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How Effective are Over-the-Counter Skin Rollers?

Skin rollers, or dermarollers, are controversial cosmetic devices that claim to boost collagen, firm skin, and increase circulation and oxygen with tiny needles. However, there’s little science backing up these claims, and many dermatologists recommend steering clear of the trend. Naissan O. Wesley, MD, and Lily Talakoub, MD, suggest alternatives to the conventional skin rollers found at major pharmacies, specifically crystal rollers, ice rollers, nanocurrent rollers, and microneedling.  

Crystal rollers are made of jade and quartz and allegedly calm nerves, decrease swelling and redness, and diminish puffiness.

Ice rollers are meant to constrict blood vessels, thus draining the skin of its color. They’re also used as a treatment for periorbital edema or erythema.

Nanocurrent rollers massage the skin with a light vibration and a gel that targets the stratum corneum.

Microneedling is considered a “collagen induction therapy.” The practice effectively creates  tiny wounds in the skin with .5-3.5-mm needles that stimulate neocollagensis. According to Dr. Wesley and Dr. Talakoub, “When used properly, this technique is a wonderful treatment for fine lines and acne scars.” Over-the-counter microneedles are smaller in size, however, and can only shrink pores and penetrate the skin with treatment substances. Although at-home microneedles are more restrictive by design, taking diligent sanitary caution is necessary for avoiding infection. 

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