Micro-Needling 101

By Jaclyn Gruenbaum

As someone who writes about skincare, has a job developing skincare, and applies 10 steps of skincare every night, you could say I have a slight obsession. Seeing my jars and tubes lined up in my medicine cabinet gives me all the feels, but there is more to it than just pretty bottles (although I’ll be honest, I’m sucker for gorgeous packaging and sometimes I buy things I don’t need just so I can stare at it every day in my bathroom).

Micro-rollers aren’t the prettiest product, but they’ve garnered tons of hype as more brands have introduced them for at-home use, which is much more time and cost effective than going to a dermatologist. I’ve been micro-needling at home for a few months, so let’s dive right into the details!



What is micro-needling?

Micro-needling is when you use a roller covered in hundreds of fine needles to create tiny puncture wounds on the surface of your skin. Fun, right?! As invasive as it sounds, it’s basically painless and has multiple skin benefits. The punctures you create aids in the absorption of your skincare, so you can ensure your serums are working as hard as possible. Secondly, board certified dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD explains in an article for Reader’s Digest, “The micro-injuries you create stimulates the body’s natural wound healing processes, resulting in cell turnover and increased collagen and elastin production, therefore reversing as well as preventing signs of aging.” Sign me up!

How do I do it?

There are a few ways to microneedle. My favorite way is on the couch, in pajamas, with an episode of Vanderpump Rules on TV. In all seriousness though, at-home micro-rollers make micro-needling easier than ever. I ordered this one off Amazon to start. The needles are just 0.25mm, so pain is basically non-existent. I start by applying my serum and then rolling lightly over my face vertically, horizontally, and diagonally for about 2 minutes. Then I apply more serum and let my skin get to work. I incorporate this into my skincare routine twice per week. However, Dermatologist Lisa Donofrio gave insightful information about micro-needling at the ASDS Skinnovation event. She advises not to use Vitamin C serum while  micro-needling because thats forcing a cream or serum into the skin which could create bumps and pimples. 

Another way to microneedle is at the dermatologist, where they use longer needles to penetrate the skin more deeply. Only a qualified plastic surgeon has access to these rollers which have needles up to 7mm long (up to 35 times the length of at home rollers!). Dermatologists can also microneedle all over the body; the leg area is popular to help the appearance of stretch marks. If you have more serious skin concerns, you may opt to go this route instead of at-home.

So… is it worth the hype?

When Vogue proclaims something “the next big thing” you want to drop everything and hop on board. But to be honest, I’ve been using my roller for about two months and have not noticed a huge difference in my skin. I will continue to use my derma-roller at home out of convenience, but I’m not convinced enough to splurge on the in-office treatment just yet!

All images are from Byrdie.com
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