Are you ready to take your skincare routine up a notch and get the glow without breaking the bank? If so, meso rollers may be just what you need! Mesotherapy is a popular aesthetic treatment that uses tiny needles on your skin to stimulate collagen production. But note that it can be pricey. And if you don’t live in a big city where you can find an experienced mesotherapy provider, it might not even be an option. Fortunately, meso rollers offer an affordable way for DIY skincare lovers to enjoy many of the same benefits at home. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you should know about meso rollers: from safety tips for first-timers to how they work and why you should use them. So let’s get rolling!
What Is A Meso Roller?
A meso roller (also called a derma roller) is a skincare device that consists of a handle on one end and a roller head on the other. The roller has hundreds of tiny needles – usually made of stainless steel or titanium – which range from 0.2 to 3mm in length (7).
It’s designed to create tiny, painless punctures in the uppermost layer of your skin. This triggers a healing response in the deeper layers of your skin, resulting in increased collagen production and improved texture.
Is A Meso Roller The Same As Microneedling?
Although both meso rollers and microneedling are forms of skin needling, there’s one major difference: a meso roller has more shallow needles than a microneedling device. As such, meso rollers are gentler and generally used to treat more superficial skin concerns, such as minor wrinkles, melasma, and age spots (11).
Microneedling is used for more pronounced wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, and other more deep-rooted skin concerns.
Another difference worth noting is in the devices used; microneedling is typically done in a doctor’s office with a more advanced device called a derma pen/meso pen.
This device is motor-powered, allowing for more precise and even skin needling. With a meso roller, you control the force of your rollers yourself.
The words MesoTherapy, Dermarolling, Collagen Induction Therapy, and Microneedling are often used interchangeably, so it’s important to understand which procedure and device you’re using. In this article, we’re talking about meso rollers.
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How Does Meso Rolling Work?
Our skin has multiple layers, including the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Each of these layers serves an important purpose in keeping us healthy and looking our best (1).
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, and it protects us from bacteria, viruses, and other environmental factors. The dermis is the middle layer of skin that contains collagen, elastin, and blood vessels.
This layer helps to keep our skin hydrated, elastic, and healthy. The hypodermis is the deepest layer of skin and it stores fat, sweat glands, and hair follicles (4).
Meso rolling uses tiny needles to puncture the skin and create micro-traumas in the epidermis and dermis. This action has several positive outcomes:
- It stimulates your body’s natural healing process, which helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
- It increases the production of collagen and elastin, which helps to make your skin look younger and more radiant.
- It increases blood circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to detoxify the body and reduce puffiness.
- It helps to improve skin tone and texture as it evens out the surface of the skin.
- It helps to reduce the appearance of acne scars, stretch marks, and hyperpigmentation.
Is It Safe To Use A Meso Roller At Home?
Meso rollers are generally considered safe to use at home, provided you take the proper precautions. Below are our top derma-rolling tips to ensure safe and effective use.
Choose The Right Needle Length
Needle size matters; the longer the needle, the more potential damage to your skin. And without professional supervision, it’s easy to cause more harm than good.
At-home derma-rolling should use needles no longer than 0.2mm. This size is considered safe for the average person and will help to gently exfoliate, stimulate collagen production, and reduce the appearance of scars (5).
If you have more pronounced skin concerns, then you should consult a dermatologist or aesthetician for microneedling with longer needles. Never use needles longer than 0.5mm at home.
Choose The Right Meso Roller
In addition to needle size considerations, it’s important to select the right meso roller. Be sure that you purchase a device from a reputable source and check for any damaged needles before use. If the needles appear to be damaged in any way, discard the roller and purchase a new one.
You should also check the handle and body of the roller to ensure that they are in good working order. A loose or broken handle can lead to uneven rolling, which can cause more harm than good. Common materials include stainless steel, titanium, and gold-plated titanium.
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Use Proper Hygiene Practices
Your home is probably not as sanitary as a professional clinic, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions before and after derma-rolling. Failure to do so can lead to infection and other complications.
Be sure to cleanse your skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser before using your roller. You may follow up with an alcohol wipe to disinfect your roller and remove any bacteria. After rolling, cleanse again to remove bacteria, dirt, and debris that may have been transferred to the skin.
Clean your roller with rubbing alcohol before and after each use. Make sure to keep it in a sanitary environment, such as a plastic bag or airtight container, when not in use.
Additionally, never share your roller with anyone else. Blood-borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis can be spread this way, so be sure to keep your roller to yourself.
Use The Right Technique
When it comes to derma-rolling, technique is everything. Always use a back and forth rolling motion when applying your roller to the skin. It’s important to apply enough pressure to puncture the skin, but not so much that it causes pain or discomfort.
Apply the roller in a grid-like pattern, moving slowly and overlapping each pass by 50% (10). Think of it like mowing a lawn; you want all areas to get equal coverage.
It’s important to use your roller in a systematic way, taking extra care around sensitive areas of the face like the eyes and lips. While these areas may benefit from derma-rolling, they should be treated with light pressure and avoided altogether if you have any underlying skin conditions.
Know How Often To Use Meso Rolling
Like most things in life, it’s important to find a balance when it comes to derma-rolling. Too much can irritate the skin and cause redness, inflammation, and other issues. Not enough won’t yield results – the outcome of this skincare technique is cumulative meaning that it takes multiple sessions to see results.
