Micro-needling: What You Need To Know Before You Roll
Micro-needling might be the best news for skin since we found out chocolate doesn’t cause acne. But it comes with a few caveats.
What exactly is micro-needling?
The process, though admittedly a little on the tingly side, stimulates new collagen and elastin, helps to reduce scars and fine lines, and minimizes the appearance of pores. It also makes skin infinitely more receptive to other skin care products so you get every penny’s worth of your serums.
The dermaroller may look like a child-sized medieval torture device, but the results are worth every tiny prick.
The handheld device is like something you might use in the kitchen for rolling dough, but this rolls across your skin and has hundreds of tiny spikes that prick your skin as it goes. Why? Because beauty.
Is it better to micro-needle at home or get a professional to do it for me?
It’s important to note the difference between home micro-needling and medical micro-needling, which is done by a licensed professional in an office. Medical micro-needling devices have needles that are 0.5 mm to 2mm long.
Home micro-needling devices have shorter needles, which means the process is relatively painless and can be done more frequently.
Both home and medical micro-needling are based in something called collagen induction therapy (CIT). It’s the principal that introducing micro-injury to the skin, i.e. the needling, wakes up a reaction in the skin that prompts your body to send collagen to the epidermis to repair the skin.
Collagen is the protein that makes gives skin its lift and smooth, youthful appearance. More is definitely better.
The micro-needling you do at home is best for improving product absorption, and stimulating collagen for more glowing skin. Improving scars and stretch marks is a job for professionals. You’ll need the benefit of the longer needles that you can only get at the dermatologist or aesthetician’s office.
The procedure has proven highly effective for reducing the appearance of acne scars. A 2009 study assessing the effectiveness of micro-needling in the treatment of facial scars revealed 88% of patients saw a good to excellent reduction in acne scarring following treatment.
When done by a dermatologist, the treatment is performed at four to eight-week intervals.
Microneedling has some advantages over laser resurfacing. It doesn’t cause epidermal injury that can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, skin heals quickly, and the treatment costs far less.
In either case, the process is not just for your face. You can micro-needle from head to toe to rev up radiance all over your body. Though you might not want to do it all at once.
What You Need To Know Before You Roll: Micro-needling Tips
- Don’t micro-needle skin that’s irritated, inflamed, experiencing active eczema or broken out with acne. You’ll spread bacteria and worsen your skin. You absolutely must wait for any and all of these issues to clear before dermarolling.
- Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to your dermaroller. These are needles. That penetrate skin. Do we need to say more?
- If you have sensitive skin that doesn’t tolerate certain products well, use the dermaroller with caution and definitely not with products you have any sensitivity to. You’ll be fast-tracking them into your skin.
- Applying a serum, like Derm-a-Renew, Rejuv Rx, or 8% Mandelic Acid, beforehand is a good way to optimize its absorption, but it’s a good idea to do a patch test the first time. Remember, your skin will absorb the product faster than the usual rate and it’s possible that could cause irritation.
- If you’re using the roller a couple of times a week, you’ll need to toss it out and get a new one monthly. As the needles become dull, they can damage your skin.
- Keep your roller clean by submerging it in alcohol before and after use.
- Use a light moisturizer, like Totaloe or Allantoin, after using the dermaroller to calm and soothe skin.
- Roll in multiple directions using very light pressure. Don’t cover the same area more the two or three times in the same direction.
- Top Tip: Be gentle. You’re not rototilling farmland.