You can never be too sure of how your friends would react when you tell them that you've been rolling prickly needles into your face. Or that it is so relaxing that you've come to enjoy the process. Fortunately, the results after using derma roller for face can make anybody a convert. Just as it did me.
What Is Derma Rolling?
Derma rolling or microneedling or collagen induction therapy, is a cosmetic procedure where thousands of micro needles are poked into the surface of your skin either by rolling or stamping.
These needles create microscopic wounds that increase collagen and elastin production. For the uninitiated, collagen is the most abundantly found protein in the human body and is responsible for holding together our connective tissues. These include the skin, muscles, tissues, cartilage, and bones. Collagen is also what keeps us looking youthful and radiant.
Unfortunately, studies have revealed that its production slows down by 1 percent as soon as we turn 20. Therefore, we need to look at other ways to boost collagen so it continues to do its job of maintaining a youthful skin. This is where derma rolling comes into picture.
Even though poking thousands of needles directly into the surface of your facial skin might seem scary, it is a minimal invasion and heels quickly as well. However, the recovery time does depend on the length of the needle used. Which brings us to the other important part: how to select the perfect size.
Which Size Of Derma Roller Is Best For Me?
The size of a derma roller needle will depend on what is derma rolling being used for your skin. For instance, if you are trying to get rid of large pores, a needle size of anything between 0.25mm and 0.5mm will suffice.
Similarly, for stretch marks, you can try 1.5mm-2.0mm needle sizes. Or, if you want to use a derma roller to reduce the appearance of deep acne scars, you can try a 1.5mm needle.
Just to give you a more comprehensive look at which needle works best where, check out the table below.
|Shallow acne scars||1.0 mm|
|Deep acne scars||1.5mm|
|Sun damage and/or sagging||0.5mm-1.5mm|
|Uneven skintone or uneven texture||0.5mm|
Do note that for needles above 0.3mm, its best to leave the treatment up to professionals. That's not saying that you cannot do it at home. It simply means that if you plan to use a derma roller for conditions such as reduction of deep acne scars or surgical scars, a dermatological consultation is best advised.
Another thing to note is that post the treatment, you will experience redness. In some cases, some people even notice a bit of blood. Just know that being gentle with your skin is key and that redness or pink cast all over your face is normal. It goes back to normal after a few hours.
With that out of the way, let's take a look how you can use a derma roller.
How To Use A Derma Roller?
Yes, derma rolling can improve your skin texture, visibly reduce the appearance of acne scars and even banish stretch marks. But all this can only happen if you are careful with a derma roller, and use it wisely. Here's how you can do it.
1. Disinfect the derma roller for face
Before you start, remember to disinfect your derma roller for face. Let it soak in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for a minimum of 10 minutes. Air dry your derma roller so it is ready to be used.
2. Clean your face
As your derma roller dries, get yourself ready and the first step is to clean your face. You can use any face wash that suits your skin. But its best to use pH-balanced cleanser. Also you might have to wipe down your face with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol before the process. This, especially if you are using a needle that is larger than 0.5mm.
Refrain from exfoliating you face because derma rolling is anyway a deep exfoliation process.
3. Apply a numbing cream
This is a completely optional step. If you have a higher tolerance for pain, you can easily skip this step. However, if you are too scared of the pain or are using a needle that is over 1.0mm, you might need a numbing cream. That's because this long a needle might even draw blood.
Most numbing creams come with the instruction to completely wipe it off before rolling. So follow them to a tee.
4. Begin rolling
This is the most important part, so pay close attention. Imagine that your face is split into four equal halves. Avoiding the eye socket area, and areas with active acne, you can pretty much roll on your entire face.
Begin by rolling one place on your forehead in vertical motion- up and down. Count to 10 each time you roll (one roll is one upwards and downward motion). Life the roller after each of your rolls, lest you want to have track marks all over you face.
