Do you wish you had an even skin tone? Are you looking for new ways to unclog your pores? Do you want to get rid of acne scarring? If you feel like you’ve tried everything from scrubs to creams to acne medication and have yet to achieve flawlessly beautiful results, you may want to look into using a microneedling pen also known as a dermapen.
What is a microneedling pen and why would you want to use one? Microneedling treatment refers to the process in which your skin is pricked with extremely fine needles. This procedure speeds up the formation of new skin tissue, skin cells, and collagen production for plumper smoother skin.
Fans of microneedling credit it with treating a wide array of skin concerns such as a dull complexion, acne scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles.
Before hopping on the microneedling bandwagon, it’s important to learn more about this skincare treatment, the range of microneedling pens available to you, and the best microneedling pen to use for the best results.
Top 5 Microneedling Pens
1. Dr. Pen Ultima A6 Microneedling Pen – Best All Around Microneedling Pen
Dr. Pen Ultima A6 Microneedling Pen is one of the most popular microneedling devices. It can be used with or without a cord.
According to their website, Dr. Pen Ultima A6 Microneedling pen, can reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, fine lines, large pores, and spots. It can even encourage hair growth and improve the texture of your skin. However, if you have pimples, you may want to hold off on using it until they subside. One of the risks in microneedling is infection and there is a greater risk for it where skin blemishes are involved.
Looking at pictures of women who have undergone microneedling can be shocking and scary, but if used with the right speed and needle depth, you should have minimal pain after skin treatment. This pen has adjustable settings. It fits comfortably in your hand and offers an adjustable needle depth between 0.25 millimeters to 2.5 millimeters.
It has a sleek design and comes with 18 cartridges each with 24 tips. The pen gives you five speeds to choose from. The speed adjusts the depth of your microneedling. You can increase or decrease the rate of microneedling by hitting the speed button on the pen. The speed is not displayed digitally but is indicated by a flashing light on the speed button. The faster the light flashes, the faster your microneedling pen works.
Dr. Pen Ultima A6 Microneedling pen will help you take care of a variety of skincare issues. It is safe to use on your skin since all the needles and cartridges are sterilized. Each cartridge is sealed separately and is designed to be used only once.
It is easy to use and comes with a useful instruction manual. The package also includes two rechargeable batteries, six bonus tips, a pouch for storage, and a universal power supply.
This pen can be used by different age groups and skin types. It is lightweight and portable. You can easily bring it with you on your trips.
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use and hygienic
- Five levels of speed
- No digital display for speed
2. Dr. Pen Ultima M8 Professional Microneedling Pen – Editor’s Choice Microneedling Pen
The M8 Professional Microneedling Pen or Pen M8 is manufactured by the same company as the Ultima A6 Microneedling Pen and is the newest model to come out of the warehouse. The M8 Pen is the jazzed up version which provides “clinical-grade treatment” and is the “most powerful and effective” according to their product page. Naturally, it is also more expensive.
Like the A6, the M8 derma auto pen also has corded and cordless operation. It comes with five cartridges: two have 16 pins while the other three have 36 pins. The 16 pins are said to have thinner needles which adjust more closely to the skin’s surface. The pen has three slots built-in so the cartridge is held firmly and securely in place. These cartridges are designed for single use only, but more can be purchased from Dr. Pen.
The Pen M8 is a favorite among our beauty editors because the higher price point does offer more features. For instance, there are six speed settings versus the A6 which has only five. Another advantage is that instead of a flashing light to indicate the speed, you get an actual digital display which eliminates the guesswork. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you were to prick your face with a bunch of tiny needles, you wouldn’t want to take any chances on getting the settings right.
Similar to the A6, the Dr. Pen Ultima M8 has a dial that allows you to adjust the depth of the needles between 0.25 millimeters to 2.5 millimeters. If you are just starting out with microneedling, it’s recommended to start from a low setting of 0.25 millimeters before gradually increasing the needle depth to a maximum of about 0.5 millimeters.
