In my career as an Esthetician I have been exposed to many different anti-aging modalities, treatments, and tools. I can tell you first hand it can be a bit overwhelming deciding which treatment to choose, especially if you are committed to living a more natural lifestyle. It seems like there is always a new treatment or procedure on the market promising youth and perfection. Everything from lasers that make your skin shed to fillers that add volume and lift. Nothing is wrong with choosing to have aesthetic procedures done, if it makes you feel good and is serving your greater good then be true to who you are. No judgement on any decision, natural or not. The truth is there are options out there that do take a more natural approach to reversing the inevitable signs of aging. Again, nothing is wrong with aging and I look forward to the wisdom I gain with each fine line, but I want to do it gracefully. Today I’m going to explain a little bit about two different treatments that I think are great for keeping your skin looking youthful – microneedling and dermarolling. Both are natural options and offer similar results but they differ in a couple areas including price and result. I am going to briefly go over each procedure and why I personally have been dermarolling at home for years.
Micro–needling is a treatment that is done in a medical office where a tool, usually something called a dermapen, containing dozens of needles makes micro punctures on the surface of the skin….think tattoo gun. This type of treatment can be a bit uncomfortable, can draw blood, and can leave the skin very sensitized. A topical anesthetic is applied to reduce discomfort and the redness on the face usually subsides within 24 hours. Microneedling is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy, which simply means it promotes collagen production. The way this works is the needles that puncture the skin trigger your body’s natural immune response. Your body sends healing cells to the “wounded” area which signals your fibroblasts to produce more collagen. The result is an improvement in the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, and over all texture. Results for this type of in-office procedure are seen within a couple of weeks as well as consistently over time. Prices for this procedure vary but you’re looking at a cost of about $600-$1000 per treatment (sometimes more depending on who is performing the procedure and where) and multiple treatments are usually required depending on desired results. This procedure is often paired with PRP, which is the patients own platelet rich plasma drawn from their blood. It enhances results and overall effectiveness of the procedure. This is essentially what the infamous “Vampire Facial” is. As for the pain, a topical anesthetic is applied and you will have a downtime of about a day or two.
Dermarolling , however, is different. It involves using a tool called a derma roller that you gently roll over different areas of your face. This tool is covered in little needles that cause tiny micro wounds on the surface of the skin. This treatment is also a form of Collagen Induction Therapy, just not as invasive as Micro-needling. There will not be punctures on the skin but the skin itself will be stimulated enough to trigger enhanced collagen production. Now this process in particular is not an instant one – it takes 6 months to a year to see the fruits of your labor but this inexpensive way to maintain a youthful appearance is definitely worth the wait and is a great alternative to painful in-office procedures. Our skin is such an amazing organ! I’ve been dermarolling at home for the past two years and have seen fine lines disappear as well as vast improvements on the tone and texture of my skin. I will continue this treatment on myself indefinitely!
Here are some of my tips and tricks for dermarollling at home.
1: Picking out a derma roller
There are many different sizes of derma rollers to choose from, I personally have three that I use for different areas of the face. I will list the different needle lengths I think are the safest for home use and who should use them.
- Use 1x per week
- Promote product penetration
- Mild pain
- Induce minor flushing
- Reduce appearance of scars and fine lines
- Great for cellulite
0.75 & 1.0 mm
- Use 1x per month
- Mild to moderate pain
- Great for hyperpigmentation
- Reduce appearance of deep scars and wrinkles, pore size
- Will promote moderate flushing
*Each of the above mentions needle lengths can also be used to help with hair loss by rolling over areas that are starting to thin.
Any needle length higher than the few I listed should only be used by professionals because they can easily damage the skin and your precious collagen. Dermarolling should always be performed on clean skin and always in the evenings. Some skin types are more sensitive and may require longer rest periods in between treatments, this is why it is important to pay attention to your skin. This will allow you to create a regimen that is right for you. I recommend having a light hand while rolling and if you’re ever in extreme discomfort stop immediately. You should also never roll over active acne. Acne is an inflammatory condition and should be treated in the most non invasive gentle way.
Tip 2: Sanitize your roller after each use.
Since rolling needles all over your face will cause micro wounds on the surface of the skin it is super important that your roller stays clean. After each use I soak my roller in 80% isopropyl alcohol. Make sure to use an isopropyl rubbing alcohol that’s at least 80% strength or higher. I fill a clean shot glass about half way and stick my roller in it for a minimum of 20 minutes. I remove and let air dry, once dry I put the roller back in its case and close it. I also do this to new dermarollers that I buy before my first use. It is very dangerous to use a roller that has not been sanitized, you run the risk of breakouts and skin infections. No bueno!
Tip 3: Use Nutrient Rich Serums
To get the most out of your treatment I recommend applying a nutrient rich serum before and after rolling. This increases how deep the skin absorbs the product and how effective it will be. I like to use oils like Dr. Alkaitis’s Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil which is literally skin food! This oil contains ingredients like rosehip oil from the andean mountains, tumeric, and ashwaganda to help calm, soothe, and boost elasticity naturally. I also like Marie Veronique’s Rejuvenating Night Oil because it is jam-packed with ingredients high in essential fatty acids, and vitamins.
Tip 4: Be Patient
As I mentioned before the process of collagen production and skin regeneration is a timely one but the results are worth it!
Tip 5: Which roller should I buy?
Honestly to me they are all the same. But remember you should replace them after 3 months of use. The ones I have at home are from Ora and Koi Beauty which I found on Amazon. Dermstore also has a great selection of rollers to choose from and shipping is always free.
Tip 6: How do I Dermaroll?
Always avoid the delicate eye area, to remind myself of this I like to slap on some under eye masks, I’ve really been loving Honest Hazels eye gels, they are made with all natural ingredients like Vitamin B3 and Hylauranic Acid. Once my eye gels are on and secure I start on my forehead and work my way down while holding my skin taught. I roll once in each direction (up, down, left, right, and diagonally) kinda like an asterisk symbol * then move on to the next area of the face. You never want to repeatedly roll over the same area as this could cause damage to the skin barrier. Use gentle pressure and don’t forget to gently pass over your lips as well! Who doesn’t want naturally fuller lips?!
At the end of the day aging is inevitable but who says we have to go down without a fight? There are so many natural ways to enhance and prolong our beauty and I will continue to share my favorites!