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When it comes to skincare, I’m all in. Since middle school I’ve struggled with acne, and like most desperate to find a solution to their facial woes, I feel like I’ve tried and researched it all. But of course, with time and age, my acne has subsided greatly and I’ve somewhat found a routine that works pretty well. Nevertheless, I’m still battling with dark marks aka hyper-pigmentation and minor breakouts during that time of the month or whenever I fail to wash my face before bed.

Recently, I’ve been scouring the internet — web forums, YouTube, and social media — for some possible solutions to clearing up my dark marks faster, which is when I came across the microneedling method. Needles, you say? Yes. No worries, I cringed too. Basically, the method is all in its name, as you literally roll needs into your face. According to Allure, “Microneedling is when you use a dermaroller or microneedler over areas of the skin.” The tools are small hand-held devices that can be compared to a “miniature paint roller covered in metal spikes.”

So, how can this help your skin? Kerry Benjamin, founder of Stacked Skincare, told SELF that the purpose of microneedling is two-fold: To stimulate collagen production and to increase the absorption of skincare products. Now, there’s two different variations of microneedling as well: at-home and in-office. At-home, of course, has much small needles than the ones used in dermatologist offices, so they aren’t supposed to hurt and keep you from hurting yourself.

But apparently, the at-home dermarollers I saw ladies raving about on YouTube may not be as great as they suggest. Some estheticians and doctors Allure spoke with explained that at-home microneedling is futile and doesn’t really have any impact on skin or the efficacy of skincare absorption. Mashell Tabe, a New Mexico-based facialist also told SELF that “a recent study showed that no microorganisms crossed the viable epidermis in microneedle-punctured skin using 0.28 mm in length needles.” So, in laments terms, there’s no real, factual evidence that at-home rolling can actually help products penetrate deep into the skin and aid them in having better and quicker results.

Nevertheless, a different study found that regular microneedling could potentially increase skin’s collagen production. Louis Bucky, M.D., a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia, also told SELF that at-home kits aren’t really effective. Bucky explained that all you’re getting is a bit of microdermabrasion, a light exfoliation of dead skin cells on your face. However, Bucky did express that those needles aren’t of the same level of microneedling he practices in his office.

One of Allure’s own writers tried out an at-home microneedling device for a week with happy results:

“Not only did this roller not hurt (whereas, if I’m real-talking, the other ones I tried actually did), but within a few uses, I legitimately had glowing skin. Think: baby’s butt on steroids. I’m lucky that my skin’s pretty good to start with, but this was next level.”

So, at the end of the day, everything works for everyone differently. Nothing new.  New York City dermatologist Benjamin Sadick explained, “When someone does at-home needling, the superficial, small holes created can refresh the skin. Over time and with continued use, microneedling can show very nice results.” Overall, it seems like if you’re looking for a quick pick me up for your skin, go with the at-home needling system for sure. For a deeper and more thorough job, call up your dermatologist and book an appointment.

I plan purchasing a dermaroller from Stacked Skincare ($30) sooner than later and giving the method a try. Have any of you ladies tried microneedling or purchased a dermaroller before? Share your experience in the comments below.

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