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When you’re thinking about which dermaroller to buy, the most important rule is this: don’t buy a dermaroller that you can’t afford to replace every 6-8 uses.
You can’t sterilize a dermaroller at home, so you need to replace them regularly even though we keep them as sanitary as possible by cleaning thoroughly after each use. And, even if you were able to keep a dermaroller or dermastamp perfectly sterile, the needles do get dull eventually, which makes them harder to use and causes more pain. So, a dermaroller needs to be replaced regularly in order to maximize your results and keep your skin safe. That means that the roller you can afford is the one that you can buy 2-4 times this year.
There are a couple of basic price tiers for dermarollers. let’s take a look at options.
The inexpensive ones are stainless steel and made in China. The most readily available ones in the United States have a black plastic handle with a dark pink barrel (that’s the part that the needles come out of), and they’re available on Amazon for anywhere between about nine dollars and about 14 dollars–longer needles usually cost more. These rollers are all the same, even if they come from different online sellers. These rollers are absolutely good enough to get good results, but the needles are thinner and more flimsy. Sometimes with these rollers, the needles bend before I’ve used them 6-8 times and I have to replace my roller earlier than I had planned. When you buy these from Amazon, you need to be very attentive to which size roller you’re buying, as the sellers are often from China and sometimes the image says one needle length and the actual item listing says another.
I usually buy these pink-and-black ones because I use a handful of different needle lengths for my skin goals and I don’t want to buy three different pricey rollers. If I’m careful washing them, the needle bending isn’t too big an issue, and I know that they always come in sterile packaging, which is SO IMPORTANT! They also come in a plastic case for storage.
If you’re brand new to dermarolling and you have a bunch of different skin goals, you can also buy sets of rollers. These will usually be one handle with 3-4 different barrels that you can snap on to use. Like the pink-and-black ones, these are made pretty cheaply, but they are absolutely good enough to get you started on your dermarolling protocols. If you choose to start with a set, you probably won’t want to rebuy the same set, because your needles will wear out at different rates.
A slightly more expensive roller and stamp is available at OwnDoc. These needles are thicker and sturdier, so they’re less likely to bend. OwnDoc also uses sterile packaging and a hard case.
You may find that, at $17 regardless of needle size, the OwnDoc ones are worth it to you because you’ll likely get more uses out of it before it dulls (closer to 8 rather than 6). Alternately, some people choose to order from OwnDoc because they offer all of their needle lengths in three different widths, some of which are less available online. Some others decide not to spend the extra money on something they’re going to have to throw out anyway. If you can afford the extra money up front, the cost may come out in the wash if you get a few extra uses out of it. I plan to write a longer review of the OwnDoc products in an upcoming post.
Don’t Waste Your Money
A titanium roller is pointless. They won’t get dull, sure, but because of the sanitary concerns, you have to throw them out every 6-8 uses anyway. Don’t waste your money on a titanium roller.
You’ve also maybe seen a big, pretty, shiny dermaroller at Sephora? The BeautyBio GloPro retails for $200. It’s a plastic-handled dermaroller with .25mm needles. (.25mm is really best for product absorption, so these aren’t intended to address skin concerns in the same way as the longer needles.) The serums that come with it are supposed to be great, but the microneedler itself isn’t any more or less effective than any .25mm roller you’d buy from another seller. (The sanitary concerns are less intense with a .25mm roller, because it doesn’t really puncture the skin in the same way, but that also means it doesn’t lead to collagen regrowth in the same way!) I’ve written more about the difference between a .25mm dermarollers v longer dermarollers here.
The Bottom Line
To some degree, it’s a personal choice–if replacing them less often is important to you, then the sturdier roller might be worth a little extra money. If you’re looking to do this as cheaply as possible, you’re better off with the cheaper roller and washing it very carefully to extend its life.
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