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5 Derma Roller Mistakes To Avoid For Fast Results!

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At-home skin care tools and devices are a booming business in the beauty world. And for good reason! By adding the right beauty gadget to your routine you can speed up your skin goals by getting the kind of results you'd expect from a professional clinic.

And the derma roller might be the oldest and most basic skin care tool of them all. But, it's also one of the most effective. These clinical studies showed that four microneedling treatments, spaced four weeks apart, significantly improved wrinkles, skin firmness, elasticity, and texture.

So, it makes sense that microneedling is in demand right now. Treatwell, a beauty appointment booking platform recently reported a 127 percent rise in microneedling treatments.

And its popularity is not confined to professional clinics. At-home derma rollers are selling like hotcakes. Dr. Kenneth Arndt, medical editor of Harvard Health Online says "In the last three to five years, there's been a lot more information, interest, and studies documenting what microneedling can do, as well as a lot of commercial development," says Dr. Arndt.

If you haven't heard about rolling your face with tiny needles (in the name of beauty) please check out this post for a deep dive into the facts, benefits, and interesting history of the derma roller.

In this post, I'm highlighting five common microneedling mistakes that can hinder your results, worsen skin conditions and even damage your skin.

But before we get into the list I want to address some common questions I get about derma rolling..


Can derma rollers damage skin?

Yes! Due to things like improper sterilization and bad after-care. The reason why so many professionals advise against at-home microneedling is because of the potential hazards. And out of all the gadgets, this one involves the most work. So, if you tend to skip makeup removal before bed, or don't see the point in serums and sunscreen, stay clear of derma rollers.. It's a high maintenance beauty treatment that also involves a bit of pain —or discomfort depending on our pain threshold!

What are the side effects of derma rolling?

One way to experience bad side effects from microneedling is dodgy derma rollers. Fake derma rollers can cause micro-tears in the skin that lead to infection and damage. This will give you the opposite results you are seeking! In this post, I've listed four more ways you can get bad results from microneedling.

Can you derma roller too much?

Yes, overuse of a derma roller doesn't give your skin the time it needs to repair and fully heal between treatments. Be sure to research the needle size you're using and time your treatments accordingly. See here for a needle chart and recommended derma roller frequency.

What should I avoid after derma rolling?

Touching your face, dirty pillowcases, toxic skincare, exfoliation, chemical sunscreen, exercise/gym, makeup, fake tan, and sun exposure. See below for more aftercare tips.

Why does my skin look worse after derma rolling?

Not everyone's skin is suitable for microneedling. If you have sensitive skin, suffer from eczema, or acne, derma rolling can cause too much irritation and might not be right for you. See below for skin types and conditions that should avoid microneedling.

How long does it take to see the effects of a derma roller?

This depends on your skin type, age, and the concerns you're trying to target. Generally, it takes 3-4 months to see visible results. But, you may feel improvements in your skin much sooner thanks to the fact that microneedling enhances the effect of topical products.. And as long as you're using the right ones, this will enhance skin hydration and texture.

What size derma roller for stretch marks?

To tackle stretch marks on the body a needle size of 1mm to 2.5mm is advised. But, using a needle size above 1mm should be done by a professional only. It will draw blood and you will need a numbing cream.

Does microneedling help hair growth?

Yes! A twelve-week case study showed that the combination of microneedling and minoxidil (a hair growth product) significantly improved hair regrowth. Hair Fuel has some great information, advice, and products if you want to start microneedling for hair growth.



Micro-needling can do wonders for acne scarring or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. But, using a derma roller on active acne, eczema, cold sores or any other contagious, inflamed skin conditions will spread the infection or virus around the face.

Microneedling can have unpredictable results and is not suitable for everyone. If you have very sensitive skin I strongly recommend getting this treatment done professionally.

If you have any of the following skin conditions avoid using a derma roller;


The next 24-48 hours after derma rolling are of the utmost importance. How you treat your skin directly after micro-needling can either enhance your treatment or ruin it!

The tiny holes that you've just punctured all over your face act as channels transporting your post-care products directly into your epidermis. This means that their effects are greatly increased. So, it's crucial to use the right ones.

