The concept of allowing your face to be punctured and be wounded intentionally in order to achieve smoother, suppler, and healthier skin seems to be counterintuitive. But the derma rolling process has a science-backed explanation for that.
By creating tiny fissures all over the surface of your face, it puts the skin into repairing mode – stimulating the production of elastin and collagen which will lead to the reduction of acne scars, age spots, fine lines, and other types of imperfection on your face. The result is gorgeously glowing skin without expensive beauty treatments or invasive surgeries!
Here is a step by step procedure to avoid infections and to get the best results possible.
1. Sanitize the derma roller
You’re about to penetrate your skin with tiny needles so if you don’t want to be exposed to infection, sanitizing the derma roller is a must. Soak the device in 70% isopropyl alcohol for no less than 30 minutes – making sure the head of the derma roller is fully submerged – and then let it dry for a few minutes before using it.
- Don’t use less than 60% isopropyl alcohol because it will not fully disinfect the derma roller.
- A 70% solution – not 90% to 100% solution – of isopropyl alcohol is recommended for sanitizing because it does not evaporate as quickly.
2. Clean your skin
It is vital for the success of your derma rolling session to ensure that your face is completely free from all dirt, oil, and makeup residue. If you have super sensitive skin, steer clear from products (like those with alpha and beta-hydroxy acids) because you don’t want it to sting or burn right before using a derma roller on it.
Warm water and a mild pH-balanced facial cleanser can do the trick. But for those who wear makeup on a regular basis, a double cleansing method (cleansing oil first followed by facial foam/cream) is much more effective to dissolve all impurities without dryness and irritation.
3. Apply a numbing cream (optional)
If you have low pain tolerance, you should definitely go ahead and rub a numbing cream containing lidocaine all over your face or onto the facial area that you will be treating. Leave it on for 20 minutes (maximum of 30 minutes) then wipe off any excess cream afterwards.
- Leaving it on for more than the recommended time limit does not increase the numbing effect; rather, it will only lead to overactive nerves which can make the derma rolling session more uncomfortable than it already may be.
- Put on a pair of gloves before applying the numbing cream.
- Don’t use a numbing cream if you have certain conditions that limit what you can and cannot apply (e.g. if you’re pregnant, taking some type of prescription medication, or prone to allergic reactions).
4. Hydrate with serum
Any serum with hyaluronic acid applied onto the skin before derma rolling commences will instantly soothe the skin and create a slippery surface to help the device glide much easier over the skin.
5. Derma roll section by section
- Roll strategically – vertically or horizontally, top to bottom or vice versa – to ensure effectiveness of the treatment and to prevent uneven distribution across the skin’s surface.
- Target the facial part you want to treat (e.g. cheeks or chin) and then proceed with other sections of your face.
- Start at the edge of that specific area and then roll the device according to your intended direction firmly but gently.
- Roll in the same direction on the same part for six to eight times.
6. Stop the session after two minutes
It is very easy to forget that the skin on our faces is very thin and is always subject to constant exertion of every type, so you must remember that you only have a maximum of 2 minutes for the entire derma rolling process. Also, be mindful of how much pressure you’re going to allocate for every section of your face.
7. Clean your face
Because your face is covered with micro-fissures, don’t panic if it turns red as a lobster or that it stings afterwards. It is important to remove any traces of blood or any kind of discharge/fluid after treatment. Use only water – no cleansers and disinfectant whatsoever – if you don’t want to increase the discomfort you may be feeling.
8. Apply your favorite skincare moisturizer, cream, or serum
This will help lessen any discomfort, soothe the redness, and calm your skin. Plus, this is the best time to have the product be absorbed more effectively.
9. Sanitize your derma roller again
This isn’t strictly part of the derma rolling process but just to be on the safe side, you should disinfect your device once again like you did before putting it away.
10. Regulate your sessions
Depending on the needle length you use and your skin’s healing time, you should only undergo a derma rolling session every other day – or until you feel that is ready for another round of treatment. Some people wait up to six weeks before treating the same area again, but the rule of thumb is if you feel confident about trying it again, then it’s safe to proceed.