Derma Rolling at Home for Stretch Marks, Cellulite and Subcutaneous Fat

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Derma rolling Hi! I am documenting my experience...

Derma rolling

Hi! I am documenting my experience with derma rolling my stretch marks, cellulite and subcutaneous fat. Here's some basics about me, my derma roller, and products I'm using. I'm cautiously optimistic about dermal rolling and hope that this info helps you as well. :)

-Early 40s.
-Stretch marks are 18 years old (I love being a mom and call them "my well earned tiger stripes," but I definitely don't love my stretch marks).
-Cellulite is about 18 years old as well, but has become more noticeable in the past 7 years.
-Subcutaneous fat has become more noticeable, as well as thinning skin (breakdown of collagen?) in the past 2 years.
-I'm a personal trainer and nutritionist, specializing in hormonal nutrition.
-Workout with heavy weights 6x a week for 45 minutes to 90 minutes.
-Do cardio for 20-50 minutes 6x a week, varying between low, moderate and high intensity.
-Eat 1,800 to 2,300 calories a day (which is perfect for my body, activity level and goals, but could be different for your needs) with my main food sources being high quality protein, fibrous veggies and healthy carbs. My diet is lower in carbohydrates than the typical American, but very healthy. I typically eat 6-8 small meals a day. My protein consists of organic, free-range, grass fed or wild caught fish/poultry/beef/wild game. I eat A LOT of veggies, but hardly any fruit (it simply doesn't work well for me), and my starchy carbs typically consist of brown rice, oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes and sometimes legumes in small amounts. I usually don't drink alcohol. I do drink coffee every day and I am not ever giving that up! I'm also a normal human being with a healthy relationship with food, so although this is my norm (and my profession), I also occasionally indulge and don't ever feel guilty about it because I eat extremely well most of the time!
-I refuse to believe that I need to learn to live with stretch marks, cellulite and stubborn subcutaneous fat when I know so much about exercise and diet for fat loss and I am willing to work hard and be consistent for the long term!
-I was overweight in the past, weighing almost 200 lbs after I gave birth.
-I lost the weight 18 years ago and have been consistently fit and healthy since then.
-I am a competitive bikini and figure model, even in my 40's!
-I'm not a fan of aging, but do want to age gracefully.

My derma roller(s):
-Puruskin brand 1.5 mm for body, 1.0 mm for face. Set cost 29.97 on Amazon.
-Based on my progress, I may get a 1.5 or 2.0 mm derma stamp with 12 or 35 needles OR a 1.5 to 2.0 mm one liner roller specifically for my stretch marks.
-Also based on my progress, I may get a 0.2 mm or 0.5 mm derma roller that I could use more often just for the penetration enhancement of anti-cellulite serums.

My technique:
I am following directions for stretch marks/cellulite and using the derma roller once every 3-4 weeks. I am going over each area 4-6 times with moderate penetration in an up/down, side to side, and criss cross pattern.

My products:
-I am starting by only using one cream after derma rolling. Fat-Fader Body Toning Lotion with 2.5% Aminophylline & Raspberry Ketones 8 fl oz. I am using it after derma rolling and before exercise. Costs 39.95 on Amazon. The ingredients are:
Purified water, Capryllic/Capric Triglycerid, Steraic Acid Isopropyl Palmitate, Carthamus Triclorus (safflower) seed oil, Proylene Gycol, Caffeine, Dimethicone, Menthoxypropanedol, Tocopheyl Acetate (Vit E), Polysorbate 60, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Nut Oil, Glyceryl Stearate PEG-100 Stearate, Glycoic Acid, Aminophylline, Raspberry Ketones, Green Tea extract, Resveratrol, Coleus (Forskoli) Root Extract, Ascorbic Acid (Vit C), Carbomer, Triethanclamine, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidinyl Vanillyl Butyl Ether, Fragrance.
-I will patiently document my progress with just this for 3 months and resist the temptation to purchase a bunch of other serums and use them all at the same time. After 3 months I may also start to include 0.1% Tretinoin cream, Vitamin C serum, Infadolan ointment and/or collagen cream. I will do my best to just add 1 at a time, if any, so I can see what's really working!

