Microneedling is not, as you might reasonably think, a term for a tiny mouse doing needlepoint (too bad!). Instead, it’s something that sounds scary but is actually amazing. Let’s call it…lots of tiny needles poking you in the face but make it fashion. Or in other words, it’s a weird thing that makes your skin gorgeous. Once it was an in-office only treatment for the rich and famous, but now you can buy beginner-friendly devices for at-home use, called dermarollers, or, more relevantly, the higher-tech dermapens or microneedling pens.
Thanks to its booming popularity and the big business that is the at-home beauty tool trend, you can now purchase an effective and safe microneedling pen to use in your home. Do you remember when Kim Kardashian made waves with her “Vampire Facial?” Yep! That treatment included a version of microneedling.
A microneedling pen has a removable cartridge with lots of very thin, very short needles that quickly poke in and out of the very shallow layers of your skin when the device is switched on. There’s a lot going on here, but the short version is that the needles create tiny wounds on your face. Then, your super smart body goes into skin-healing mode to heal the tiny wounds. This boosts many of your body’s natural beautifying processes, including collagen production, giving you a near-instant glow. Microneedling has also been shown to help with scarring, wrinkles, loose skin, dull skin, and countless other skin concerns.
So real talk: any beauty treatment where you pierce the skin and draw a bit of blood is not for the faint of heart or the nonchalant. You’ve only got the one face, after all. It’s very important to treat microneedling seriously, sanitize your hands, tools, and work area, and respect the process! That said, many experts agree microneedling is reasonably safe to do at home with the right tools, that is, and that’s where we come in!
We’re skipping over the low-tech manual dermarollers for now and getting straight to the more automated, turn-on-and-go microneedling pens that you can use at home to get great skin. Scroll down after our recommendations for more how’s, why’s and what-the-heck’s of the microneedling process. And for now, here’s our carefully researched list of the best microneedling pens to buy in 2021!
What are the best microneedling pens for home use?
This professional strength device is the best overall because you get quality, precision, ease, and effectiveness for a reasonable cost. Dr. Pen is one of the most popular microneedling pen brands out there, and this is their most recent and most bells and whistles-filled model.
The Dr. Pen Ultima M8 Professional Microneedling Pen is great because it features a new 16-pin design with smaller needles (.18mm) that arc to fit the skin’s curved surface, and are adjustable in length. It operates in wireless or plugged-in mode. There are six different non-shakey speed modes shown on an LCD display and an ergonomically designed handle that won’t slip in your hand during operation.
The Ultima M8 works to restore collagen and that youthful glow on your face, but can also work anywhere else on your outer layer of skin. The kit comes with: the microneedling pen (obvi) and two 16-pin cartridges, plus three 36-pin cartridges (wow that’s a lot of uses). Then there’s the wall charger, a two-meter USB cable, and a travel case.
Lots of users see results right away (like as soon as the next day) but you’ll start to see really impressive results after a few months.
Dr. Ama is an alternative to the Dr. Pen brand and tends to run slightly cheaper, but not offer quite the same level of bells and whistles. The Dr. Ama Ultima A1 Microneedling Pen is a great workhorse option for treating skin concerns like acne, scars, and signs of aging at home.
This model has a low heat, low noise motor, and an ergonomically designed handle that won’t slip from your hand during use. It comes with a 36-pin and a 12-pin cartridge so you can see which you prefer. While the Dr. Ama brand says their design minimizes pain, folks say you should still use a numbing cream to feel completely comfortable if you’re of the faint-of-heart variety.
The dermapen Pro A6 Microneedling Pen kit is pretty similar to the Dr. Pen Ultima A6 kit. It is a bit cheaper, but it doesn’t come with the brand recognition and trustworthiness of Dr. Pen. It’s what we call a pretty good “dupe” in the beauty business. You can even buy the same replacement cartridges for either brand and they’ll fit.
The dermapen version is a bit lower-tech. There’s no LCD display screen, for instance. No smart memory, and no 3D technology either. But the cartridge and needle sizes are the same. So the decision between the two is really based on personal preferences and budget.
The Hydra Pen H2 Professional Microneedling Pen is especially cool because it combines microneedling technology with enhanced serum delivery to mimic a real in-office skin treatment.
Fill the pen’s 3ml product well with whatever serum or skin treatment you’d like to use, and the pen will automatically dispense the product while the 12 .25mm needles do their work. This process helps the skin absorb the product much better…up to ten times better! Take my money, please!
What is microneedling?
Microneedling, also called dermarolling, or collagen induction therapy, was once only available in-office from a dermatologist. Then in many states, estheticians at medispas offered this trending treatment. Now you can do it at home with a dermaroller, or better yet, a dermapen or microneedling pen. It’s the practice of inserting lots of very thin and short needles in and out of the skin to encourage the body’s natural collagen production and other self-healing properties of the skin.
What is microneedling good for?
Over time, microneedling can effectively address concerns like scarring, pigmentation, acne, dull skin, wrinkles, sagging skin, crepe skin, hair loss, cellulite, and more.
Is microneedling safe to do at home?
There are always some inherent risks when you do a treatment that breaks the skin and invites infection. Microneedling at home requires a certain level of serious preparation and respect for the process.
How often can I use microneedling pens?
The frequency will depend on your skin and the aggressiveness of your treatment. You should wait to be healed in between treatments, anywhere from a few days, to six weeks.
How can I use microneedling pens at home safely?
1. Start with a clean face and hands, and disinfected tools, workstation, and gloves. 70 percent isopropyl alcohol is a great disinfectant.
2. Apply numbing cream (optional).
3. Follow your microneedling pen directions for operation.
4. Rinse your face with very clean water and pat dry with a sanitized towel or cotton pads.
5. Apply aftercare products, like vitamin C or hyaluronic acid serums.
6. Keep your hands and any other potentially dirty surfaces away from your face while you heal.