Top positive review
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Be patient and realistic in your expectations and you'll be very well rewarded
on 7 October 2012
While my skin is in otherwise great condition, recently due to worrying and over working (and no doubt general ageing!) over the last year I've noticed some lovely deep troughs appearing which I was beginning to detest.
To give you a quick overview (because I didn't have the foresight to take "before" pictures) I've had two distinct and deep frown lines running parallel across almost the whole width of my forehead, two vertical wrinkles between my eyebrows, and the lesser of the three evils - crows-feet at the corners of my eyes.
No creams are able to iron out deep wrinkles, and I was starting to contemplate drastic measures. However, I didn't want to have to tell people when I was happy or surprised, or risk having sunken nerves, so Botox was out of the question; I looked into fillers, but seeing that these cost several hundred pounds and last only nominal periods before repeat treatments were needed put me off completely. Resurfacing was out of the question because my profession precludes the recovery downtime these would require - and at 33 I feel I am far too young to be even contemplating invasive surgical procedures.
Besides, I just wanted to look less tired - the last thing I wanted was to look like a creepy waxwork or potential circus freak!
So I googled "non-surgical wrinkle treatment", and when I read about these derma rollers, I was very intrigued.
There are several price options and I chose this one based on the roller being the lowest price but seemingly having the most needles.
Now, the key thing I MUST emphasise at this point is that I have been using this now for a period of just over 8 weeks. This is NOT an overnight miracle treatment, you have to stick with it and use it properly if you hope to have any success with it, and you are not going to have the skin of a 14 year old after a month - you must have realistic expectations.
So what has 8 weeks of puncturing my face done for me? Well - The lines between my eyebrows have all but gone and are now only visible when I scrunch my eyes up. The previously deep forehead lines have diminished significantly - they're still visible when my face is passive - but they are now inarguably shallower, and have actually completely faded in parts, so the lines are broken rather than being two solid canyons. Also they both now "end" about 2cms further in than they used to. My crow's feet too have diminished and now have more the appearance of fine laughter lines which only become obvious when I smile. And over all my skin looks less tired.
So as a whole, this is exactly what I wanted - not a flat and soulless face unable to register expression, just natural and refreshed looking.
To give you an idea of how I've been using it - Within the first 4 weeks I did this treatment 6 times (so every 5-6 days or so) but reduced it to once a fortnight for the second month and will continue this for the next month. I then plan to do it once every 3 or 4 weeks and see how I get on.
I've got the routine down now, and had some trial and error along the way, so allow me to give you some sterling advice!:
1) Sterilise the roller. I bought mine with the alcohol spray, but be sure to rinse it first with very hot water too. Do this before and after every use (i.e. rinse, spray, allow to dry - use - rinse, spray, allow to dry, store).
2) Wash your hands and face THOROUGHLY with a good cleansing product. NOT soap, and NOT anything harsh - I use st ives apricot scrub. Rinse well and pat dry.
3) Apply a thin layer of a rich, nourishing product. I use a collagen serum, but a decent unfragranced moisturiser will do.
4) Staying clear of the eye-lid area and lips, use your roller. Key tip - you should only ever feel discomfort, never pain: It's difficult to explain how to use it but place the roller on the area you wish to treat and push down firmly until you feel the needles penetrate fully. Then, maintaining the same pressure, carefully but quite quickly roll in one direction (straight or diagonally up and down or side to side - whichever is more comfortable in your hand) back and forth, four times in a smooth motion - you don't want to be rolling over an area much more than an inch at a time. It helps to use your free hand to pull the skin slightly taught in some areas such as the cheeks, or if you're rolling near your nose.
Place the roller on the next section of skin and repeat until you have treated the full area you wish to treat. Doing my whole face takes me around 10 to 15 minutes.
You may see prolific pinpricks of blood on the skin surface, which with rolling will look a lot worse than it really is - trust me! It looks horrific but it's only superficial. Don't be tempted to stop and wipe it off - it doesn't flow or anything, just sort of sits there looking hideous. Also if you don't bleed in some areas, or seem to have one zone that produces more than any other, dont worry - with me, some areas like my forehead seem more inclined to bleed very freely, while my cheeks do not - it's more than likely to do with the thickness of the skin, but everyone is different - my sister uses one too and she barely bleeds at all.
5) After rolling the full area you wish to treat, sterilise the roller again and put to one side to dry before storing.
6) You may, I'm afraid, now look like something off a gore film - but seriously do not worry - any blood may look bad but it really isn't: Wipe your face with a clean cotton pad moistened with witch hazel, or an antiseptic face wipe - taking care to be gentle but remove all the blood and also any residue from the pre-treatment product. You'll see that your skin will have stopped bleeding already, but will definitely be very bright red and possibly a little swollen.
7) Generously and thoroughly apply a post treatment product; massage it into the skin well and don't be shy with it. I use alternately Bio-oil or "the ultimate face and body cream" (which you can buy on Amazon too) Dont use anything that might sting or irritate such as heavily perfumed products for instance - focus more on nourishing and soothing - now allow it to soak in and DO NOT unneccessarily touch your face - just relax for an hour or two while it calms down. The redness should fade within an hour, but ideally do the treatment in the early evening where you can just sit and relax for a while before going to bed.
The next day you should find everything has calmed down completely - but any exertion will cause the treated area to flush a little redder than usual, and some areas may be a little sore, so just take it easy for the day! And keep your skin clean and well moisturised.
That is essentially it. The difference, to me, is subtle but staggering. I'm very happy with the results, and now feel a lot more comfortable and confident with how my face looks. The nice bonus I've had is that people around me tell me I look much brighter and more vibrant than I had been lately - and when I've talked to people I havent seen since before I started rolling, I can see them looking vaguely suspicious and scrutinising my face on the sly! Hah!
Now - a few key hints from my trial and (predominantly) error:
~ DO NOT roll your lips, eyelids or any other sensitive or thin-skinned areas. Its ok to roll around your cheekbones and the sides of your eyes where you get crows-feet, but NEVER roll on your actual eyelids; to be on the safe side, feel under your eye for your eyesocket rim, and then leave everything between this and under your eyebrow well alone.
~ It goes without saying that if you are taking warfarin or any other anti-clotting medication, that you shouldn't use this. It causes bleeding as an unavoidable aspect - so dont risk it.
~ Be scrupulously clean: ALWAYS sterilise and store it properly - otherwise you risk causing infections. Buy a new one every 4 months or so as the needles will dull over time.
~ The whole point of the roller is that it stimulates collagen production. Collagen requires vitamin C and time to generate - so I advise you take a high dose vitamin C supplement, particularly if you smoke (Tesco do a great multi-vitamin very cheap for 160 tablets; don't pay ridiculous amounts for the same thing just because it's branded), and be patient!
~ Don't expect to wake up after the first treatment with alabaster smooth skin. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie may well use this treatment, but I think we can assume she's been at it for a long time and had it done by a professional (which, by the way, costs a bomb, and having had a salon treatment of it done, they do it no differently to how you would at home - just with posher creams, more ceremony and a disposable roller!)
~ Your skin is crawling with bacteria; so you may find you get the odd little white spot or areas of breakouts after use - if this happens, and it happened to me two or three times, I found a mild exfoliant followed by TCP daubed over the area took care of it fairly fast, but you might need to repeat the TCP a few times.
~ Your skin may get a "rough" texture a couple of days afterwards. This is just it sloughing off more dead cells as it rejuvenates, and you shouldn't try to scratch it off no matter how tempting - just gently exfoliate and moisturise well and let it run it's course - it only lasts a few days.
~ You can get larger gauge needle rollers, but apparently these are only suitable for scars and stretchmarks: Stick with the 1.0mm for wrinkles or general skin improvement (unless you're treating facial scars I suppose). If you want to start gentle, pick up the 0.5mm one first.
~ Do chat to a dermatologist if in doubt. If you don't know where to ask, ask your GP who will arrange a consultation for you.
NB: I havent used it for stretchmarks, hair loss, acne or scars so Im afraid I cant comment on the performance for that - but I have noticed my skin tone overall is more even and my pores seem to be a bit smaller.