If you go any deeper, you may be injuring your skin more than necessary, not to mention it will be quite painful. As it is, using this pen at the lightest setting can hurt. You may want to apply a numbing cream before beginning this skincare treatment with the dermapen.
The procedure for the pen is fairly simple. It is quick to learn since every product comes with a detailed user manual.
- Hygienic with its sterilized single-use cartridges
- Six speed levels with LED display
- 16-pin cartridge has finer needles
- More expensive than the A6
3. Microneedling Pen Electric Wireless Dermapen – Best Microneedling Pen for Budget Buyers
This is a wireless microneedling pen brought to you by the THAPPINK brand. Unlike Dr. Pen, there isn’t a lot of information online about the brand. We didn’t come across anything that looked like a manufacturer’s website other than the many product pages where it was selling its products.
One unique feature that this product has is the LED therapy lights which come in four colors. Each color provides a different skincare treatment depending on your skin conditions. Red stimulates collagen production and improves blood circulation. The green light calms and balances skin tone. The blue light is antibacterial and is ideal for preventing acne while the yellow light is used for reducing redness and stimulating lymphatic circulation. These lights are said to penetrate your skin and encourage collagen production and rejuvenation.
That being said, this dermapen offers a lot of features similar to Dr. Pen such as the ability to use it with and without a cord. It offers the same results such as combating wrinkles, giving you younger-looking skin, evening out your complexion, and making acne scars and stretch marks less visible.
This best microneedling pen comes with 20 cartridges, each packed separately. Ten of the cartridges have 12 pins while the other half have 36 pins. The cartridges of this dermapen are likewise disposable and are meant for single-use.
It comes with six different speed levels which you can adjust depending on the skin area and the skin concern you want to treat. The speed levels range between 6,000 revolutions per minute to 20,000 revolutions per minute. Speed level can be changed by pressing the power button. There is a digital display on the body of the pen where you can monitor the speed.
Similar to the other microneedling pens in this review, you can also adjust the depth of the needles and cartridge with a dial. The suggested depth for this product is no deeper than 0.2 millimeters. Any more might do more harm than good.
This best microneedling pen stimulates your skin’s ability to heal itself. It is easy and convenient to use with minimal pain and bleeding if used correctly. THAPPINK recommends prepping the skin before microneedling by washing and drying the face to reduce the chances of infection. The needles should ideally be inserted vertically into the skin so that they prick the skin tissue quickly and easily without bending.
After the procedure, they recommend ending your microneedling with the application of different skin care products based on your skin concern:
- Hyaluronic acid to shrink pores
- Freezing powder to treat acne scars
- Wrinkle essence for fine lines
- Whitening essence to lighten and hydrate skin
Price-wise, this is a lot cheaper than Dr. Pen. It is cheaper than the A6 product while offering many of the same features and results as the more expensive M8 variant.
- One of the cheapest dermapens
- Uses an LED display for the speed levels
- Six speed levels
- Uses LED light therapy for different skin concerns
- Not a lot of information about the brand
4. Dr Pen Ultima N2 Derma Auto Pen – Best Microneedling Pen for Newbies
This is our third product review of a dr Pen Ultima dermapen product and for good reason: they are well-recognized in the market for their microneedling products.
The N2 variant is the budget-friendly option for microneedling and has the lowest price among the three dr Pen Ultima products we’ve reviewed. With its white and red design, it also looks less intimidating than the others. It’s body is made of hard plastic that comfortably fits in your hand while giving you easy access to the power and speed button.
Dr. Pen Ultima N2 Microneedling Pen is a multipurpose microneedling dermapen kit. Each pen comes with 22 cartridges: 12 of them have 12 pins while the other 10 have 39 pins. As always, the cartridges are packed separately and are sterilized for safe use.
It comes with a lot of the same features as the higher-priced Dr. Pen products such as a built-in lithium battery which allows for wireless use, a charging cable, wall adapter, rotary dial for adjusting the length and depth of needles, five different speed levels, and of course an instruction manual. Just like the A6, you can check your speed level based on a flashing light.
However, when tested, the motor proved to be less powerful than the more expensive models, possibly a result of its lower price point.
