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We know we’re not alone when we say that the recent lockdown was both a blessing and a curse for our skins. What’s great about the lockdown is that we can really work on our acne without fear of air pollution, dirt, and debris from our daily commute, triggering breakouts. Then, there’s the downside. Thanks to lockdown mandates, many of us cannot treat said breakouts with monthly facials or trips to the derm’s office. Instead, we’ve been searching for ways to supplement professional services with at-home treatments – safely, of course. Enter: Dermarolling. At first glance, the handheld machine comes off as intimidating. Rolling miniature needles up, down, and across our faces is supposed to help combat acne scarring and evening out our skin tones? Dermarolling does all of that and so much more. Before taking things into our own hands, here’s what you need to know about the procedure, best practices, and who benefits from dermarolling.
What is dermarolling?
So, there’s the dermaroller – the manual device – and then there’s microneedling, which is the basic technique. The common size for a dermaroller is 0.25 and what those needles do is make a little microchannel into the skin so the product or serum will penetrate deeper into the skin. Whatever serum you choose to use will fill into those tiny incisions created by the dermaroller to allow the product to work its magic. But there’s more.
What’s also happening is, in that little controlled wound that we made with that little teeny needle, it triggers ATP, which helps energise the cells and gets everything moving faster. The deeper the needle depth, the better it is for scarring.
Who would benefit most from dermarolling?
While dermarolling has a slew of benefits for different skin types, those battling acne scars could see great results from incorporating a dermaroller in their routine. It all depends upon what serums you're using because you want the product to penetrate deeper to minimise the appearance of scarring. Using a dermal roller at 0.25 with a particularly high-quality vitamin C serum would make a huge improvement in clearing up their scarring. But those with rosacea, microneedling is wonderful for you because you would be using a serum that would also be treating the rosacea, so anything hydrating. Those hydrating ingredients would penetrate deeper; therefore, their skin would reap the benefits of it much more than if they just applied it on the skin.
For people who should stay away from dermarolling, are people with active breakouts, active acne, especially inflamed acne because when using a dermaroller, you're going to poke a needle through that inflammation and it could lead to more inflammation.
Can you walk us through the process from start to finish?
• First, cleanse your skin thoroughly and follow up with a hydrating toner.
• Next, apply your treatment serum. If your goal is to lessen acne scars' appearance, go for a serum with brightening agents.
• Begin the dermarolling process by doing three passes. So, you want to do upward, sideways, and then diagonal. You do three separate passes. It's not so important the direction that you're doing it. It's more important that there are passes up into your jawline.
• Then, follow up with another layer of your serum, the treatment serum that you use.
Because you are making little incisions, will you draw blood? Do you cleanse your face all over again?
Because you’re using a 0.25 needle, the depth is very shallow. However, everyone's face is different. If you do find any little pinprick of blood that arrives at the surface, then wipe it off with the hydrating toner. Re-apply another layer of the serum, a moisturiser, and that's it.
After dermarolling, are there specific products that you shouldn't put on your face to avoid burning or extra irritation?
Stay away from exfoliating serums – scrubs and chemical exfoliants. Any exfoliating serum-like any alpha-, beta-hydroxy, vitamin a, any of that. The idea is to hydrate and moisturise afterward. Your skin might feel a little warm. You may have a little pinkness to the skin but wouldn't need a whole post-treatment microneedling routine. You could just add a serum, moisturise, and feel worry-free.
How soon should someone be looking in the mirror for radiant, glowy skin?
If you expected anything sooner than a week, we have news for you. You won’t be seeing any prominent radiance or glow on your skin before day 21. We know that’s not an ideal timeline, but good things take time. The best way to track your results would be to take photos. Take a picture on day one, in your bathroom or in front of the window. And then, take a picture on day 21. The thing is that nobody notices incremental changes from their face. You have to take that picture. So, we would say on day 21 is really when you start to see changes.
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