Does Dermarolling Work?

The Derma Roller is the go-to beauty treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring. The quest for younger-looking skin is a never-ending challenge.

Can I Improve My Skin?

We’ll try anything – invest in all the anti-aging goods the world has to offer in an attempt to reverse the tell-tale signs! We will try and drink three liters of water a day to keep our skin moisturized – why is it so easy to drink wine but so difficult to drink the recommended amount of water?

We’ll take the healthiest skin supplements in the belief they will improve the appearance of our fine lines and crow’s feet.

But, if the results are not exactly what we were hoping for, what is everyone turning to now? Introducing the ‘Derma roller.’

Derma Roller

The Derma Roller is the go-to beauty treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring.

What Exactly Is It?

The Derma Roller is still a relatively new addition in the field of beauty that originated in China. It is used to help you treat your skin and works by ‘activating’ the outer surface of the body, this allows your favorite cosmetics to penetrate deep into the skin, meaning that skincare products are able to filter further down into the skin where they’re needed.

Can Dermarolling Reverse Skin Aging?

Micro-needling is an effective treatment for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and pore size, the collagen stimulation gained improves skin texture, as well as improving the appearance of acne scars.

The skin consists of two main layers. The epidermis and the dermis.

The epidermal cells turn over quickly, they are continually being produced below the epidermis, they move their way up and are eventually shed from the surface of the skin. It takes approximately twenty days for the cells to get from the base of the epidermis to the skin surface.

This continual process slows down as we age, but it is still extremely rapid when compared to the turnover of the dermis.

The dermis has a remarkably slow turnover. The half-life of dermal collagen is roughly fifteen years! So, what does this mean?

You are born with a specific amount of collagen in the dermis.

When you are 15 years old, only 50% of the original collagen remains, the rest has been replaced.

When you are 30 years old, only 25% of the original collagen remains in your skin.

When you are 45 years old, only 12.5% of the original collagen is still in your skin.

When you are 60 years old, you only have 6.25% of the original collagen in your skin.

skin profile

So, for example, you are 60 years old, some of the original collagen you had as a newborn is still in your skin. But, this collagen has had to deal with a lot over the 60 years, the sun creating most of the problems! It is not surprising over the years we get wrinkles and sun-damaged skin!

When collagen gets damaged, the body instantly repairs it but sadly, as we age, the repairs turn out to be sub-standard, and to make matters worse – we’re faced with decreasing collagen levels.

Does Dermarolling Work?

applying derma roller to cheek

The big deal with dermarolling is that you can deceive the body, and so trigger collagen and elastin much earlier than the natural rate of turnover.

Dermarolling with needles that reach the dermis causes small micro-injuries in the skin, and the body sees it as a high priority to correct them. These micro-injuries will trigger new collagen, but regrettably, the skin will never be as flawless as when you were young.

Alternative methods, such as acid peels or lasers can’t be used to reach the dermis due to the risk of scarring and hypopigmentation. But a derma roller can comfortably go that deep because it does not erode the skin, it only pierces it. As the areas that have been penetrated are surrounded by untreated skin, the regeneration happens very quickly.

Dermarolling will speed up the renewal of dermal proteins, collagen, and elastin in the dermis, and this can help to slow down, but not stop the signs of skin aging.

It takes a bit of time to achieve results because every time you roll, you only prick small fractions of the surface. Be patient and repeat the micro-needling procedure on yourself as often and as long as it takes, following the instructions you are given.

Dermarolling acne scars – perseverance rewarded:

You will need to have patience and persistence for long-term derma-rolling, but you are destined for good results. Significant improvement of acne scars is the most popular feedback I have seen.

Dermarolling sun-damaged skin:

You can expect great results in renewing the sun-damaged skin of the face, neck, and to a lesser extent the forearms and the back of the hands.

What Is Dermarolling?


You can never be sure how people are going to react when you announce to the world that you can benefit from rolling needles into your face.

The Microneedle Roller is a tiny, single manual cylinder device (similar to the electric roller probe you see used in beauty salons but quite a bit smaller) it has micro-needles that are made of stainless steel or titanium.

It is these tiny needles that penetrate the pores of the upper layer of the skin as you carefully roll the Derma-roller across the skin surface so as to penetrate but not cause any damage to your delicate skin.

About an hour after using the derma-roller, the skin pores begin to close again, but it is during this period the skin is able to absorb serums and creams that you apply a lot easier. The redness brought on by the treatment disappears after a few hours.

