Skeptic Files: Lawn Care Is Not Necessarily A Good Skin Care Model

By Voxy  

Two thousand years from now, when people (if they’re still around) look back on the accomplishments of the early 2000s, what will we be remembered for? Will it be that we cured cancer, achieved world peace, and colonized other planets? Sadly, I’m betting it will be that we paid people to run rollers spiked with needles over our faces. (And Jersey Shore.)

From the fine people at’s Beauty Counter blog, an overview of the Dermaroller skin needling system. Written for by Afsun Qureshi, and snarkily annotated (in pink) by me.

“A small handheld roller covered in tiny steel spikes, the [Dermaroller] tool is designed to leave thousands of pricks as it glides over your skin, causing trauma to the epidermis and stimulating the repair process, thus boosting collagen production for a coveted youthful glow. It may sound suspect, but the technology behind it is legit, according to U.K.-based dermatologist Dr. Samantha Bunting, who has become one of its increasingly long list of acolytes.”

Here’s my favorite sentence:

“Dr. Bunting, who advised me against seeking out down-market versions of skin-needling kits for sale online or in drugstores…”

Ya think?!?!?!!?

“…explains that the efficacy of the treatment lies not just in simply rolling needles over the face, but achieving the optimal needle penetration with pinpoint bleeding and swelling, which often requires a physician’s care. Don’t let words like “bleeding” and “swelling” deter you, though [!!]; the semi-frightening process can really do wonders for remedying acne scars and stretch marks, as well as increasing general radiance. It also has a lower risk for post-procedure problems, like pigmentation, than lasers and chemical peels—and is considerably less expensive (a single treatment with the good doctor costs about $485 [So I can pay almost $500 for someone to hurt me with needles. Bargain!]). But patience—as well as a high tolerance for pain—are necessary if you want to reap the benefits; three to five sessions over the course of four to five months are recommended for optimal results. And it’s not a particularly, um, pleasurable experience. Despite the fact that a topical anesthetic agent was used to freeze my face, the pain in some parts was well north of a ten [Raise your hand if you’re surprised. No one? Huh.]. I was red and puffy for the first day, but by day two people started telling me how rested and “well” I looked [for someone who had just had a lawn aerator run over her face]. My skin tone was noticeably clearer, too, and the circles around my eyes had diminished. Call me a masochist, but I’ll take the pain for a noticeable gain.” [You are crazy.]

Personally, I’d go for the less expensive hit-yourself-in-the-face-with-a-meat-tenderizer version, but what do I know? A poke around the interwebz indicates that you can buy your very own, so you can use it in the privacy of your own home — while you’re watching Jersey Shore, even. And according to the people who make the Dermaroller, you can also use it on your head to encourage hair growth! Because I can’t think of anything I’d like better than rolling a porcupine over my scalp. Here are the directions:

Each morning / night, after showering and washing your scalp, dry well with a clean towel. Roll the Scientia Derma Roller over the scalp in one direction (and not back and forth). Apply 1ml of 5% Minoxidil (which should be available from your local Pharmacy) to balding areas and massage into the scalp thoroughly. If you notice the scalp flaking after a few days, simply rub the dead skin away whilst shampooing your hair. Treat no more than once per day, 5 times per week.

And, in the tradition of Happy Fun Ball, here are the disclaimers:

Never share your Scientia Derma Roller with anyone else, and do not use on children or animals.

When used as a home based treatment regimen, cosmetic skin micro needling is for professionally responsible use only. Use entirely at your own risk. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we are not responsible for negative or damaging results obtained by proper or improper use of this product. Even though many of our customers have experienced very positive results, we cannot guarantee results.

Please do not use this product if you have open cuts, wounds, sun-burnt skin, active herpes outbreaks, pustule acne lesions, or any other acute infection or inflammation of the skin, have a history of poor wound healing, collagen diseases, blood problems, are pregnant or lactating, are prone to keloid scarring or have diabetes. Aspirin, Nurofen, Vitamin E and blood thinning drugs all cause increased bruising and should not be taken in the two weeks leading up to treatment.

After that, what is there left to say?

Photo from, as shown on’s Beauty Counter blog.
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  1. avatar Inthelab
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    Honestly, they could just have the sororities race across the green in stilettos and they’d get the same effect.   



  2. avatar a biologist
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is another post that I will think I imagined.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted January 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ha! I know, it’s almost too bizarre to be real. I’m all in favor of acupuncture, but this is taking the whole needle thing Way Too Far for me.


  3. avatar Inthelab
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    And the real lawn care experts say that aerators don’t help your lawn either.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted January 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well, someone needs to tell that to the people who enthusiastically rip up our campus lawns a couple of times a year. Honestly, they could just have the sororities race across the green in stilettos and they’d get the same effect. ;)


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