It's been a heavily debated topic for years but are derma rollers safe?
Today, we dive into the risks vs. rewards when it comes to derma rolling for skincare treatments.
Are Derma Rollers Safe?
The short answer - Yes! But, it depends.
There are many things you need to consider with skin needling (microneedling) and just because a device is safe, doesn't mean it's safe for everyone.
Here are some things to consider...
Registered with the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration)
All medical devices should be registered with the TGA on the ARTG.
If you're looking to purchase an in-home derma roller or get a derma rolling session done at a clinic, make sure to check that the brand is TGA registered.
Note: Essential Derma was one of the first brands registered by the TGA and is supplied to multiple hospitals around Australia, including the Children's Hospital at Westmead.
The needle size of a derma roller is one of the most important things to consider.
There is a very large difference between a 0.25mm needle and a 2.50mm.
Choosing the wrong one is an easy mistake and can leave you with skin damage that could take months to recover.
Needle Size By Use Case (i.e. acne scars, anti-aging etc.)
Here is a list of common needle sizes and their intended use.
0.25mm - Improve pore size, skin exfoliation, skin texture and product absorption.
0.50mm - Anti-aging, wrinkles, fine lines, minor acne scars.
1.00mm - Deep wrinkles, moderate pigmentation issues, stimulate hair growth, deep acne scars.
1.50mm - Minor stretch marks, severe acne scars (cheeks only).
2.00mm & 2.50mm - Deep stretch marks and body scarring.
Not all sizes are suitable for all areas of the face and body, as a general rule you should stick to 1.00mm and under for the face and 1.50mm or larger can be used on the body.
Needle Material (tiny needles)
Derma rollers come in two needle options, titanium or stainless steel.
Titanium needles are better quality needles that are stronger and can be reused.
This type of needle is the best option for using a derma roller at home and will allow you to get 8-12 uses out of it before needing a replacement.
Stainless steel needles are also a great needle but they have one major disadvantage, they should not be re-used.
Stainless steel needles dull much easier and should only be used once before disposing of it.
This makes them suitable for use in a clinic or hospital but not so much for an in-home product.
If going for a session at a clinic you don't need to know the needle material as they'll dispose of it after one use anyway. But, if you're buying a dermaroller to use at home, make sure you're getting the right one.
Frequency Of Use
This topic not only relates to derma rollers but all microneedling devices or skincare treatments.
You need to make sure that you're not overdoing it.
Microneedling does wonders for the skin but the wonders are done during the rest period.
Depending on needle size you will need to wait the appropriate amount of time between sessions to ensure treatment is safe for the skin.
For more information on this check out our article; How long does skin needling take to heal?
Sanitisation and Derma Roller Technique
All derma rollers need to be sanitised before and after each use to ensure they are sterile and safe for the skin.
This is done by either soaking or spraying the needle roller head with an appropriate isopropyl alcohol solution (rubbing alcohol).
Once sterilised, it is now safe to use in the desired area.
Derma rolling is very easy to do yourself (in most cases) but you should always follow the instructions of the brand you're using.
Using dull needles or applying too much pressure could make the micro injuries larger than what they need to be.
Note: Essential Derma products come with full instructions on when and how to use a dermaroller safely.
Are cheap derma rollers safe?
Generally, they are not safe.
Cheap derma rollers often use inferior needle materials and are not registered with the TGA, if something goes wrong with one of these devices, you'll be on your own. The risk isn't worth the reward.
Always choose a high-quality derma roller.
Should I do it myself or go to a clinic?
Using a derma roller at home is extremely easy so we recommend starting with a small size and giving it a go.
If you choose to go to a skin needling clinic in your area, be ready for them to charge $200 a session and tell you doing it yourself is dangerous, home devices are their competitors.
Summary on Derma Rolling
Derma rolling at home or in a clinic (professional microneedling) is generally very safe providing proper caution is taken.
It's suitable for sensitive skin, facial rejuvenation, removing dead skin, collagen and elastin production (stimulate collagen & growth factors), scar tissue and more.
You usually won't feel any painful stinging sensation with most sizes but it's a good idea to follow your treatment with a high-quality hyaluronic acid to soothe the skin.
Regular derma rolling as part of your skin care routine will help you with skin regeneration and boost your overall skin tone and is generally very safe.
To try a derma roller for yourself, check out our full range of derma roller and derma roller kits.