Why torture yourself with lots of tiny needles? Two words: skin regeneration.
Micro-needling forces the skin to grow new cells and produce more collagen and elastin. The result is firmer, younger-looking skin with less scarring.
Imagine a cute little paint roller with lots of tiny needles mounted all around the head. You roll it over your skin, back and forth, several times. Depending on the size of the needles, you might do a treatment twice a week, or only once every five weeks.
So who came up with this idea? Derma rollers were invented by a German company in the 1990s, and patented for home use in 2000. You can also visit a dermatologist for a treatment in the office. (At least the dermatologist has anesthetic cream!)
Micro-needling, or derma-rolling, generally takes two or three treatments before you really start to see big improvements. It’s traumatic to skin, so you can expect redness, soreness, and possibly a little bleeding. Your skin will look sunburned for a day or two, then it may feel dry. You will probably ask yourself if it was worth it to torture yourself like this.
But when you see pores shrinking, wrinkles fading, and acne scars disappearing, you’ll agree that it’s a small sacrifice for beauty.
Derma-rolling works on any part of your skin. You can even use a derma roller to plump your lips. Ouch! Don’t plan on kissing anyone for a couple of days.
- Don’t share your roller with anyone else
- Sanitize your roller (we’ll cover that in a moment)
- Avoid rolling over sunburn, acne breakouts, or irritated skin
- Clean your skin first before rolling, then moisturize after
- Roll gently, you don’t need to press hard
Sanitize Your Roller
Warning: it gets little gross here. Alcohol does a great job of killing germs but it doesn’t dissolve the blood and proteins from your skin. Dish soap will wash away those leftover skin cells stuck to the needles.
- Fill a container with warm water and a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid, stir gently to mix
- Soak the roller for 15 minutes, laying it so the needles don’t touch anything but the water
- Rinse with hot water
- Spritz plenty of rubbing alcohol onto the roller head, let it sit for 15 minutes
- Rinse it again with running water
- Let it dry and put it back in its storage container
If the manufacturer of your derma roller has different instructions for cleaning the roller, follow what they say.
What Size Needles to Use?
Usually you would use a minimum of size .50mm and a maximum of .75mm on your face and lips. If you wanted to treat another part of your body with thicker skin, you’ll want at least 1mm needles. To crush scars, you might use 1.5mm.
You can use the .50mm needles once or twice a week on your face. If you use the larger 1.5mm needles, wait three weeks between treatments. These are rough guidelines – if your skin isn’t healed yet, wait a little longer between uses.
Do I Need a Serum?
Some people prefer to apply a serum on the area they roll. A serum can speed up healing, just be careful to choose one that’s safe to use on derma-rolled skin. One suggestion is
Eve Hansen’s Hyaluronic Acid – Facelift in a Bottle #2 Hydrating Serum. If it’s your first time, only use serum on a small area first to see how your skin reacts.
The Best Derma Rollers for Home Use
Derma rolling at home is growing in popularity. We tracked down the highest quality derma rollers with the best reviews for you.
Healthy Care New 540 Micro Needles Titanium Microneedle Derma Roller Needle Skin Care
We liked this derma roller because the needles are made from super-strong titanium. The sturdy design is pretty to look at with the light green roller head and transparent handle. The head contains 540 individual needles. Everything comes in a sterile package.
MT Beauty Skin Care Tool for Face & Body
Like the Healthy Care, the MT Beauty roller has 540 titanium needles on its head. They offer only one size: .25mm. That’s perfect for making the skin on your face look younger and softer.
Cool down Your Irritated Skin after a Treatment
Pro-Nu Ice Roller for Face
This is a derma roller without needles. After you’ve completed a round of micro-needling, or had a peel, soothe your irritated skin with this cool (literally) roller. It also helps reduce puffiness around your eyes and it shrinks pores.
Some smart people figured out that numbing their face with this first really takes the sting out of micro-needling afterward. Then you won’t need a numbing cream first.
Just pull off this ice roller’s head and put it in the freezer for a few hours. When you need it, it’s ready.
(Keep in mind that if you just derma-rolled, you will want to sterilize this ice roller before you use it. Don’t roll bacteria into all those tiny holes in your skin. Clean the ice roller and keep it in a sterile, sealed package inside the freezer.)
Learn more about micro-needling
Read what scientists discovered when they studied the Dermaroller. See this article pulled from the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery.