Micro needling can be a really great addition to your home skincare routine. At the most basic level a short needle (0.25mm) can increase the absorption of your actives. Longer needles (0.5mm – 1.5mm) can help to fill in minor scars and indentations by promoting collagen formation in the deeper layers of the skin. Longer needles can also accelerate hair regrowth. The device you choose depends on your goals. This article outlines the best type of device to choose for specific skincare goals.

A note on buying

I’ve purchased every single roller I’ve ever bought from Amazon.com when I lived in the US. My mother and aunt in Canada ordered from Amazon.ca. Now that I’ve relocated to the Netherlands I’ll be ordering from Amazon Germany. I have yet to see a device in store in any country and I’m not sure why that is. Some websites sell devices but from what I’ve seen they’re the same as the ones on Amazon but double or triple the price.

I think what’s happening is that a lot of wannabe Amazon business owners are buying the exact same device from some manufacturer in China and putting their own name or label on it. Example here and here. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just worth noting that it’s not yet possible to determine quality by looking to the brand. There are also some cases of big name brands selling much more expensive devices (with better branding and nice packaging), but from what I can tell they aren’t of a higher quality than those from China.

As far as finding the right devices goes, micro needling is currently in a weird place on it’s journey to FDA approval in the United States. As such, the marketplace seems pretty unregulated. If you aren’t in the United States you shouldn’t have too much trouble. I recommend looking for the right device for your needs and not any specific device from a specific brand. I explain how to do that in this article.

Ultimately my recommendation is to follow the actual science and not the marketing. I try to provide examples of good products for the major markets that I’ve noticed my readers are from (the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.) If you aren’t in those places but want a recommendation feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me.

Increase Product Absorption

One of the great things about micro needling is that it makes your existing products more effective. If your goal is to see some improvement in the effectiveness of any actives you use, a device with short needles like a 0.25mm roller is the best option.

You can use this type of roller as a regular part of your skin care routine as often as every other day. Just remember to clean and sterilize your device before each use. I like to do it before and after just to be extra careful.

If you want to also target anything specific like dark spots, shallow acne scars, or wrinkles then you can use the shorter needle device as part of your regular routine and also use a longer needle device every 4-6 weeks to increase collagen production in the skin. I would suggest you give your skin at least a week of no needling before and after the 1.0mm roller.

I don’t recommend kits anymore. I used to use them and I used to recommend them but it seems like better quality rollers are becoming available now and there’s no need to bundle a bunch of mediocre products together when you can get 1 or 2 quality ones for the same price.

As far as how long it will take, you will probably notice some improvement as time goes (I did), but just remember that it takes up to 6 months for collagen to form so don’t expect dramatic results too quickly. If dramatic results is what you’re after, a professional treatment (not necessarily micro needling) might be a better option for you.

I like the Sdara roller above because you’ll notice that the actual needles are spaced further apart than other models like this Osportfun roller  for example. When the needles are too close together it creates a bed of nails effect and is less likely to actually penetrate the skin.

Another good option is this The Adelie roller. The needles are spaced far enough apart and the body construction is durable.

0.25mm-0.5mm length rollers

United States: Sdara roller or The Adelie roller

Canada: MegiBeauty 0.3mm roller or Koi Beauty 0.5mm roller

UK: Skin Radiance 0.5mm roller **

Germany: Skin Radiance 0.5mm roller **

** Re: Skin Radiance – it seems that the colors can vary but the needle spacing and length are correct.

Regarding what serum to use,  vitamin C (ascorbic acid specifically) is a cofactor in the production of collagen in the skin. It’s a necessary component of the process whether you use a serum or not – so when you do it’s really like giving your body exactly the building material it needs to build up your collagen. This study recommends preparing the skin up to a month in advance with both vitamin C and vitamin A (retinol). I used a few different retinol serums by The Ordinary and I’ve loved them.

The only thing I would caution is buying any random serum from Amazon because they aren’t all made equal. For example, the form of vitamin C can make a big difference. Derivatives aren’t as effective and you can get proper ascorbic acid for the same price as a derivative  – provided your skin tolerates ascorbic acid of course. A prime example if you’re wondering is this Timeless 20% ascorbic acid serum. If you’re unsure what serum to use  you can check out the massive comparison of vitamin C serums that I wrote or drop me a line in the comments below.

Acne Scars & wrinkles

Like I mentioned above, targeting more specific issues like anti-aging, dark spots and scars requires a longer needle length and less frequent treatment. I’ve seen some shorter needle length products claim to promote collagen but in truth I’m not sure that they penetrate deep enough. This study says that only 0.5mm and greater will induce collagen formation.

I have to warn that if you intend to do the micro needling yourself at home then you should be an experienced DIYer and okay with a bit of blood. This is not for the faint of heart so if you’re uncertain at all then maybe opt for a professional treatment instead or otherwise try to see how much improvement you can get with actives alone (you’d be surprised.)

The ideal needle length for promoting collagen formation is 0.5mm to 1.0mm.  Again, don’t expect overnight results. Building up enough collagen to fill in lines and indents from scars takes months not weeks.

Like I said above the best roller is one where the needles are spaced far enough apart to actually penetrate the skin.

United States: YMR Beauty 1.0mm roller

If you’re in the United States it’s pretty hard to find a 1.0mm or greater needle. I spent 15-20 minutes searching for a 1.0mm roller with properly spaced needles and didn’t find any. To make things worse a lot of the regular rollers at 1.0mm don’t have reviews. This is the only one I could find with reviews. I suspect it’s some sort of regulatory loophole where shorter needle lengths are billed as “exfoliation” and are fine but longer needle lengths fall into a different category. The roller I recommend above is still good and will still give you results with proper technique – the spaced needles are just easier for anyone to master. If you find a 1.0mm or greater roller with spaced needles go for that – and let me know so I can update my recommendation.

Canada: MegiBeauty 1.0mm roller or Koi Beauty 1.0mm roller

UK: Skin Radiance 1.0mm roller **

Germany: Skin Radiance 1.0mm roller **

** Re: Skin Radiance – it seems that the colors can vary but the needle spacing and length are correct.

Dark Spots

Sunscreen should be your first line of defence. I never used to wear sunscreen and always complained about how my dark spots wouldn’t fade for years. No wonder. I wear sunscreen every single day and it’s been the single best thing I’ve done to fade my dark spots and prevent them or others from returning.

As far as micro needling goes, for dark spots a 0.5mm roller is more than enough especially when used in combination with the right actives. Vitamin C fades  hyperpigmentation from acne, sun damage and age spots. Its a great all around active –  especially if you’re like me, 30 something and working to improve dark spots & acne scars as well as the early signs of aging.

In clinical trials micro needling improved the appearance of hyper pigmentation – researchers just don’t know what the mechanism of action was. In some individuals it can make hyper pigmentation worse.  I recently heard from a reader who this happened to. If you notice any darkening worsening or appearing then stop using your roller and do some more digging to figure out what your skin needs.

0.25mm-0.5mm length rollers

United States: Sdara roller or The Adelie roller

Canada: MegiBeauty 0.3mm roller or Koi Beauty 0.5mm roller

UK: Skin Radiance 0.5mm roller **

Germany: Skin Radiance 0.5mm roller **

Stretch Marks & Deeper Scars

Stretch marks are a type of deep scar, and scars  involve more damage to the skin than issues like dark spots or fine lines. In my opinion and based on the research I’ve read micro needling is a great option for this type of damage specifically because it can reach into the deeper layers of skin and promote new collagen formation to fill in scars and stretch marks. It also does this without damaging the surface of the skin like deep peels or laser treatments aimed at deep scarring can do. I don’t have any experience with this personally, but the research is sound and I think it’s a good option to try before investing in more expensive treatments – that is if you have the patience to give it the time it needs to work.

Improving the look of deep scars or stretch marks won’t happen overnight. I would say you should wait at least 6-12 months (treatments every 4-6 weeks) to see improvement in very deep scars and stretch marks.

Electric devices are a good option for targeted treatment of stretch marks and scars since they concentrate the treatment on the area. They are quite expensive though so it might be better to try a less expensive roller for the first few months.

A needle length of 1.0mm is a good place to start. My recommendations here are the same as above for acne scars and wrinkles.

United States: YMR Beauty 1.0mm roller

Canada: MegiBeauty 1.0mm roller or Koi Beauty 1.0mm roller

UK: Skin Radiance 1.0mm roller **

Germany: Skin Radiance 1.0mm roller **

** Re: Skin Radiance – it seems that the colors can vary but the needle spacing and length are correct.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Author

My name is Cristina and I'm the founder of bold + blush. I used to think that my bad skin was something I had no control over. Now at almost 31 I have better skin than I had 10 years ago. After I learned how to care for my skin the right way I realized there's a whole world of factual information out there buried under all the beauty industry BS. I use bold + blush to share my findings and help other people get on the road to better skin. Sometimes I also write about hair care, fitness and self improvement. If you want to ask a question or talk about skincare you can tweet, comment, or email me - I always respond.

7 Comments

  1. Courtney Callen Reply

    Thank you so much for this!!! It’s been extremely helpful!!

    • Cristina Reply

      Glad it’s helpful for you Courtney! Let me know how it goes for you.

  2. hi, I can’t find the dr. beauty kit anywhere – do you have a recommendation on where to get it
    Thanks

    • Cristina Reply

      Hi Amanda. Unfortunately it happens sometimes that micro needling products go off the market unexpectedly, sometimes never to be found again. I know it isn’t ideal but you may just have to settle for individual devices rather than a kit.

  3. Sheryl Osentoski Reply

    I haven’t tried this yet, I bought everything but I want to be sure of a few things. I apply the C serum directly after and leave it on, then how long do I have to wait to apply moisturizer? And how long before sunscreen?

    • Cristina Reply

      Hello. You have two options. Take this with a grain of salt because it really depends on your skin type, hydration, products used etc etc.

      1. You can apply the serum before needling, which is what I usually do. Afterwards it will be mostly absorbed and you can apply moisturizer right away, then wait until it’s absorbed (skin is no longer cool or wet) and apply sunscreen. You could also opt for a moisturizing sunscreen, also my preferred method.

      2. Apply the serum after needling then just wait until it’s absorbed (i.e. your skin has dried enough that it doesn’t feel cool anymore, but hasn’t dried so much that it feels tight.) Then follow with moisturizer and sunscreen.

      A good sign that you haven’t waited long enough is that your product clumps together into little lint like fibers on your skin.

      Best of luck and let me know if you have any other Qs.

Write A Comment

%d bloggers like this: