How often should you use dermaroller?

A dermaroller is a skincare device, equipped with microneedles, ready to gently prick the face as you roll it against your skin. Microneedles allow the dermaroller to penetrate your skin or induce repair in the skin to help you get fresher and newer looking skin on the surface. 

A dermaroller looks difficult to use and painful, so using it carefully is essential, especially when you are using it at home. Not a few people would ask, “How often should I use a dermaroller at home?” Some manufacturers say that you should use the dermaroller as often as you want while informing us on how to use it properly.

In theory, it is possible to use the dermaroller as much as we like because there’s no surgery or any other invasive procedure to damage the layer of the skin. But in reality, it doesn’t mean that we should use it more than what is recommended.

There are different recommendations when it comes to the frequency of use. The main discussion of the frequency of use depends on the size of the needle on the dermaroller. Longer needles used for more complicated skin issues must not be used too frequently lest they cause permanent damage to the skin. Other reasons can merely be commercial – the more often you use a dermaroller, the more often you should change it. This is because it may wear out and the rolling motion does not remain smooth, risking injury to the skin. Too frequent use can cause more damage than benefits to the skin.

Dermarolling essentially depends on the results you want to obtain and the threshold of pain you have. While some people say it is painless, others may have difficulty enduring the pain. Dermarollers come in various lengths of the microneedles. As a rule of thumb, the smaller the needle, the less painful is the treatment. Needles range from 0.1 mm in size to 1 mm. 

The smallest of needles do not prick and puncture the skin very much. They only ensure better product absorption; hence some experts suggest that these dermarollers can be used every day to give you better product absorption and better skin. The larger needles are used for treating more complex dermatologic problems. As you increase the size of the needles, the needles puncture the skin more. There may be bleeding and pain. This means that you must take dermarolling sessions with a gap of some days to allow your skin to recover from the previous treatment. The skin must produce new cells and collagen, which needs time. 

Whether using a roller with small needles or longer ones, breaks between dermarolling sessions are necessary as the production of new collagen is a long-term process. Many intermediate, complex stages lead to the production of new collagen. The formation of new collagen undergoes an intermediate phase from Type III collagen (the temporary collagen) to Type I collagen (the final and the more durable one). If you pierce your skin with the dermaroller (especially with 1.5 mm needles or longer) constantly, it may interfere with the production of new collagen and cause your skin to have permanent redness and inflammation in the long term. Therefore, you should not perform another dermarolling session until the skin is completely healed after the previous session. 

If a dermaroller with a 1.5 mm-long (or longer) needle is used every three days, the skin will be in a constant inflammation and redness.

People with acne scars, who are keen on using the dermaroller as a treatment option, must not use it without expert consultation, because it may cause a flare. And dermarolling sessions must be carefully managed in terms of time and intensity.  

After each dermarolling session, you may witness redness and swelling. That is completely normal, and it is because of increased microcirculation in the skin. It goes away in some time, but another session must not be performed until it is completely healed. While the skin is taking its time to heal, it needs some extra care. In the time that your skin is recovering from the slight inflammation and preparing for depositing new collagen, keep your skin hydrated and moisturized, to make the process easier and more efficient. 

To obtain the most effective results, you must use the dermaroller in a gentle application. The length of the microneedles also governs how often you should use the dermaroller. For example, it’s safe to say that you can use your dermaroller 2 to 3 times per week using needles that are 0.1 mm and smaller.

But cases may differ – some people have found out that just once-a-week use of the dermaroller, together with the use of a high-quality serum, is already sufficient (and even ideal). The use of the dermaroller once a week allows you to get accustomed to the microneedles while boosting a faster and more efficient absorption of the serum applied to your skin. Therefore, it is important to keep your weekly dermarolling sessions and not skip it as much as possible. This way, you will be able to get (and maintain) the results that you’ve wanted.

However, if you use microneedles that measure 0.5 mm in length and above, it is not generally recommended to use more than once a week or even once a month. But if it’s the longer needles that you’re looking for, then it is best to have the dermarolling performed by a professional. For example, if you’re going to treat cellulite or stretch marks on the thicker, more sebaceous parts of your body, you should use longer needles once a week. For those with sensitive skin, they might only be able to use the dermaroller once a month.

Below is a list of the recommended number of dermarolling sessions based on microneedle length:

  • 0.25 mm needles – treatment can be repeated every two days.
  • 0.50 mm needles – treatment should be done no more than once a week.
  • 1.00 mm needles – treatment should not be repeated more often than every 2 to 3 weeks.
  • 1.5 mm to 2.00 mm needles and up – treatments should be performed every 6 to 8 weeks.

If you find rolling too painful, especially if you have a low threshold to pain, you can apply topical anesthesia. Check out “Skin Numbing Solutions That Are Good Alternatives to Emla” to prepare your skin before dermarolling.

Concluding Remarks

Dermarolling is an exercise that can make significant improvements to your skin. But excessive and improper use can do more harm than good. Choose the dermaroller carefully, which is good for your skin type. Schedule your sessions with an expert and consider using these creams. Let them know whether you want to get it done at the clinic/salon or home, and pay careful attention to the skincare routine after each session to have the best results.