If you think you'd rather run a marathon, untrained, in the heat of summer, than use a tool with needles on your face, we hear you. But before you lace up those sneakers, listen up: This tool with tiny needles is painless (no, really!) and can give you some major skin benefits.
The treatment is called microneedling or derma rolling, and it involves a tool with tiny needles rolled over the face or body, which causes microscopic holes in the top layer of your skin. This "precise injury," as the pros call it, stimulates elastin and collagen, keeping your skin firm. The needles are gently pressed with even pressure against the skin, and undetectable micro-wounds are created, which triggers the skin to go into repair mode and produce more collagen, according to Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. The process can help fade acne scars, stretch marks, and small wrinkles.
At-home devices don't penetrate as deeply as professional treatments. However, they can help products sink further into the skin. This makes post-derma rolling a good time to apply serums and moisturizers. And, you don't have to worry about at-home derma rollers being painful—since the needles are smaller, it will just feel a bit prickly.
We interviewed dermatologists and researched a variety of at-home derma rollers to choose the best for different skin needs and budgets.
Jenny Patinkin Rose on Rose Derma Roller
Why We Like It: It’s dermatologist-designed and has a replaceable head included to boot.
It’s Worth Noting: The Rose Quartz acupressure ball is believed to emit energy-healing properties—while we can’t medically attest to that, the facial massage that goes with it will work well for your circulation and skin.
This multifunctional tool is dermatologist-designed and our favorite derma roller on the market. It comes highly recommended by Dr. King, who says that it's well made and helps skincare products perform better by creating thousands of painless micro-channels that enhance product absorption.
Safety and cleanliness were top priorities when considering the design of the Rose on Rose Derma Roller. At 0.2mm, the microneedles are long enough to penetrate the skin but short enough to make it a safe home-derma rolling experience, whether targeting skin brightness, fine lines, or acne scars. The package comes with a replacement head that should be changed after 20 uses.
- Microneedle length: 0.2mm
- Material: Hypoallergenic stainless steel needles, rose gold plated handle
- Accessories included: Replaceable head and genuine rose quartz acupressure ball included at the end of the wand
Price at time of publication: $75
Sonia Kashuk Microneedle Facial Roller
Why We Like It: It’s simple and effective for a great price.
It’s Worth Noting: It doesn’t come with accessories or replaceable heads.
The Sonia Kashuk Microneedle derma roller has everything you need to get started with micro needling on a budget. We love that it’s affordable while still providing appropriate functionality. Its stainless steel microneedles sit at 0.25mm, which the dermatologists mention as a safe length for at-home derma rolling.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that while this is a low-cost option, it could potentially end up being more expensive in the long run as it doesn’t come with any accessories or replaceable heads.
- Microneedle length: 0.25mm
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Accessories included: None
Price at time of publication: $10
Best For Body
MonétBeauty Adjustable Microneedle Derma Stamp
Why We Like It: Its stamp format works well for targeting specific areas on your body.
It’s Worth Noting: Adjustable microneedles mean you have to be extra careful not to penetrate your skin too hard.
This microneedling tool is more like a stamp than a roller, which means you can target specific areas on your body, such as stretch marks. Its design also allows for more even and precise micro needling across your face.
If you’re looking to use this on your body, then the same rules apply as if you’re using it for your face. Sterilize the stamp, use it on clean skin, stamp, and apply your targeted serum and oil/moisturizer afterward. The adjustable micro needles mean you can also make them a little longer to get to parts of your body with thicker skin than your face, neck, and decolleté. You must be careful not to use the longer needles on sensitive or thin skin, so this option is not as foolproof as others on our list.
- Microneedle length: 0.25mm - 0.3mm adjustable
- Material: Medical-grade stainless steel needles
- Accessories included: None
Price at time of publication: $25
Best For Beards
Copenhagen Grooming Beard Growth Kit
Why We Like It: It has a thoughtful and sleek Danish design.
It’s Worth Noting: Its 0.5mm microneedles are at the higher end of at-home needle length, so first-timers should pay extra attention when derma rolling.
Derma rolling to stimulate hair growth is relatively new research. “New data suggest that micro needling may help enhance hair growth. The idea behind the treatment is that it enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles to help them grow optimally," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Mount Sinai in New York City. While this is especially true for in-clinic treatments, it may have benefits when done at home too.
The beard roller from Copenhagen Grooming is available as a standalone product but comes with all the essentials in this kit. The kit is worth a try for those who have some extra cash to spend—particularly since the included Activator Serum is packed with active botanicals known to help with hair growth.
- Microneedle length: 0.5mm
- Material: Titanium
- Accessories included: Dermaroller case, beard roller cleanser, growth activator serum, keychain comb
Price at time of publication: $114.00
Lolysenta Microneedle Dermaroller Kit
Why We Like It: It comes with different derma rollers for targeting different body parts.
