Microneedling done with a derma pen is a hugely effective skin treatment that can help minimize and even eliminate a wide range of skin imperfections. Primarily the signs of aging, but also scarring, hyperpigmentation, and even hair loss.
While this procedure is the safest and most effective when done by a skin expert like a cosmetic dermatologist, there are also derma pen devices designed for at-home use. These machines are budget-friendly and can certainly get the job done, but you need to be careful.
After all, you’ll be inducing controlled injury to your skin and you need a high-quality microneedling pen – and you need to learn how to use it. Let’s discuss!
DISCLAIMER: We strongly urge you to see a professional – using a derma pen yourself carries risk of skin damage.
What’s a Microneedling Pen?
A microneedling pen or a derma pen is an electric pen-shaped device that ends in a needle cartridge.
The needle cartridge features a cluster of needles or pins, usually 12, which are activated by the machine. They are pressed against the skin and they puncture it repeatedly, to create micro-channels which boost collagen and elastin production.
The needle cartridges are disposable and they come in different varieties. The depth at which the needles penetrate the skin is adjustable (the usual range is 0.25 mm to 2.5 mm). The more severe the skin condition, the deeper the needles need to go.
Image source: Freepik
What’s the Best Microneedling Pen?
Well, the best derma pens are those for professional use which only licensed estheticians can buy. However, there are some decent machines that you can use at home at the fraction of the price of the professional treatment.
Here are the top 3 picks from Amazon:
1. Dr Pen Microneedling Pens
Dr Pen is one of the most praised brands. They produce a range of different models of microneedling pens, and while each is produced with quality components, they slightly differ in their features.
A user-favorite and a best-seller is Dr Pen Ultima M8, one of their more advanced microneedling pens. It features a powerful motor (up to 15 000 RPM), 6 speed options, and can be used wirelessly (the battery life is 4 hours!), or while plugged in.
It comes with configurations of needle cartridges, so there are different kits available, and you can also buy them separately.
The pen has a sturdy feel to it, which provides stability and makes it easier to maneuver.
2. Koi Beauty Microneedling Pen
A wireless microneedling pen with very simple controls (the depth is adjusted by simply rotating the ring on the bottom of the handpiece). You get 2 batteries you can quickly switch between, so you don’t have to worry about your power running out halfway through the treatment.
It comes in a sleek metal case, which is great for storing, plus it looks stylish.
Koi Beauty has an extensive product range, so you can find the perfect tool for performing other treatments, too.
3. Thappink Microneedling Pen
Another popular choice for at-home microneedling, Thappink Electric Pen for Microneedling, offers 6-speed levels for different skin areas and an adjustable non-slip dial which makes it easy to use.
This product comes in a package with 20 individually packaged cartridges, 10 of which are 12-pin and the other 10 are 36-pin. It’s easy to replace them.
The device itself is lightweight and compact. Many reviews praise its quality, convenience and the results it provides, so this option for at-home microneedling is worth looking into.
Can Anyone Use a Microneedling Pen?
Some microneedling pens are only appropriate for professional use and their sale is restricted. These are powerful devices which you have to be trained to use.
Obviously, since skin piercing is involved, the treatment is best done by a professional in a controlled, sterile environment. But more and more manufacturers produce and sell microneedling pens that are available to anyone.
There are definitely risks associated with this (we urge you to go to a professional), and a derma roller is a more suitable tool for at-home microneedling.
However, if you’re adamant about using a microneedling pen on yourself, be really careful and stick to 0.25 – 1.5 mm needle length.
These can treat minor imperfections really well and give the skin an overall improvement. For more severe issues, you need to see a professional anyway.
If you do decide to go for DIY microneedling, you want to get the best microneedling pen available. To help you shop smart, here’s a list of best-rated pens available on Amazon.
Things to Look for in a Microneedling Pen
If you’re not sure which microneedling pen to buy, bear in mind that most of the devices you can buy as a non-professional have more or less the same features. Your decision should, therefore, be based on:
- The number of cartridges you get and the availability of replacement ones
Durability is linked to quality, which is usually (but not always) in correlation with the price. So, if you’re planning on using your microneedling pen for a long time, for skin maintenance rather than a one-off fix, it’s more than justifiable to spend a bit more on it.
Since microneedling pens use disposable, single-use needle cartridges, kits that provide you with a decent number of pieces are a wise decision. You don’t have to worry about running out for a while, especially if you’re spacing out your sessions several weeks between.
Also, make sure additional cartridges are easily available, as you will need them sooner or later.
We don’t mean to be a buzzkill, but we do need to warn you once again that doing microneedling at home with a dermapen carries certain risks and it’s always better to get professional treatment.
If you’re not either trained or particularly beauty-gadget-savvy, you may have trouble using the device properly, which could result in skin damage.
If you do decide to go for it, however, don’t try to do anything without reading the manual that comes with the microneedling pen. YouTube tutorials can also be useful, but find a trustable source.