An expert guide to safely dermarolling at home

At-home microneedling can be risky, but it can also give you bouncy, plump skin in almost an instant. To understand the nitty gritty we enlist the help of dermatological skincare founder Simone Vescio. 

Have you been more interested (or more obsessed) with caring for your skin lately? Being in the midst of a global pandemic and having more time on our hands to devote to ourselves is the perfect formula for our sudden need to indulge in a six-step spa-worthy facial at-home, make skincare from scratch, or even try your luck with face shaving (because, why not?).

But there’s even a term for it – Zoe Foster Blake dubbed it the Lipstick Indicator in an Instagram post, whereas US beauty-based podcast Fat Mascara call it the Serum Index. It’s when consumers turn to beauty products as an affordable indulgence during uncertain financial times.

Sounds familiar, right? So it makes perfect sense that you’re turning to skincare switch-ups like finally submitting to natural deodorant and investing in all the zappy gadgets you’ve been waiting to try.

That’s where dermarolling comes in. Whether you’re on the try-everything-and-anything journey or you had to turn to at-home versions of your go-to skincare appointments, dermarolling could be the missing link in your skincare routine – or, you might just want to know more about why prodding your face with tiny needles is even a thing. Co-founder of Dermaviduals Simone Vescio runs us through how it works.

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Dermarolling 101

Also known as microneedling or collagen induction therapy in clinics, dermarolling involves using a handheld rolling tool covered in tiny stainless steel needles that create micro-injuries when they penetrate the skin.

Much like the skin’s ability to heal itself, the concept behind collagen induction therapy is the stimulation of new collagen production. “Anyone who has cut or grazed themselves would have seen this process, it’s a result of the skin regenerating collagen and elastin cells. The wrinkles plump up from the bottom without any artificial interference. Repeated skin needling gradually and continually builds new collagen to fill in the areas being treated,” explains Vescio.

It’s also safe for most skin types, but if you have skin conditions such as cystic acne, active rosacea, dermatitis, eczema and or any broken skin steer clear or seek professional advice.

The benefits are endless

“The gentle stimulus provided is considered far more effective than many other more invasive and more expensive skincare treatments. It’s a quick and easy technique with little downtime. Micro-channels seal quickly and after a course of treatments the skin is visibly revitalised, rejuvenated, replenished and regenerated,” says Vescio.

Expect results varying from reduced and lightened pigmentation, reduced acne scarring, normalised skin structure, increased natural collagen formation, tighter skin, minimised fine lines and wrinkles, reduced pore size, improved skin texture, and reduced appearance of scars and stretch marks.

“The results and benefits cannot be achieved by topical creams alone, or with other modalities within the beauty industry,” says Vescio. “Which is why it’s so popular.”

How to dermaroll at home

“Using a quality, sterilised roller (such as an MTS-Roller), apply the roller onto clean skin with the same amount of gentle pressure on the skin throughout, holding it as you would a pen. Select an area and roll repeatedly, using short strokes, back and forth in short bursts, as opposed to long steady strokes. Be sure to lift the roller frequently or change direction to avoid the needles re-entering the skin with each stroke in the same place. Move onto the next section once a few short bursts have been complete, going in all directions,” says Vescio.

After rolling, your skin is primed to thoroughly absorb skincare, so be sure to only apply skincare that contains no harsh or aggravating ingredients. Put on product from thinnest to thickest – serums first, lotions last. Skip the acids and chemical exfoliants if you’re new to rolling, to avoid irritation too.

Does it hurt?

Everyone’s pain threshold is different, but it also depends on the depth of the needle. At-home tools are smaller than in-clinic so are generally pretty comfortable. “When using an ethical device that is durable and a high quality precision tool it’s a comfortable treatment,” says Vescio. “The best way to describe the sensation would be like little ants running across your skin.”

But there is risk involved, especially as it’s an in-clinic treatment that has been tweaked to be used at home. It’s important to research where to purchase tools from, how to properly sterilise them and how to use them correctly.

Expect results immediately

“Results are seen from your very first treatment and continue to improve after each session, explains Vescio. “However, to get the best results you do need to be supplying your skin with great topical nutrition AKA the right skincare.”

“Underneath the surface of the skin the healing process lasts several months- in fact up to a year. For optimal results with deep acne scarring, surgical scars, severe pigmentation, stretch marks and cellulite it’s recommended to have treatments with deeper needles performed in clinic by a trained professional.”

Try:

MTS Roller ($140, at Dermaviduals)

Lumi Dermaroller ($49, at Micro Glow)

Redefine AMP MD System ($310, at Rodan + Fields)

Lonvitalite Microneedle Derma Roller Face & Body Kit ($149.95, at Adore Beauty)