At less than a hundred dollars, the price is one of the more compelling features of this product. You get to perform a microneedling procedure from home with the same key benefits as its pricier models, but without the prohibitive price tag. You also get to use a pen from a trusted name in microneedling that offers a lifetime warranty for its products.
When it comes time to replace its cartridges you’ll be grateful for their relatively cheaper price as well. You can get the cartridge of an Ultima N2 for less than half of the cartridge prices of the A6 and M8.
Overall, we recommend the N2 model for people who are new to microneedling. The different speeds, cartridge types, and price make it a great entry-level option.
- Ideal for the cost-conscious consumer
- Has many of the same features as its pricier cousins
- Cheaper cartridges
- Motor is less powerful
5. Sdara Derma Roller 540 Titanium – Best Tool for Manual Microneedling
The Sdara Derma Roller 540 Titanium is a little bit different than the other four products we’ve reviewed so far. Technically, it isn’t a micro needle pen because it’s a derma roller.
Derma rollers have the same function as their pen counterparts, but do not need batteries or charging to use. You only need to manually roll it across the skin of your face to make acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and other skin blemishes disappear. Think of a paint roller, but with needles.
The advantage of derma rollers is that you can control the amount of pressure and the needle depth, but this can also work against you if you exert too much or too little pressure. One disadvantage is there is a great chance that the needling will not be consistent throughout the area.
Since it is a derma roller and requires no electric mechanisms to operate, the price is understandably a lot cheaper. You can buy this home microneedling device for a fraction of the cost of a pen. When the needle wears out, you can just replace the roller with a new one. It’s recommended to change the roller every one to two months.
Our beauty editors agree that one of the key drawbacks from using a derma roller is the needles. Unlike cartridges which arrive sterilized and are used only once, the needles on a dermaroller are used for a number of times and sterilization is up to the user. There is a higher risk of infection if the needles are not cleaned properly before use.
Pros and cons aside, the length of the microneedles on this roller is 0.25 millimeters. It has 540 titanium microneedles.
- Cheaper than microneedling pens
- You can manually modify the pressure to control needle depth
- Easier and simpler to operate
- Hygiene depends on the user’s ability to sterilize the roller
- Pressure can be inconsistent
- Entails reusing needles which can lead to more pain
Things to Consider Before Buying Microneedling Pen for Home Use
What Should Be the Needle Length?
While most best microneedling pens in our review have adjustable needle lengths, home microneedling can prove to be an extremely painful procedure after a certain depth. It is recommended that you start with the smallest depth (i.e., 0.25 millimeters) and gradually work your way up.
Most derma pens offer needle length of up to 2.5 millimeters, but we don’t recommend anything more than 0.5mm unless it is required.
Different skin conditions can call for different needle depths.
- Acne scars: 1 millimeter
- Evening out skin tone or color: 0.2-1 millimeter
- Wrinkles or fine lines: 0.5-1.5 millimeters
- Saggy skin: 0.5-1.5 millimeters
As you can see, the recommended needle length is nowhere close to the maximum 2.5 millimeter setting. When using home microneedling pens it is always best to err on the side of caution and remain on the conservative side.
What Should Be the Speed?
The speed at which your pen operates can determine the effectiveness of your microneedling procedure. When making a selection among home microneedling pens, you should choose one with at least three different speeds. Five speed levels would be the best. A product with six speed levels is even better.
It is fairly easy to find products with speeds of 6,000, 8000 or 11,000 revolutions per minute. In some cases (admittedly rare), there are pens capable of operating at 20,000 revolutions per minute.
What Should Be the Number of Needles?
When it comes to the number of microneedles in your best microneedling pen, the average is typically a 12-pin cartridge or a 36-pin cartridge. Between the two, opt for a 12-pin cartridge. Twelve-pin cartridges are more efficient at penetrating the skin while 36-pin cartridges are more likely to make minute microscopic tears in the skin.
Thirty-six-pin cartridges are better used on thicker skin tissue since the likelihood of scarring in these areas is lower. Cartridges with less needles are a safer bet for thinner, more fragile skin.
