If you dealt with acne long enough (as I did — 11 years, say whaaat?), you know the worst part about it is not acne itself but the scarring that lingers on. And here I’m not talking about all these red or dark spots that exfoliation or a few facials can fade away, but about the atrophic scars.
Such scars develop when the skin can’t regenerate tissue correctly, a fact related to enzymatic degradation of collagen fibers and subcutaneous fat due to severe acne. Basically, it’s an indented scar that heals below the normal skin layer tissue, leaving behind the so-much-unwanted scarring (ice pick, rolling, and boxcar scars).
Here is where dermarollers come to help. Is this tool foreign to you? OK, then. A dermaroller is a small wheel with a bunch of (titanium or steel) itty-bitty needles, which, when you gently roll on the skin, go deep enough to create a signal to the brain that tells your skin to regenerate. In turn, collagen formation boosts, allowing the skin to renew itself.
What are the benefits of microneedling?
As long as you can create tiny controlled injuries and tell your skin to regenerate itself, it’s going to improve a few skin concerns. The treatment helps from minimizing pore size and improve skin texture to reducing acne scars appearance, stretch marks, and fine lines.
Will I get the same results as in-office microneedling?
TBH, no. The tools available for home-use do not go deep as the ones used in salons do — the needles would have to reach the dermis and stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin, meaning they’re a bit longer. Still, you’ll have a real improvement in the way your skin looks and feels, pinky promise.
Which dermaroller size is best for acne scars?
A beginner size needle is key. Lengths varying from 0.25, 0.3, to 0.5mm are the best to use for acne scars. However, it is not recommended to use anything over 0.5mm at home — that’s for in-office treatments made by cosmeticians. Also, everything that is over 1.5mm is for the body, stretch marks, and cellulite.
How often can I use the dermaroller?
It is essential not to overdo it, as you risk producing the opposite effect and damage your skin. The best is to treat your skin with a dermaroller once a fortnight — you get the desired result without damaging the tissue. Before going any further, you ought to know that a dermaroller should be replaced after 10 to 15 uses!
How do I prep my skin for microneedling?
Before anything, you have to decide if this is a good day for dermarolling because it should never be performed on active, severe breakouts, wounds, or eczema. Also, bear in mind that ideally would be not to apply makeup for the next 24 hours after dermarolling. Upfront, every time before and after you use the dermaroller, make sure you have alcohol nearby — it’s crucial to disinfect it every time before you use it and after that.
Important: If you’re using strong topical products, such as retinol, discontinue its use a few days before microneedling. “In addition to having a cleansed and toned face, you should also avoid using retinol at least 48 hours prior and avoid direct sun exposure for about three days prior and three days following,” notes Josie Holmes, esthetician at SKINNEY Medspa, for Byrdie. “I would also advise against using any aggressive acids within the week of the procedure.”
It’s OK if you apply a serum before starting using the dermaroller, as this will act as a barrier between the needles and your skin and also increases absorption. Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C serum, niacinamide, they all work.
What products should I use after dermarolling?
When it’s rolled over the skin, it punches lots of tiny holes, so what you apply right after will get absorbed quickly. Try to use soothing products because you have created all these little pathways so everything will get in your skin way more intensely. This brings fabulous results with the right products! What is best to use after dermarolling is, again, hyaluronic acid. But a hydrating sheet mask will work great too.
What to expect after the treatment?
Welp, you’ll notice your skin will turn red, but that should clear until the next day. The sensation feels a bit like a sunburn for 24-48 hours. Your skin will get very dry. Hence, please keep it hydrated!
What to AVOID after dermarolling
Stay away from any comedogenic products that may block your pores as you don’t want to create any bacteria. Likewise, don’t use products with alcohol — after the treatment, your skin will get really thirsty, so better avoid something that’ll dry your skin even more.
Keep distance from harsh ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or anything with synthetic fragrance. Wait at least two days before you reintroduce these ingredients into your skincare regimen. Avoid direct sunlight for the next three days. Also, because dermaroller makes your skin sensitive to sun damage, make sure you protect it with SPF 50.
6 Best Microneedles to Treat Acne Scars at Home
Finally, here you go, six best dermarollers to transform your skin without a derm trip. Let’s roll!
1. BeautyBio GloPro Microneedling Device
Four times an award-winner, the most performant dermaroller (maybe because the inventor of microneedling technology created it) features LED light too! Rolling 540 needles of .3mm over your skin, this awesome tool supports cell turnover, allows collagen production, diminishes acne scars, fine lines, and amplifies product absorption. Wait, there’s more about it: it features a microcurrent to up all these effects even more. Or you can opt for the entire set, which comes with a head for the eye area, a cooling balm applicator, and an eye-lift in a jar — faaancy!
2. SDARA Skincare Dermaroller
If you’re not into paying $200 for a dermaroller, this one truly raves on Amazon while it’s budget-friendly. With its 540 of 0.25mm needles, it exfoliates dead skin cells away to reveal brightened, smooth skin. It doesn’t really need a lot of presentation — browse the reviews yourself, everybody’s happy about it!
3. StackedSkincare Micro-Roller
I would use this one if I’d be a first-timer. Aesthetician developed, it features a slim design, making it easy to reach spots like the nose’s sides. Its stainless steel needles are really tiny (.2-millimeter), exfoliating the skin without causing any injury. It helps your skin promote cell regeneration revealing an evener skin tone while creating the appearance of plumper, firmer skin.
4. Linisa Dermaroller Microneedle Roller Face
This one boasts 540, 0.25mm titanium needles, and you can use it on both face and body. Made for whoever wants to eliminate acne scars and lessen fine lines, you’ll also get a soothing facial serum along the dermaroller. The serum is infused with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, an organic formula that’ll help fade acne scars away and make wrinkles less visible.
5. ZustBeauty Dermaroller Kit
Or you can try this set that comes with three replaceable roller heads, one for the face, one for the eye area, and a bigger one for the body so that you can use this topnotch tool from head to toe. Not only that, but you’ll also get a collagen cream to soothe and calm your skin, plus a serum infused with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, and licorice extract. This mix aims to hydrate, brighten, and even skin tone ATST.
6. Glemme Microneedle Derma Stamp
This one is a bit different from a dermaroller but has the same goal: smooth the skin’s surface with 140 micro-fine needles made of surgical-grade stainless steel. Just that it works by pressing it on your skin, like a stamp. The best part about it? It features adjustable needles, from .5 to 3.0 millimeters, which you can use on your face, and body, making it an excellent choice for deep scars.