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How to Use a Derma Roller

I have been a devotee of the derma roller for a few years. Of all the gizmo’s I use on my face, and there are many, it has the most significant impact.

Admittedly, I take my skincare seriously. I’d rather spend my time and money taking care of my skin than covering it up. You can see my nighttime routine here

How to Use a Drema Roller in Your Skincare Routine

How to use a Derma Roller

Derma Roller Micro Needle Kit, $22.00

What is It?

A derma roller is a small, handheld device with a titanium head covered in 600 tiny “needles.” By rolling these needles across your face, you slightly puncture your skin, and when followed up with your favorite serum, your skin absorbs more of the product at a deeper level.

It also helps stimulate collagen production, increases blood flow to the face, and helps eliminate acne scars.

In my early and mid-thirties, I started getting severe, often painful acne on my cheeks, and it threw me down a spiral. I never dealt with acne, even as a teenager, so I was shocked and embarrassed to have it as a grown woman.

 It’s one of the reasons it took me so long to put my face on this site. My self-esteem was in the toilet. 

Once we figured out what was going on, a combination of hormones and stress, it cleared up, but left just as frustrating scars. After using the derma roller for a month or so, they disappeared. 

Today, I seen an incredible improvement in the texture of my skin since I first started using it at least three times a week for over a year now.

At 40, my skin has never looked better, it’s noticeably smoother and plumper.

I use the  Love & Pebble Microneedle Kit, and I love it. The best part is that it is an excellent value at $25 and comes with three replacement heads.

How to Use a Derma Roller in Your Skincare Routine

The Technique

Start on clean, dry skin. Visualize your face divided in sections: cheeks, chin, forehead, and move one section at a time. Using light pressure roll horizontal, vertical and then diagonal strokes up and out within each section. 

Don’t skip your eye area, just use very light pressure around and under your eyes.

Work your way over each section until you’ve covered your entire face.

Does it hurt? A little at first but you get used to it. Your skin may be red for a few minutes afterward, but that will go away.

Follow with a serum and gently press the product into your skin.

If you like, you can also follow the same technique on your neck, to help minimize those horizontal lines that start to show up as we age. 

When to Use Your Roller

For the longest time, I included my derma roller into my nighttime skincare routine. But once we started more permanently working and staying at home, I moved it to the morning. 

You can use it wherever it makes sense for your day. Currently, I’m using it a few mornings a week, adding on my serum, and I give my skin a chance to breathe make up free. 

How to Clean Your Derma Roller

Keeping your derma roller clean is extremely important.

After each use, rinse it under warm water and then place it in a small bowl with isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for about an hour. Then rinse and let air dry.

Sounds like a lot of steps but it takes just a minute and is worth it. 

Replace with a new head as you feel the needle dulling. 

Favorite Follow Up Serums

Serums and derma rollers are the peanut butter and jelly of skincare. 

Once you finish all the steps, take a few drops of your go-to serum and gently press into your skin. Your skin will just soak it all in. 

My favorite is  Vintner’s Daughter. I worship it. It is ridiculously expensive but worth every penny. 

For something much more affordable, The Ordinary makes a variety of serums, my favorite is their Hyaluronic Acid that is under $10 at Sephora

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Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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How to Use a Derma Roller

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Julie Berry

Monday 17th of August 2020

have you heard anything about using the derma roller on other parts of the body such as legs and arms to help reduce wrinkling and bumpy texture from aging/sun damage?

Megan Kristel

Monday 17th of August 2020

Hey Julie, I have, though I haven't done it myself. From what I've read it makes a big difference, but the products you would need to do it are much more expensive than the roller I featured, basically the roller you would need has a larger head to cover more skin surface. Here's an article with some tips and product recommendations. I HAVE started using in on my hands to help them "age" at the same pace as my face. We'll see if that works :)


Thursday 1st of August 2019

Do you really want to "illuminate" acne scrs?

Megan Kristel

Thursday 1st of August 2019

We're a kind group, Steph. People make mistakes and my eyes are tired. Typo has been corrected.