It’s Worth Noting: There aren’t any additional heads included.
This nifty set comes with a derma roller for your face and a slightly larger one for your body. It also includes a rose quartz roller, perfect for resting your skin on the days between micro needling.
The face and body rollers are different widths to accommodate larger areas on the body and smaller ones on the face. Likewise, the facial roller has shorter microneedles (0.25 mm) to minimize injury, while the body roller has longer ones to accommodate areas with less delicate skin. Unlike the MonetBeauty Adjustable Microneedle Derma Stamp, which we chose as our best for body, these tools are easier for beginners since the facial and body rollers are completely separate, and you don't have to adjust the needle length yourself. Each roller has its own carrying case, making it easy to sanitize and store the pieces in your kit.
- Microneedle length: 0.25mm (face derma roller) and 0.3mm (body derma roller)
- Material: Titanium
- Accessories included: Rose quartz roller
Price at time of publication: $20
Best For Beginners
Sdara Skincare Derma Roller
Why We Like It: It’s a simple option with a derm-recommended needle length for beginners.
It’s Worth Noting: It doesn’t come with any instructions, so we recommend looking up some how-to videos if you’re a first-timer.
Those who are new to the derma rolling game will do well to remember the basic cardinal rules of covering your face with needles: Cleanse your skin, sterilize your tool, keep needle length on the shorter side, roll all over the face (but don’t use too much pressure), and start by rolling once a week.
This roller is perfect for beginners because it features smaller needles and is small enough to reach all areas of your face. The needles are made with stainless steel, which is considered hypoallergenic. However, those who have a known allergy to nickel should be careful, as stainless steel is an alloy that’s often mixed with nickel in varying amounts.
We didn't love that this product doesn't come with directions, but fortunately, the brand has how-to videos on Youtube.
- Microneedle length: 0.25mm
- Material: Stainless steel
- Accessories included: Storage case
Price at time of publication: $16
Best Kit / Multipack
YaFex 6 in 1 Derma Roller Kit for Face and Body
Why We Like It: It has multiple interchangeable heads for the face and body, plus a sterilizing tray.
It’s Worth Noting: The product packaging says the needles are made of titanium, but we found they can bend over time.
This is a helpful kit for those looking to dip their toes into microneedling both face and body. Five replaceable heads are designed for different areas (think: around the nose, body and scalp, face, and neck). The microneedles in this roller’s heads vary in length to accommodate both delicate and thicker areas of the skin alike.
A major bonus of this kit is the sterilizing tray incorporated into the packaging. Properly cleaning your face and your derma roller before and after use to avoid infection is highly recommended by dermatologists. With this kit, pour the sterilizing alcohol into the tray, roll your microneedles in it a few times, and leave it upright to dry.
- Microneedle length: 0.25 – 0.3mm depending on the head
- Material: Titanium microneedles
- Accessories included: Four derma roller heads, one silicone cleansing pad, one sterilizing tray
Price at time of publication: $24
Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Microneedling Patches
Why We Like It: These patches include Granactive Retinoid and hyaluronic acid to fight signs of aging and leave skin feeling plump.
It’s Worth Noting: The patches are smaller than they could be for certain areas, especially forehead lines.
Derma rolling, by nature, could be considered brightening. Stimulating the skin encourages circulation while massaging in an effective serum or moisturizer helps seal the deal. Though not a derma roller, these microneedling patches can be useful for targeting specific parts of your skin.
Microneedle patches don’t have titanium or stainless steel needles, rather, they’re made from self-dissolving needles that are filled with active skincare ingredients known to enhance the quality of your skin. This includes ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C. Leave them on for a few hours (overnight is best) and sleep your way to brighter skin. These patches include Retinoids and hyaluronic acid to spot treat specific skin areas.
The patches are on the smaller side, so you may have to use multiple for longer or large wrinkles, such as those on the forehead.
- Microneedle length: N/A
- Material: Self-dissolving vegan glycerin microneedles
- Accessories included: None
Price at time of publication: $15
How We Selected
The Health team spoke to expert dermatologists about in-clinic and at-home derma rolling. We discussed the different types of derma rollers according to body parts and the safest needle length and materials for at-home derma rolling. We then researched the best on the market. We narrowed them down based on dermatologist recommendations, materials used, needle length, and price to help you find a derma roller that can make the most of your skincare products and safely improve your skin.
The dermatologists we spoke to include:
- Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City
- Joshua Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Mount Sinai in New York City
What to Know About Derma Rollers
How Derma Rollers Work
Derma rollers feature microneedles that create microtears in the skin. In a clinical environment, they create tears that encourage the production of collagen. Dr. Hadley King says, “An at-home derma-roller provides the user with a way to perform microneedling in the home environment. The needles do not penetrate as deep as the microneedles used by a professional. Although probably not deep enough to be stimulating collagen, they can help with product penetration— helping ingredients penetrate deeper.”
