Difference Between Dermarolling & Microneedling

Focal Point Salon & Spa microneedling a client in Phoenix, AZ

Today, we’re doing a deep dive into dermarolling, a skincare trend you’ve probably seen showing up everywhere from Instagram and TikTok to your BFF group text. We’ll be explaining:

    • What dermarolling is and how it’s different from microneedling
    • Why a microneedling session is the real skincare secret you’ve been searching for
    • How to avoid the most common dermarolling mistakes

No matter where you get your best beauty tips – your skincare-savvy best friend, beauty bloggers, or just about anywhere else – the odds are pretty good that you’ve heard the talk about derma rollers.

Dermarolling at home is said to be one of the easiest ways to get a fresh-faced, youthful glow, but does it really live up to the hype? Before you rush out to buy that supposedly magic roller, read this first.

What’s the Difference Between Dermarolling and Microneedling?

In simplest terms, dermarolling is when you use a derma roller to create dozens of tiny micro punctures on your skin. A derma roller is a small roller, with a rotating part covered in very small needles (usually measuring about 0.3mm or smaller).

The idea is that by inducing “micro-injuries” on the surface of your skin, your skincare serums and other products will be able to better penetrate the layers of your skin.

Dermarollers can cost anywhere from $20 to well over $100, and it’s not unusual to find dozens of different derma rollers for sale online. Dermarolling devotees swear that, in just a few minutes at home, you can totally transform your skin.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, it kind of is.

Dermarolling is often mistakenly thought of as the “DIY” or “at-home” version of microneedling, a cosmetic treatment performed by a trained aesthetician or medical professional. Everything from the tool that’s used to the expected results is significantly different between the two, so it’s really important to know which one is the best fit for your needs.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is also based on the concept of micro-injuries, but this treatment takes things one step further. During this professional treatment, an aesthetician/medical professional uses a micro-pen device, which contains a dozen or so tiny needles. The pen passes over your skin, creating tiny “injuries” that are slightly deeper than those made by a derma roller – though not painful or damaging.

Not only does skin care product absorption get a helpful boost, but your skin also receives the message that it’s time to activate its natural healing processes. Collagen and elastin production ramps up, as does cell production.

Microneedling Benefits

Is microneedling better than dermarolling? Well, let’s look at the benefits it can offer:

    • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
    • Can fade scars, including acne scarring, stretch marks, and burns
    • Reduces pore size
    • Decreases hyperpigmentation
    • Improves skin texture and volume
    • Creates a beautiful, youthful glow
    • Allows skincare products to be absorbed on a deeper level
    • Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin

Compared to the benefits of dermarolling (which might help your skin absorb products better), we would say that microneedling is the clear winner.

Differences Between Microneedling and Dermarolling

So, let’s recap – there are some key differences between microneedling and dermarolling:

    1. Dermarolling is done at home, but microneedling is a professional treatment performed in a salon/spa setting. An aesthetician/medical professional will have specific training to operate the microneedling device and to make sure that the treatment is tailored for your skin type and needs.
    2. Dermarollers have fixed needles attached to a roller head, while a microneedling device uses a micro-pen with about a dozen tiny, sterile microneedles. You literally roll a derma roller over your skin, but the microneedling pen utilizes gentle vibrations to create the micro-injuries as it’s passed over the skin’s surface.
    3. Dermarolling generally doesn’t reach as deeply as microneedling does. The purpose of dermarolling is pretty limited – really, it’s only intended to help your skin better absorb various products. So, it barely pricks the outermost layer (your epidermis). Microneedling also targets the epidermis, but it penetrates slightly deeper. This is what triggers the body’s healing responses and spurs such wonderful results.

Don’t Make These Four Dermaroller Mistakes

At Focal Point Salon & Spa, we urge our guests to stay away from attempting microneedling at home. Honestly, we believe that any potential payoff just isn’t worth the risk. But if you still want to try dermarolling, here are four of the biggest mistakes to avoid:

    1. Using a fake or low-quality derma roller. Fake beauty products and tools are a huge problem, especially when you’re shopping online. And when it comes to fake derma rollers, the outcomes can be pretty serious. Fake derma rollers have needle and needle wheels that can seriously scar your skin because they create irregular wounds rather than careful micro-injuries.
    2. Using a needle size that’s too large. You might assume that the bigger the needle, the faster the results – but that’s actually a dangerous mistake to make. Actually, dermarolling with needles that are too big can leave you with damaged skin, premature aging, and zero results.
    3. Dermarolling for too long. Much like larger needles don’t equate to better results, neither does a longer dermarolling session. At most, you should be dermarolling for five minutes (at least for the first several times). You can slowly work your way up to a maximum of 10 minutes.
    4. Improper prep and aftercare. Ok, let’s say you do manage to find a quality derma roller and do the treatment correctly. But, what about the steps you’re taking before and after? Before dermarolling, your skin should be cleaned and disinfected, you should skip your exfoliation routine for a day or more, and harsh sun exposure should be avoided for at least 48 hours. After dermarolling, working out, and sweating is a no-no for at least 24 hours, a high-SPF sunscreen is a must, and exfoliation and acids should be put on pause for 3 days.

Trust Your Skin to a Professional: Microneedling in Phoenix, AZ

When you try dermarolling at home, you’re walking a pretty fine line between seeing possible improvements in your skin and accidentally inflicting some pretty serious damage. And even if you are dermarolling the “right way,” the results probably won’t measure up to your expectations.

Instead, skip the derma roller, save your money, and put it towards professional microneedling instead. Not only will your skin be much safer, but the difference in the smoothness, clarity, and texture of your skin will be well worth it.

Focal Point Salon & Spa is a trusted provider of microneedling treatments in Phoenix, using a medical-grade device and our extensive expertise to give our guests optimal results. Whether you want to try microneedling for wrinkles, scars, hyperpigmentation, or just to get your glow on, we can help you reach your beauty goals. Plus, we’re one of the few Valley spas that give you the option to combine microneedling with PRP (platelet-rich plasma) or growth factor serums, as well as RF microneedling for faster, more dramatic improvements in your skin.

Don’t try to derma roll your way to healthy, beautiful skin. Instead, trust the experts and professional-grade treatments at Focal Point Salon & Spa. Schedule your consultation to start your personalized skincare and wellness treatment plan today!

Featured Image: Robert Przybysz/Shutterstock

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