Microneedle rollers, also called derma rollers, are unique beauty products that claim to help diminish wrinkles, soften acne scars and pitted skin, smooth out cellulite and stretch marks, minimize pores, stimulate new collagen, and even help thinning hair! Why have I not heard more about this before, and does it actually work??
Microneedle Roller Skin Therapy
I first read about a microneedle roller a few years ago in Elle Magazine, but it cost over $100 and I was skeptical. Since then I’ve also seen the tool featured on The Doctors and The Rachael Ray Show. After doing more research, I am now convinced that there might be something to a microneedle roller and I will soon be buying one. Please note I haven’t actually tested one yet, but when I do I will let you know about my experience.
A microneedle roller is a bit scary – it’s a roller that has lots of tiny little needles that you roll over your skin! I hate needles, so you know I am devoted to beautifying myself at all costs when I actually want to poke my skin with over 100 needles! The concept is that the device helps to increase the absorption of topical products, and it also makes micro-channels (tiny little injuries) in the skin to promote new collagen and elastin growth. There are several different manufacturers of microneedle/derma rollers, and the tools come in a variety of needle lengths.
Even though this is a product you can buy yourself, you should speak to your doctor before using it, especially if you have any medical conditions. You should also use extreme caution and start out very gentle with it, and do a test area on your body before you use it on your face. Do not use a microneedle roller if your skin is irritated, infected, or if you have rosacea, active acne, eczema, psoriasis, raised moles, warts, or open sores. I would also be concerned about causing hypo or hyper pigmentation, so be gentle! Finally, I would worry about using this with prescription topicals (Retin-A, or Rogaine, for example) because they are designed to be used as they are indicated, not with a tool that increases product absorption.
Sterilization is also key to using a microneedle roller safely. Some of the products come with a sterilization kit, and you should sterilize the tool after each use. Wearing sunscreen every day while doing microneedling is also necessary because it can make your skin even more sun-sensitive.
0.2mm - this needle length is the most superficial and it helps increase the penetration of your topical skin care products (peptides, antioxidants, moisturizers, retinol, etc.), thus promoting a smoother skin tone and texture.
0.5mm – this helps with light acne scars, wrinkles, and thinning hair (I have my doubts about this but I will definitely be trying it on a test area on my head).
1.0 & 1.5mm – these longer needles are for stretch marks, cellulite, and deeper scars. You don’t want to use longer than 1.5mm on your face, and you shouldn’t buy anything longer than 1.5mm for home use. Medical professionals may use a longer needle. I know some Dermatologists do microneedling, but I haven’t heard of any in my area that do it, so it may not be a widespread treatment yet.
Does it hurt?
The shorter needles (o.2 and 0.5mm) have been described as feeling scratchy, tickling, or like a cat’s tongue, while the longer ones can cause real pain – yikes! Again, be careful and gentle. I’m planning on buying the 0.5mm one, and will be very cautious about it.
Does it work?
I do believe it could help to even-out skin tone, and maybe slightly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, plump of the skin, and reduce pitted acne scars. I have my doubts about it working on stretch marks and cellulite, but anything is possible. Also, as a treatment for hair loss – I understand it could help topical hair loss products absorb better, but again I wouldn’t want to use this with Rogaine, because Rogaine is not meant to be penetrate further. I would worry it could even make hair loss worse, but either way I will give it a shot.
There are several different microneedle rollers on the market, sold in a variety of lengths. Please note that they don’t last long - you will need to replace them frequently because the needles can become dull or bent – instructions should come with the product about when to replace it, and how often to use it (2-4 times a week is the average).
* New Spa Microneedle Skin Care System 0.5 mm *
This is a budget derma roller, costing only $29, and it’s the roller you see here in the picture. It’s FDA listed, but not FDA approved.
* Dr. Skincare Roller 0.5mm *
This is a popular FDA approved derma roller. The 0.5mm roller is about $59.
* Genosys 540 Microneedle Roller Vibrating Function *
This $120 derma roller has a vibrating feature which is supposed to minimize any discomfort. It comes in a 0.3mm length, with a detachable head, and reusable handle.
Have you tried a microneedle roller? Is it the wondrous beauty tool of the century, or just another over-hyped beauty product? Personally I can’t wait to try one! Actually I am so excited now that I am ordering one right now!