How to Use a Derma Roller
As with any skincare regime, consistency is key. Particularly since skin cells take approximately 28 – 40 days to turnover, you’ll see the best results after the first month or so. Dr. King recommends the following method for rolling your way to glowing skin: “Starting with once per week, lightly roll over a clean, dry face, moving the roller in one fluid back-and-forth motion. Cover each area of the face vertically, then change directions to roll in horizontal and diagonal patterns. Immediately after rolling, apply a hyaluronic acid or peptide serum. Do not apply makeup on freshly rolled skin. Do not roll over your eyelids, nose, or lips.”
She also recommends starting with rolling only once per week and increasing the frequency as your skin tolerates it. Don’t forget to replace the roller head after about 20 uses. To clean, spray your roller head with rubbing alcohol after each use and store upright with needles freestanding.
Who May Benefit from Derma Rollers?
Since derma rolling benefits acne scars and fine lines, many people would benefit from incorporating this into their weekly skincare routine. Dr. Zeichner says, “Derma rollers can be used both on the face and the body. Devices designed for the body tend to be larger to cover larger body surface areas.” And Dr. King adds, importantly, that she would recommend it for someone who does not have extremely sensitive skin.
Who Should Avoid Derma Rollers?
Dr. King notes that she would not recommend derma rolling on inflamed, cystic, or broken-out skin. Likewise, Dr. Zeichner says, “Generally speaking, derma rollers can be used across all skin types or skin tones. I am cautious about recommending these devices to people with sensitive skin or conditions, like eczema or rosacea, where the skin barrier is not functioning optimally. You also need to be cautious if using exfoliating acids or retinol, as they make the skin more sensitive in general.”
How Much You Can Expect to Pay for a Quality Derma Roller?
Our best overall, the Jenny Patinkin Rode on Rose Derma Roller at Amazon is $75, which means you can get a high-quality roller for around $100 or less. It’s possible to purchase safe at-home derma rollers at many ends of the price spectrum so, with this product, it ultimately comes down to your budget. Derma roller sets with additional products or accessories may cost more.
Your Questions, Answered
Do derma rollers actually work?
The results vary depending on whether you’re derma rolling at home or in the clinic. Regardless, Dr. Zeichner says you should see improvements. “Derma rollers are devices that use tiny needles to create microscopic punctures in the skin. This creates a controlled wound and takes advantage of the skin's ability to heal itself back up. Ultimately, it can improve skin, tone, texture, and, in some cases, even fine lines and wrinkles.”
What is a derma roller good for?
If you’re derma rolling at home, these little tools are brilliant for helping your product penetrate further into the skin, ultimately giving you a great bang for your buck. Just as the name implies, the device is rolled over the skin. The at-home devices are designed with safety in mind. The needles are quite short and do not penetrate the skin, as well as professional microneedling treatments. In order to improve the appearance of acne scars or deep wrinkles, you need deep penetration into the skin to reach the level of abnormal collagen. For this reason, the commercially available derma rollers are better for radiance and skin tone as opposed to treating scars, according to Dr. Zeichner. He adds that derma rollers can be used independently or in combination with topical serums. Think of them as creating micro-channels that enhance penetration of the active ingredient into the skin.
Can derma rollers regrow hair?
According to Dr. Zeichner, there are some exciting developments regarding in-clinic derma rolling. He says, “In the office, microneedling is often combined with radio frequency and energy to stimulate collagen and tighten the skin. Microneedling treatments are often followed by [an] application of platelet-rich plasma to improve the appearance of aging skin. New data suggest that microneedling may help enhance hair growth. The idea behind the treatment is that it enhances [the] delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles to help them grow optimally.”
Are derma rollers safe?
While at-home microneedling is generally considered safe, there are, of course, a few things to consider beforehand. Dr. King says, “The risks are if someone overdoes it with pressure or doesn't keep the roller clean, which could cause infection. Look for a tool with needles that are aligned and evenly spaced.” In addition, ensure your needles are made with hypoallergenic materials (like stainless steel) that are easy to clean.
Who We Are
Isabella Ubaldi is a Health writer with a keen personal and professional interest in skincare approached from a health lens. She has researched, written about, and worked for various global and independent skincare clients and health topics such as the best moisturizing body washes. Aesthetically, she believes in making the most of what you’re born with and adopts a “less is more” approach to her skincare and makeup routine. She frequently derma rolls at home and visits her dermatologist/facialist as a special treat. Her curiosity about the world feeds her keen interest in helping people reduce the shopping noise and make decisions that might improve their quality of life or make their every day a little bit sweeter.