Another treatment I’ve become obsessed with is using a derma-roller. It’s completely changed my skin and therefore my life. But first, what is a derma-roller? It’s a little gadget with 100’s of tiny needles on the end that you roll over your face and you can do it at home or have it done at a spa. Sounds intense, right? Don’t worry it’s not so bad, and it has a number of benefits like erasing wrinkles, acne spots, and evening out your skin tone. How does it work? The needles create micro-injuries, which then sends collagen and elastin production into overdrive, giving you a plumper and tighter complexion. What else? The little holes are called “micro channels” which allow serums to penetrate deeper into the skin.
Here are the six steps I take every time I derma-roll, followed by some FAQ:
-1- Prepare your derma-roller
Soak it in rubbing alcohol for 2-3 minutes. Make sure it’s submerged so that each side gets cleaned, then rinse under cold water. If your derma-roller is new, be sure it comes in a sterile package.
-2- Cleanse your face
Using your facial cleanser, wash your face with lukewarm water. (I like to repeat this step to make sure I remove all traces of makeup.) Next, exfoliate with a microdermabrasion scrub to remove any dead skin cells, and follow by applying a masque. Leave on for the recommended amount of time and then rinse off. Splash your face with cold water to close your pores. A trick I’ve learned is using bottled water that’s in the fridge. It’s a lot colder than my faucet water and feels great when I splash it on my face.
-3- Apply serum
While your skin is still damp, apply Hyaluronic Acid serum onto your finger tip and spread evenly across your face. My esthetician told me that applying it to damp skin causes it absorb better and I’ve been doing it that way ever since.
-4- Begin derma-rolling
Take your derma-roller and lightly roll over your face in small sections (about the size of a half dollar). Do this vertically and horizontally (about 6-8 times for each). You should be rolling in 2 different directions. Then move onto the next section and repeat.
I start at the top of my left cheek and move towards my jaw line and repeat on the other side. I’ll then do my nose, mouth area, chin, and lastly my forehead. While I’m doing it, I’ll pull my skin in an upward direction.
Don’t press too hard—it shouldn’t be extremely painful and don’t roll over your eyelids, or an active breakout. As you’re doing this, you will notice your skin becoming red and you may see a small amount of blood (about the size of a pinprick) which is normal.
-5- Wash your face and apply more serum
Once you’re finished gently rinse your face with cool water. You’re skin is going to feel dry (almost like a sunburn). To add moisture and plump it up, I apply a serum, followed a gentle moisturizer, and eye cream.
I like to re apply Hyaluronic Acid serum since it’s gentle and adds volume to my skin. Other popular choices are Vitamin C, and retinol. One factor to keep in mind is if you have sensitive skin, it’s better to stick with a safe bet like Hyaluronic Acid. Both Vitamin C and retinol contain “reactive ingredients” which can cause skin to become irritated and inflamed when used in combination with a derma-roller. I highly suggest doing a patch test first. You can read about my favorite serums here.
-6- Sanitize it
Soak your derma-roller warm water and dishwashing soap for about 5 minutes. Swish it around making sure each side gets cleaned. Rinse with hot water and store in a sterile container. The reason I use dishwashing soap over alcohol is that alcohol doesn’t dissolve the proteins found in skin and blood.
What does your skin look and feel like after?
Right afterward your skin looks sunburned, but that subsides after a few hours. The best way to describe how it feels is tight and a little dry. The following day I notice a glow to my skin; it looks plumper, firmer, and smoother. If I had a breakout that left a purple spot, it’s either lighter or completely gone.
How do you find the right derma-roller?
There are different size needles to choose from depending on your skin concern; I use 1.0mm for my face, and 0.5 for under my eyes. Both attachment heads came in a kit I purchased. The exact dermaroller is no longer available but there are plenty of similar options. PS: Choose one with titanium needles.
How often do you use it?
It depends on the size of the needles and what your skincare routine consists of. Sometimes I’ll alternate between derma-rolling and chemical peels. I will do a lunchtime peel and then two weeks later I will use my derma-roller and repeat the process. If I’m not doing chemical peels, I’ll use it every 10 days. Make sure to never roll on damaged, or peeling skin; if you’re using this in combination with peels, be sure your skin has fully healed.
Are there any products you should avoid after?
Yes. For 48 hours stay away from harsh products like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, chemical exfoliates, etc.
When can you wear makeup?
I usually do this in the evening so that my skin will have time to heal while I’m asleep. When I wake up the following day I’ll wash my face, apply a gentle witch hazel toner, Hyaluronic Acid serum, eye cream, line reducing concentrate, and a moisturizer with SPF in it. I’ll wear makeup but I’ll use a lightweight foundation so I don’t clog my pores. The next day I’ll revert back to my normal makeup routine.
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Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on my research, from my own personal experiences, and talking with professionals. Please be informed that I’m not a medical doctor or expert in the field.
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