Can skin needling improve your skin?

I am 32 years old and right now I have no interest in injecting anti-aging chemicals into my face. I have no qualms with people who choose to do Botox, Restylane or any other cosmetic procedures, but I just don't think it's for me. I appreciate naturally aging beauties and admire their ability to just grin and wear it. I would like to fight signs of aging as naturally and as preventatively as I can.

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DermaRoller needle size chart

DermaRoller needle size chart

I am a skincare-a-holic. I am dedicated to taking care of my skin twice a day, everyday. I use sunscreen on my face and body daily. If I am out and exposed to the sun for long periods of time I wear a hat and sunglasses. I have been known to even bust out a parasol! I exfoliate, moisturize, massage..I do it all. My main areas of concern are the very fine "elevens" or what people might call frown lines developing between my eyebrows and my burgeoning smile lines. With hopes to "stop the clock" I have added a new tool to my skincare routine: The DermaRoller. I am not sure how I heard about "DermaRolling"; it may have been a YouTube video, but it intrigued me right away. Skin "Needling" has been touted as an all-natural way to treat some of peoples most bothersome skin concerns. 

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Dr. Kathleen Welsh and her team were recently featured in the Scout Guide, SF

Dr. Kathleen Welsh and her team were recently featured in the Scout Guide, SF

I recently spoke with Dr. Kathleen Welsh, a board certified dermatologist who also has a degree in internal medicine. Dr. Welsh spent five years as the Chief of Dermatology for Kaiser Permanente has now moved on to a highly successful private practice. She offers DermaRolling in her office and sells DermaRollers on her website for use at home. I was lucky enough to ask Dr. Welsh all sorts of questions about this intriguing skincare procedure, and she was more than happy to share her wealth of knowledge on the subject.

What is DermaRolling or Skin Needling? :
DermaRolling is a skincare procedure that utilizes a roller with many tiny needles to purposefully create a controlled injury on the upper surface of the epidermis. This tiny wound triggers our bodies own "rescue team" and sends healing and smoothing collagen to the surface of the skin.

Who would benefit from DermaRolling? :
The best candidates for DermaRolling are people from the age of 25 to 65. Ideally people in their 30's who are starting to develop the early signs of aging. DermaRolling will plump up fine lines and boost collagen production on any area that is needled. DermaRolling can also effectively treat skin that has been scarred from injury, acne and even burns. Some people have even seen amazing results on stretchmarks!

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The "Beauty Mouse" ideal for treating stretchmarks!

The "Beauty Mouse" ideal for treating stretchmarks!

Can I do this procedure safely at home? :
There are advantages to both home and in-office needling procedures. Dr. Welsh's office offers a more intensive DermaRolling procedure that uses larger needles that penetrate further into the skins surface and have the capability to induct more collagen production. The in-office procedure must be performed by a licensed clinician and treats problem areas more aggressively. Patients average 3-5 days of downtime and often experience swelling and scabbing. The procedure starts at $350 and most patients need 2-4 treatments to see results.

Non-invasive DermaRolling is a safe and effective way to jumpstart your skins collagen production in the comfort of your own home! In order to see results you will need to be dedicated to rolling daily for at least three months. You will also need to use a DermaRoller that has a minimum of 0.5mm needles to actually penetrate the skin enough to induce more collagen.

Before you begin any new treatment it is best to speak with a medical professional. Ask questions!

Where to buy a Derma Roller:
I thoroughly researched different types of micro-needlers and DermaRollers. There are many different sizes to choose from. Some sizes are only meant to be used by skincare professionals. I chose the minimum size needed to stimulate collagen production, 0.5mm. I didn't want to damage my skin or hurt myself. I paid around $14 for mine, I was lucky enough to catch an amazing deal on There are many sites that offer DermaRollers, so be wary. Do your homework and don't be tricked into bargain-rollers that will scratch or damage your skin. Here are a few sites that offer DermaRollers....

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Yes to Blueberries Intensive Skin Repair Serum

Yes to Blueberries Intensive Skin Repair Serum

My Personal Experience:
I started needling a few weeks ago and so far, I love it. I was afraid to do it at first. I didn't know how it would feel or what to expect. I sat at my vanity and unwrapped my DermaRoller. I did a test patch and replicated the techniques I had learned through my online research. It didn't feel great, but it was not painful or unbearable. As I needled my skin got a little rosy and swelled a tiny bit . I stayed clear of my under-eye area even though you can needle there too.

The needling procedure took about ten minutes and then I applied "Yes to Blueberries" Intensive Skin Repair Serum. My face felt a little tingly but great! The next morning I had no visible signs of irritation or damage. My face did look smoother, my pores looked smaller and my smile line looked slightly diminished. I have DermaRolled several times since then and will continue to do it several times a week!


-You must disinfect your DermaRoller after every use. Submerge the roller in rubbing alcohol for several minutes. Rinse with hot water and let it air dry. Always store your DermaRoller in the protective case it comes with. DO NOT share your DermaRoller with anyone.

-Watch videos and read about rolling techniques. This helped me immensely and prevented me from hurting myself. Do not press too hard!

-High-quality DermaRollers should last at least a year. When purchasing make sure the needles are surgical grade stainless steel or titanium. Be careful with your roller, you don't want to bend or break any needles. If your needler is hurting you, you made need to buy a new one. Dull needles....ouch!

-Be patient. Results won't happen overnight.

I am very excited about the benefits of DermaRolling! Anything that can keep chemicals out of my face, but also keep me looking my best is awesome in my book! I would love to hear your experiences with DermaRolling. Have you tried it? Would you try it?

* Disclaimer: Yahoo! Shopping was not compensated by the brands for any of the products mentioned in this article.

Amanda Storey
Amanda Storey, Yahoo! Shopping Beauty and Fashion Blogger:
I've been a professional Makeup Artist for over twelve years and have had the pleasure of working on thousands of women of every age and ethnicity. I am passionate about bringing my honest experiences with beauty and fashion to my readers and hope to, more than anything, inspire people to play. Play with fashion, play with makeup and be fancy for no reason.
Want more makeup musings? Follow me on Twitter @magicalmanders
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