Avoid skin products that contain the following ingredients;


Avoid exfoliating acids and retinol treatments for 3-5 days after microneedling. As your skin is healing any kind of abrasive product will irritate and possibly damage your skin. This includes physical exfoliators like face scrubs too.

Avoid skincare products that contain any of the following acids;

Other aftercare tips;

  • Keep your skin clean and moisturized

  • Don't touch your face unnecessarily

  • Make sure your pillowcase is clean

  • Avoid exercise, makeup, fake tan, toxic skincare, exfoliation, chemical sunscreen and sun exposure for 24-48 hours depending on the needle size

  • Don't share your derma roller

  • Sterilize your derma roller after use


My top two post-care products are HA Serum and Squalane because they are both 'skin-identical' ingredients. This means they are non-irritating, replenishing ingredients that help to repair and restore your skin barrier. I follow up with an all-natural night balm because my skin can get super dry overnight after microneedling.


MyChelle Ultra Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum $47

A nourishing blend of Hyaluronic Acid and Squalane to boost moisture levels and soften skin. This is a great post-microneedling serum to soothe irritation and neutralize free radicals.

Radha Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum $18.95

This is my go-to post-microneedling serum. Suitable for all skin types its infused with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Green Tea, and Jojoba Oil. Super hydrating and moisturizing.

100% Pure Hydra Drench Cream

Perfect for oily skin types this lightweight, fast-absorbing formula re-hydrates the skin with omega fatty acid-rich gel-water from chia seeds.


Biossance 100% Squalane Oil $32

Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil Squalane $38

Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil $34

Click here for more post-care recommendations


The most important thing to look for when purchasing a derma roller is individual needles, as opposed to needle wheels (pictured below).

The risk of using a derma roller with needle wheels is that they can cause micro-tears in the surface of your skin.

What are micro-tears?

Overuse of certain skincare tools and face scrubs that contain large, rough particles, like crushed walnuts shells for example —I'm looking at you St Ives, leave microscopic tears in the skin. These invisible tears are not noticeable to the naked eye, but they allow all kinds of nasty stuff to penetrate your skin that can lead to infection, acne, skin sensitivity, and damage.

Daily (and overzealous) use of harsh scrubs and tools that cause micro-tears will gradually weaken the skin barrier. Leaving your skin unable to protect itself from the elements or retain moisture, making it more prone to dehydration, sensitivity, and irritation.

How to spot fake rollers

Derma rollers with needle wheels tend to boast 540 needles, whereas a good quality roller with individual needles will have 192 or 240. Another good rule of thumb is to compare prices. If one is much cheaper than the rest it's more than likely a bad quality roller.

Look for FDA approved derma rollers from a reputable company and authorized resellers. Also, look for the hologram "Quality Guaranteed" sticker on the case. The hologram sticker is expensive to make and it's there for a reason. Move it around and make sure it changes color in the light.


Skin Gym MicroRoller Set $50

Featuring 3 interchangeable roller heads to make you glow from head to toe.

MicroNeedle Kit includes

- 1 Roller Handle - 1 Body Head ( 1,200 Needles, 0.25mm) - 1 Face Head (600 Needles, 0.20mm) - 1 Eyes/ Lips Head ( 240 Needles, 0.20mm)

Amazon Derma Roller $17.99

0.5mm roller with individual titanium needles

Skin Gym Glowie Micro Derma Roller $35

This roller is designed with 192 stainless steel needles for ultra-effective, easy use.


Rolling your skin too frequently will not end well! Overuse of a derma roller doesn't give your skin the time it needs to repair and fully heal between treatments. Be sure to research the needle size you're using and time your treatments accordingly. See here for a needle chart and recommended derma roller frequency.


Lastly, and most importantly, how do you clean your derma roller —properly?

70% Isopropyl Alcohol must be used to properly sterilize derma rollers. Not mouthwash, barbicide, Dettol, or any other disinfecting agents.

70% Isopropyl Alcohol, sometimes called 'rubbing alcohol' is recommended over 99% or 91%. This is because it evaporates slower remaining in contact with microbial organisms for longer.. meaning it kills everything!

For more information and directions on how to use a derma roller check out this post. And always do your own research before trying out any new beauty tools and devices.

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