I’ve dealt with dark spots for a long time. I foolishly thought I could bake in the sun during my twenties and the result, majorly compounded by pregnancy, is melasma all over my face. Honestly, very little has touched these spots. Retinols, peels, and obsessive hat + SPF wearing….and nothing. My dermatologist recommended microneedling before my wedding to help, and it made such an impact. I did two treatments, in-office, and my spots were almost completely gone. Then, a few beach vacations and a pregnancy later everything reversed. I decided to look into the home dermarollers (the professional treatments are expensive). I got tips from her on how to do it safely and wanted to pass along what’s worked for me. Before I get started, side note: I do not recommend starting a dermarolling practice on your own, without working with a professional. Everything from the technique of rolling, to cleaning the roller, to the actual quality of roller you buy is crucial! It can damage your skin if you get any of these factors wrong.
What exactly is dermarolling? It’s a roller covered in very fine needles. You roll gently over the surface of your skin to create microscopic punctures. These invisible wounds cause your skin to go into repair mode and allow product to penetrate your skin more effectively.
What can it help with?
Penetration of skincare products
Who shouldn’t use a roller? If you have active acne, you should talk to a pro before using a dermaroller at home, since it can spread bacteria and make acne worse.
Where should I go for dermarolling?
+ With a pro: You can get a professional treatment from a dermatologist, NP, or PA. You will be numbed, and this is a much deeper treatment than at home. Ideally, if it’s in the budget, you can do a series with a pro. Then, using a quality at-home roller, you can maintain results.
+ At home: even if you can’t afford the professional treatment, I’ve seen great results at home, but it requires consistency. If you go the at-home route it’s a good idea to get proper instruction from a professional and purchase a good roller. My esthetician in San Francisco sells medical grade rollers and the nurse on staff does virtual consultations to go over the details!
Buy a good roller. Buying a cheap roller can damage your skin and isn’t safe since the needles can bend and rust (these rollers look + feel completely different than the medical-grade ones; the needles are much longer in the non-pro ones). I recommend buying from a trusted source rather than a random store. You can buy the same one as I have by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Choose the correct size. It’s not a situation where deeper is better, I use the shortest length available and it works great.
Clean your roller. Keeping a clean roller is crucial, otherwise, you can spread bacteria when you roll. Every time you use your roller you should soak the roller in rubbing alcohol, air dry, and put it back in its case between uses.
Replacing the roller. Each roller will have a different lifespan. Mine lasts for 300 uses, so I consider it worth the money. If you ever drop or damage the roller in any way you need to replace it immediately.
Buy good skincare. Use good skincare to get the most out of dermarolling. Pairing dermarolling with high quality, medical-grade skincare is going to get you the best results. Getting a facial from a professional to determine your skin care needs will help you find the best products.
How do I fit rolling into my routine? I do it 2-3 nights a week. I make sure my hands are clean, my face is freshly washed, and I roll for 3-5 minutes. After rolling I apply serum, moisturizer, and oil as usual!