Derma Rollers Vs In Clinic Needling – Which Is Better?
Living in Sydney and currently in the midst of a two week covid lockdown, I have been spending wayyyyy too much time on social media. On various beauty forums I have been reading a lot about people’s perception of skin needling and the different ways that this can be performed. The two most common types of skin needling are either derma roller devices for at home use, or professional in clinic treatments using power sourced pens. There is a lot of confusion around which is better, who should be doing what and which skins or conditions skin needling can improve or even correct.
Having worked with, and studied both styles of needling devices and beauty tools extensively I am here to hopefully answer a lot about skin needling and dispel a few common myths around the treatment.
Firstly, let me introduce myself and explain why you should continue reading this blog! My name is Belinda Merlino and I spent twenty years as a diploma qualified Beauty Therapist working in various salons, before owning my own business, The Skin Clinic in Sydney for six years. As the name suggests The Skin Clinic was all about skin, skin treatments and skin care products that focus on skin results and skin health. The Skin Clinic’s signature treatment was Dermapen skin needling. Having a client return after completing a course of Dermapen and showing them their skin transformation in our before and after pics was the highlight of my beauty career. By far it was my favourite treatment to perform, and I was easily able to convert any client into having the treatment done. My clients could tell I was passionate about skin needling and because I had studied the treatment extensively my clients were reassured that they were in good hands for this invasive skin treatment using a power sourced needling pen.
In 2019 I became the co-owner of Australian Beauty brand Lonvitalite. Lonvitalite, pronounced Lon-vit-a-lit which takes inspiration from French words for long life or vitality. Lonvitalite has been established for over 10 years. Lonvitalite have long been a favoured brand of makeup artists, beauty therapists, influencers, celebrities, and beauty enthusiasts. Lonvitalite specialise in at home Derma Roller devices for the face and body, eye masks, facial tools, and skin care accessories. Lonvitalites range of Derma Rollers are listed with the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) in Australia as medical grade devices and are designed to be used in the comfort of your home. Using my skill set and knowledge from my 20 years of being a beauty therapist I was easily able to adapt to becoming a beauty brand owner, and I enjoyed sharing my love and knowledge of everything skin needling with our brand partners in Australia such as Mecca and Adore Beauty.
Throughout both incarnations as both a salon owner and now beauty brand owner of Lonvitalite, I know for a fact that most people know about skin needling but don’t really KNOW everything about skin needling. I truly believe anyone and everyone would benefit from skin needling if they are informed and educated on who should be doing it, how often and which form of needling best suits their skin and its concerns.
So what is Skin Needling as a broad term and how does it work? Skin needling is also be known as collagen Induction Therapy or micro needling. Skin Needling is the treatment that utilises small needles to create micro channels in the superficial layers of skin in the epidermis or dermis. By creating these micro channels it allows for your serums or active skin care to travel into the skin via these tiny pathways as opposed to sitting on the surface. The body registers these micro channels as trauma and immediately springs into action to repair the skin. We are basically using our bodies immune system to heal and repair the skin, leading to an improvement of fine lines, uneven skin tone or texture, pigmentation, acne and acne scarring. When microneedling in the dermis, new collagen production can form and assist in the appearance of ageing and scarring. Micro needling in the epidermis can assist in superficial skin concerns like pigmentation, acne and skin tone and texture.
So let’s start with the basic differences between derma rollers and professional skin needling pens.
Professional in clinic treatments using needling pens are usually power sourced by way of batteries or via a power source. Single use cartridges are inserted into the pen and when turned on the needles oscillate and vibrate very quickly creating tiny pathways in the skin for serum infusion. Micro needling pens can usually adjust the depth of the needles to be anywhere from 0.2mm right up to 2.5mm. Professional skin therapists are trained in knowing the right depths to target to achieve the desired outcome based on the skin concerns. Needling at high depths need to be performed by a professional in a sterile environment because of the likelihood of drawing blood during the treatment. Whilst needling in a professional clinic environment is quick it can also be painful depending on the needle pen being used, the therapist performing the treatment and the depths being used. The use of numbing creams is no longer allowed to be applied by Beauty Therapists and its use has been proven to hinder the desired treatment outcome and has been shown to prolong post needling down time. There is also a high cost involved per treatment. The average price in Sydney for a single skin needling treatment is around the $300 mark and needling is usually performed in a course of three or four treatments for best results.
At home Derma Rollers are a handle attached to a barrel with multiple tiny needles designed to be rolled back and forth over the area being treated. Containing Stainless Steel or Titanium microneedles of the same depth, derma roller devices are available in an array of different depths to target specific areas of the face and body. For example, The Lonvitalite Microneedle Face & Body Kit contains four needling heads of differing depths for the face – 0.25mm 0.30mm and 0.5 mm. There is also a 1.5mm attachment to be used on the body. The Lonvitalite heads are titanium which are stronger than stainless steel which means you can get more use out of each head. The Lonvitalite heads can be changed every 15 uses and have the sustainable option of purchasing the replaceable heads separately. As derma rollers for the face are at a more shallow depth it means that micro needling treatments can be easily performed at home, and more frequently in conjunction with serums containing active ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid, Niacinamide or Vitamin C.
So which is better? The answer is it doesn’t have to be either or. One doesn’t need to replace the other. When I was performing in clinic treatments I was also highly recommending that my clients use a derma roller at home in between their sessions for maximum results. I liken it to brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist for an extensive clean. There is a place for having professional in clinic needling while also derma rolling at home. There are a lot of factors such as convenience, cost and commitment to having or performing the treatment yourself. Either way, I know your skin will thank you for it.
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We rate the following serums for at home derma roller use