Microneedle therapy may not appeal to everyone at first glance. Indeed, when you are presented with what looks like a miniature steamroller covered with hundreds of tiny needles and told to run it over your face, you probably won't be tempted. But microneedle therapy, sometimes referred to as derma rolling or microneedling, is fast becoming a popular treatment for skin conditions such as acne scarring, stretch marks, hyper-pigmentation and anti-aging. And what makes it even more appealing is that you can do this treatment yourself at home for a fraction of the cost you'd pay at a skin clinic.
What is Microneedle Therapy?
Put simply, it's a hand held roller covered with up to 200 superfine needles. When rolled over the surface of your skin, the needles puncture the surface which stimulates the skin to produce new collagen. It leaves no visible marks and can be used on any part of the body except eyelids and lips and is suitable for both men and women. See ‘A guide to microneedle therapy’ for more details.
Microneedle rollers come with various needle lengths. Those for home use range between 0.2mm for light scarring up to 1.5mm for deeper scarring. If you are new to microneedle therapy it would be best to start with a 0.2mm or 0.3mm needle to see how sensitive your skin is to the needles.
Using your Roller
For needle lengths up to 1mm you can use your roller between four to five times each week and 1.5mm rollers a maximum of three times a week. Your microneedle roller will have its own set of instructions, but generally the rollers are all used in a similar way.
After cleansing your skin you can apply any serums or skin treatment creams. You then stretch the area of skin that you’re treating and gently run the roller backwards and forwards over the same area in a horizontal, vertical and diagonal motion several times.
You mustn't press too hard as this won't make the needles penetrate any deeper and is only liable to cause injury. Once you've finished treating one area, move onto the next. When you've finished, you can apply your moisturizing cream right away. The benefits of any creams or serums you're using are intensified since the ingredients are pushed deeper into the skin than would normally occur.
After each treatment you should try and stay out of the sun and protect your skin with a sun block. It is recommended not to apply makeup for a couple of days after treatment, but if this isn't possible, a good mineral based makeup should be fine.
Does it Hurt?
You should only feel a light tingling sensation until your skin becomes accustomed to the treatment. Some areas, such as the forehead may be more sensitive and if you're using a longer needle you will feel a stronger sensation but it's not painful by any means. Your skin may become quite red, as if you have mild sunburn but this disappears after a few hours.
With regular use, you should expect to see visible results within two to four weeks. However, your skin will keep on improving over the next six months even if you stop using your roller.
It's very important to keep your roller free from germs. Your roller will come with its own sterilizing instructions but generally, after each treatment you'll need to rinse your roller under hot water then leave it to soak in a sterilizing solution for a few minutes.
Microneedle therapy should only be used on healthy skin, for example, not on skin with active acne or skin infections. If you do experience any side effects such as irritation, excessive redness or pain, you should stop using the roller and possibly switch to a shorter needle. Also, your roller should not be shared under any circumstances.
Where to Buy
It's possible to find many brands of microneedles online. Always make sure you buy from a reputable seller and if possible purchase one directly from a skin care specialist.
Microneedle therapy is an effective and easy to use skin treatment method that's suitable for men and women to use at home. It stimulates the skin by boosting natural collagen levels which can significantly improve skin conditions such as acne scarring, pigmentation and fine lines. With regular use you can achieve noticeable results in as little as two weeks.