How to Use a Derma Roller
Most derma rollers are made in China or Korea and do not come with clear instructions! It is very easy to learn to use a derma roller at home. However, you should follow some simple guidelines to ensure that you use your derma roller safely and hygienically, whilst getting the best possible results. This guide will show you how to use a derma roller safely and effectively.
- For hygiene reasons never share a derma roller with anyone else.
- Not recommended for use on irritated or infected skin, active acne, rosacea, eczema, moles etc.
- Be extra careful when rolling around the eyes; don’t go any higher than your cheekbones (you can roll higher than this by pulling the skin away from your eye with one hand whilst rolling the skin using the other one). Don’t use a derma roller on your eyelids as the skin is too thin.
- Keep the derma roller away from possible sources of contamination. Store it in its case when not in use.
Using the derma roller
1. Wash your hands and the area to be treated thoroughly.
2. Wipe the skin and your hands with anti-bacterial gel (you can skip this step if you are using needle lengths of less than 0.5mm).
3. If you are using numbing cream, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Always remove the cream completely before rolling (you can use cotton pads soaked with alcohol to do this).
4. Rinse the derma roller under hot running water for a few seconds.
5. Apply skin care product, if using.
6. Whilst pulling the skin taut with your free hand, roll forwards and backwards over the area to be treated. Apply a bit of pressure to allow the needles to penetrate into your skin. Roll 8-10 times in each direction: vertically, horizontally and diagonally (forwards and back equals two rolls). Apply sufficient pressure for the needles to penetrate the skin to their full length. Lift the derma roller slightly after each roll – this will ensure that the needles create new micro-channels in the skin rather than going over the same ones repeatedly.
7. Wash treated area and dry with a clean towel or air-dry.
8. Apply skin care product, if using.
- There may be some bleeding immediately after rolling but this is superficial and should simply wash away.
- Your skin will also look red after treatment; this is normal and will fade after a few hours.
- Wait at least six hours before applying make-up and/or perfumed products to the treated area.
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure for at least 24 hours after treatment.
Looking after your derma roller
- Rinse the derma roller under hot running water after use.
- If there is any blood on the derma roller, soak it in warm water with a little washing up liquid added until clean. Be sure to rinse well with water afterwards.
- Sterilise your derma roller by standing it in disinfecting alcohol for at least 20 minutes. If you are using a roller with titanium alloy needles, do not use babies sterilising fluid (e.g.Milton Sterilising Fluid) as this can damage the needles.
- After cleaning/sterilising, place the derma roller on a clean towel until it is dry. Once dry, replace the needle cap and store the roller in a clean place.
- Whenever possible, try not to let the derma roller’s needles come into contact with any hard surface (doing so will make them blunt more quickly).
- You will know when your derma roller needs replacing; when the needles become blunt you will find it becomes more difficult to push them into your skin.
How often should you use your derma roller?
0.25/0.3mm: Every day or every other day
0.5mm: 2-3 times a week
1.0mm: Once a week
1.5mm: Once every two weeks if used lightly, once every 3-4 weeks if used more vigorously.
2.0mm: Once every five weeks (It is usually not necessary to use needles longer than 1.5mm. You should only use a 2.0mm derma roller if you are confident about how to use a derma roller and are able to safely judge which parts of the skin are thick enough to use this needle length).
Many websites and derma roller sellers will advise rolling much more frequently than this. This is usually due to a lack of knowledge and/or prioritising profits over customers’ wellbeing and satisfaction – the more you use your derma roller the quicker it will need replacing!
You may believe that by rolling more frequently you will get the results you want sooner. In fact rolling too frequently will do your skin more harm than good, because:
1) Your skin needs time to recover from the inflammation response caused by skin needling.
2) Rolling too often will break down the collagen in your skin before it has had a chance to form properly.
Remember that collagen production is a slow process; it can take several months of skin needling before you see any real difference. Have patience! Results will come and remember your skin will continue to repair and renew even for months after your last treatment.
How to use a derma stamp
Follow the same procedure as outlined above, but instead of rolling, you stamp the scars/areas you are going to treat firmly about twenty times.
Because stamping is a more intensive treatment than rolling, your skin will need longer gaps between treatments. Recommended frequencies for using a derma stamp are as follows:
0.5mm: Once a week
0.75mm: Once every two weeks
1.0mm: Once every three weeks
1.5mm: Once every four weeks
2.0mm: Once every six weeks
Note: It is fine to use a derma stamp and derma roller together, but try to space out your treatments so that you are not using one too close to the other (e.g. don’t roll with a 1.5mm roller then stamp with a 1.5mm stamp one week later). You can use a roller and stamp in one treatment session as long as you give your skin sufficient time to recover afterwards.