Once you are done with one part, move onto the next and start rolling again in vertical motions. Do this till you've covered the entire area you wish to roll. So for instance, your entire forehead. Or, your cheeks or your chin.
Once you've rolled over in a vertical direction, its time to go back to the area and roll in a horizontal direction. By the end of each process, you should have rolled over each area a minimum of 20 times.
Avoid rolling diagonally because it creates more stress in the centre of your face and its not necessary. Especially after you just rolled in horizontal and vertical directions. Always remember to be gentle and don't jam the roller into your skin.
5. Wash your face with water
You've already cleansed your face once before starting the process. So you don't have to go in and use a face wash again. Rinse your face with cold water.
6. Clean your derma roller
Using a shampoo or a dishwasher soap to first clean your derma roller. Create a mixture of water and the shampoo and swish the roller vigorously in the mixture. Make sure that your roller doesn't hit any sides of the mixture pot.
You have to do this step before you disinfect your roller because alcohol will not dissolve skin and blood protein. Whereas, a dishwasher would do that job.
7. Disinfect your derma roller
The most important step to make sure you are able to pick up a clean derma roller next time, is to disinfect it after each use. Using the same process and the same 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, disinfect your derma roller.
8. Get started with your skincare regime
Post the procedure, do your skincare routine as you usually do. Except, avoid the exfoliation step, because you've already done that with derma rolling.
Now that this is out of the way, the next thing to know is the frequency of derma rolling.
How Many Times Should I Derma Roll?
Contrary to popular belief that it should be done each week, derma rolling should ideally be done twice in one month within a gap of 15 days.
That's because your skin needs a few days to recover from the wounds you've created through needle insertions. But depending upon the size of the needle, here's what you should bear in mind.
|0.25mm||Every alternate day|
|0.5mm||One to three times per week|
|1.0mm||Once in 15 days|
|1.5mm||Once every three weeks|
|2.0mm||Once every six to seven weeks|
Use common sense here and give your skin time to heal. It's best to start the next session only after you feel your skin is healed. Remember that collagen production is a slow process and skin needs time to regenerate as well.
If you are frequent with using derma roller for face, you will notice an improved skin texture. But there are a few more things you can expect from microneedling straight after.
What Can I Expect After Derma Rolling?
Once you are through derma rolling, as we mentioned before, your skin will become sore and red. Here's what more you can expect.
- Redness all over your face
- Sunburn like stinging sensation for a few hours
- Minor swelling
- Pulsating feeling all over your face
Don't think that the swelling is a sign of success. It will subside the next day. But frequent derma rolling has permanent results, so keep at it if collagen boost is what you're going for.
While the process of derma rolling is not that difficult, the only thing that can confuse you is the plethora of derma roller for face in the market. Should you opt for stainless steel or a titanium derma roller for face?
Which Derma Roller Is The Best: Stainless Steel or Titanium?
Derma roller for face usually comes in two types of metals: stainless steel and titanium. While the former doesn't last much, the latter can last you longer. Its needles also do not get blunt and so it is quite durable.
However, steel derma roller for face is inherently more sterile. Its needles are also sharper than a titanium roller's but they become blunt quickly as well. It is also the type that most medical surgeons or dermatologists use. But all in all, both are equally good to get the job done.
When Will I See Results?
Generally, derma roller for face begins to show results in the first three uses, especially if you have a 1.0mm needle. Of course, its continued use will give you better result. Over all though, anything between three to six months is good enough to gauge the change in your face.
Just to give you an idea, take a look at this video.
The video shows the result of using a 1.5mm needle within a span of six months. While it is clear from the video that derma rolling does improve your skin to a large extent, always remember to steer your roller clear off active acne. You don't want to spread the infection all over your face.
If you suffer from serious acne issues like hormonal acne of cystic, its best to consult with your doctor before you decide to use derma rollers. And take it from somebody who has been derma rolling for the past three months, you won't regret it!
Table source: Healthline