Pin Interest: Why Dermarolling Is Slaying Botox

Cassie Steer

Anti-aging treatments? We’d rather stick pins (under) our eyes….No really, we’re all for it, because unlike other non-invasive procedures such as Botox and fillers, dermarolling (otherwise known as microneedling or skin needling) is designed to tackle everything from acne scars to under-eye bags.

A do-it-all anti-aging treatment if you will, that relies on using the skin’s own regenerative powers rather than introducing, say, a neurotoxic protein. “Needling is an effective, low risk (as long as the guidelines are followed) way of boosting the skin and encouraging collagen production to promote rejuvenation,” says skin specialist Debbie Thomas. “It’s also an excellent way to infuse active ingredients into the hard-to-penetrate lower levels of the skin, making them much more effective. This is usually administered using a pen, roller or patch.” 

Call it a backlash to botox, a more discerning consumer whose focus is on skin quality rather than wanting to freeze time, or the fact that it’s also available as an at-home version, but dermarolling is very much having a ‘moment’. “Technology has changed our relationship with beauty – from what we consider as beautiful to how we perceive and analyse our faces. In response, beauty consumers are seeking out medicalised treatments alongside technologically and scientifically-backed products and devices,” says Daniela Walker, Foresight Editor at The Future Laboratory who cites that non-invasive treatments such as dermarolling are becoming increasingly routine. 

“Beauty treatments are no longer confined to the vanity table or the spa and aesthetic treatments are now seen more as part of a person’s regular upkeep,” she adds. 

So what’s the skin-y on the treatment? Step this way (it won’t hurt a bit)…. 

How does it work?

“Micro-needling uses tiny surgical grade needles to cause small controlled injuries in the skin,” says Sarah Gaughan Senior Nurse at the PHI Clinic. “These small injury points stimulate the fibroblasts in the deeper layers of the skin and encourage the body to create a wound healing response in order to renew the skin cells and increase collagen and elastin production.” 

What are the benefits?  

“The physical action of creating these small holes in the skin starts a cascade of cellular responses which stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis and in turn results in healthier, firmer and more vibrant looking skin. This treatment has been shown to reduce pore size, increase skin thickness and improve skin tone and texture,” says Dr Sepi of Medicetics. 

Can anyone have it? 

“Almost anyone except for pregnant or breastfeeding women, clients who have been recently exposed to the sun or are about to go on holiday as well as patients who suffer from keloid scarring or have active acne,” says Dr Sepi.  

“Micro needling is suitable for most skin types as the depth of penetration of the needles will be altered for each individual and their specific concern,” adds Gaughan. However Thomas has a word of warning; “If you have skin that is very prone to going red easily you might like to be cautious and I would only advise having the gentlest needling done until the skin becomes much stronger. Professional micro-needling uses needles from 0.5mm-3mm long and sensitive skins should only have 0.5mm. Anyone with very red, inflamed skin (including those with rosacea) should avoid needling.” 

How many treatments do you need? 

“A one-off session could give you a boost for a week or two, but professionally we recommend having a course of treatments –  usually up to 6 – 2-3 weeks apart,” says Thomas. “This will build the skin’s strength over time and these results will then last months.” 

Which brings us onto the (less extreme) DIY versions which are less to do with bringing about wound healing responses (the needles are much shorter) and more to do with stimulating the skin and allowing products to penetrate better.

Here are our favourites…

Beauty Bioscience GloPRO Microneedling Regeneration Tool, £199 

Contains a Red LED light function and VibroTactile stimulation which work synergistically to enhance results. (You can also tailor it to your area of concern with the GloPRO Face Attachment head, £45, GloPRO Eye Attachment head, £45, or GloPRO Body Attachment head, £45)

Environ Cosmetic Gold Roll-CIT, £198

This bit of beauty bling was the first to market and features 260 ultra fine stainless steel needles designed to be used in conjunction with vitamin-enriched skincare products to improve the overall texture of the skin.  

Swiss Clinic Body Roller, £49 

1,200 cellulite-busting microneedles (marginally longer than those for the face) are designed to work across larger areas of the body such as thighs, stomach and buttocks.  

Nurse Jamie Beauty Stamp, £39 

Loved by the LaLa land elite, Nurse Jamie’s tools continue to gain traction (quite literally in the case of this ‘micro-dermal impression tool’).  

Radara Micro Chanelling Patches (available from various skin clinics) 

Loved by Debbie Thomas, these at-home rejuvenation heroes are like souped-up eye patches to help banish bags.  


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