Derma rollers come in two varieties — stainless steel or titanium needles. There is a lot of confusion about which is better. Basically, it comes down to two things – durability and hygiene.

Titanium is a lot more durable because it’s a stronger alloy than stainless steel. This means the Titanium needles will last longer and remain sharp and won’t become blunt as fast as the stainless steel needles. However, titanium is not as sterile as stainless steel and requires more cleaning and aftercare.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, needles are sharper and more sterile but become blunts more quickly. My personal preference is stainless steel. It’s what medical professionals, tattoo artists, and acupuncturists use. But if you can’t find them, it’s really not that important what type you use.

These needles start at lengths of 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 mm. The length of the needle you use has to do with the part of the body where the roller will be used, and the problem you wish to resolve. If for example, we want to treat the face we use size 0.25 – 1.5 mm, and if you are going to treat the buttocks, or cellulite you use the size 2.0 – 2.5 for home treatment.

At Home Dermarolling V’s In-Clinic Dermarolling:

The main difference between at home and in-clinic is the needle length used. Although the method of treatment for skincare and professional needling techniques is similar, the course of action provides a remarkably different result.

Micro-needling performed in clinic utilizes a significantly longer needle, this creates a micro-channel for effective product penetration, the goal is to induce trauma. This trauma, deep inside the skin, kick-starts the wound-healing process, leading to stimulation of the fibroblast and increased production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin. This is in contrast to home treatments where the main benefit is to increase product penetration.

At-home derma roller needles tend not to be longer than 2.5mm, whereas those in a specialist clinic can go up to 5 or 6mm.

Is Dermarolling Painful?

This is entirely dependent on the length of the needles on the derma roller. At-home derma roller needles are short, so they don’t pierce the skin deep enough to cause too much pain. However, the use of anything over 1.5mm can be painful, specialist clinics will tend to apply numbing cream on your face about an hour before your treatments. With the use of longer needles, these might draw blood, but nothing to be frightened of, and with the use of an antiseptic solution this should prevent any infection.

Basic Advice – Using A Derma Roller:

micro needle length

 

As everyone’s skin is different and we all tolerate treatments differently, common sense is required and alter any treatment according to how your skin is reacting. Do not increase any treatment believing this will speed up results, in fact, you are probably doing more damage and slowing down the rate of improvement.

To begin with, disinfect your derma roller by letting it soak in 70% isopropyl alcohol for approximately 5-10 minutes. Do this every time you use your roller.

Next, thoroughly cleanse your face using a gentle pH-balanced cleanser.

Very Important, if you are going to use a derma roller with needles over 0.5mm, you should wipe your face with 70% isopropyl alcohol before you start the rolling process.

Depending on how well you cope with pain, you might need to apply an anesthetic cream, most people deal with needles up to 1.0mm without it; however, you will want to use some numbing cream for anything above 1.0 mm, since that needle length will draw a tiny speckle of blood via the pinpoint.

If you use numbing cream, carefully follow the instructions that come with the cream and make sure to wipe it off BEFORE you start rolling thoroughly!

Avoid rolling to close to the orbit (eye sockets).

dermarolling forehead

You should roll in one direction 8 to 10 times (depending on your skin tolerance and sensitivity) making sure to lift the roller after each pass.

Roll in one direction. Lift up. Repeat – this is very important!

Lifting the derma roller after each pass will prevent the dreaded ‘track marks.’

After you roll the same place for 8 to 10 times, move the derma roller over slightly to a new ‘track’ and repeat. Do this until you’ve covered the whole section of skin you are treating.

After this step, you go back over the area you just rolled and repeat the process but in the ‘perpendicular’ direction. So, for example, if you finished rolling across your forehead vertically, you would now go back and redo that entire process, but horizontally.

By the end of the procedure, you should have rolled over each area 16 -20 times (8-10 horizontally, 8-10 vertically). One significant point I would like to make, we do not need to roll diagonally across the face. Doing so creates an uneven pattern configuration with far too much stress on the center area.

Despite pointing this out, some people still fancy rolling diagonally anyway, if you decide you want to do this, please take care not to overdo the rolling and cause an unwanted reaction to your skin.

After you’re done micro needling, rinse your face with WATER ONLY.

Clean your derma roller with dishwasher detergent. Create a soapy water mix in a container, then swish the roller purposefully making sure you don’t hit the sides and damage the needles.

The reason we use detergents like washing up liquid directly after rolling is that alcohol does not destroy the proteins found in skin and blood.

