Derma Roller Guide

OK, as promised here is a small guide to the whole rolling procedure. I just wanna stress that this is just the way I do it, based on my own experience, and not necessarily the best way to do it.

UPDATE 12/17: I've just uploaded  a video of myself in one of my rolling sessions!
UPDATE 4/22: ... And another one here.

Things you'll need...

Things you'll need for a rolling session

A. Treatment creams. The type of cream depends on what you're treating, just make sure they're safe for use with a dermaroller (no preservatives or chemical fragrances etc.)
(UPDATE  I'm currently using my own home-made Skin Restore Serum which is entirely made of pure natural plant oils and essential oils.)

B. Numbing cream. If your roller is 0.5mm or lower then you probably won't need this.
I use EMLA 5% but you can use any topical anesthetic containing Lidocaine.

C. Antiseptic liquid. I just use alcohol 70%.

D. Disposable gloves. Wear them throughout the whole procedure.

E. The roller, of course. Read my other post about which needle size to use.
Also see Where to buy a derma roller.

F. Cosmetic cotton pads.

G. Alcohol 70% in a spray bottle.  Used to disinfect the roller after use. I bought the spray bottle at a warehouse store and filled it with alcohol bought at the pharmacy.

Step-by-step instructions
  1. Prepare the equipment on a clean table before you. I like to put everything on a clean paper-towel.

  2. Clean the skin in the area that you're treating (I use a gentle anti-bacterial soap).

  3. Put on a pair of gloves.

  4. If you're using numbing cream, apply it on the treatment area according to directions (I found directions for Emla here). The area can be wrapped in plastic cling film for better absorption.
    Some people like rolling lightly with a 0.5mm roller prior to applying the cream to speed things up - I don't.

    Leave the Emla on long enough for it to take effect (min. 40 minutes). I found that 60-80 minutes work for me.

  5. Remove the Emla thoroughly by washing it off with cold water or by using an alcohol soaked cotton.
  6. Apply the cream of your choice on the skin and massage lightly.

  7. Wash the roller with warm running water for a few seconds. There's no need to further disinfect it if the roller is new and comes pre-sterilized (which they should).

  8. Roll the area in a star pattern, applying some pressure (usually you don't need to worry about pushing too hard as the maximum the needles can penetrate is their own length).
    4 rolls vertically, 4 rolls horizontally, and 4 times on each diagonal is more than enough.
    Don't overdo it (I usually do).

    If it's a large area what I like to do is divide the area to imaginary square blocks, then roll the whole block 4 times vertically, then 4 times horizontally and so on (see illustration below).

  9. After rolling, gently apply and massage more of the same cream that you applied in step 7.

  10. Cleaning and storing the roller  Wash the roller under warm water again for a few seconds, and then spray the roller with alcohol a few times. Let the roller dry in open air for at least 10 minutes before putting it back in its case.
    Make sure that while in the case the roller's needles will NOT touch any surface (usually the roller comes with a special plastic box designed accordingly).

  11. Leave your skin be for at least an hour, wash it with cold water afterwards if you must (I usually don't until the next day). Don't use any harsh soaps on the treated area for the next couple of days.
    There is no problem to reapply any cream starting the following day, although it won't penetrate the skin as it did while rolling because the pores will have been closed by then.

  12. If you've rolled an exposed area (i.e., face, arms...) avoid getting out in the sun for 1-2 days, and after that for the next week or so be sure to wear sunblock (SPF 30 at minimum). Or else your face will peel.

Some tips & illustrations...
TIP: If you need to put away the roller for a few seconds while treating,
place it on a clean surface 
on its side, so that the needles never touch anything other than air.

Step #6: Cleaning the skin with a cotton pad

Step #8: Washing the roller with hot water, before and after use
Step #9: Rolling in a star pattern.
TIP: Rolling in square blocks to speed up things.
 Each double-headed-arrow represents a line of rolling (rolled 3 or 4 times).
TIP: If you're using multiple rollers in a single session (for example, 1.0mm on the face and 0.5mm in the eye area)  it's sometimes easy to confuse them. What I did was to mark the roller's length with a marker. I painted one stripe for each 1/2 mm, so for on the 0.5mm it's one stripe, for 1.0mm - two stripes,  and so on... (The roller in the pic has 3 stripes = 1.5mm).

If you have any other tips, questions or comments you'd like to share - please leave them in my forum. Happy Rolling!