Dermarolling, also called microneedling, creates microscopic wounds that, in turn, induce the production of elastin and collagen. This is why it’s also called collagen injection therapy. Collagen is required to hold connective tissue together, like bones, tendons, muscles, cartilage, and skin. It’s also what keeps people looking beautiful and young.
By the age of 25, however, collagen production slows down, which means people start to look older. If you have tried dermarolling in a salon setting, you may want to look into doing it yourself at home in between professional cosmetic treatments. Here’s what you need to know.
1. What Size Roller is Best
The size of the roller you choose will depend on what you want to accomplish. If you have shallow acne scars, a 1.0 mm will work best. If your acne scars are deep, use a 1.5 mm roller. For enlarged pores use a roller between 0.25 and 0.5 mm because this will thicken your epidermis, resulting in less visible pores. If you have Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), use a roller between 0.25 and 0.5 mm so as to increase product absorption and cell turnover.
For skin discoloration caused by hypo pigmentation or melasma, a 0.2 to 1.0 mm roller works best. Be sure to start out with the smallest length to find what works for your skin.
With sun damaged or saggy skin, use a combination of 0.5 mm and 1.0 mm rollers.
For stretch marks, start with a 1.5 mm and go up to 2.0 mm for results. Surgical scars require a 1.5 mm roller.
Treat uneven skin tone or texture with 0.5 mm roller. And finally, for wrinkles, use a 0.5 to 1.5 mm roller, but again, start with the smallest.
2. How Often to Use a Dermaroller
The length of the needles will dictate how often you will use the roller:
- 25 mm every second day;
- 5 mm one to three times a week;
- 0 mm every 10 days to two weeks;
- 5 mm once every three or four weeks; and
- 0 mm every six weeks. Be aware this length should not be used by anyone but a professional.
3. How to Use a Dermaroller
In order to avoid hazards, follow these steps exactly.
- Disinfect your roller using 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for at least five to 10 minutes.
- Totally clean your face with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser.
- If you’re using a roller with needles longer than 0.5 mm, wipe down your face with the 70 percent isopropyl alcohol before proceeding.
- Apply an anesthetic cream if necessary. It’s likely you will need to do this for any rollers above 1.0 mm. If you choose to use the numbing cream, follow the instructions on the package and completely wipe off the cream before you continue.
- Start rolling: it’s easy to do if you section off your face in half down the middle, then across your face at eyebrow level. Stay away from your eyes. Roll in just one direction six to eight times, making sure to lift the roller up between each pass. After you do the pass six to eight times, lift up the roller and move it over slightly. Repeat. Do this until the whole section of your face is done.
- Go back over the area you just completed and roll perpendicularly. If you started rolling horizontally, that means you will now roll vertically. You do not need to roll diagonally.
- When done, rinse your face off with water.
- Clean your dermaroller with hot water and soap. Alcohol will not remove the proteins in blood and skin, which is why soap works best here.
- Now disinfect your roller in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol again for 10 minutes. Store it away.
Use a basic skincare routine: no chemical exfoliants or other active ingredients like salicylic acid, tretinoin, or benzoyl peroxide.