11.8 min read3049 words

All You Need to Know About Derma Rolling


Mahlagha Homayouni


April 22, 2020


All You Need to Know About Derma Rolling:

Do you also keep that extra cash for some me-time at the end of the month but end up with a little to pay for the bills? Well, I do. And that means skin-care expenses need to wait for at least another month!

Enter derma rollers.

Money shouldn’t stand on your way of attaining a flawless skin. If you can’t have a skin microneedling session, then you can use derma rollers to achieve the same result. However, you shouldn’t expect immediate results or an equal amount of effectiveness.

The process of using a derma roller device for the skin is called dermarolling. Because of it increases collagen production, it is also called a collagen induction therapy. If you perform it in a clinic, under the supervision of a doctor, it is called microneedling.

What is a derma roller?

A derma roller is a small handy object. It has a roller which is covered with small needles on one side. You can easily hold and run it over your face without putting pressure over it. The device can be easily used at home, without professional help. But of course you need to have some training to learn how to use it. This tool can help you with acnes, stretch marks, scars, wrinkles, fine lines, and even cellulite. So, it has gained a lot of popularity since it can give your skin a better glow.

There are different kinds of derma rollers for different kinds of treatments. You should know what you try to achieve with a derma roller, and choose the right one.

Scroll down to learn how derma rollers work, how they benefit your skin, and how to choose the best ones.

Facts about derma rollers:

  • Every individual must have their own personal derma roller. Sharing derma rollers may result in transmission of bacteria from one person to another and lead to infection.
  • Bleeding is a normal issue after derma rolling. You have nothing to worry about when you see blood after the procedure. However, you should also know that bleeding is at minimum with 0.25 to 0.5mm rollers.
  • You shouldn’t expect overnight results, rather, be positive and patient. The results will appear only if you keep on using the roller for a period of time. It is believed that at least with 2 to 3 sessions of rolling you can see results.
  • Another way to prevent infection, is to clean and disinfect your rollers after every use. Alcohol with 70% strength can be used for this purpose.

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How does a derma roller take effect?

A derma roller contains many small needles, which cause minor trauma to the skin, creating micro channels in it. Naturally, the skin responds to these micro injuries by an overdrive of collagen and elastin in order to heal them. As a result of the increase in production of these substances, your skin feels younger and tighter.

For a better result, you can use the device together with a serum that can sink deep in your skin and be absorbed more quickly. Serums consist of a variety of ingredients but you need to make sure which type is required for your skin. Scroll down for more information about serums.

How should I use a derma roller?

Successful derma rolling practices follow carefully measured steps. In case you don’t pay enough attention to what you’re doing, chances are you will regret what you have done. So, pay close attention and follow these steps before, during, and after derma rolling very carefully.

Before derma rolling

  1. Wash your hands and take the device out of its package. Then, carefully disinfect it using alcohol and warm water. This will help the device to sterilize.
  2. Before derma rolling, gently wash your face with a solution or cleanser that has a balanced pH. Remember, your skin should not be irritated. Therefore, your cleanser must suit your skin type.It is also helpful if you exfoliate your skin and apply a serum of choice (preferably rich in hyaluronic acid and growth factors). In fact, one of the points of derma rolling is making sure the ingredients of nourishing serums are absorbed deep in the skin.Note: If the needles of your derma roller are longer than 0.5 mm, you should also wipe your skin using 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Then you can use the device.
  3. Since derma rolling can be painful, especially depending on the kind of device used, some people use numbing creams or ointments. A cream containing 5% lidocaine would suffice.Before applying the cream, please make sure your skin does not have allergic reactions to it. Also, follow the instructions of the manufacturer when using it, and wipe it off after allowing it to take effect.

    While derma rolling

  4. Split face into 5 sections:
  • Inner brow to outer brow on either side of the forehead.
  • The ear to nasolabial fold on each side.
  • Around the month
  1. Determine the area which needs derma rolling and pick the appropriate device. Be careful, you need to avoid the area under and around the eyes. The skin in this area is more delicate and fragile. In case you want to use the device on the area under your eyes, do it very carefully.
  2. Learn the technique before running the derma roller. You need to apply mild pressure on the device and roll each area in straight lines and lift the device every time you reach one end. This will prevent the track marks of the roller from appearing on your face.
  3. Each direction will need 6-8 times of rolling

Roll Lift the device Repeat

  1. You need to cover all sections of your face. So, roll one section 6-8 times, then adjust the device to roll over the area next to the rolled one. Make sure you have rolled the entire area in one direction, for example vertically.
  2. After you complete rolling the area of the face in one direction, repeat all the steps in the same area in a perpendicular direction to the last one. For example, if you first rolled the face horizontally, now repeat all the same steps vertically in the same spot.

Note: Rolling the device diagonally is not a good idea, because it will create extra pressure in the center.

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After derma rolling

  1. When you finish derma rolling, rinse your face with water. You don’t need to use any cleansers.
  2. Use some detergent like soap, or even dishwasher soap, and mix it with water in a plastic container. Soak the device in the mixture and swish it multiple times. This is to make sure torn skin pieces, proteins, and even blood drops are washed properly.
  3. Sterilize your device by soaking it in alcohol for 10 minutes. Afterwards, make sure your device dries properly, then put it back in its case.