I will update after each derma rolling experience with pics and notes.

More about me

Here's some more about me.
-I am 5'8" and 125 lbs.
-I am currently 15% body fat, but get down to 10% body fat when I compete.
-My current measurements are 36-26-36. I tend to drop about 2 inches from my chest, waist and hips when I am "stage ready" for competitions.
-My next competition is in 6 months and I am trying to gain lean muscle for it, while also losing a slight amount of fat. I will begin focusing on just fat loss in about 4 months.
-I believe in creating a healthy lifestyle first, counsel others of this in my profession and also live by this. This means focusing not only on nutrition and exercise, but also on staying hydrated, taking time to stretch, foam roll, work on flexibility, heavy weight bearing exercise, cardio exercise, proper sleep and purposefully relaxing. No matter what changes I try to make with myself, I focus on these basics first and foremost. I eat very healthy, drink 1-2 gallons of water a day (I sweat a lot), exercise and stretch daily, deliberately try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night (I'm a working mom so this is probably the hardest to do), and take time to relax in the steam room (or some other form of relaxation) at least 15 minutes 4x a week. Those are the basics! NO matter what we try to change in ourselves, if we aren't hitting the basics nothing else will work! I wouldn't be a good trainer and nutritionist if I didn't make a point to say that in this review. Don't try dermal rolling, or anything else, unless you're hitting the basics first!



I started very slow and tentative with the derma roller. I used it on my thighs, buttocks and abdomen. Went 4-6 times across in the different directions, up and down, side to side and diagonally criss cross, like a star pattern as directed. Realized it didn't hurt at all and began going alittle faster. I noticed pin prick sized blood droplets from the derma rolling needles. Didn't hurt. Felt more like a back scratcher. Felt less intense than a professional exfoliating treatment, but more intense than dry brushing.

Took quick warm shower to rinse off.

Realized after about 15 minutes that I had a few scratch marks. I realized I had gone slow and controlled when I first started, mostly because I was tentative. Once I saw it didn't hurt I went faster as I rolled back and forth, which caused the scratch marks. Didn't hurt, but later felt uncomfortable like a very minor case of razor burn. I researched more online and found that although most instructions for derma rolling instructs a star pattern (up and down, side to side and criss cross diagonally) the "newer" instructions are to only go horizontally and vertically, and to pick up the derma roller after each pass in one direction. This will make it so there are no scratches. Note to self and others: GO SLOWER THAN SEEMS NECESSARY AND PICK UP THE ROLLER AFTER EACH PASS INSTEAD OF GOING BACK AND FORTH. It's tedious, but better. Even if it doesn't hurt to do the star pattern. Slower and picking it up is better.

Based on my first experience, I want to make it really clear that there is an updated technique!

Here's the breakdown of my updated technique:
I am following directions for stretch marks/cellulite and using the derma roller once every 4-6 weeks. The body's natural collagen production is slow and consistent. I expect to see my best results after about 10 months, with the results becoming more permanent after 2 years. I start with freshly cleaned skin and do not use numbing cream. I clean the derma roller with dish soap, disinfect with rubbing alcohol and warm water, then blow dry it before and after each use. I keep it in its case, then also in a zip lock bag away from the bathroom between treatments. I plan on replacing the dermal roller head every 5 months. IMPORTANT UPDATE: I researched more online and found that although most instructions for derma rolling instructs a star pattern (up and down, side to side and criss cross diagonally) the better, "newer" instructions are to only go horizontally and vertically, and to pick up the derma roller after each pass in one direction. This will make it so there are no scratches and the pin prick density is more even and uniform on the skin. Makes much more sense. Note to self and others: GO SLOWER THAN SEEMS NECESSARY AND PICK UP THE ROLLER AFTER EACH PASS INSTEAD OF GOING BACK AND FORTH. It's tedious, but better. The best instructions I found online for proper dermal rolling technique is on a site called Own Doc (although I didn't purchase any rollers or products from this site, maybe I will in the future since they put together such great instructions).

After my shower I applied the Fat Fader toning lotion and took some pics about an hour later. These pics won't show any real progress, just the temporary progress from plumping and swelling. These first pics are more for you to see the pinpoint bleeding and appearance of the irritated skin directly after treatment. The true progress from each treatment won't show for about a month, which is when I will take new pics and start a new treatment.

