Whoever said “beauty is pain” was PROBABLY talking about microneedling (also known as derma rolling). Have you heard about this trend?! Poking tiny needles into your skin might sound like torture, but the benefits are amazing, like reducing wrinkles, scars, and even cellulite. I’m excited to share with you what it is, why it’s good for your skin, and how to do it correctly! I have been microneedling for years and have seen GREAT results.
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This is not something I love sharing, but I used to have pretty severe acne. It took me a year or two to get it under control, but unfortunately, that left me with some scarring. I started looking for ways to get rid of those scars, and along with my go-to Manuka Honey Face Mask, I came across microneedling.
What this post covers:
- What is Microneedling?
- Benefits of Microneedling
- How to Microneedle/Derma Roll at Home
- The Aftermath/Dos & Don’ts
- What Does it Feel Like? Does it Hurt?
- Does Microneedling Work?
- How Often Should I Microneedle?
- What Size Derma Roller Should I Buy?
- What Are the Best Derma Rollers to Buy?
What is Microneedling?
A derma roller is a small, hand-held tool with a roller head that is covered in really tiny needles. Yes, sounds and looks scary. Bear with me! You roll it across your skin (usually your face, but you can do many parts of your body) and it punctures tiny, tiny holes in the outer layer of your skin. (don’t worry, they heal)
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Benefits of Microneedling
By puncturing your skin with those tiny needles, it tricks your body and sends a “distress” signal to send help to that area! Your body then reacts by targeting that area and sending extra collagen to help. Yay collagen!
Because of the tiny holes, your skin becomes more absorbent to products that you apply. So it’s very important that you have a good facial oil or moisturizer to use afterward because your skin will SOAK IT UP! Anything high in Vitamin E (like prickly pear or argan oil) is great to apply after because it aids in the repair process and is full of antioxidants. Vitamin E fights free radicals, is anti-inflammatory, boosts collagen, fills wrinkles, hydrates, keeps skin elastic, and brightens skin. It’s kind of amazing.
Microneedling also exfoliates your skin and creates more blood flow. You can use it for acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, stretch marks, and even cellulite. Do NOT derma roll over active acne, because that will open up the acne and spread it/make it worse.
How to Microneedle/Derma Roll at Home
Okay here we go!
- Sterilize your derma roller in alcohol for about 10 minutes. It’s very important to keep everything clean because you don’t want to get bacteria into your pores and “wounded” skin. Rinse off the roller and gently pat dry with a CLEAN towel.
- While that is sterilizing, wash your face really well and try your best to get alllllll the makeup off. I suggest the oil cleansing method.
- Now the fun begins. Take a deep breath and roll away. Go in small 1-3 inch strokes. First go up and down on an area. Then side to side. Then diagonal. You only need to do it for about 10 seconds in each direction. Do NOT “drag” the roller as that can pull your skin. Make sure you are “lifting” the roller when moving around sections of your face (or whatever body part you are rolling on). Do some extra passes over “problem” areas like a fine line or scar.
- Don’t press too hard while rolling, just enough to feel it working and getting semi-deep on your skin. I find it easier to slightly puff out my cheeks while rolling on that area. And I “pull” my forehead tighter while working on it. Careful around your eyes. You can even do your lips if you want a little plump.
- When you are done, sterilize the derma roller again and let it dry before packing it up.
- Wash your hands and apply an oil or moisturizer as I mention above. I also like to spritz with a cooling aloe mist to bring down redness.
- You’re done! Good job! 😎
The Aftermath/Dos & Don’ts
- Your skin will be red for a couple of hours.
- Keep everything clean. Do not apply makeup for about 12 hours.
- Drink LOTS of water to help keep your skin hydrated.
- Don’t use on active acne or inflamed areas (rosacea, rashes, wounds, etc.).
- Don’t “drag” it around your skin, always lift when moving sections.
- Avoid the sun and wear sunscreen for the next few days.
- Don’t touch your face or area that you derma rolled.
- You might break out the next few days, which means it did its job by opening up your skin.
- After a couple of days, you might notice some peeling or dead skin. This is when you should gently exfoliate.
- NEVER share your derma roller with anybody. Don’t even let them try it on their skin quickly. There are needles that could have blood on them, even if you sterilize. Nope nope nope!
- Replace the roller head every few months because the needles get dull.
What Does it Feel Like? Does it Hurt?
I ain’t gonna lie to you, it does hurt a little bit. Your eyes will probably water, especially on areas closer to the bone like your forehead. And you tend to be more sensitive during your period. It definitely does NOT hurt as much as a tattoo. Don’t worry: It’s uncomfortable but bearable, and only lasts for a little bit (usually takes about 15 mins)! You might bleed a tiny bit, that’s normal.
If it sounds way too scary for you, you might want to check out jade rolling instead. It’s painless, soothing, and also has great effects on your skin like toning, rolls out wrinkles, boosts collagen, etc.
Does Microneedling Work?
YES! It might take a few treatments to see major results, but you have to stick with it. I wish I had some before pictures of my acne scars (but let’s be honest when you have acne you avoid photos like the plague). My skin GLOWS the day after I roll. I have almost ZERO acne scars on my face, very minor and faint. The fine line on my forehead is almost gone. My skin has gotten more firm and youthful. I always say that I have a love/hate relationship with my derma roller because it hurts but is sooooo worth it.
How Often Should I Microneedle?
You don’t want to do it too often because you need to let your skin heal. Never do it more often than once a week. I try to do it about every other week, so 2x a month. In general, you can use the smaller needles more often than the larger needles because they are less invasive.
What Size Derma Roller Should I Buy?
Derma rollers come in different sizes, for different purposes and areas of the body.
0.25 mm — To boost the absorption rate of creams, serums, and other topical products
0.50 mm — For fine lines, mild wrinkles, scarring, and sun damage
1.0 mm — For mild to moderate scars, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles
1.5 mm — For moderate to deep acne scars, stretch marks, scarring, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, and wrinkles (not recommended for facial use)
What Are the Best Derma Rollers to Buy?
Not all needling tools are created equal, and I suggest avoiding cheap knockoffs from places like Amazon which can actually damage your skin. Here are some reputable brands that I use and trust.
This is a great budget-friendly option. They have 3 lengths available: 1.0mm, 0.5mm, and 0.25mm. This is the roller that I use most often. The heads are not replaceable which is too bad, but at least the roller itself is inexpensive. The needles are titanium, uncoated, CE certified, and cylindrical. This should be replaced every 15-20 uses.
I mostly use the standard 1.0 mm for my face and 0.50 mm for under eyes.
BANISH (BANISHER 2.0) [$69]
This one is not a roller, but more of a stamp! It requires a slightly different technique than a traditional roller but I really like it (you essentially press down, slightly wiggle the tool, then lift and rotate 90 degrees; 4-5x per area). It only comes in one length: 0.5mm gold-plated titanium bristles. The benefit of using a pen or stamp is that even pressure is applied and needles go straight into the skin instead of at an angle.
I notice that this one draws more blood compared to a roller, and it hurts a little bit more on my forehead. So in a way, I feel like it’s more effective! It does take a little more time than a roller, too. This should be replaced every 8-10 uses. You can use the code BECCAFIVE for $5 off your order.
This roller is 0.2mm and has stainless steel needles and a durable aluminum handle. The best part: the heads are replaceable and come in packs of two! I love the sleek design and ergonomic handle. This roller is also U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act Certified.
And there you have it. I really hope this blog post was helpful! Have you tried derma rolling before? Let me know in the comments! 👇