Some of you may remember that I mentioned about derma rolling as a way to thicken your skin in an entry dated in June. The thing is, I’ve been hesitating if I should write about it because while derma rolling does induce collagen production and remove scars to a certain extent, the therapy isn’t for everybody. So do read my review and exercise discretion should you want to consider using this beauty tool.
What is derma rolling?
Derma rolling, also known as micro needling or skin needling is used to perform collagen induction therapy (CIT). It aims to stimulate the body’s own production of collagen by causing a minute injury to the dermis, which results in the start of the wound healing cascade – filling out depressed or pitted scars, reducing and smoothing stretch marks, and repairing wrinkles. To do this, you will need to use what is commonly known as a derma roller comprising a series of fine surgical steel micro-needles, which are used to puncture the skin and cause wounds and inflammation. If the procedure is done by a dermatologist, it is considered a minimally-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment because the roller used by doctors have longer needles, usually measuring 1.5mm in size that can penetrate the dermis layer. However, the same procedure can be done at home, using rollers with shorter needles, from 0.25mm to 0.5mm.
Why it interest me?
I’ve been interested in derma rolling since 2008 but was told by a dermatologist that I didn’t need it then. However, since having my acne breakout, I was grieved by the numerous scars on my face and it so happen that there was an opportunity for me to test it out for free at a workshop conducted by True Beauty. I’ll tell you that I actually took days to mull over the decision because whatever you might read on the Net, derma rolling is not a natural remedy. I mean, how can deliberately injuring your skin ever be natural right? But the scars were getting on my nerve and I decided to throw caution to the wind and went ahead to try it at the workshop.
What’s my first experience like?
So here’s me having my face rolled at the workshop with a derma roller that has 600 needles measuring 0.5mm. It’s not painful but it’s slightly uncomfortable as it felt like I had little ants biting my skin. The discomfort was more intense when the needles were being rolled on my forehead because of the thinner skin there. I had a mini facial prior to this because it was said that my face needed to be relaxed. After the rolling, I had a mask applied to my face and was told that I should apply a serum to help with the healing. My skin was slightly red after the session. I was also told not to apply any cream or oil but continue applying the serum for at least a day before resuming with my normal skin care routine. And because my skin would be quite raw and sensitive, it is important to apply sunscreen to my face too if I was out.
What’s the results for me like?
I was told that I should see visible improvement to my skin three days after the session and it was true. On the third day, my skin tone seemed better and I could feel that my skin looked more plumped up and by day five, my face actually looked quite radiant. The scars were still visible though and I didn’t see much improvement to them. However, my understanding is that it will likely take a few rolling sessions to improve them or get rid of them completely.
Why I decided to get myself a derma roller?
So bolstered by the positive results, I decided to get myself a derma roller. I was also encouraged by the reviews I read at the forum in Essential Day Spa. There’s a whole community of ladies rolling their faces, necks and even hands and they call themselves the dermarolling gals! And the truth is, it’s not that difficult to do it yourself really. All derma rollers come with specific instructions on how to divide your face into sub-divisions, for instance the forehead, nose, cheeks, mouth area, and neck area. You are to roll with the same amount of pressure on the skin throughout, vertically, horizontally and diagonally.
What derma roller did I get?
I combed the forums and found a few sources. Eventually, I purchased this MTS Skin Roller with 0.5mm needles and paid around S$150 for it excluding shipping. Unlike the one I tried at the workshop that comes with 600 needles, this one comes with 200 very fine stainless steel pins. However, it still works well for my face, but I had to rolled a bit more since it has lesser needles. If you want to seriously reduce your scars, I would say you’ll need a derma roller with longer needles. However, for home use, anything beyond 0.5mm is not encouraged, although the gals at Essential Day Spa seem to think otherwise.
What are the pros and cons?
But what I found best about derma rolling is that it allows maximum absorption of your skin care products. It is safe if you do it properly. The results are visible days later. However, the downside is that you have to be careful about what you apply to your face after rolling. I found that it’s best to apply serums that are in liquid form. Because your skin is punctured, applying a product that is oily or of thicker viscosity would mean your pores can easily get clogged. In addition, anything that is anti-inflammatory is considered counter productive to the healing process and would hinder the production of new skin cells. So products containing aloe vera for example, are not encouraged.
How does my skin look now?
I thought I’ll just show you all a before and after picture. All in all, I’ve rolled five times on my own. I’ve stopped rolling for over a month now and have just been relying on my skin care products instead. The reason I stopped is because while there is no downtime, I found it quite troublesome because I had to stop using my normal skin care products for a day or two. In addition, my face itched whenever I perspire so it’s actually best to stay indoors for at least a day after the rolling. My skin texture did improve and I have to say, I love it for helping my products penetrate better into the deeper skin layer. However, once I was not careful and used it on a new scar and actually caused a bit more problem to the scar.
Would I recommend?
If you ask me, I can’t say if I will recommend derma rolling. Susan of True Beauty offers it as a treatment to only some select customers with poor skin conditions and I would say the same. This is probably good for those with pitted acne marks and scars. If you want your scars to disappear quicker, the best is to get a qualified dermatologist to do the job. If you purchase a derma roller like me, it will take quite a while to see results. Even now, my scars are still there, just that they are not as visible.