Remember the Vampire Facial? In 2014, Kim Kardashian fascinated (and horrified) the world when she posted a selfie with her own blood slathered all over her face. A Dermapen, which contained nine acupuncture-sized needles, was used to inject her face with her own blood. It’s a method known as microneedling—the idea is to stimulate collagen and elastin fibers to make skin smoother. While the procedure is still done today, less extreme and less painful DIY-friendly variations of the process have since emerged.
Enter dermarollers. Dermarolling, a form of microneedling, involves using a mini wheel covered with hundreds of tiny needles to gently prick the face. They look like mini torture devices but, trust us, work miracles for clearing acne scars, fading fine lines, and evening out skin tone—when they are used properly, that is. We spoke to two estheticians—Maria Angelica of the Cane + Austin Medi Spa and Kristyn Smith of Smith & Brit Boutique and Spa—to break down everything you need to know about this tool, ahead.
What is dermarolling?
“A dermaroller is an instrument that creates micro pathways in the skin for product to better penetrate,” Smith explained, referring to dermarollers with a 0.1 to 0.2mm needle size. Those tiny needles, she said, “wouldn’t necessarily be for collagen synthesis. It’s a great way to get your products to absorb and penetrate the skin.” Smith suggested the Environ Cosmetic Gold Roll-CIT.
When the needle is larger, like 0.5mm, that’s when you’re getting into “wound healing stimulation,” Angelica said, “A dermaroller creates tiny pricks around the skin and gives enough space in between so the wound healing response takes over. You grow new skin.” That, in turn, leads to a smoother, more even, and plumper complexion.