If you look in the mirror and see something you’d like to improve about your skin — whether it’s minimizing scars, reducing wrinkles, evening out skin tone, or simply achieving a more radiant glow — microneedling could be the answer.
At first, it may seem strange to roll hundreds of tiny needles over your skin. But that’s exactly what microneedling devices — a.k.a. derma rollers — do, and these handheld tools have made a name for themselves in the beauty world as a DIY solution to a variety of cosmetic skin woes.
While not tons of research has been done on their effectiveness just yet, dermatologists do seem to agree that derma rollers can stimulate collagen production and, in turn, improve the appearance of skin. The practice of microneedling started in dermatologists’ offices, but now, derma rollers are widely available for at-home use, too.
How Do Derma Rollers Work?
Derma rollers create tiny punctures in the outermost layer of the skin, which can lead to the production of more collagen, the bodily protein that gives skin its firmness, strength, suppleness, and elasticity, says Ellen Marmur, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist. They can also help stimulate the lymphatic system, leading to more radiant skin and less puffiness, she adds. And while the devices may be newer, the practice of microneedling itself has been used for centuries, says New York City-based dermatologist Anna Avaliani, M.D.
What Should Derma Rollers Be Used For?
Derma rollers can help minimize and prevent fine lines from becoming visible or deeper on the face, neck, and chest, Dr. Avaliani notes. Along with prompting the production of collagen and elastin for smoother, firmer, and younger-looking skin, they can be used to reduce the appearance of acne scars or stretch marks, and can even stimulate hair growth. “If your concern is aging, dark spots or acne scars, a derma roller could be helpful,” says Dr. Marmur.
Compared to in-office treatments, at-home derma rollers generally use smaller needles (usually around .25-millimeters in depth) to minimize the chance of any potential complications, says Dr. Avaliani. She adds that microneedling procedures performed by doctors are typically much more aggressive, so if you’re looking for faster or more noticeable results, you may be better off booking an appointment with a dermatologist, esthetician, or plastic surgeon.
Possible Side Effects of Derma Rollers
While these versatile beauty tools may seem like a great simple addition to your skincare regimen, it’s important to note, they’re not for everyone. According to Dr. Marmur, you shouldn’t use derma rollers at home if you have sensitive skin, eczema, cold sores, actively infected acne, sunburn, or rosacea.
You should also avoid them if you have a compromised immune system or you’re taking medications that suppress your immune system, including medications for autoimmune diseases like lupus or psoriasis, Dr. Avaliani cautions.
And most importantly, if you’re not using your derma roller properly or keeping it clean, you could put yourself at risk for bleeding, bruising, and peeling, or even infection. “I would not universally recommend at-home derma rolling to some of my patients because of these scary side effects,” Dr. Marmur says.
How to Use Derma Rollers at Home
It’s best to start slowly, Dr. Avaliani says; even once a month can be very effective. Dr. Marmur adds that if your skin tolerates the derma roller well, you can work up to using it weekly.
The needles — and your skin — must be washed and disinfected appropriately before and after each treatment. Dr. Marmur recommends spraying the device with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) solution and washing it with warm water to sterilize before each use. According to Dr. Avaliani, proper maintenance is also extremely important: Examine the needles carefully to make sure they’re not bent, broken, or rusty, and don’t hesitate to replace your derma roller or its heads whenever necessary.
RELATED: How to Microneedle at Home
Once you’ve ticked all the safety boxes, it’s time to get started. Using mild pressure, roll the device back and forth horizontally, vertically, and diagonally over the areas of skin you’d like to treat. After use, you’ll want to be gentle with your skin and avoid topical products that could cause any potential irritation. Final tips? Always buy a high-quality derma roller from a retailer you trust and choose options that come in sterile packaging.
Based on customer feedback and guidelines from dermatologists, we outlined nine derma rollers you can safely use at home to treat fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, dark spots, and more. And since these options have thousands of positive reviews between them from real users, you can trust that they’ll be effective for a variety of skin concerns.
Here are the nine best derma rollers for your skin.
