Derma Rolling. Microneedling. Collagen-Induction Therapy. All words to describe the sweet little treatment that is newly accessible thanks to everyone’s favorite direct-sales doctors and several YouTubers of varying states of sanity. I’m not a YouTuber (yet), but you can certainly question my sanity, especially considering that I decided to give this questionable method a test-drive.
I’ve wanted to write about this for some time now, but it’s not a topic that’s easy to digest and it’s a bit more complicated than some might lead you to believe. I want to discuss it in depth, but because I’m an eat-dessert-first kind of girl, I’m going to answer your two biggest questions first and work backwards from there.
- Does it work? Yes! It absolutely works and the science is sound.
- Does it hurt? Yes! It absolutely hurts like hell. On a scale of pulling a stray gray hair to giving birth to a 9-pound baby, it’s a solid “stepping on a Lego barefoot”.
When I decided that I wanted to give this a try, I read a couple journal articles, watched a couple YouTube videos and promptly ordered a roller from Amazon. It arrived in less than 48 hours and I was obliterating skin cells in no time. Now, I’ve always been a little bit of a renegade. Don’t be like me. Read this little blog miniseries in it’s entirety before you set to work. 🙂
Let’s get the science out of the way, shall we? It’s my favorite part. I’ll try to keep it brief and share the parts that might be interesting to people that are less nerdy than I am. Don’t try and quote me in a scientific journal – I’ll surely get laughed at. If you want the CEU version, read this actual journal article by real researchers.
Too much? Don’t worry, I can pretty much sum it all up in a few sentences. Collagen is what makes your skin pretty and plump. By the time you’re 45, you have lost roughly 80% of your original collagen. You do produce new collagen but very slowly. As you’re likely painfully aware, life moves fast. Environmental damage doesn’t take a time out to allow Mother Nature much needed time to catch up and keep us pretty (time seems to be managing the plump part just fine – but I digress). Luckily for us, some astute folks noticed that collagen can move pretty darn quickly when it needs to heal a wound. So, how can we trick the body into thinking it’s healing wounds without actually healing wounds? We can’t. At least not yet.
The next best thing is to create nice and tiny little controlled wounds. Then, the amazing machine that is your body will produce enough collagen to heal those wounds and restore your pretty. If we do it right, we don’t cause excessive damage in the process. Since we are trying to avoid causing unnecessary damage we need to give the body time to produce collagen without disrupting that process. Most recommendations on frequency suggest an interval of 4 -6 weeks between treatments, which, ironically is closely correlated to the amount of time it takes to forget the pain.
As an added bonus, these little holes are ideal channels for your favorite products to seep in deeply and completely. It is admittedly possible that I am completely making this part up as an excuse to try out some new products. But in telling my husband about my misadventures in skincare, he likened it to tilling a garden. The priniciples are really quite similar: aeration allows nutrients to penetrate more deeply to nourish at the root level. I stopped listening then, armed with more than enough justification to support my product habit. I would love to know what products are stars in your anti-aging arsenal! I am searching for the perfect nutrient-rich sheet mask for the 20 minutes immediately following a dermal rolling session. I’m convinced the right mask will provide enough cover to hide my shameless vanity.
So, yes, Lushies. I just told you that you can puncture your face with thousands of tiny little pinpricks and your body will repay you by smoothing wrinkles, filling in acne scars and reducing discolorations. It can even help regrow hair on your eyebrows, which might be relevant if you are a product of the 90’s. And yes, you can do this at home at minimal cost. Should you? Well, that depends on many factors and we’ll get to that next time. Don’t you love the suspense?