You Could Buy a Dermaroller, Or You Could Just Set Your Face on Fire

Monday, February 12, 2018


Let me preface this by saying: My skin is fine. There are plenty of things I don't love about my body, but generally, the skin on my face is not one of them. I have decent skin. My skin-tone is a little uneven, a little reddish, sure, & I break out sometimes with, like, two zits, which I can barely complain about. My skin is fine. (That's my makeup-free morning face, above. See? Fine.)

And yet, I fell victim to Instagram marketing when, after watching some now-can''t-even-remember-who beauty blogger's IG Stories about dermarolling, I decided to order a dermaroller of my own. At just $20, it felt like a relatively inexpensive experiment for something that could... I don't know, make my already-good skin really great, or something.

Yeah, fine, it was a dumb investment.

Still, the day it came, I was very excited to use it. Late that night, I set myself up in front of the bathroom mirror with all the time in the world to dermaroll to my heart's content.

Wait, should I back up? Do you know what dermarolling is? Neither did I.

Dermarolling is the at-home version of microneedling, which is a very expensive dermatology/spa treatment thingy. A dermaroller is a thin, shaving razor-shaped tool with a spiky little rollerball on the end of it, designed to help minimize the appearance of lines, wrinkles, scars, etc. The needles on the roller prick your skin, causing damage that tricks your body into thinking it's experiencing trauma, thus stimulating collagen & elastin production. Both of those are ultimately good for your skin, so you've convinced your body to make your skin all nice & plump & smooth & shit - without actually damaging your skin to do it.

I don't know, man, I'm not a dermatologist.

Anyway, I bought this ORA Microneedle Face Roller in 0.25mm, the lowest needle size. Using mild pressure, as instructed, I rolled all over my face, "5-10 times in each of the four directions - horizontally, vertically and diagonally." (I assume they meant diagonally both ways, or else that's only three directions.)

It kind of hurt, but in that "hurt so good way," the way to hurts to tweeze your eyebrows or wax your upper lip. I kinda liked it.

...and then. And then, it started to get red. And then, it started to feel like I'd laid out in the sun for hours. And then, it started to burn. And then, it felt like I was fully engulfed in flames from the chin up.


All I could think of was this scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:



Honestly, I can't even begin to tell you how badly my face burned. I put argan oil on it, which didn't help. I put a serum on it, which made it hurt a lot worse before it made it feel any better. I fanned myself. I broke into a sweat. I put ice packs on my face. I took Advil. I texted my mother & two of my best friends.

Oh, what's that, you say? I'm being dramatic? No, I am not



And this was after the argan oil & serum & ice!

Finally, finally, it stopped hurting enough for me to fall asleep, though I envisioned waking up to a face the color & tenderness of a tomato. 

I didn't. 

I woke up, actually, to my face looking like that photo you see at the top of this post - which is... yeah, that actually looks pretty darn nice, to my dismay. I'd hoped I'd have nothing to show for it so that I'd never feel tempted to use it again. But nope. My forehead burned again when I put on makeup later that day, indicating that my skin hadn't fully healed yet, but other than that, dermarolling didn't seem to have any lasting negative impact - & it did seem to make my skin look extra-good.

So will I dermaroll again? Doubtful. 

Apparently you can also use it on other parts of your body, like on stretch marks & scars (though that sounds like crap), & I'm kiiiind of interested in trying it someplace less sensitive than my face. But overall, this was such a painful & unpleasant experience that I don't think I'll try it again.

If I want to feel this way in the future, I'll just hold a torch to my face. And if I want to better my skin, maybe I'll go the old-fashioned route & just consult a freaking dermatologist.

Have you dermarolled? Did it hurt you as much as it hurt me?!

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