Stressed About Stretch Marks? It's Time To Consider Dermarolling
If treating stretch marks is on your agenda and you've exhausted your options when it comes to lotions and oils, we have one more suggestion for you: derma rolling. While it might sound daunting at first, this minimally invasive treatment is great at boosting collagen and elastin production—in other words, it's ideal for reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
Curious? Let's unpack what a derma roller can do to keep your skin smooth.
What is derma rolling?
Derma rolling is a microneedling treatment that involves using a derma roller (or a similar micro-needling device), fitted with tiny needles that puncture the skin, creating micro injuries.
After derma rolling, the resulting micro wounds in the affected area can absorb skincare products much more effectively. As your favorite creams and serums are able to penetrate deeper, they can get to work on your skin faster. And there's another benefit: gently wounding the skin with a derma roller triggers the body's healing response, which accelerates collagen production. Creating more collagen fibers is key to keeping skin tissue strong and supple.
OK, OK, let's back up for a sec. Skin needling? Microscopic wounds? If alarm bells are ringing in your head, let us shut them down for you: using a derma roller is a minimally invasive procedure, and the fine needles shouldn't cause any pain—unless you're using the device incorrectly, which we'll get to later.
Benefits of derma rollers
Using a derma roller has a variety of benefits, as it amps up new collagen production. You can expect to see:
- Fewer wrinkles
- Stretch mark reduction
- A more balanced skin tone, with reduced acne scarring and age spots
- Plumper, smoother skin
What are stretch marks?
Smoothing out stretch marks is one thing that derma rollers do very well. But before we dive a bit deeper into that, let's first take a moment to talk about those squiggly lines you might have spotted on your stomach, legs, or other body parts.
According to the American Association of Dermatology, stretch marks are scars that develop "when skin stretches or shrinks quickly." This explains why you're more susceptible to stretch marks during pregnancy, when you're in your teens and have a growth spurt, or if you experience rapid weight gain or loss.
When these changes to your body happen so fast, the skin can't keep up, and the collagen and elastin (responsible for skin elasticity and overall structure) rupture.
Because everyone's bodies change over the years, stretch marks are extremely common, and they seem to be more prevalent in women. If you have them, consider them part of your body's story. There's a reason why some people dub them "battle scars."
How to use derma rollers for stretch marks
So, you've got a derma roller in hand and you're ready to start a bit of DIY collagen induction therapy... but where to start?
Read on for a step-by-step breakdown on how to use a derma roller. The following directions apply to any treatment on your body, whether you're tackling the stretch marks on your thighs, arms, butt, or abdominal region. You can also follow these steps when using derma rollers on your face to tackle acne scars, wrinkles or texture issues.
- Make sure your roller's needles are sanitized. This is an important step, considering they're coming into direct contact with your skin!
- Cleanse the area you're planning to treat. Use a gentle cleanser to remove any impurities from your skin's top layer.
- As an optional step, apply a numbing cream. This depends on whether or not your derma roller has longer needles (1.5mm or over) that could cause discomfort. If the needles are shorter, you can skip this step if you prefer.
- Pull your skin taut, and gently move the derma roller over it. Roll 8-10 times in one direction before repeating the process in the opposite direction. It's important to be gentle here, so don't be tempted to press down hard—that won't boost more collagen or accelerate your results!
- If you notice a tiny bit of blood, don't be alarmed. You're micro needling your skin, after all. Yes, the needles are micro-sized—but they're still needles. You can expect to see a small amount of blood (if it's more, then do not continue the process).
- Once you're done, clean and dry the area. Using water and a clean washcloth will work fine, but you might prefer to do a gentle cleanse instead.
- Apply a hydrating but gentle product to the area to further stimulate collagen production. This will also support the skin's natural healing process. Formulas containing moisture-binding hyaluronic acid are a safe bet here.
- Repeat the process up to 2-3 times per week. But if you're struggling to build skin needling into your routine at that pace, it's OK to start slow. That might mean treating just one area of skin per session, or only initially committing to 1 session per week.
When can I expect to see results from derma rolling?
It's difficult to say, because the time you'll see results depends on a number of factors, from your skin type to the area you've treated.
What we can tell you is that derma rolling is not going to be an overnight success against stretch marks or any other skin conditions. Sorry! But, as is so often the case in life, good things come to those who wait. The impressive, lasting results are usually visible after 4 weeks of consistent treatment with derma rollers.
After 3 months, you should have a full view of how those microscopic needles really work their magic. Increasing collagen production via controlled skin injury for this longer amount of time will leave you with fewer raised marks, scars, and dark patches. You'll likely also notice a boost in elasticity and smoothness—again, all thanks to the new collagen produced!
If you need really fast results, consider going a step further by visiting a board-certified dermatologist or aesthetician and discussing professional micro needling treatments. These are carried out by trained professionals, who use a combination of slightly longer needle sizes and vibrations to reduce stretch marks, wrinkles, and age spots on the face and body.
Which derma roller needle length is best?
When deciding on the tool that's right for you, you'll want to consider needle sizes. For comfortable at-home use, you'll want to look for lengths between 0.1 and 0.5mm. Anything longer than that—especially if you're a newbie—risks skin irritation, bleeding, and a long recovery process.
Within the 0.1-0.5mm range, shorter lengths are great for improving skin texture and tone. Those at the longer end of the spectrum (think 0.4-0.5mm) go a little deeper into skin to stimulate collagen, making them stronger players against wrinkles and stretch marks.
Everyone's skin is different which is why, at Éclat, we've created two different derma rollers. The only difference is the needle lengths: we have versions available in 0.25mm and 0.5mm. See our notes above to determine which is best for your skin's needs.
While most roller needles are made with stainless steel, which can blunt and bend over time, we use titanium microneedles, which are twice as strong and resistant to blunting.
With 540 needles per head (instead of the overly abrasive 200 that you'll find on some alternatives), our tools create the optimal amount of collagen-boosting vertical microchannels. This allows products to penetrate without slicing or tearing delicate skin.
Whichever you choose, we predict it'll become your go-to helper to remove stretch marks and accelerate wonder-working collagen formation.
Why not pair yours with our Hyaluronic Acid Serum?
After reading this article, you can consider yourself an expert in derma rollers! You should now have a good understanding of how using one stimulates collagen production and works to remove stretch marks, wrinkles, and pesky dark spots.
Our final tips for success? Start slow, and build your way up until you're used to this process—as let's admit, it's not one that comes naturally. Oh, and keep those needles clean! Isopropyl alcohol is your best friend between uses.
Happy micro needling!