I felt the effect of the toning lotion for approximately 3 hours. Felt more intense than usual and lasted longer than usual. Some describe the lotion as hot or itchy and that's how they know it's working. I don't experience that. Not to be crass, but to me it feels like clitoral stimulating gel (if you have ever experienced that). It's not really hot, not really icy, but kind of a combination between the two and just overall very sensitizing. It doesn't feel hot like warming lotion. It feels good. Invigorating.

Waited another 3 hours after the sensation dissipated and it seemed that any pin point bleeding had completely closed up, then reapplied and did 50 minutes of moderate intensity cardio (stair climber intervals). After that I did approximately 45 minutes of abs and legs.

I felt the effects of the toning lotion for approximately 2 hours this time. Seemed less intense than it did directly after derma rolling, but I was working out and sweating a lot so that should be noted. The feeling went away towards the end of my workout.

Drank approximately 1/2 gallon of water during my workout. Went in the shower, steam room, cool water rinse, sauna and cool shower rinse again for approximately 20 minutes total.

All of this is part of my regular routine. The only thing different was the derma rolling and the Fat Fader toning lotion combination.

Because I noticed I scratched my skin by going too fast with the derma roller, I won't shave or exfoliate until it's healed. Next time I derma roll I will make sure to go SLOWER than seems necessary and to PICK IT UP AFTER EACH PASS IN ONE DIRECTION. I don't want to accidentally slide the needles across my skin by rolling back and forth. I want to go slow enough so that they individually make tiny punctures, not scratches.

If you try dermal rolling at home and you're instructed to do the star pattern, or anything other than a single pass in one direction and picking up the dermal roller after each pass, make sure to disregard those instructions. Find instructions that explain and show the proper dermal rolling technique of only going one direction at a time and picking up the roller after each pass. Rolling back and forth will make little scratches!

Here's my planned dates for treatments and updates:
2nd experience 12/6/14
3rd experience 1/3/15
4th experience 1/31/15
5th experience 2/28/15 - buy new rollers
6th experience 3/28/15
7th experience 4/25/15
8th experience 6/6/15
9th experience 8/1/15
10th experience - 8/29/15 - expect visibly improved results - buy new rollers
11th experience - 9/26/15
12th experience - 10/24/15
13th experience - 11/21/15
14th experience - 12/19/15
15th experience - 1/16/16 - expect semi permanent results - buy new rollers
16th experience - 2/20/16
17th experience - 3/26/16
18th experience - 4/23/16
19th experience - 5/14/16
20th experience - 6/11/16 - buy new rollers
21st experience - 7/9/16
22nd experience - 8/6/16
23rd experience - 9/3/16
24th experience - 10/1/16 - expect permanent results
25th experience - 11/5/16 - buy new rollers

2nd experience 12/6/14 - STRETCH MARKS LESS VISIBLE!

I completed my 2nd treatment at home. I took pics before I started the treatment to compare to my 1st pics. I didn't think there was a lot of change yet, but was surprised to see in the pics that my stretch marks have visibly reduced! They're not just fading at a surface level, they are actually reducing in depth... They are starting to disappear!!! I see no reduction in cellulite or subcutaneous fat yet... But hey these results are really after only 1 treatment and waiting 4 weeks.

Again, the pics are of before ever being treated, directly after my 1st treatment (so you can see the redness and pinpoint bleeding), then before my 2nd treatment (4 weeks later).

I decided to try dermatolling on the stretchmarks on my breasts too. The pics of my breasts are pre-treatment and directly post treatment. I will update again on schedule. :)

I made sure to use the updated technique this time and it was much more precise. I was able to push a little harder and focus on exactly where I was rolling instead of just going back and forth.

The lighting is a little different in the pics because it's getting to be more like winter here and I have less natural light, but you can still see a difference. Especially on the stretch marks on my lower tummy.

I excited to update again on 1/3/15!

More photos 4 weeks after 1st treatment

Here's some more photos from before my 2nd treatment... Results are 4 weeks after my 1st treatment.
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