The length of the needles is also a factor in determining the number of needles. The concept is simple: the deeper the needle penetrates your skin, the higher the chances are of something going wrong.
At the end of the day, remember that you are working with needles which can severely injure your skin. The idea behind microneedling pen is anchored on the idea of the skin healing itself. Before it can heal itself, however, the skin needs to be pricked. It’s a rather controversial procedure so it’s best to do as much research as possible beforehand and exercise the utmost care when performing it.
Since the microneedling treatment involves puncturing your skin with hundreds of tiny holes, you will need to make room for recovery time. It is a delicate operation that needs time and extra care to ensure that your skin does not become infected.
Recovery takes anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days depending on the extent of your treatment. Pay additional attention to the skin care products that you use for at least 24 hours and do not use makeup. During the recovery period, your skin will absorb skincare products faster than usual. It is advisable to use products containing vitamin C or hyaluronic acid to facilitate the healing process and keep it hydrated.
Expect some skin sensitivity following the procedure. Results may also include bleeding, swelling, or redness. The side effects depends on the depth and needles used during your microneedling procedure.
The good news is that the skin on our face recovers quickly. Your skin should be back and better than ever in a few days.
The price range for good quality microneedling pens is between $100 to $400. However, there are some high-end products that go as high as $800.
They are certainly more expensive than derma rollers, but still cheaper than paying to have it done outside. One microneedling session at a dermatologist’s can cost anywhere between $200 to $700. Considering the fact that you usually need three to six sessions before seeing significant improvements, you will easily spend $600 to $4,200 to have it done by a professional.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Microneedling Pen?
Increases Production of Skin Cells
Saggy drooping skin is a natural product of time. While we may not have a cure for aging yet, a microneedling device provides us with a way to repair and rejuvenate the skin. A microneedling pin creates hundreds of tiny puncture wounds on the skin to encourage for collagen production at a faster rate. It rebuilds skin tissue which plumps up the skin. After using a microneedling pen or dermapen, many people attest to noticing a drastic improvement in the firmness of their skin.
Minimizes Wrinkles and Fine Lines
The increased production of skin cells lead to visibly less fine lines and wrinkles. Microneedling pens create tiny pricks on the skin that fast-track the production of new skin cells. When the new tissue is produced, they work to fill the spaces where these lines or wrinkles have been. This in turn leaves you with younger-looking and smoother-looking skin. Just make sure to use the correct settings and needle depths to create a positive-looking difference.
Eradicates Acne and Scars
We may have had pimples, blemishes, and other wounds on our face that have left unwanted marks on our face. When scars and injuries don’t heal properly, it can result in uneven rough-looking skin that we may not like looking at.
However, with the help of microneedling, the skin has another chance to heal itself and look healthier, smoother, and more vibrant. To be clear, microneedling does not treat acne. Rather, it works on the scars it leaves behind and prevents it by removing the source of impurities like blackheads and whiteheads.
If you are currently experiencing pimples, eczema or rosacea, you should avoid microneedling pen as it can worsen their appearance and may even lead to infection.
If you have sensitive skin that scars easily, you should consult a dermatologist. Microneedling under these conditions can lead to more scarring.
Fight against Hair Loss
The use of a dermapen causes an increase in stem cell growth which in turn increases hair growth. Using a needle length ranging between 0.25 millimeters to 0.3 millimeters can boost the efficiency of hair growth. This also works to prevent hair fall and hair loss.
When a microneedling pen dermapen creates puncture wounds in your scalp, it reactivates dead hair follicles and leads to hair growth. It also stimulates collagen production and brings increased blood flow and nutrients to the scalp.
Since hair follicles in the scalp are located between one to two millimeters in the skin, a 1.5 millimeter needle provides the best results for treating hair loss. You can use a microneedling device once every one to three weeks to encourage hair growth. You may need four to six sessions before you start seeing results.
