beauty

TRIED & TESTED: "I tried at-home dermarolling to see if it's really worth the hype."

Last year when we could live normally, pandemic-free, one of my close friends posted a video on Snapchat. Her face was red raw and it was covered with all these teeny tiny little dots. While she was talking about her treatment, her face literally looked like it had its own pulse. 

Yep, she suckered me in - I was seriously intrigued to understand what she had done, why she had done it, and what results were to come out of this kind of skin treatment. This was my first meeting with the term ‘skin needling’.

Watch: How to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

A week passed and WOWZA, my friend's face was absolutely GLOWING. It looked so plump, juicy, rejuvenated and smooth. My first reaction was all like, baby girl you look simply amazeballs. It was then followed by me internally screaming: I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE.

So, I did some research about in-clinic skin needling and weighed up the pros and cons. While you’d probably need to have a series of treatments, it looks like results appear in a reasonable timeframe and are fairly long-lasting. 

However, it's a pretty exxy treatment (depending on where you go). Also, there’s the aftermath of looking like a shining red beacon for days, where you’re too scared to step foot outside your house even to grab the mail.

It got me thinking, is there any way to get the same result in a less invasive way? Logically, no. It’s the old school saying, ‘beauty is pain’. But there are definitely other options out there for people looking for lower downtime and for those working within a budget. 

My research led me to something called ‘at-home dermarolling’ and I was officially intrigued. 

What is at-home dermarolling?

I spent countless nights researching the handheld dermarolling tools - including what it does, how it works and what benefits it has on the skin.

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In layman's terms, the main purpose of this tool is to roll heaps of microneedles on your face (needles range in lengths being 0.25 mm for beginners to 1.5 mm for at home experts). By rolling linear patterns on your face, the tool creates teeny tiny punctures and channels in your skin, which triggers the creation of new collagen. 

Dermarolling can do everything from repairing the skin to clearing pigmentation and even healing scarring. It also boosts hydration levels while making your skin smooth and plump. This is one of the most non-invasive treatments to tackle the above.

My current skin situation.

Okay - back to me. My face. Let's talk about it. I have blemishes. I have pimples. And I occasionally get hormonal cystic pimples. I experience dryness around the base of my nose, and sometimes in my eyebrows (weird, I know!). However, my skin in general is mostly pretty normal - not oily and not dry. 

I do have pigmentation, though. Some call it freckles, some call it the end result of being a steadfast pimple popper who ends up with battle scars absolutely everywhere. (My skin: 1. Me: 0). 

Just to give you a bit of an idea, my current skincare routine is as follows:

AM

  • Micellar water
  • Hyaluronic acid serum
  • Vitamin B serum
  • Vitamin C serum
  • Moisturiser
  • SPF

PM

  • Oil cleanser
  • Milk cleanser
  • Hyaluronic acid serum
  • Vitamin B serum
  • Vitamin C serum
  • Moisturiser

So right at this moment, my main problem is that my skin just does not look clear as I want it to be. Is that too much to ask?! I just wanna feel super comfortable in my own skin, makeup free! #dropmic

Thanks to the fabulous team at Mamamia, I received an Aesthetics RX Dermaroller in 0.25 mm (as I am a total novice and newbie) to trial. HELLOOOOO SAILOR! So much yes.

Image: Supplied.

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However, the day I received it I was blessed with a gigantic, angry-ass cystic pimple which was just sitting under the skin, ready to reach the surface. Not ideal. 

So, even though I was super keen to start puncturing my face, I decided to wait a week for the angry demon taking up a tenancy on my face to calm down or pay rent. It calmed down, but the rent was overdue. I just couldn’t wait any longer so I officially gave it notice to vacate.

What’s involved in at-home dermarolling?

Okay, so the Aesthetics RX Dermaroller comes in a cradle for storage - because you do not want to drop it anywhere. The aim of the game is to keep it in its home when not in use. If you drop the dermaroller, the microneedles may bend. You do not want this! These are the smallest needles I have ever seen - I can barely even see them! 

Image: Supplied.

To the naked eye, it just looks like little bumps on a roller. No scary scenes here! But now the fun begins.

The first time I actually rolled the tool over my skin was hilarious. I was so scared this would be painful. Boy was I wrong! I generally have a pretty good pain threshold, but I can be a baby at times. In all seriousness, if you’re a beginner and want to try, but you’re worried it’ll be painful – don't worry, you shouldn’t feel a thing. 

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I prepped my skin (double cleansed) and dried my face to oblivion. After waiting about 20 mins, I was ready to rock and roll. I did not put any pressure while rolling - as it was my first time using it, I wanted to take it slow. 

I made an asterisk pattern on my face in the different sections of my face: left cheek, right cheek, chin, upper lip, nose, the right side of forehead, left side of forehead and lips. I rolled up and down six times in the one spot, before moving to the next section. It just felt like I was rolling a ball up and down my face. 

Image: Supplied.

All of a sudden, my skin was blushing pink and it got me all excited. 

Side note – I absolutely, positively did not dermaroll over my cystic pimple. That’s a huge big no-no. I cannot risk making the pimple worse, getting an infection and spreading it across my face. I just avoided it at all costs.

Once I finished, I wasn’t very red, however, my face did feel slightly tingly. I sprayed the needles with alcohol and left it to dry in the cradle. Right after the sterilisation, I went straight into mist my face ('cause we’re still feeling the burn) with a hydrating spray and then lathered a generous amount of hyaluronic acid into my skin. I left my serum to soak in for a couple of minutes and then locked it all in with a night moisturiser. My skin absorbed every bit of product! 

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It took about an hour for the tingling sensation to dissipate and my skin did not look red whatsoever. I felt fab.  

Fast-forward two days post-dermarolling, and wow. WOW. My skin felt ahhhhhmazing! I was way smoother than normal. My pigmentation may have been the same, but I felt less blotchy and uneven. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I was loving myself sick! I did my ordinary routine AM and PM. Also, I did not put on any makeup for at least 24 hours after my session.

Image: Supplied.

After my first session, I waited four days until I tried dermarolling again. My cystic pimple was still there. Again, I did not roll over the bump. The experience was exactly the same, except I felt like more of a pro and not as cautious as I was the first time around. Again, I experienced very little redness. I only noticed it along my jawline, forehead and nose. 

Round three was another four days later. I found I was even quicker and more savage about it. I pushed a little harder on the roll this time. I felt the needles more, but nothing about it was uncomfortable. This time I could actually go over the now blemish (which was where the cystic pimple was). 

The morning after, my skin felt plump, soft, and my blemish marks weren’t pink anymore - rather more brownish. I also finally got to put a full face of makeup on and OH EM GEE, that was a fab surprise.  

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Image: Supplied.

My nose was not peely-looking, my pores were even smaller (if that was even possible as I don’t have large pores), and my makeup went on so smoothly and effortlessly. I did a double-take looking at myself in the mirror, as I was in pure shock.

At home dermarolling: The verdict. 

After testing this trendy dermarolling tool for two weeks now, I can say that I adore the ease of this at-home treatment. 

The fact that I can feel and see tiny changes happening to my face at the moment is promising. My skin feels super soft, fresh, clear, and the tone is evening out. I am definitely going to continue using the dermaroller for a little while longer to see what other benefits come my way. 

Next time, I think I'll get deeper needles. Exciting times ahead. (And this experience has just made me want to try in-clinic microneedling.) 

Highly recommend to get your roll on!

Have you tried at home dermarolling? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Check out more stories from the You Beauty Collective, where our beauty community talks all things skincare, makeup and more.

Feature image: Supplied.

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