Disinfect your derma roller again by allowing it to soak in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 10 minutes. After washing, I always like to give the roller a dry using my hair drying on ‘cool’ setting, this is to make sure no water is sitting on it when it is stored away, we don’t want to risk any rust appearing on the needles. Put it back in its case, and store it somewhere safe.

Follow up with your basic skin care routine. Avoid comedogenic ingredients; preservatives like BHA; parabens such as benzoic acid; other acids such as glycolic, salicylic, trichloroacetic, alpha and beta hydroxy acids; and artificial fragrances that break down into dangerous compounds within the body.

Apply your serums and moisturizers that are going to be better absorbed deep into the skin. If you want to apply something like Tretinoin (Retin-A) allow a few healing days to pass after rolling then apply.

Wait until your skin is entirely recovered before considering another session! Rebuilding collagen is a slow process and requires patience. Remember that the skin takes approximately 28 days to renew itself.

Often, you won’t begin to see the full results of a micro-needling session until approximately 6 weeks have passed. Keep that in mind when you’re getting the urge to roll again impulsively. Doing it too much, too soon, can result in severe damage. More is not necessarily better here!

What Size Needle Should I Use?

needle depths into skin

On your face begin using a 0.25 – 0.5mm needle, you would typically use the 0.25mm twice per week, but ONLY if after a few goes and you find your skin is tolerating the derma-roller. The 0.5mm generally is used two times per month, but you could increase to weekly use if your skin tolerates it.

When increasing the needle size on the face 0.75 to1.00mm use every four to six weeks, this can be increased to every two weeks ONLY if your skin is tolerating the treatment, but never use it more than every two weeks.

As stated before patience really is the key to successful Derma-Rolling.

I would not recommend using any needle over 1.0mm on your face at home, if misused this could be harmful to your skin. If you are thinking to use anything over 1.0mm, you really should consider going to a specialist clinic.

0.25mm Needle:

This isn’t really going to rapidly improve fine lines or wrinkles. A Derma Roller with needles of this size is more beneficial as a means to get better absorption of topical skin creams. You could if you find your skin tolerates it use this size needle 2 or 3 times per week to improve the effectiveness of skin care serum/cream. You should experience minimal pain, and should not see any bleeding with this size needle.

0.5mm Needle:

This size needle on your Derma-Roller will treat fine lines, shallow scars, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation. It should produce collagen growth but at a slightly slower rate than if using larger size needles. It will also boost the absorption of skin care serum/cream.

This size needle should be used once or twice per month but can be increased to once a week if your skin is able to tolerate it. NEVER use more than once a week with a 0.5mm needle contrary to what is said else where on the net! You may experience mild pain but should not require any numbing cream, you may see minimal bleeding with this size needle. Skin redness and peeling should generally clear within a few days.

0.75 – 1.0mm Needle:

This size needle is perfect for treating wrinkles, scars, sun damage, and stretch marks and will induce collagen growth at a faster rate than the 0.5mm needle. It will increase skin absorption of skin care serum/creams.

As it is penetrating deeper into the skin, recovery time could be 3 to 7 days, and you will see moderate bleeding. Depending on how well you tolerate pain, you may require the use of numbing cream.

It is recommended to use this size needle every four to six weeks, never use this size needle more than twice a month as this will ultimately slow down collagen production increase side effects.

As I stated earlier, if you are considering using anything over 1.0mm needle on your face I would recommend going to a specialist clinic for this treatment.

Never Share Your Roller:

You should never share your roller with another person. This can transfer disease and infection from one person to another. It is for your sole use only. NEVER SHARE YOUR DERMA ROLLER!

I hope you found this post resourceful and helpful. Be safe, be smart, and be successful with your Dermarolling adventures!

Have you tried Dermarolling, have you found it helpful for your skin problems? Does Dermarolling Work? I would love to hear from you. Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

jo@yourskincarehelp.com

2 Replies to “Does Dermarolling Work?”

  1. Although I have heard about Dermarolling, I never knew that much about it, I found this article very informative, especially about the choice of needle size, the smaller needle makes it more appealing at least to begin with, as the smaller the needle hopefully the less painful, but hopefully with good results! I think this will make a great gift for Mothers Day! A problem solved 🎁

    1. Hi, ‘derma rolling’ is becoming more and more popular with people wanting to try ‘home treatments’ as results seem to very favourable, especially dealing with mild acne scars and fine lines. Use the smaller needles, and if you are considering using anything over 1.5mm I would go to a ‘specialist’ skin clinic.

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