A key component to keeping your skin fresh and healthy at all times is dermarolling at home (also referred to as microrolling), and it’s the perfect complement to your weekly skin care regimen. Similar to microneedling, dermarolling is a safe and effective technique that stimulates new collagen production and creates micro-channels for serums and topical skin care products to penetrate deep into the skin for improved effects.
Renowned board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jason Emer refers to dermarolling as “skin fitness” — a much-needed workout for your skin cells. We all exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet to achieve the body we want; by the same token, to achieve smooth, glowing skin, you must develop and adhere to a consistent, at-home routine that produces visible results.
What is dermarolling?
Dermarolling is a minimally invasive facial rejuvenation technique that uses needles of various depths (typically 0.25mm or 0.5mm for at-home use) to create micro-injuries and overlapping channels of damage to the skin. By causing trauma in targeted areas, dermarolling breaks apart scars, wakes up your skin cells and fibroblasts, promotes superficial collagen production, and plumps and lifts the skin in order to create a smoother surface. When performed consistently and according to the instructions provided below, dermarolling at home can improve your skin’s color, tone, texture, and overall appearance.
As with any at-home treatments, to ensure your safety, it’s crucial that you use products and devices that are developed by reputable sources and approved by medical professionals. For this reason, Dr. Emer has made two of his favorite dermarolling devices available for purchase on his Shopify site, ShopEmerMD.com.
The MTS MR5 .5mm Roller is an FDA-certified clinical roller that uses 200 fine needles to stimulate collagen and elastin production.
The Genosys 0.25mm Eye Roller is the finest and smallest needling device for hard-to-reach areas, such as around the eyes and lips.
What does dermarolling treat?
Dermarolling at home does not produce dramatic changes in a single session. As with most skin treatments, patience and persistence are critical. However, after a series of regimented treatments, you may begin to see improvements in:
- minor acne scarring
- sun damage and sun spots
- fine lines and wrinkles
- pore size
- overall complexion
- hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation
Dermarolling at home is not designed to “cure” melasma, rosacea, deep acne scars, ice pick acne scars, or any serious skin conditions. Always consult with a board-certified dermatologist prior to dermarolling on your own.
How does Dr. Emer do it differently?
When working with an experienced dermatologist like Dr. Jason Emer, dermarolling and microneedling are only two components of a long-term, tailored combination approach. To obtain the ultimate outcome, when treating stubborn acne scars, skin damage, pores, and fine lines and wrinkles, dermarolling is often combined with laser treatments, injectable fillers, and topicals, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and/or Hyaluronic Acid as well as AnteAge growth factors; ACell stem cell therapy may also be used if the patient has experienced scarring or hair loss.
In his office, Dr. Emer addresses these issues with customized treatment combinations, including microneedling with PRP paired with Clear + Brilliant and Venus Viva for regular maintenance as well as CO2 laser treatments to promote healing.
What is the downtime?
Because the needles are only 0.25mm or 0.5mm long, downtime is generally minimal. Pinpoint bleeding, if any, normally stops after 5 to 10 minutes. Those who follow the post-treatment protocol and use the proper cleansers, serums, and masks will typically heal up within 24 hours.
Is dermarolling safe?
Yes! Dermarolling is safe for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. When dermarolling at home, it is imperative that you follow the protocols provided and heed all safety precautions.
Deep rolling is not necessary to obtain visible results; microneedling needs only superficial trauma to deliver products into the skin. Additionally, very light microneedling at home helps to avoid infections. For these reasons, Dr. Emer advises his patients to perform 0.25mm or 0.5mm microrolling at home as opposed to deeper rolling that triggers aggressive bleeding.
How do I schedule a consultation with Dr. Emer?
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Emer in Beverly Hills / Los Angeles / West Hollywood, California, please reach out to our concierge to schedule an appointment. Call 424-800-4140 or email us at [email protected]
DIY Instructions for Dermarolling At Home
***Schedule a consultation with Dr. Jason Emer, a board-certified dermatologist, prior to dermarolling at home. A facial rejuvenation and body sculpting expert, Dr. Emer and his skilled aestheticians can determine if dermarolling is the ideal treatment to address your specific skin conditions. As an expert in both invasive and non-invasive skin treatments and proper skin care methods, Dr. Emer and his team can provide invaluable guidance in regards to the products (cleansers, serums, masks and moisturizers) you will need as well as a nighttime skin care regimen that suits you best.***
- Follow the instructions below to ensure that your roller is cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
- Never use the dermaroller on more than one person.