    Do’s and Don’ts Before Derma Rolling

  • If you use medication, before going for derma rollers consult your doctor and check whether it is fine to have the treatment or it will cause complications for your skin.
  • Know your skin type. If you have a very sensitive skin, using derma rollers will be painful and it can result in irritation.
  • The best time to use the roller is at night before going to bed.
  • The use of sunscreen is advised both before and after the use of derma roller.
  • Disinfect your device before using.
  • Don’t roll your device over active acne.

    Do’s and Don’ts after the derma rolling treatment

  • Avoid applying make-up or taking a hot shower 24 hours after the session.
  • Use the same serum you applied before derma rolling, or another mild hydrating product.
  • Use serums or products rich in hyaluronic acid, and epidermal growth factors.
  • Cover your derma roller after the disinfection process and make sure no one uses it except you.
  • Avoid exposure to the sun, especially if you are not wearing sunscreen.
  • Don’t roll again within few days or weeks from your previous session. It takes about 27 days for the micro injuries to fully recover. If you push it hard during this time, and try to make a change, you will only further damage your skin.
  • How often should the derma roller be used?

    The frequency of applying the treatment relies on the type of the roller you are using, the length of its needles, and the kind of issue you wish to address with derma rolling.

    Follow the chart to see the needle lengths and the frequency with which you can use them to get the best results.

Please remember that as a starter, you are strongly recommended not to use needle lengths longer than 0.5 millimeters.

The length of the needle(mm) 0.25 mm 0.5 mm 1.0 mm 1.5 mm 2.0 mm
How often to be used Everyday possible Once to thrice a week Every 10 to 14 days possible Once in every 3 to 4 weeks Every 6 weeks possible

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What kind of serums are suitable for applying before and after derma rolling?

In order to enhance the results of derma rolling, you can use certain solutions, serums, and sheet masks before and after the procedure.

These serums usually contain ingredients which encourage collagen production. However, there is a debate over which ingredients you need to use and which ones you’d better avoid. Truth is while some ingredients have tested and true benefits for the skin, not all of them can go with derma rolling. Let’s have a look at some of the useful and arguably harmful ingredients to be used before or after derma rolling:

Welcome ingredients:

Hyaluronic acidThe number one, all time super ingredient is the hyaluronic acids. These acids take the lead on skin hydration and rejuvenation, and can be used both before and after derma rolling. You just need to make sure that hyaluronic acid constitutes the main ingredient of your serum.Peptide proteinsPeptide proteins are useful for the firmness of skin and its absence results in lose skin and wrinkles. With micro-needling, you can make the most of peptide proteins. Just please choose serums that contain as little fragrance and reactive substances as possible.Ceramides This substance is a kind of fatty acid that can be found in the outer layers of your skin. It functions as a barrier that helps maintain the skin moisture. With ceramides, you will help the recovery of your skin after derma rolling, sooth the sores, and reduce irritation.ZincZinc makes its way to the holy grail of skincare. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. It has also proven functional for healing injuries, soothing the skin, and balancing the microbiome of the skin.SPFEven when you don’t perform derma rolling, you need to add creams with SPF to your daily skincare routines. The substance acts as a shield against the UV rays of the sun. Especially after derma rolling, your skin will be more vulnerable when exposed to sun, so it’s important to use it. At least a spectrum of SPF 30 is recommended for use after this treatment.

Not so welcome ingredients

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is normally considered as one of the ingredients to include in your day intake of useful vitamins for the skin. It accelerates collagen and antioxidant production in skin. However, this substance can act as a strong exfoliant which causes irritation. This is why some dermatologists do not agree with its use before or after derma rolling.RetinolRetinol, which is also called Vitamin A, is a nutritious substance for the skin. Even though it is a strong ingredient for rejuvenating the skin, it can cause irritation. Therefore, it is not very suitable to be used after derma rolling.Strong exfoliating acidsSkin exfoliation is a must on a regular basis. However, when you do derma rolling, you need to be careful to avoid extra irritation and inflammation of the skin. As such, stir clear of such acids, including AHA, BHA, and PHA acids.

What are the benefits of derma rolling?

  1. With aging, the amount of collagen produced in the skin decreases. As a result, the tissues of the skin become loose, and wrinkles appear. When we use a derma roller, it helps the skin to produce new collagen as well as elastin naturally.
  2. Derma rollers have been proved to be effective in the reduction of wrinkles as well as fine lines from the surface of the skin. The collagen which is produced after using a derma roller, acts as a filler for the lines and wrinkles and increases the elasticity of the skin. As a result, the wrinkles and fine lines are reduced permanently.
  3. Derma rolling helps to reduce acne scars. You might have noticed that when a pimple heals, it leaves a visible fissure just like a scar. To improve the appearance, collagen production is necessary. Your skin needs several derma roller treatment sessions for the desired results to appear on your face.
  4. Stretch marks can be also addressed by derma rollers. The results are mainly based on your skin type and the severity of the condition of the skin.
  5. Derma rolling improves the texture of the skin. We can connect this to the skin cells that are being rejuvenated and renewed after using a derma roller.
  1. Besides the skin, derma rollers also have something to offer for hair loss! Sounds amazing right? This roller stimulates the growth of factors which are responsible for new follicle production and hair growth. Roll the derma roller only in a single direction, and this will prevent your hair from getting caught in the roller.Certain products like Minoxidil, Rogaine and Copper peptide should be applied before needling your scalp with derma roller for the best result. This process will allow the hair to get thicker and reduce hair loss after constant use.

