Microneedling has become a trend that many beauty gurus, influencers, and YouTubers swear by. You’ve probably seen the before and after photos over Instagram—the after photos featuring smooth, dewy, glowing skin. Many people get microneedling procedures done professionally, either by a dermatologist or aesthetician.
But is it possible to get the same results from microneedling at home? Do you need to go to a dermatologist or aesthetician? Is microneedling at home safe? We answer all of your questions about the procedure below!
What is microneedling?
Microneedling, also called dermarolling, is the process of running hundreds of tiny needles (less than 3mm) across your skin in order to promote new collagen growth. The process has been proven to reduce the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. It can be performed by an aesthetician or at home, or by combining both professional treatments with at home maintenance.
Can I microneedle at home?
Yes, you can microneedle your skin at home with a dermaroller. It’s cheaper than getting it done professionally, and it can sometimes yield noticeable results, although less so than when it’s done by an aesthetician.
Potential benefits of microneedling at home
Professional microneedling treatments can range anywhere from $150 to $700 and usually require multiple treatments to see noticeable results—but at-home dermarollers can be purchased for around $20. You should replace your dermaroller every 10 uses or so, but even then you’re still saving lots of money!
Noticeable results (sometimes)
Many people indicate that they see noticeable improvements in skin tone and texture and the appearance of acne scars, pock marks, and hyperpigmentation. These results are based on individuals’ circumstances and have not been proven in any sort of medical research. That being said, Amazon reviews are full of before and after photos that support the claims!
Better absorption of products
Even if you don’t see your facial scars magically disappear, one of the benefits of dermarolling is that products you apply after—like serums—will absorb into your skin better. Serums, especially, are designed to nourish your skin beneath the surface layer, so opening up your skin through microneedling encourages serums to absorb more deeply, improving their effectiveness. (Bonus: Serums containing vitamin C have also been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation and scarring!)
Risks and drawbacks of microneedling at home
Risk of infection
When you microneedle, you are opening up your skin and creating nearly microscopic wounds—that’s how your skin heals itself and produces more collagen, giving you the results you crave!—but when the procedure is done at home, those small wounds can become prone to infection.
To lessen the risk of infection, make sure to thoroughly clean your face before you dermaroll. After each use, clean your roller in soapy water, gently moving it around to loosen any skin and debris. Then soak the roller in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes to disinfect it. Discard your roller after you’ve used it 10 times.
Less impactful results
The needles on at-home dermarollers are much smaller (0.2mm) than those found in an aesthetician’s office (up to 3mm). Because of that, the results are much less noticeable than professional treatments. If you have deep acne scars, at-home treatments might not give you noticeable results.
Potential skin damage
Because you’re most likely not certified to microneedle, you won’t know the best technique to use on your skin. While there are lots of instructional videos and diagrams online, you still run the risk of damaging your skin by pressing too hard, ripping skin, or causing unnecessary irritation. You should always patch test new treatments to make sure they don’t irritate your skin, and the same goes for microneedling.
When should you go to an aesthetician?
If you want dramatic results with only a few treatments, are treating stretch marks, scars, or large pores, or if you have sensitive skin or are prone to infection, you should avoid dermarolling at home and seek treatment from a professional. If you’re the least bit in doubt that at-home microneedling is for you, talk to your aesthetician or dermatologist. They’ll be able to recommend a treatment plan for you that will help you reach your skin goals.