size of the needles, users feel more pain compared to smaller ones. If you’re particularly sensitive to pain, you might want to apply a numbing cream prior to use.
The recovery time can also take longer compared to other size rollers — up to a week. Besides treating hyperpigmentation and UV damage, the 1.0 mm roller can also treat stretch marks, scars, and wrinkles.
Recommended use for beginners is every 4 to 6 weeks and no more than twice a month.
1.5 mm-2mm size derma roller
These are considered medium size needles and are recommended for other parts of the body besides the face.
They are not recommended for beginners without prior knowledge. Because of their size, perforation of the skin goes deeper as well, and as a result, you’ll feel stronger pain. These are ideal for the back of hands, abdomen, thighs, and arms.
Now let’s talk about the proper way to use a derma roller at home.
How to use it:
The first step, as soon as you take your derma roller out of the box, is to disinfect it. This is a very important step. Don’t skip it!
To disinfect it, you need to soak it in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for about 20 minutes.
2. Clean your face
The second step is to cleanse your face to remove any makeup, oils, and creams. You can clean the skin by washing it with a mild soap or you can use micellar water. It’s also a good idea to disinfect your face with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol as well to prevent any infections.
3. Begin derma rolling
For this part, it’s best if you divide your face into four sections to make it easier.
Gently roll on your face horizontally until it covers an entire section. Lift the roller up each time you do a pass. Move on to the next section.
After you did all four sections, go back to each area and repeat the same procedure again but moving the roller vertically this time. You should repeat the rolling 8 times in each pass for each direction.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to roll diagonally. That will only create an uneven pattern.
You should also avoid the areas that are too close to the eyes where the skin is more sensitive.
4. Wash your face
After you’re done derma rolling, clean your face with just water. You can also use a Ph balanced toner to hydrate and calm the skin.
5. Clean your derma roller
Wash your derma roller with a mild dishwashing soap after use. The best way to do this is to mix some detergent with water in a plastic bowl and swish it around. Rinse it under running water.
After cleaning, you need to disinfect it again. Soak your roller for another 10 mins in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Store it away until next time.
It’s very important not to share your derma roller with other people. Think about it. Would you share your toothbrush with someone else? This is kind of the same concept. Big no-no.
As you begin derma rolling, don’t expect to see immediate results. This is a process that takes time for the body to respond to. It’s not a quick fix.
Results will vary from person to person, but most people don’t start seeing any changes until after a whole month of use. The longer you use it the more results you’ll see. After 6 months of consistent use, you should see significant improvements to your skin.
Also, you’ll notice your derma roller will dehydrate the skin a little, so it’s important to drink plenty of water and use moisturizing creams. The skin will also get more sensitive to the sun, especially the first couple of days following the treatment, so don’t skip on the UV protection.
I hope you enjoyed learning about derma rolling. Don’t forget to spread the word on social media. Remember: Sharing is caring 🙂