Important: Never roll over skin that is irritated, inflamed, has active eczema, or is broken out. Never ever share your roller, even if it’s clean. Do alternate it with other treatments.
You’ll have to pick between doing peels, derma rolling, and exfoliation — not all three! Stick to one weekly treatment until you know how your skin reacts, and only derma roll at night, to cut down on environmental (cold, heat, sun) and product (SPF, makeup) stressors that could unintentionally irritate your skin further.
You can find inexpensive derma rollers on Amazon. Look for one with titanium needles in your desired size. This 0.25mm kit comes with replacement rollers (#ad) so you can swap them out them when they start to get dull.
To start slowly, select a roller with 0.25mm needles. For something that will penetrate a little deeper, try a .3-mm roller, and eventually you can graduate to a 0.5 and finally to a larger 1-mm size dermaroller needles. The larger the needle size, the more uncomfortable the treatment will be as the needles penetrate more deeply as the size increases. Do NOT start with the largest size. Replace the derma roller every 15 uses or so as the needles do dull, and you could damage your skin with the dull needles.
Before you begin, wash your hands and face, and dry both using a clean towel. Next, clean your roller with at least 91% isopropyl alcohol (standard drugstore rubbing alcohol) by submerging it in alcohol, then rinsing. Divide your face into sections: the cheeks, chin, and left and right sides of the forehead. (You can do the neck and hands, too, but make sure you wash them first.)
Work on one section at a time. The forehead is the most sensitive, so let’s start there to get it out of the way. Using very light pressure, roll horizontally over your forehead going in even strokes and only going over the same section of skin two to three times at most. Repeat on the same section, rolling vertically this time — and, again, remember to only go over the same section two to three times at most. Finally, repeat on that same section diagonally. When performed properly, you should see tiny pinprick bleeding. At-home treatments when done properly do not require any down time.
Once the forehead is done, move on to the next section. Avoid the eyes since that skin is more delicate, and the nose, since you should only be rolling over flat surfaces.
Then, do a patch test: Select the serum that you’d like to use, and apply it on a nickel-sized area on your forehead or cheek. Wait 24 hours. If your skin doesn’t react, you can apply all over your face the next time you use the roller. You will be more sensitive as the needles do increase penetration of any creams or serums that you apply after needling. Note: A serum or cream with an exfoliating acid in it such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid will burn or sting as opposed to a hydrating serum like hyaluronic acid.
Apply a good, gentle moisturizer after your treatment to protect your skin.
Last but not least, you must always clean your roller before putting it away. Submerge it in alcohol, allow it to dry in its case with the top off, and then pack it away for next time. You can repeat this once a week or every other week.