The Ultimate Guide to Derma Rolling: The Best-Kept Beauty Secret
Derma Rolling is the secret weapon to eliminating skin imperfections and attaining flawless, timeless skin. It’s a wonder treatment for everything from scars to wrinkles to acne. But unlike most other treatments, which can cost a pretty penny, Derma Rolling is incredibly cost-effective and can be done in the comforts of your own bathroom.
If you have previously tried everything under the sun to improve the appearance and health of your skin with no luck, Derma Rolling targets the areas most other treatments miss. It will without doubt improve your current skin condition in a way topical treatments simply cannot.
The real secret to Derma Rolling lies in its ability to stimulate collagen synthesis by generating acute inflammation. This process helps to rebuild collagen beneath the surface of your skin. It also stimulates IGF-1, which promotes healing and cell regeneration. Additionally, it breaks down and targets calcification and fibrosis, which cause scar tissue. No topical or peel can replicate these processes, considering it works by creating an acute inflammatory response through micro punctures, stimulating healing and resulting in new skin cells.
The Science Behind Derma Rolling
When we injure tissue, our bodies create an acute inflammatory response, which at the same time stimulates the healing process. Through this process, IGF-1 and other self-repair enzymes are released which repair that injury.
When an injury is very severe, such as the case through traumatic accident involving a deep cut or worse, the body becomes chronically inflamed. This causes the body to heal imperfectly, resulting in scar tissue, calcification and fibrosis.
However, when an injury is minor, the inflammation is acute and our bodies better control the healing process. Therefore, in minor cases of inflammation we often do not scar and the body heals almost perfectly.
Derma Rolling works by generating acute inflammation through creating very minor, micro-wounds. Micro-wounding does not cause chronic inflammation, but instead provokes the healing process. 1
There are likely two mechanisms responsible for this:
- Rebalancing Calcification Regulation – The first mechanism is that acute wounding down-regulates “calcification inducers”. The causes of calcification and fibrosis (the cause of scar tissue, hardened arteries and shiny bald scalps), involves a few factors, most notably being chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalance and an imbalance of calcification regulators. Derma Rolling targets the inflammatory problem but more-so, up-regulates calcification inhibitors and IGF-1 & 2 (insulin like growth factor beta 1 and 2); this results in scarless healing. In other words, Derma Rolling generates this acute inflammation which promotes the correct balance of calcification regulators, thus preventing calcification that causes scaring. In the process, it also reverses calcified and fibrotic tissue. This mechanism is what is responsible for the reversal of scars, wrinkles, stretch marks, and more.
- New Blood Vessel Formation – The second scientific mechanism behind the magic of micro-needling is that acute inflammation promotes angiogenesis. This is the scientific word used to describe the process of new blood vessels and capillary network formation. This provides ample oxygen, blood flow and nutrients to our skin cells. In aging skin, we see that these factors are inverted. The reason elderly people get very thin, transparent and wrinkled skin is because they begin to lack these components as their bodies struggle to absorb them; this causes the skin cells to atrophy and essentially starve. By re-establishing oxygen, blood flow and nutrient delivery, we can encourage the regeneration of younger and healthier skin cells. It is this mechanism that promotes younger skin, a healthier glow and more benefits to your complexion.
Together, these mechanisms create the many rewards of Derma Rolling that we will discuss next.
8 Beauty Benefits of Derma Rolling
When you observe the underlying mechanisms of Derma Rolling, there are many positive side effects one can experience. Here are 8 ways Derma Rolling can improve your physical appearance:
- Diminish Wrinkles – Derma rollers can greatly help reverse wrinkles by aiding the body in production of new collagen and elastin in the papillary dermis of the skin. Depending on the length of your needles, Derma Rolling can also help regenerate new collagen in deeper layers of the skin. With consistent use (roughly using once or twice a week with a few days in between for healing) it is not uncommon to see smoother skin in just a few weeks.
- Heal Scars – As discussed, Derma Rolling is incredibly effective for healing scar tissue and diminishing the appearance of scars. It does so by managing calcification regulators in the body, which helps promote perfect healing. Through this process of acute wounding, the body releases IGF and other self-healing enzymes that break down fibrotic tissue like scars.
- Younger Skin – Micro-needling prevents premature skin aging in a few ways as mentioned. First, it helps break down calcified tissue that may have caused the formation of acne scars and other skin imperfections. It also promotes collagen synthesis for the renewal of skin cells. This will lead to thicker, smoother, and more elastic skin while also preventing future degeneration of the skin. It thickens and prevents the breakdown of collagen that can result in skin aging. Lastly, Derma Rolling greatly increases the oxygenation, circulation and nutrient delivery to the skin, resulting in more nourished skin that glows.
- Reverse Skin Damage – Above all, Derma Rolling reverses damage done to the skin. While prevention is key, we cannot prevent damage to the skin entirely. Having a tool like Derma Rolling that can help counter the day-to-day damage inflicted on the skin is an invaluable tool. Regular use can help speed up recovery time of damaged skin, promoting more efficient healing. Its scientific mechanisms can effectively reverse sun damage, acne scars, and even more severe scar tissue caused by chronic inflammation.
