HOW TO USE A DERMA ROLLER?


Start Taking Care Of Your Own Skin Like A Professional


Home beauty treatments have come a long way since honey and cucumber face masks. At-home beauty devices have become so advanced that these days professional skincare is literally at the end of our fingertips.


I've always been a very keen at-home, beauty treatment kind of girl. In fact, I much prefer buying skincare devices to shoes.  And believe it or not, with a bit of practise you can acheive professional-like results that can keep your skin vibrant and glowing till your next Hydrafacial!



I currently own a Crystalift Microdermabrasion Machine which is not quite as good as a professional course of microdermabrasion, but it's a very close 2nd for a fraction of the price.  And I also have a Facial Rejuvenating Device (pictured below) which is a little more technical and gives outstanding, immediate results.  It is by far the best beauty investment I ever made.

 Facial Rejuvenating Device 

It has electronic muscle stimulation (ems) and radiofrequency for a mini electronic facelift.  Seven LED light therapy settings, which alone makes this a top device as each color treats separate skin issues.  For example, red light stimulates cellular activity, in particular, the fibroblast cells which produce collagen.  Blue light kills Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that cause acne.  And other light settings can help push products like serums into the skin.


It's my most expensive device though, retailing at $325.  But, if you can get yourself to a beauty trade show like I did, you can pick one up at a discounted price. Amazon does sell a much cheaper version that I'm thinking of trying out to travel with..



Anyway, enough about other devices, this post is about my new obsession derma rolling, or, as it's referred to in the medspa - medical micro-needling. A procedure until quite recently only carried out by an aesthetic practitioner.

At approximately $200 for a single treatment.. which you'll learn from this post, you'll need one of on a regular basis to see results.

Now, can your $15 at-home derma roller give you the same results as a professional aesthetician? 

Keep reading to find out!  This is a long one, as there's a whole load of micro-needling information that needs to be digested if you want to begin doing this procedure yourself.  But, if you stick with me until the very end, you will find all the directions and help you need to get started!






SO, WHAT IS MICRO-NEEDLING?


I had been reading about how the A-list love these 'micro-needling' treatments for a while now. Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Aniston have all spoken about having this procedure done for awards season.


Jennifer Aniston said, “I do micro-needling! I just learned about it a couple months ago from a facialist in New York. It allows the serums and whatever products you’re using to really sink in"

What Aniston is referring to is the fact that micro-needling can dramatically accelerate the effects of topical serums containing anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. It provides a short window of opportunity for post-treatment products to travel into the skin through fresh channels reaching levels of the epidermis, at concentrations not otherwise possible. Permeability is increased by hundreds of times the degree that topical products can normally penetrate the skin.






A BIT OF HISTORY

Like so much of our modern-day beauty maintenance, the concept of needling the skin dates back thousands of years. Evidence has shown that the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Indians all experimented with micro-needling to some degree.


But the first recorded use of micro-needling in the western world was in 1905 by German dermatologist Ernst Kromayer. He experimented with various-sized dental burrs mounted on motor-driven flexible cord equipment to treat scars, birthmarks and pigmentation. Thankfully we've come a long way since then!




In the 1950s Kromayer's work was rediscovered by Abner Kurtin, a dermatologist in New York, which was fast becoming a hub for dermatological pioneers. Kurtin, along with French scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Alexis Carrell modified the technique with stainless steel wire brushes instead of dental burrs.

By 1995 a few plastic surgeons had begun using hypodermic needles to treat scars and wrinkles. Around this time a South African plastic surgeon, Dr Desmond Fernandes presented his first paper on skin needling (to treat fine lines on the upper lip) to the International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). He had developed a small needle stamp to induce collagen production. This would develop into the modern-day derma pen/roller.







WHAT IS A DERMA ROLLER?

A derma roller is a small hand-held device that is used to roll over areas of the face. It looks a lot like a miniature paint roller covered in hundreds of tiny titanium spikes.

I know, stabbing your face with tiny needles sounds a lot more like torture than a treatment to me too!  But, here's the good bit.. the needles create micro-injuries that signal your body to produce more collagen and elastin to repair the affected area. This extra collagen and elastin makes for plumper, tighter skin and fewer wrinkles! "By creating small areas of injury, it jumpstarts the skins repair cycle, inducing collagen and elastin synthesis," says Dr Maryam Zamani, an Oculoplastic surgeon, Aesthetic Doctor and creator of MZ Skin.


According to the experts, micro-needling works on all skin types but is especially effective on those who have scarring and pigmentation.


"It can also be used on hyperpigmentation because it helps shed the top layer of skin while also helping in the absorption of topical agents that can be used concurrently to help to prevent the formation of new pigmentation," says Dr Zamani.  Derma rolling can also be used for hair regeneration/regrowth, to help reduce acne scars, stretch marks, cellulite and large pores.


Aesthetician Kerry Benjamin, founder of Stacked Skincare tells SELF that the purpose of micro-needling is two-fold: to stimulate collagen production and to increase the absorption of skincare products. "With the right corrective serums, micro-needling is an effective, powerful way to prevent the aging process and create a youthful glow," says Benjamin.









MICRO-NEEDLING FOR LIPS

Vlogger Farah Dhukai claims at home derma rolling to be an alternative for lip fillers.

"I've thought about getting fillers, but decided to try THIS alternative method instead and I LOVE IT!" says Dhakai in her Instagram post which shows her derma rolling her lips.










FIVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START MICRO-NEEDLING





1. POST-TREATMENT SERUM

Aftercare is of the utmost importance. NON-TOXIC serum is a must. Puncturing holes in your face is no fun so the last thing you need post rolling is harsh alcohols and chemical fragrances entering your freshly wounded face.

