Anti-aging skin care comes in many forms. Topicals, if you’re a believer in the miracle of skin creams. Dermatologist treatments, if you’re a fan of Botox and searing lasers. And finally, the sweet spot between these two options—at-home beauty tools.
According to Pinterest’s 2018 trend predictions, this year will see a crazy spike in usage of a particularly popular at-home tool—the dermaroller. Last year, the website saw a 345-percent increase in saves for “dermaroller,” so we can only assume that number will continue to grow over the next 12 months, and for good reason.
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So, what exactly is this dermaroller that’s about to be in every household? Well, according to New York dermatologist, Heidi Waldorf, MD, it’s a “handheld device consisting of tiny spikes on a roller that’s moved along the skin with a handle.” The microneedling tool aids in the absorption of topical cosmeceuticals, ensuring that all those pricey skin care products you buy can dive deeper into the skin and actually do their job. The tool also creates micro-injuries to the surface of the skin in order to force it to heal itself and naturally boost collagen production, smooth the skin’s surface and tighten pores.
While plenty of people already swear by dermarollers for enhancing their complexion, doctors are torn on whether or not people should be encouraged to use one at home. One of the biggest risks consumers are faced with when using this tool themselves is the possibility of infection. “The danger with sharp instruments is that damage to the skin can lead to infection,” says New York dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD. “So, it’s important to clean the tool with alcohol after every single use and not to share it with anyone in order to prevent spreading contagious infections.”
However, it’s not just the risk of infection that dermatologists warn users about, dermarollers could potentially do more damage than good if used incorrectly. “I’m very concerned that the risk of injury with overuse or use of a poorly made version with irregular pins,” says Dr. Waldorf. “I don’t recommend buying one.”
Even though Dr. Waldorf advises people against using a dermaroller on themselves, it’s clear from the recent Pinterest stats that not many people are listening. So, if you have your heart set on snagging one of these at-home microneedling tools, be sure to do your research first. “Make sure [the dermaroller] is made by a good company and feels solid,” says Dr. Marmur. “Always follow the directions and only allow two passes [across the skin] per day.”
Additionally, it’s vital to use the tool appropriately in order to ensure the best results. According to Dr. Marmur, you should hold the dermaroller on the skin with medium pressure and roll it up and down in strategic lines over the cheeks, forehead, jawline, neck, and chest. The key to avoiding injury is to not roll the tool along your skin too forcefully, otherwise you risk scarring.
Ultimately, dermarolling can give users incredible results, and even though dermatologists generally agree that microneedling should be left to the experts, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the tool. So, if you’re in the market for a safe dermarolling option, try one from a trusted retailer, like the Rodan + Fields Amp MD System ($220). Not only will you get the sought-after dermarolling tool, but you’ll also get a renewing serum to deliver smoother skin over time. Just be sure to proceed with caution when using.
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