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What happens after derma rolling?

After a derma rolling session, you should expect:

  • Redness of the skin for a couple of hours
  • Minor swelling
  • Feeling like sunburn
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Peeling after a few days (do not peel your skin and let it drop naturally)

When should I expect results?

Derma rolling is a treatment conducted at home. In most cases, it is advised to use devices with shorter needles to minimize damage for starters. As such, it might take a while to see the desired results. It is also important to take into consideration the difference between skin types and the degree of the damage intended for treatment.

In any case, it is important to come up with a routine for derma rolling and stick to it. Usually, results show at least 6 weeks from the derma rolling session and stay for about 6 months. This means, a typical frequency for derma rolling is 3 times in every 12 months.

Please remember, this is not an overnight procedure. If you don’t see results in a couple of weeks, you shouldn’t roll more frequently. On the contrary, this will further damage your skin and reverse or postpone the achievement of results.

How should I choose the best derma roller for my skin?

  • The size of the needle

    Different treatments on different parts of the body require different needles. The effects may also vary according to the skin type. As you are having the treatment at home, it is better to avoid needles longer than 0.5 millimeters.

    If you are a starter you don’t need a variety of derma rollers for stretch mark, scars or even wrinkles. This is because longer needles can result in damage to the skin, and have a reverse effect.

  • The quality of the needle

    Many outdated derma rollers are currently present in the market, which are made from unsuitable materials. These materials have the tendency to bend, get rusted and even get dull. As such, they can harm the user’s skin and result in a painful treatment.

    The needles for derma rollers can be either stainless steel or titanium. Each of these materials have their own pros and cons.

    Titanium is a more durable metal; it lasts longer and rusts more slowly. This also means that you can enjoy its sharpness for a longer period of time.

    Meanwhile, stainless steel absorbs less germs and is more sterile. Even though it is sharper than titanium, it blunts more quickly.

  • Number of needles on the derma roller

The older derma rollers have less than 200 needles with wide gaps between the needles. Using this type of rollers, means that you need to roll it more as it has a small coverage. As a result, these rollers are very painful and stimulate lower collagen regrowth.

  • Eyes or the areas which are hard to reach

Older derma rollers are not designed to be used around the eyes, because they damage the delicate areas near them. Contrarily, the latest versions of the derma rollers can be used for this sensitive area.

  • Protective cover

If you are looking for a top-rated derma roller, keep in mind that it should have a cover along with it. If the rollers have no covers, the needles bend and absorb germs. This results in infection to the use’s skin**.**

What is every needle size good for?

Based on the type of skin, there are different derma rollers with different needle lengths as we saw above. Choosing the right one for your skin will benefit your skin in the long run. Let’s see what skin type is each needle length good for.

Skins with acne scars Discoloration of skin Skins with uneven tones Skins with wrinkles
1 mm 0.2- 1.0 mm 0.5 mm 0.5 01.5 mm

Points to remember

  • Consider the thickness of your skin while choosing a derma roller.
  • It is better to use smaller needles and achieve the desired results by continued use, than using larger needles.
  • You need to replace your roller once you feel the needles don’t penetrate well anymore and are blunting.

So, as you can see, there is an alternative for expensive micro needling treatments at clinics. However, you need to be careful to pick up the right product, disinfect it, and use it carefully. Besides its minor risks, another flaw with derma rolling would be its slower speed of recovery. Other than these, derma rolling is a suggested method of skin care at home.

Do you still have any concerns or questions regarding the use of this product? You know we are always here to help you.

After a derma rolling session, you should expect:


How long does it take to see results from derma rolling?

For rejuvenation purposes, 3 sessions of Dermaroller are recommended (with 1.5mm needles): some results can be seen after 6 weeks - this the time needed for collagen to mature (in other words when collagen is generated in the dermis after the treatment and travels to the surface of epidermis).

How often should I use my derma roller?

0.2-0.25 mm dermaroller may be used daily or every other day. This size improves the absorption of applied skin care products. 0.5 mm dermaroller may be used once every 3 weeks. 0.75 mm dermaroller may be used once every 4 weeks.

Can I use hyaluronic acid after dermaroller?

The Benefits of Using Hyaluronic Acid with Your Dermaroller. Using a micro dermaroller as part of your daily routine is an excellent way to beautify your skin. ... When you combine it with hyaluronic acid it forms a powerful anti-aging treatment that creates healthylooking skin.