- Reduce Stretch Marks – Stretch marks result from essentially stretching out the dermis of the skin too rapidly for the body to heal. Essentially stretch marks are a form of scar tissue. By breaking down fibrotic tissue and stimulating collagen production in the skin, a Derma Roller can help create more elastic and flexible skin that can reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- Balanced Skin Tone – Hyperpigmentation is often caused to the external layers of the skin, mostly due to poor oxygen, blood flow and nutrient delivery to the skin; these deficiencies are corrected through Derma Rolling. However, Derma Rolling also normalizes pigment cells (Melanocytes) and balances the inflammatory responses in the skin, therefore promoting a more balanced skin tone.
- Heal Rosacea – Derma Rolling can also help treat rosacea by thickening the epidermis and by helping the body produce more collagen. Many of the problems of the skin boil down to some form of chronic inflammation, which results in a downward spiral of effects – Derma Rolling uniquely addresses this root cause.
- Hair Growth – Derma Rolling isn’t just great for the skin, it might very well be the secret weapon for reversing pattern baldness, which science has recently confirmed is really just a matter of calcified and fibrotic scalp tissue that chokes off life to the hair follicle. Incredibly enough, the same two basic mechanisms work for hair growth. By breaking down calcified and fibrotic tissue, the scalp is renewed to its youthful state before hair loss occurred. In people with hair loss, you will see that the worse it gets, the shinier and more calcified their scalp appears. In all long-standing hair loss cases, the scalp has lost its elasticity and has become more stiff, solid and thick. Derma Rolling addresses this root cause that goes beyond the common culprits such as DHT accumulation and poor circulation. By addressing this issue, the scalp returns to its normal, healthy, elastic state. From there, Derma Rolling can stimulate blood flow and oxygen to the scalp, which aids in the delivery of the necessary hormones and nutrients required for healthy hair growth. Derma Rolling also has been noted to promote hair growth-related genes and to cause the hair follicles to expand, resulting in thicker hair. 2
How to Pick the Best Derma Roller?
Today, there are many derma rollers to choose from. While they might look similar, not all are created equal. In order to reap the benefits without any negative side effects, you want to ensure you have a high-quality derma roller.
In low-quality rollers, the treatment can be abnormally painful and have poor results in relation to the proclaimed benefits. Low quality rollers usually use poor quality needles that bend and rust easily. This can potentially harm the skin, and even lead to infections.
With a quality roller however, you can ensure near-painless treatment that will definitely result in long-lasting improvement to your fine lines, wrinkles, scars and other skin problems in 6 to 12 months.
If you are considering derma rolling for collagen induction therapy to reverse scaring, then it is even more important you get a quality roller.
With all that being said, there are three main facets to consider when purchasing a Derma Roller:
- Needle length – For sensitive and thinner skin you want a shorter needle of 0.25 to 0.75 mm. For areas where the skin is thicker, and when treating scars, you will want to use a needle that is a minimum of 1.00 mm for best results.
- Number of needles – As a general rule, the greater the number of needles, the more effective the treatment will be. However, a lower number of needles works fine for smaller treatment areas such as the face.
- Needle Quality – There are many outdated rollers on the market still today. Poor quality rollers use needles made of cheap surgical steel. These needles bend, rust and easily dull. This can harm your skin, potentially leading to infection, and at the very least are painful to use. The best derma rollers are made with titanium. Titanium needles are the strongest and sharpest of all needles, and therefore the least painful and most effective.
- Handle size and length – A good derma roller with have a handle that is comfortable for the size of your hands. This may take a little experimentation; however, there are rollers with handles that are sturdy and curved to fit the contours of the hand.
How to Properly Use a Derma Roller
It is important to know how to use a Derma Roller properly. Improper use can yield pain and ineffective results. Below is a simple instructional guide to proper Derma Rolling:
Step 1. Remove your Derma Roller from its case and attach your desired head.
Step 2. Quickly sterilize the needled head, just to be on the safe side and protect against possible infection. Do this by running it under boiling hot water or soaking it quickly in a solution of Tea Tree essential oil and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). Let it dry, then proceed to the next steps.
Step 3. Give your face a quick cleanse with some ACV on an organic cotton ball. Let your face dry.
Step 4. Using gentle pressure, roll the Derma Roller back and forth 2 to 4 times across your entire face. You can also split your face into sections, starting with your forehead, then each side of your face, chin, etc. The rolling pattern is important. On every part of the face you want to roll horizontally, vertically, then diagonally to the right and then the left. By the end, you will have gone in four different directions, covering every part of your face.
Step 5. When you finish rolling, gently cleanse your face with some ACV again.
Step 6. Apply your favorite topical products. We recommend doing a therapeutic clay mask, which will further improve microcirculation to the capillaries in your face. You can learn more about how to do a clay mask by clicking here. When you are finished with your mask, apply an organic moisturizer or night cream. The combination of Derma Rolling and Clay Mask will significantly increase the absorption of micronutrients and antioxidants from your topical, delivering the nutrients directly to your skin cells. Applying a good moisturizer will also help improve the healing process.
You will likely notice some reddening of your skin after your treatment; it is 100% natural and normal. This is a sign that you have inflicted acute inflammation, greatly increased blood circulation, and that your skin is in the process of regenerating new skin cells and collagen. The redness will naturally fade depending on how intensely you rolled. You will also build tolerance over time as your skin thickens and becomes more elastic.
It is best to leave time between sessions for healing. Typically, treatments should be done 1 to 2 times a week, leaving 3-5 days between for healing. This may vary depending on your tolerance and intensity.