CHOOSING THE BRAND
Although you won't be able to buy the original Dermaroller (because it's now sold only to practitioners and clinics), there are still quite a few companies that make their own rollers, some of which are of excellent quality.
I would also be careful with web shops that sell their own unbranded rollers, although some of them may be good.
Too many companies trying to ride the 'derm roller wave' have emerged. The market is now literally flooded with cheap rollers mostly made in China. For a skin piercing device - this can be quite dangerous.
I have 4 rollers now, all Dr. Roller (made in South Korea), each cost me about $55. It's expensive, but they last me a long time, and having been burnt with "unbranded" rollers, I now believe that when my current rollers dull out - I will save myself the headache and just order another set from the same manufacturer.
UPDATE 1 See also: How to avoid fake rollers.
When ordering your roller, you will need to choose the needle length that is correct for you and the skin condition that you are treating. The common lengths are: 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 1mm and 1.5mm.
0.2mm and 0.3mmAt these lengths only the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) is affected, and therefore there is no induction of collagen.
While useless for anti-aging purposes, the 0.2mm and 0.3mm rollers can, on the other hand, enhance the penetration of applied cosmetic creams. Other advantages are that they can be used daily (or even twice daily) and that they are totally pain-free.
The 0.5mm roller is ideal for facial skin, for anti-aging purposes and for treating light acne-scarring or hyper-pigmentation. This is the minimum length that inducts collagen.
- Minimal Pain. Most people can manage without a topical anesthetic.
- Use it 2-3 times a week, at least in the first 3 months, otherwise in my experience you will not see results.
- After treatment, you can expect an inflammation (reddening) of the skin which usually lasts for a few hours but sometimes can last up to 48 hours.
This is the maximum length to use on the face, at least for women whose skin is naturally thinner than men's. On the body, a 1mm roller can also be used for light stretch marks.
- Can be quite painful, so applying a topical anesthetic is recommended.
- Use once every week if used lightly, or once every 2 weeks if used vigorously.
- Skin will be reddish for 1-3 days.
1.5mmRecommended for use on the body for scars and for deeper stretch-marks.
- Usually too painful to use without a topical anesthetic.
- A minimum of 3 weeks interval between treatments is recommended, even if it looks like your skin has completely healed. Some websites even suggest 4-6 weeks.
When treating stretch marks, do not expect miracles! - it takes a long time to see even initial results.
Personally, it took me 4-5 months to fade my own stretch marks by approx. 25%. The good news is that even at this relatively small percentage of improvement the different is evident - and already will make you feel more confident about your appearance.
- Expect the skin to become red and possibly sensitive to the touch for up to a week.
Some online shops offer models with lengths of up to 2.5mm. You should know that needles that are too long could actually do more damage than good in the long run, so I personally avoid anything longer than 1.5mm.
The exception to this rule is males treating deep stretch marks or scars on their fleshier parts (like thighs and buttocks) or on the back.