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Is This Thing On? How to Make a Dermal Roller More Effective

Posted by Ellie Swain on Oct 30th 2020

Is This Thing On? How to Make a Dermal Roller More Effective

The first time I saw a dermal roller, my farm country roots came through. My first thought was, “Is that…is that an aerator for your face?”

They might look and seem scary, but dermal rollers are the hottest thing since sliced bread, so I had to do some research.

As it turns out, dermal rollers use a simple but reliable concept. They create controlled “injuries” in your skin with tiny needles. Don’t worry, home dermal rollers use needles so small they’re painless. Still, your body detects those “injuries” and chooses to fix them by rebuilding that magical skin-firming protein we all know and love: collagen.

As a self-admitted skincare addict, I did some serious searching to find out if it would be worth my while to add a dermal roller to my beauty routine. I was hesitant at first, because the reviews are deeply mixed. Some people said their dermal roller would be on their desert island must-have list. Others thought it was a waste of money.

Why such a difference? After delving a bit deeper, I discovered that as with so many other tasks in life, the results you get from a dermal roller all boil down to the execution.

Being the friendly skincare junkie that I am, I’m here to share the tips I’ve learned.

Be Consistent

If you’re like me, you’re painfully aware that a single set of crunches won’t give you six-pack abs. It’s a matter of doing those crunches consistently over time and being patient.

The same goes for a dermal roller. You won’t glide that roller over your face one time and wake up looking five years younger.

The key is to add the dermal roller into your ongoing skincare routine. Start by using it once per week to see how your skin responds. If your skin isn’t too irritated, you can work your way up to three uses per week.

Keep in mind that dermal roller results depend on your body’s ability to respond to those “micro-injuries.” The process of building collagen takes time, so keep with it for a few months before you judge your results.

Make Use of the Pathways

While a collagen boost is the reason most people use dermal rollers, it’s far from the only benefit. While you won’t get the same amount of skin firming from a dermal roller at home that you’ll get from professional microneedling treatments, your roller will go a long way toward making your skincare products more effective.

When you use your roller, it creates tiny pathways into the deeper layers of your skin. When you apply a great serum after using the roller, that serum gets deeper into your skin, which means it can be even more effective than it was before.

Make sure you’re using a serum that focuses on the specific goals you have for your skin. If it’s a younger look you’re after, for example, a hyaluronic acid serum will be your best friend.

Calibrate, Calibrate!

Remember complaining about something being unfair as a child and having an adult respond with, “Life isn’t always fair?” Sorry, but that’s about to happen again.

Some folks have more sensitive skin than others. It isn’t fair, but it’s what we have to work with. If your skin is sensitive, you could have a fair amount of redness when you first start using your dermal roller.

If that happens and you don’t want to give up on the roller, try switching up your skincare products instead. For anything from cleansers to moisturizers, buy products for sensitive skin to keep that redness to a minimum.

Keep it Clean

If you take away nothing else from these tips, follow this one: keep your dermal roller clean. If your goal is to have smoother, younger skin, you won’t be able to enjoy it if your skin is inflamed with blemishes or an infection.

Before and after every use, soak your roller in isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes. Make sure you only use it on clean skin, too. Use your usual cleanser, then the dermal roller, then move on with your serum and anything else your usual routine entails.

Know What to Expect

As I mentioned earlier, there are two types of microneedling: home dermal rollers and professional microneedling treatments. It’s important to know what you’re signing up for and what results you can and can’t expect.

Because professional treatments are administered by, well, a professional, they can use longer needles. Home dermal rollers need to use shorter needles so they’re safe enough for the average person to use at home. This means you won’t get the same extensive results from a home dermal roller that you’d get from a professional treatment.

This isn’t to say a home roller isn’t worth your time. It just means you shouldn’t expect to take ten years off your face.

With that in mind, some people get the best of both worlds by combining the two: professional microneedling to get strong results in one fell swoop and a dermal roller at home to maintain and enhance those results.

If you choose that option, make sure to talk to your treatment provider about how to modify your dermal roller routine while your skin heals. Don’t forget to make the most out of your treatment by using a post-procedure serum, too. We all love getting more bang for our buck, right?

Taking the Plunge

I’ll admit it: I’m not one to shy away from trying new skincare concoctions and gadgets. I can tell you first-hand that not all of them turn out to be gems.

A dermal roller, on the other hand, can be a powerful part of your ongoing routine, especially if you follow my expert tips (if I do say so myself) to make it as effective as possible. Get rolling and give it a try!