- Best Overall: ORA Face Microneedle Dermal Roller System
- Best for Acne Scars: Sdara Skincare Microneedle Dermaroller
- Best for Hair Growth: Alphaluxy Titanium Micro Needle Derma Roller
- Best for Brightening: ORA Gold Deluxe Microneedle Dermal Roller System
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Linduray Skincare Cosmetic Microneedling Kit
- Best for Wrinkles: StackedSkincare Micro-roller
- Best for Stretch Marks: Eznduray Skincare Derma Roller
- Best All-in-One Kit: ORA Face & Full Body Roller Kit
- Best with Replacement Heads: Dermaroll by Prosper Beauty
Best Overall: ORA Face Microneedle Dermal Roller System
Dr. Marmur recommends this derma roller because the needles are very thin (.5 millimeters), which makes the microneedling less invasive to your skin. The top choice for an all-around derma roller, it can be used for a slew of beauty concerns — whether that’s minimizing the appearance of scars and hyperpigmentation, smoothing out fine lines and stretch marks, massaging serums deeper into the skin, or stimulating hair growth on the scalp.
“This little beauty is wonderful and delivers outstanding results to your skin,” said one reviewer. “It penetrates deep enough so when you go to apply your serums and moisturizer the products work more efficiently by penetrating the skin. A great price and a great product!”
Shop now: $30; dermstore.com
Best Derma Roller for Acne Scars: Sdara Skincare Microneedle Dermaroller
The number one best-selling facial dermabrasion product on Amazon, more than 1,500 shoppers left this derma roller a positive review. Many touted it as the best option for treating acne scars, even deeply indented, dark marks left by cystic acne. The device is made with titanium needles, which Dr. Marmur recommends over stainless steel needles because they’re stronger and, in turn, more effective. Hundreds of reviewers raved over how well it works, even on sensitive skin, and called out it’s affordable price point — proving you don’t always need to spend the big bucks on skincare tools to see noticeable results.
One user titled their review “expensive derma roller treatment, who?” and wrote: “After suffering from cystic acne through my teen years, I was left with a few indented scars. I have been using this for about 3 weeks now and it is the best purchase I've made in a while. The scars are literally gone.” Another called it “crazy effective.”
Shop now: $22 (Originally $24); amazon.com
Best Derma Roller for Hair Growth: Alphaluxy Titanium Micro Needle Derma Roller
If you’re looking to purchase a derma roller for the main purpose of promoting hair growth, this option from Alphaluxy is your best bet. Made with .5-millimeter medical grade titanium needles, which are recommended by Dr. Marmur, this device was specifically designed to stimulate hair follicles. Reviewers say it also helps with acne scars, brightening and firming skin, and improving its texture. The best part? The budget-friendly tool will only set you back $16.
“I’m a licensed esthetician and I use professional products on a regular basis, but [am] also a full-time stay-at-home mom on a budget,” wrote one customer. “This little handheld microneedle derma roller is perfect for home use and anyone looking to take their skin regimen to the next level.” Another said they started seeing improvement after just two uses and that their dark spots “lightened considerably.”
Shop now: $16; amazon.com
Best Derma Roller for Brightening: ORA Gold Deluxe Microneedle Dermal Roller System
Reviewers like the ORA Gold Deluxe for brightening dull or uneven skin tones. This handheld device is made with .25-millimeter microneedles, which Dr. Avaliani says is typical for derma rollers, and is especially useful for penetrating any serums or lotions deeper into the skin so they can work beetter. We recommend pairing it with a hyaluronic acid-infused vitamin C serum, like this best-selling option from TruSkin Naturals, to increase its anti-aging benefits and give you the glowiest skin possible.
“This is the type of product where you see the biggest results after using it for a while,” said a shopper. “The only immediate difference was I could feel my skincare products sinking deeper into the skin, but it took about 2-3 months to see a difference in dark spots, elasticity and brightness. But now that I’m able to see the difference, I’m so glad I’ve been consistent with this and will continue to use!”