- Never use the roller on open wounds. Do not use a dermaroller during a herpes or cold sore outbreak; wait until your skin has fully recovered.
- Rollers with needles longer than 0.5mm are intended for clinical use only and are NOT safe for at-home treatments.
- Before each use, check to see that the roller can spin and move freely. Also inspect the roller to see if there is any damage, such as bent needles (which can damage the skin). For this reason, avoid dropping the roller and store it safely when not in use.
- Rollers should be replaced after approximately 12 to 16 uses, as the needles will dull with continued usage. If rolling becomes more painful than it was previously, this means that the needles have become dull. Replacement rollers can be purchased on our Shopify site.
- Always avoid dermarolling around the orbital area (eye sockets) unless using the Genosys Eye Roller, which is specifically designed for that area.
- Avoid using skin care with certain active ingredients before or after dermarolling, such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or vitamin C.
- Avoid applying makeup or sunscreen for a few hours after dermarolling. Always wear sunscreen when going out into the sun.
- Dermaroll once per week in the evening unless otherwise instructed.
- Reddening of the treatment area is normal and will fade within a few days.
Cleaning Instructions: Prior to Treatment
The roller is sterile upon opening, but it should be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
- Before dermal rolling, use a spray bottle to liberally mist the roller with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Alternatively, the head of the roller can be soaked in a small container of 70% isopropyl alcohol for 60 seconds; if taking this approach, be sure that the needles do not make contact with the sides of the container.
- Let the alcohol on the roller air dry by setting it upside down on a paper towel (so that the needles aren’t in contact with anything).
- Once the device is dry, the dermaroller is ready for use.
- Cleanse the desired treatment areas with RestorSea Pro Foaming Cleanser, Jan Marini Clean Zyme Face Cleanser, Sente Daily Soothing Cleanser, or iS Clinical Cleansing Complex (all pictured above) and warm (not hot) water. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
- With clean hands, apply ½ vial of the AnteAge MD Microneedling Solution to the area being treated.
- Hold the dermal roller with your index finger on top. Using gentle pressure with a controlled motion, hold your skin taut and begin rolling in an upward motion.
- Roll each section of your skin 5 to 7 times until skin appears light pink (bleeding is not necessary but may occur), making sure to lift the roller off the skin after each pass. Avoid dragging the roller in an unnatural motion across the skin or rolling forcefully with excessive speed.
- Immediately after dermal rolling, apply a Jan Marini Retinol Plus Mask or Jan Marini Luminate Face Mask in a thin, even layer to the entire face, avoiding the eye area. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes and then rinse with cool water. Gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
- Pat 5 to 8 drops of EMK Rescue Serum onto your moist face, neck and décolletage. If using the Genosys Eye Roller, gently pat 2 or 3 drops of RestorSea Pro Firming Eye Serum under the eye and onto the eyelid with your ring finger.
- Pat on 2 pumps of AnteAge MD GF Serum. If using the Genosys Eye Roller, gently pat ½ pump of Sente Illumine Eye Cream under the eye and onto the eyelid. For extra moisturization, gently pat a pea-sized amount of iS Clinical SHEALD Recovery Balm under the eye and onto the eyelid.
- For additional skin soothing and healing, apply a Mesoestetic Post Peel Crystal Fiber Mask, which is designed to enhance the cell renewal process, restructure the water lipid layer, restore elasticity, and increase skin moisture levels. This mask has been designed as a professional treatment product, but thanks to its effortless application, it’s also perfect to use at home. Made up of crystal fiber, an innovative, hygienic, 100% natural material, it is equally as effective as an addition to any skin care regimen.
- You may also use LightStim for Pain, a natural, powerful, and patented light therapy device that emits warm and soothing light energy, proven to temporarily relieve pain and stiffness, increase blood circulation, accelerate healing, and diminish bruising. Use LightStim for Pain over the mask for 10 to 20 minutes, and then remove the mask. Do not rinse.
- Apply the remainder of your nighttime skin care routine provided by Dr. Emer and/or your aesthetician.
Cleaning Instructions: Post-Treatment
- After dermarolling, gently clean the roller by filling a plastic container with warm (not boiling) water and a few drops of liquid soap.
- Set the roller in the water flat and upside down so that the needles do not rest on the sides of the container.
- After the roller has soaked for 10 minutes, rinse it with hot water and allow it to air dry by setting it upside down on a paper towel (so that the needles aren’t in contact with anything).
- Store the roller in a safe place until the next use. Be sure to clean and disinfect the device before and after each use.