What is a Derma-Roller and How Do You Use it?


Heard about ‘derma-rolling’ from your beauty-obsessed BFF? Cringing at the idea of the needles involved? Read on to demystify this trendy new beauty routine.

What is a Derma-Roller?

In essence, derma-rolling is a technique to infuse your skin with the serum of your choice that fills in lines and wrinkles and gives a fresh plump to your pretty face. It can be used for dark spots, acne, thin lips, and more.

But how, you ask? The derma-roller is your secret weapon. And here’s where you need to get over a little squeamishness. This beauty tool is made of a ton of tiny, little needles that open up your skin just enough for the serum to get in.

Think about it. Slathering stuff on your face doesn't always get the job done. The key is to get it in your skin and that's exactly what the derma-roller does.

Who would ever think of such a thing? Similar micro-needling tools have been used to treat skin ailments from scars and hyperpigmentation for over 100 years. Over that time, the process has evolved and today, you can heal your skin from the comfort of your home using this smart tool.


While the idea of rolling micro-needles onto your skin may be a bit harrowing, the reality is you’ll only experience a little discomfort. So put on your brave face and supercharge your skin like you supercharge your mornings.

What Do You Need?

So you’re ready to try it for yourself. You only need a few things to get started. First things first, a derma-roller. Considering that you’re going to be using the derma-roller on your precious face, it’s a good idea to get one that’s well-reviewed. You’ll want to feel as confident as possible trying something new here.

The most important aspect of your derma-roller is the needle size. Much bigger than .3 mm and you’ll start to do some damage. If you think you need something bigger, it’s best to go professional and let your dermatologist do their job. But get a derma-roller under .3 mm and you’ll be ready to go at home.

The second half of the derma-rolling process is the serum. In fact, that’s why you’re using the derma-roller in the first place—to make your serum more effective. So when you’re looking for a serum, think about what your skin goals are. There are going to be some ingredients you’ll want to lather on and others you should avoid depending on your individual skin.

You can find serums for dryness, wrinkles, redness, blemishes, dullness, and more. Be cautious about using serums with retinol and vitamin C. These ingredients can have a really strong effect on your skin. Instead, serums with peptides, stem cells, and other growth factors will work well with what the derma-roller is made for.

If you’re really struggling with preventing burnout and your face is starting to look like it, give a great serum a try and make it more effective with a little derma-rolling.

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 How Do You Use it?

Before you start putting your derma-roller to use, you’ll want to start with a clean palette. Make sure to wash your face and even consider a little exfoliating. Remember, the goal of derma-rolling is to get into your skin, so getting the dry, dead stuff off first will help.

Next, you’ll put on a layer or two of serum. This is what will get deeper into your skin after you use the derma-roller. Now, take the derma-roller and roll it over your skin (not too hard!) in all directions. Certain areas, like your chin, cheeks, and forehead where you find your skin less sensitive, can be rolled over multiple times. Thinner, more delicate areas like under your eyes and lips will be good with just one roll.

You know your skin best, so go with your intuition here. You can always start out gentler and roll fewer times.

Once you’ve completed your derma-rolling, add one more layer of serum to finish things off and ensure that your skin soaks in all its goodness. Clean your derma-roller with alcohol to keep things safe for your face after every 10-15 uses.

Love derma-rolling? You can use it any frequency from once a month to a few times a week. Start a routine and see what your skin thinks. If it seems irritated or more red than usual, you might want to back off or try a different serum.

Have you tried derma-rolling before? Do you want to try it? Share all your thoughts and fears with us in the comments below!