We love a good at-home beauty treatment—especially when it involves skincare. Over the years, we’ve tried everything from dermaplaning to pore vacuuming in the pursuit of a smooth, glowy complexion. One we’ve yet to experiment with? Derma rolling. Although hundreds of tiny needles may seem like the last thing you want to put near your face, derma rolling, also referred to as microneedling, has shown promise for a plethora of skin benefits, from rejuvenation to acne treatment. We turned to two derms to see what all the hype is about—and whether it’s safe.
The 16 Best Derma Rollers for Your Smoothest Skin Yet
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What Are Derma Rollers?
Derma rollers are handheld tools that use tiny needles to puncture the outermost layers of your skin. This creates a controlled injury, prompting your body to start healing and resulting in smoother skin (more on that in a sec). Though they're traditionally administered as an in-office treatment by a trained practitioner, derma rollers have become a popular choice for many at-home users, too.
How Do Derma Rollers Work?
“A derma roller works by breaking the top layer of a person’s skin in order to build collagen and elasticity,” explains Jeanine Downie, a board-certified, New Jersey-based dermatologist and co-host of TheGist.
“This minimally invasive technique involves passing a series of very fine needles over the skin, creating micro-injuries, which trigger new collagen and elastin synthesis as the skin begins to naturally repair itself,” adds Dendy Engelman, M.D., of Shafer Clinic in New York. “These micro-injuries also create channels that allow the active ingredients from your skincare products to penetrate deeper into the skin, resulting in better product efficacy.”
Though microneedling can certainly improve the appearance of some scars and wrinkles, according to Engelman, there are limitations. “It only works on more superficial scars and wrinkles, and does not work on the deeper scars," she says.
Are They Safe To Use At Home?
Sure, they look intimidating (kinda like a mini medieval torture device, TBH), but they can be safe to use at home, depending on how you use them—and how often. “In my opinion, they can be harmful if used aggressively," Downie says. "I’ve seen a lot of infections and spread of cold sores that end up causing scarring in some cases. But when people use them once a month lightly and do not have unrealistic expectations, they are fine to use."
Engelman adds: “Piercing the skin by any means creates an open channel...thereby increasing your chances of getting an infection. ... If you’re doing it at home, make sure to use sterile tools every single time.”
What to Look for in a Derma Roller
There are many types of derma rollers on the market, all of which have different benefits. Here are a few things to consider:
- Needle Type: The vast majority of derma rollers come with either titanium needles or stainless steel ones. While titanium is more durable and has longer-lasting sharpness, stainless steel is more sterile and sharper overall. Either way, both materials will perform as intended.
Needle Length: Most derma rollers available for home use range from .25 millimeters (mm) to 1mm. In general, the shorter the needles, the gentler they are and the more often you can use them. A .25mm derma roller, for instance, can be used every other day, while a .5mm device should be used around once a week. One millimeter derma rollers should be used every two weeks.
The length of your needle may also be determined by your skincare goals . Smaller needle lengths are ideal for enhancing the absorption of products, while longer lengths are needed to help with dark spots, wrinkles and scarring. Use your best discretion, and make sure to give your skin a break between sessions.
How To Use Derma Rollers At Home
Begin with a clean face (you don't want any makeup, dirt or surface oils that could potentially clog or infect your pores when you create these micro-channels on your skin). We would also reiterate Engelman’s earlier point about using a clean tool. Sterilize the needles using isopropyl alcohol (80 percent or higher) and give them adequate time to air-dry (usually between ten to fifteen minutes) before every use. If you don’t have alcohol on hand, you can also submerge the roller head in boiling water for five minutes. (Again, let it air-dry before you get to rolling.)
When you're ready to start, choose a section of your face to concentrate on and roll your tool there vertically six to eight times in the same direction, lifting it between each pass. One you’ve covered your whole mug, repeat the process, except this time, roll horizontally. “Don’t apply too much pressure," advises Downie. She adds: "Use [it] intermittently, do not use [it] when you have active cold sores or acne breakout and avoid the area around your eyes entirely."
Ready to roll? Here are the 16 of the best derma rollers for every skin concern and budget.
The Best Derma Rollers at a Glance
- Best Derma Roller for Beginners: Linduary Skincare Micro Derma Roller
- Best Multi-Purpose Derma Roller: Jenny Patinkin Derma Roller
- Best Derma Roller for Fine Lines: ORA Face Derma Roller
- Best Micro Derma Roller: StackedSkincare Micro Roller
- Best Cheap Derma Roller: Cosmedica Derma Roller
- Best Derma Roller Set: Skin Gym Micro Roller Set
- Best Derma Roller for Acne Scars: Sdara Derma Roller
- Best Titanium Derma Roller: Dermaroll by Prosper Beauty Derma Roller
- Best Derma Roller for Hydration: Koi Beauty Derma Roller
- Best Wide Derma Roller: Lolysenta Derma Roller
- Best Derma Roller for Sensitive Skin: Kitsch Derma Roller
- Most Ergonomic Derma Roller: Akiyro Derma Roller
- Most Splurge-Worthy Derma Roller: StackedSkincare Derma Roller
- Best Body Derma Roller: ORA Body Derma Roller
- Best Lip Derma Roller: Skin Gym Lip Derma Roller
- Most Hygienic Derma Roller: Equate Derma Roller
Best Derma Roller for Beginners
- Why We Love It: Ergonomic handle, guided e-books
With an ergonomic handle for easy maneuvering and three included online e-book guides to walk you through the steps, this is a solid choice for anyone who wants to try microneedling without shelling out too much money upfront. (There’s also a 30-day customer satisfaction guarantee.) Note that the e-books should arrive in a separate email following your purchase.