It's all about hydration, nourishing ingredients and keeping the skin clean. Choose a serum high in hyaluronic acid (HA) and antioxidants. If you don't know about HA and it's anti-aging powers then click here now because you need this one in your skincare repertoire!

Here are 6 of my favourite HA serums:











Rubbing Alcohol 70% 

2. STERILIZATION

Derma rolling needs to be taken seriously, or you could damage your skin.  Rollers MUST BE STERILIZED with 70% isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol before and after use. DO NOT USE mouthwash, barbicide, witch hazel or any other disinfecting agents.

70% isopropyl alcohol is recommended over 99% too, because 70% evaporates more slowly, therefore it remains in contact with microbial organisms for a longer period of time. Meaning it kills everything!

If you're in the UK rubbing alcohol is really hard to find for some reason.  I got a great on Amazon - four 500ml bottles for £12. Bargain!





Before using first wash your derma roller in soapy water (dish soap is suitable) and rinse. Then soak it in 70% isopropyl alcohol. You can also spray your roller with the alcohol, just make sure your thoroughly soak it.

When you have finished your treatment it's important to wash and rinse the derma roller before sterilizing it, as alcohol doesn't dissolve the proteins found in skin and blood.




3. TREATMENT FREQUENCY BASED ON NEEDLE SIZE

START WITH THE SMALLEST SIZE NEEDLE AND TIME YOUR TREATMENTS ACCORDINGLY

The next thing to know about derma rollers is that they come with different needles sizes. Starting at the shortest length which is 0.2mm up to a 2.5mm needle which should be used by professionals only.



  • 0.2/0.25mm = Every other day
  • 0.5mm = Every 3 weeks
  • 0.75mm = Every 4 weeks
  • 1.0mm = Every 5-6 weeks
  • 1.5mm = Every 6 weeks
  • 2.0/2.5mm = Every 8 weeks 

The professionals suggest starting with 0.5mm derma roller...  If you are a newbie to at-home beauty tools I strongly suggest starting with the smallest size needle.  There are around 8 different needle sizes to choose from, but anything above a 1.0mm - or if your a seasoned skin pro a 1.5mm should be used by professionals only as they will draw blood and you'll need numbing cream.  

A 0.2mm and a 0.25mm needle length are too short to stimulate collagen synthesis, but this size derma roller can be used every other day to improve the skins absorption level of serum and products.



I started my micro-needling journey with a 1.0mm derma roller which is doable without numbing cream, although I will say, I hate doing my forehead,  it's a little painful and makes me sneeze!  I use this roller every 6 weeks.

I use a 0.25mm roller twice a week to help my serums and oils sink in.

AVOID 3 DOLLAR DERMA ROLLERS SOLD ON eBay! BUY FROM A REPUTABLE BRAND. NEEDLES SHOULD BE TITANIUM, NOT METAL. 

They say you can use this needle size every other day, but since I've only been rolling my skin for a few months I don't want to overdo it and cause any irritation! Slow and steady wins the race, right?!  

Ok... We've covered post-care treatment, sterilization, treatment frequency based on derma roller needle size... but which size should you use for what?





4. WHAT EACH NEEDLE SIZE TREATS?









  









5. DERMA ROLLER DIRECTIONS


DO NOT USE A DERMA ROLLER ON ACTIVE ACNE, RAISED SCARS/KELOID SCARS, RAISED MOLES OR ANY SKIN ABNORMALITIES.

DO NOT SHARE YOUR DERMA ROLLER.

DISINFECT YOUR DERMA ROLLER BEFORE AND AFTER USE.

A couple of things to keep in mind, pressure should be firm, not heavyMake sure your hands are clean, I wash and spray isopropyl alcohol on mine.

Apply your serums and creams immediately after you finish rolling.  

Use sunscreen when leaving the house. STAY OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT AFTER MICRO-NEEDLING.

Double cleanse your face before you derma roll. Sterilise your face if using a 1mm needle or above.

Right then.. if you're still here, let's roll!

  • Start on one half of the face and work in small sections.  Start with the outermost part of your cheek in front of the ear.  Roll vertically up and down 4-6 times in the same spot

  • Lift the roller up off the skin (never drag the pins as it will damage the skin) and move inwards repeating the vertical rolling two more times in that section 

  • Now roll horizontally across the same section, back and forth 4-6 time again in the same spot. Lift and repeat two times across this area 

  • Lift and repeat in diagonal lines. You want to make sure you are needling every mm of your face!



Avoid the eye area unless using a 0.2mm or a 0.25mm roller!  I really advise watching Gin Amber on YouTube.  She has a ton of great tutorial videos on derma rolling including this really helpful one on rolling the brows and around the eyes.




Make sure you get all-around your nose as much as possible if you have any large pores in this area. It can be a bit tricky at first, but with practice will get easier.

Rolling around the mouth and lips can help reduce fine lines in this area, so spend a little extra time here.   I also spend extra time on my frown lines too.


Move in small sections all around the face until you have needled one half. Then move to the other side. I spend around 30-40 minutes rolling my whole face.

RESULTS

The results of micro-needling are not instant.  It takes anywhere from 3-6 months of consistent treatments to see reduced lines, faded pigmentation marks and scars, plumper skin and overall healthier, more hydrated skin.  But the reviews are good, with many women reporting that they need less/no botox and fillers a year after they start derma rolling.

This is a procedure you really have to commit yourself to, that will pay off over time.

I have been rolling for a couple of months now, and my skin feels softer and more hydrated than usual. It hasn't reduced my pigmentation marks (yet!), but I'm confident that with regular use they will fade.

  Good luck derma rolling, and please take care the first time you try!