Ideally, you should use your roller 2-3 times a week for the best results. If you find that your skin is too sensitive for this frequency, try decreasing the usage to once a week and increase as your skin gets used to it (12).
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Know When Not To Use Meso Rolling
Meso rolling at home is generally safe, but there are some instances when it’s best to abstain.
- If you have any inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, then derma-rolling isn’t recommended. Not only can the needles cause further irritation, but the act of penetrating your skin can also spread bacteria and worsen existing conditions (8).
- If you’re using any topical medications, be sure to wait at least one week after you’ve finished the course of treatment before using a derma-roller.
- If you have any open wounds or cuts on your face, avoid derma-rolling until they’ve healed completely.
- If you have pustular (pus-filled) or painful acne, avoid derma-rolling as the needles can spread bacteria and cause further inflammation (2).
- If your skin is sunburned or tanned, wait until it has healed before using a roller.
Cystic acne, moles, and warts should also be avoided. You can derma roll around these areas, but do not roll over them. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to use a derma-roller in any particular area, it’s best to consult a dermatologist first.
Know When To Use Numbing Cream
Using a derma-roller can cause mild discomfort and a tingling sensation, so some people opt to use topical numbing cream prior to rolling. If you do choose to use numbing cream, make sure that it’s free of lidocaine or any other active ingredients that could irritate the skin further.
If you’re using needles longer than 1.0mm, it’s also a good idea to apply numbing cream beforehand. Be sure to wait at least 30 minutes after applying the cream before using the roller (3).
Once you’ve finished rolling, remove any excess numbing cream from your skin with lukewarm water. Then, apply a gentle cleanser and moisturizer to soothe the skin and keep it hydrated.
Know Aftercare Practices That Enhance Results
Post-derma-rolling care is just as important as the rolling itself. To further enhance the results of your treatment:
- Apply a hydrating serum or moisturizer after derma-rolling to help soothe the skin and keep it hydrated.
- Use a mild cleanser the next day to help clear away any bacteria that may have been introduced during rolling.
- Avoid using products with harsh ingredients or exfoliants for at least 24 hours.
- Wear SPF if you plan to go outside, as your skin will be more sensitive to UV rays.
- Avoid picking or touching the skin that’s been treated, as this can cause irritation and slow the healing process.
- Wait at least two days before derma-rolling again.
Finally, it’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different, and the effects of derma-rolling can vary from person to person. It may take a few tries to find the right method and frequency that works best for you.
Be patient and consistent, and with time you should start noticing improvement in your skin health.
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Know The Possible Side Effects
After meso rolling, your skin may show the following common side effects:
- Mild bleeding – some amount of bleeding is normal after derma-rolling, however if there’s excessive bleeding it could be a sign of irritation.
- Redness and swelling – this should go away within a few hours, however if it persists for more than 24 hours you may need to reduce the frequency of your sessions (9).
- Sunburn-like sensation – this is a sign that the needles are too long or you’re using too much pressure. If this occurs, reduce the needle length and/or pressure.
- Mild swelling – this is normal, however if it persists for more than 24 hours you may need to reduce the frequency of your sessions (6).
- Pulsing and/or throbbing – this is also normal, as the blood vessels are breaking up and releasing their contents
Other less common side effects that may signal a serious problem include:
- Scarring or divots in the skin – if this occurs, you may be using too long of a needle or over exfoliating.
- Infection – if you notice any yellow drainage, redness, or swelling around the area that isn’t going away after a few days, it may be a sign of infection and you should seek medical attention immediately.
- Swollen lymph nodes – if you notice any swollen lymph nodes in the area around your treatment, it may be a sign of an allergic reaction and should be addressed right away.
- Flare-up of skin conditions – if you have a pre-existing skin condition such as rosacea or eczema, derma-rolling may cause a flare-up of symptoms and you should talk to your dermatologist or esthetician right away.
- Dark or light spots – if you notice any dark or light spots on the skin after derma-rolling, it may be a sign of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation and should be addressed right away.
Meso rollers are a great way to take your skincare routine to the next level. With regular use, you can reduce the appearance of acne scars, stretch marks, and hyperpigmentation.
Just be sure to take proper precautions when using your roller at home to ensure safe and effective use. When in doubt, consult a dermatologist or aesthetician for professional advice.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Anatomy, Skin (Integument), Epidermis (2022, nih.gov)
- A randomized evaluator blinded study of effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia: a pilot study (2013, nih.gov)
- Derma roller DERMIDA ® 0.75 mm (2023, promed.de)
- Dermis (2023, clevelandclinic.org)
- Everything you need to know about Derma Rolling(2021, sublime live.in)
- Mesotherapy (2023, clinica fiore.co)
- Microneedling with Dermaroller (2009, nih.gov)
- Most frequently asked questions about Microneedling (2023, aeternum aesthetics.co)
- Risks & Side Effects of Mesotherapy (2023, health centre.org)
- Skin 101: How to Use a Derma Roller (2023, caci.co.nz)
- The differences between mesotherapy and microneedling (2023, professional beauty.co.)
- UNTAPPED RICHES OF MESO-LEVEL APPLICATIONS IN MULTILEVEL ENTREPRENEURSHIP MECHANISMS (2016, jstor.org)