Putting needles in your skin sounds like something that only a professional should handle, so when it comes to microneedling (aka little puncture wounds on your skin).
As far as office-based microneedling treatment, the potential benefitsTrusted Source include:
improvement of acne scars and discoloration
reduced wrinkles and stretch marks
skin rejuvenation for texture and complexion
enhancement of product absorption
increased skin thickness
Here’s what you need to know about microneedling at home, from choosing a roller to avoiding infections.
Choose your roller to start
ResearchTrusted Source has indicated that some people can achieve significant skin improvements after two to three sessions from needles that are 1.5 millimeter (mm) in length, but these are usually performed in an office setting. You’re going to want to start small, usually less than .15 mm.
Choosing at-home vs. a professional
A bigger needle doesn’t mean faster results. Patience is a virtue when it comes to microneedling, and if control is a concern, you may want to see a professional instead.
If an in-office treatment fits your budget, the good news is the results may come faster, the process will be safer, and you may achieve greater results since they’ll likely use longer and sharper medical grade needles.
The tiny injuries the fine needles induce is a signal to our skin to produce new collagen.
5 steps to microneedling at home
Since needles are involved, safety will be your number one concern when microneedling at home.
Here’s your five-step method:
1. Disinfect your derma roller
Always start by disinfecting your derma roller, letting it soak in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for approximately 5 to 10 minutes before you begin.
2. Wash your face
Clean your skin with a gentle pH-balanced cleanser, and then cleanse it again. You’ll also want to gently wipe that 70 percent isopropyl alcohol directly on your face before you start rolling.
If you’re sensitive to pain, consider a numbing cream after washing your face. You’ll definitely want to apply one if you’ve advanced your treatment to using longer needles.
3. Start rolling
Before you start, mentally divide your face into four sections, avoiding the eye area completely:
Gently and firmly roll over one area in one direction (vertically or horizontally) two to three times, and be sure to lift the roller before each roll.
Let’s say you start vertically: After you’ve covered one section 2–3 times this way, move the roller slightly and repeat until you’ve covered the whole section in that one direction. Then, go back and repeat the whole process in that section, but this time roll horizontally, utilizing a cross-hatch pattern.
For visual instructions, watch the video below:
4. Rinse your face
Rinse your face with clean water only when you’re done rolling and pat it dry with a clean pad.
5. Sanitize your derma roller
First wash the derma roller with dishwasher soap. Then soak it again in the 70 percent isopropyl alcohol for 10 minutes and put it back in its case.
Don’t wait too long to replace your derma roller — you should ditch your current roller for a fresh one after 10 to 15 uses, so you might need a new one every month if you’re rolling several days a week.
The best serums to use after microneedling
One of the biggest purported benefits of microneedling is its ability to help products like serums and moisturizers penetrate deeper and become more effective.
How often should you do at-home microneedling?
The frequency of your treatments will depend on the length of your derma roller’s needles and your skin’s sensitivity. If your needles are shorter, you may be able to roll every other day, and if the needles are much longer, you may need to space out treatments every three to four weeks.
If you’re really looking to rev up your results, you may want to consider adding in additional skin care treatments between your microneedling sessions.
According to Dermascope, a professional skin care journal, microneedling and chemical peels produce better results as complementary treatments when administered 4 to 6 weeks apart.
If your skin tolerates it, other treatments like gua sha and facial acupuncture may accelerate your results when interspersed with microneedling as well.
What does the roller do for your face?
The simple act of massaging your face with a face roller has a ton of benefits for the skin. It may even reduce stress and release tension, just like a body massage would.
Here are some key benefits:
Improves blood circulation in the face. Using a face roller can stimulate blood flow to the face, which can make your skin look brighter and feel firmer.
Helps with stuffy sinuses. Some studies suggest that using this tool may help clear the sinusesTrusted Source, though the research is still in the early stages.
Decreases puffiness. Rolling may also decrease puffiness (like hard-to-handle under eye bags) by stimulating lymphatic drainage.
Cools and soothes your skin. If you store your roller in the refrigerator or use a naturally cold stone like jade, it’ll cool the skin on contact. This can quickly de-puff your skin and tighten pores.
Distributes skincare product. Rollers are typically used with an oil or moisturizer to help the tool glide across your skin. It’s said this process can deliver product deeper into your skin.
Myths and facts about facial roller massage
There are many big claims about facial rollers.
Here we will talk about what’s actually true about facial massage, and what’s a myth about facial rollers.
Facial massage can improve your mood: True. It may seem weird, but facial massage reduces anxiety for some.
Using a roller can slim the face: False. The only way to truly slim down or lose weight from any part of your body, the face included, is through nutrition and exercise. However, the de-puffing potential of the facial roller may make your face look slimmer temporarily.
Using a roller can contour the face: True. The roller can be used to drain fluid from the face, which can help to contour your face temporarily. The best way to use the tool for draining and contouring is to roll up at an angle and then push the roller downward by the ear. The process helps direct excess fluid to the lymph nodes.
Toxins can be flushed from the body by using a roller: True. Any activity that stimulates lymphatic drainageTrusted Source, including massage or facial rolling, can be detoxifying for the body.
How to use a facial roller
Follow these steps when using a facial roller:
Apply a facial oil, serum, or moisturizer with lots of slip. If you don’t have lubrication, the tool can pull or tug the skin, which may actually contribute to wrinkles.
Start at the neck and roll upward. For best results, roll up, not back and forth.
Roll from the jawline to the ear on both sides using gentle pressure. You can continue this motion all the way from the jaw to the cheekbone.
Roll from the forehead up toward the temples, only in the upward direction. It’s the same gentle pull that you would use if you were using your hands to pull the skin taut and wrinkle-free.
Roll flat over your eyebrows horizontally, which may feel especially relieving if you have a headache.
You can also perform facial massage or facial exercises, sometimes called “face yoga,” without a roller. You can easily give yourself an at-home facial without any tools.
How often should you use a face roller?
Face rollers are safe to use every day. In fact, some dermatologists recommend daily use for best results.
How long do you roll for?
Even if you only have a few minutes, you may still be able to get some of the de-stressing and de-puffing benefits.
A 2018 study showed that using a facial massage roller for just 5 minutes can increase blood flow to the cheeks. Using the roller for 10 minutes should be plenty. And always stop if it starts to hurt.
How to clean your facial roller
Wipe off any excess oil or product with a soft, clean washcloth. It’s a good idea to wipe it off after every use or at least once a week.
Use a gentle face wash or soap to kill bacteria. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with room temperature water.
Avoid putting very hot water on your facial roller or soaking it in water.
Lay the roller horizontally on a clean dry cloth to dry.