Shop now: $30; dermstore.com
Best Derma Roller for Sensitive Skin: Linduray Skincare Cosmetic Microneedling Kit
This highly-rated device from Linduray Skincare is great for new users because it’s easy to use, affordable, and comes with three instructional guides to help beginners get the most out of their derm roller. Reviewers say it’s virtually painless and gentle enough for use on sensitive skin, which can be a concern when it comes to more aggressive microneedling treatments. More than 1,200 shoppers gave it a near-perfect review, with many saying it gave them smoother, softer, and brighter skin after just a few uses. One user was so happy with the results, they called it “pure witchcraft.”
“I purchased this because I was looking for a more DIY alternative to going to a spa for the microneedling technique that would hopefully get similar results. This is it!” said another. “I have more sensitive skin, so I only use it about twice a week instead of every other day, but the results have been really amazing!”
Shop now: $16; amazon.com
Best Derma Roller for Wrinkles: Stacked Skincare Micro-roller
Dr. Avaliani likes derma rollers with stainless steel needles, and this one from Stacked Skincare fits the bill. It uses .2-millimeter microneedles to gently exfoliate and stimulate the skin, resulting in less fine lines and wrinkles, and plumper, younger-looking skin.
One reviewer called it “amazing” and said: “Saw changes within the first week! Smoother skin and more radiant with the other beauty products I’ve been using with this roller!” Another said they saw a difference in fine lines around their mouth after just one month of use.
Shop now: $30; neimanmarcus.com
Best Derma Roller for Stretch Marks: Eznduray Skincare Derma Roller
Made with hundreds of titanium microneedles, this derma roller is a great choice for reducing stretch marks anywhere on the body, according to numerous reviewers. Dr. Marmur generally advises avoiding needles any thicker than 1.5 millimeters because of the risk of damaging your skin, so the 1.5-millimeter needles on this device are the perfect happy medium between safety and effectiveness. Shoppers say this easy-to-use roller is great quality, especially given the price — the cheapest option on this list, it’s just $10 (yes, really).
“Great product! I have been using it weekly on my stretch marks and have noticed a significant reduction in their appearance.” wrote one shopper. Another said: “Although you have to keep using it daily for optimal results, even after one use you can tell the difference. Works for acne scars and stretch marks.”
Shop now: $10; amazon.com
Best All-in-One Derma Roller Kit: ORA Face & Full Body Roller Kit
Dr. Marmur recommends choosing a derma roller kit for different uses, and this six-piece face and body kit from Ora is one of the best. Along with one handle that can fit all of the included interchangeable roller heads, you’ll get a one-millimeter head that’s meant for use all over the body, a .5-millimeter head for your face, and a .25-millimeter head for smaller, more sensitive areas of the face (like around the eyes and lips). It also comes with a built-in sterilization tray and one stamp head that uses just 12 microneedles for even smaller areas. If you’re new to microneedling and want to try out derma rollers of different sizes and intensity levels on multiple areas of the body, this all-in-one kit will give you the most bang for your buck.
“There are cheaper dermarollers out there, but it's hard to ensure quality,” said one reviewer. “With this kit, I get every possible dermaroller I need. It comes in this handy case that makes it easy to store. Also, I know the needles will all be good quality.” Another called it a “fabulous product with a reasonable price.”
Shop now: $85; dermstore.com
Best Derma Roller with Replacement Heads: Dermaroll by Prosper Beauty
This six-piece set comes with one derma roller, one holder, and four replacement heads made up of .25-millimeter microneedles. Reviewers say it’s super effective for treating a variety of skin concerns, including large pores, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and wrinkles. Many also noted it made their skin appear smoother and brighter. But the best part is that the affordable kit comes with four replacement heads, which are typically sold separately. This will save you money and ensure the rollers are completely sanitary, which Dr. Marmur and Dr. Avaliani both stress is of the utmost importance when it comes to derma rollers.
One user said “even my mom noticed my glow,” while another wrote: “My skin certainly looks and feels better after just two applications! I'm excited to see what my skin is like after using the roller for a while. People have already told me that my skin looks smoother and brighter than before!“
Shop now: $27 (Originally $32); amazon.com