Best Multi-Purpose Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Gorgeous design, dual use
In addition to being the most aesthetically-pleasing derma roller we’ve ever seen, this double-ended tool features a microneedling head on one side that you can use as part of your weekly skincare routine to enhance the absorption of your serums. (We like to pair ours with vitamin C for extra brightening.) There's also a rose quartz tip on the other end to massage away tension around your temples and fluid retention underneath your eyes.
Best Derma Roller for Fine Lines
- Why We Love It: Slightly longer needles
Packed with ultra-fine, .5-millimeter needles, we’d recommend this for more experienced users, since the penetration will be a little more intense. This also makes it a good choice for those who are targeting fine lines. At less than $40, it's a reasonable price for noticeable results, too.
Best Micro Roller
- Why We Love It: Compact size, created by a derm
Created by aesthetician Kerry Benjamin, this roller is one of the OGs. It boasts shorter .2mm needles for less invasiveness and a narrow head that makes it easier to reach the contours of your face. “After using every other day for about a month (with hyaluronic acid), my skin texture is tighter, I have fewer wrinkles, and I can tell my pores are gradually shrinking,” wrote one reviewer.
Best Cheap Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Good value, gentle operation
Equipped with 540 stainless-steel microneedles, this $12 derma roller holds its own against far pricier alternatives. In fact, it’s racked up nearly 70 5-star reviews from customers, who say that it’s easy-to-use, gentle and ideal for those who are new to microneedling.
Best Derma Roller Set
- Why We Love It: Interchangeable heads, works on different areas
This three-piece kit comes with interchangeable heads and includes needles of varying lengths and quantities. The “body” head has 1,200, .25mm needles to target larger surface areas, like your arms and legs, while the “face” head has 600 needles at .20mm and is great for rolling over your cheeks and forehead. The smaller head, meanwhile, has 240 needles at .20mm length to safely cover smaller, more delicate areas of your skin (though Downie recommends skipping your eye area entirely).
Best Derma Roller for Acne Scars
- Why We Love It: Standard and reliable
With more than 25,000 reviews (and counting), this is undoubtedly one of the most popular derma rollers on Amazon. It's got all the basics, including .25mm needles made from 540 titanium steel and a protective case, and is said to help tremendously with any lingering acne scars, despite the shorter length of its needles. As one enthusiastic reviewer explained, “I struggle with acne scarring and blemishes on my face. This was recommended to me from a friend and it works wonders. I use it about [two times] a week at night with a vitamin C serum."
Best Titanium Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: 4 replaceable heads, storage case
This set costs less than $30 and includes four replaceable roller heads (one comes attached to the handle and the other three are in the kit). The 600 needles, which are .25mm, are made with titanium, which the company claims will stay sharper and last longer than stainless steel. It's recommended that you replace the heads every three to five uses for optimal safety and hygiene.
Best Derma Roller for Hydration
- Why We Love It: Seamless for better product absorption, protective cover
While most derma rollers have a seam between each line that causes serum to rub off, this bad boy has a seamless design that will actually help you transfer what the company claims will be 95 percent more serum into your skin. Better yet, it comes with a protective cover and an anti-slip handle.
Best Wide Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Covers a larger surface, longer needles for deeper penetration
This wide derma roller is ideal for covering larger areas, such as your arms and legs. That’s because it has a whopping 1,200 needles in .25mm titanium. The company claims it can help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks (an area that studies have shown promise in) and it comes with a storage case to keep it from any harmful bacteria.
Best Derma Roller for Sensitive Skin
- Why We Love It: Ultra-sterile, instructional e-book
If you've got sensitive skin, you'll want something a little more gentle. This lightweight derma roller comes with 540 .25mm surgical-steel needles, which the brand claims are more sterile than titanium (a big plus when you're looking to limit irritation). As such, it's reportedly ideal for all skin types—especially sensitive ones. Kitsch recommends using it three times a week for best results, though it also comes with an e-book of instruction, which will be emailed following your purchase.
Most Ergonomic Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Anti-slip handle, extra strong
The last thing you want when microneedling is for the needles you're sticking inside your face to bend, which is why this super durable gold-plated titanium option will be your savior. Beyond that, it's got an anti-slip handle that will help to ensure there are no accidents with its .3mm needles.
Most Splurge-Worthy Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Proven results, ergonomic handle, replaceable head
Developed by an aesthetician, this tool has a replaceable head with stainless-steel, .2mm needles, so you won't be reusing them past the point of cleanliness. It's got a sturdy ergonomic handle to help prevent any accidents or nicks, and a consumer evaluation by the brand showed that 86 percent of participants saw more radiant skin after 12 weeks, with 82 percent reporting an increase in plumpness.
Best Body Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Three heads, built-in cleaning tray
This kit comes with multiple heads to target various parts of your body: face, lips, stamp (for microscopically small areas) and even one with a built-in sterilization tray. Each of them are interchangeable and feature titanium needles of varying lengths (there's even a 1.0 mm option for thicker areas of skin, like your legs, back and stomach; .255 mm for thinner or more sensitive areas, like your eyes and around your lips).
Best Lip Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Targeted use
PSA: If you want to microneedle your lips, you're going to need a separate tool. Skin Gym offers this one, which features more than 180 .2mm stainless-steel needles to exfoliate your pucker and create an "enhanced appearance." The company says to use it with mild pressure in multiple directions (vertically, horizontally and diagonally) to achieve your most kissable face yet.
Most Drugstore Derma Roller
- Why We Love It: Included cleaning accessories, good value
This derma roller come with a cleaning tube and three cleaning tablets, so you can re-use the product as often as you'd like, though the company recommends using it in the morning, as it has a soothing effect. Wrote one satisfied reviewer: “I was impressed how non-invasive and capable this micro roller was. It was direct, powerful, yet very gentle.”
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