Reduces Stretch Marks
A best microneedling pen works well in making stretch marks less visible. Age, pregnancy, and sudden growth spurts can cause our skin to stretch and leave stretch marks behind. Microneedling in areas with stretch marks increases the amount of collagen production and elastin produced in these areas and helps to rebuild healthier, more even-toned skin. It also improves the texture of skin.
How Often Do You Need to Use a Microneedling Pen?
When Microneedling at home, it is recommended that you don’t repeat the process more than once a week and no more than two times a month. You must give your skin time to recover from the multiple minor injuries caused by it and also allow the new collagen, elastin, and skin tissue to regenerate before repeating the process.
With microneedling, it is important not to overdo it or do it too often. This could lead to the production of scar tissue which would not produce the desired smooth-looking results.
You can try it at home, but before you do, understand that overdoing it could cause some irreversible damage to your otherwise beautiful skin. Perform your due diligence and do some research before venturing into this procedure. Your skin depends on it.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
What Is Better Microneedling or Dermapen?
Microneedling pens and Dermapens are not exclusive to each other. Rather, they are the same thing.
Dermapen is the brand name of a popular microneedling pen. Dermapens operate on the same principles as microneedling. It uses sterilized surgical-grade disposable needle tips to create multiple puncture wounds in the skin that encourages the growth of healthier and better-looking skin.
Do Microneedling Pens Work?
Microneedling pens could be a revolution in skincare treatments. The needles penetrate the skin, causing many tiny injuries which produce more collagen and skin tissue. This helps to cover up acne scars, redness, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and other skin imperfections. A microneedling pen can potentially give you glowing, smoother, more even-looking skin with better texture.
Despite looking like one of the more painful and drastic beauty treatments, a systematic review in 2018 established that microneedling is a safe and effective method of rejuvenating skin and treating scars and wrinkles.
How Much Does a Professional Microneedling Pen Cost?
Compared to microneedling pens for home use, a professional-level dermapen or microneedling pen will inevitably cost more.
MD Needle Pen, which is targeted and designed for doctors, has a medical-grade needle pen kit which costs $895. The cost includes support from fellow practitioners, a one-year warranty, video tutorials, and information on advanced treatment protocols for patients.
Does Microneedling Hurt?
When you do an online search for microneedling, you will most likely come across images of women with multiple pin pricks and blood. The truth is, microneedling looks worse than it feels. There will be some discomfort, but as long as you are using it safely and conservatively (i.e., using a conservative setting for the needles and their depth), you should be able to bear the pain.
Of course, if you are particularly sensitive to pain or have a low tolerance, your experience may be different. In cases such as these, you can minimize your discomfort by applying a numbing cream on the area you’ll be treating. Apply the cream at least half an hour before the procedure. Just remember to wipe it off from your face once you’re done to prevent it from clogging your pores.
How to Use a Microneedling Pen at Home?
Before proceeding with microneedling, exhaust all methods of preparation that are available to you. Consult a doctor or skin specialist. Research on microneedling pens and how to perform the procedure. Read the user manual of your pen and carefully decide what settings you need to use to get the desired results of reducing stretch marks and acne scars. Watch YouTube videos so you will know what to expect.
When you’re ready to proceed, prepare your face by washing and drying it. If necessary, apply a numbing cream at least 30 minutes before. Gently prick your skin with the microneedling pen applying appropriate pressure.
After you’re done with the microneedling skin treatment, your skin will be much better at absorbing nutrients. Lather on a cream or serum that based on your research is appropriate to your skin concern. Closely monitor your skin for at least 72 hours for any irritation and redness. It would help to have some aloe vera gel or any similarly soothing ointments on hand. Irritation is a common concern after microneedling.
Remember to dispose of the single-use cartridge after microneedling to ensure that it does not get used again. Give your skin 24 hours to three days to recover. Do not apply makeup for at least 24 hours after this procedure.
Does Microneedling Leave Holes in the Skin?
In principle, microneedling entails poking your skin with needles so yes. However, holes in the skin caused by microneedling are smaller than even a fraction of a millimeter. To the naked eye, they are practically invisible.
Interestingly, the pores in our skin are larger than the holes caused by microneedling so yes, they do leave holes in the skin. However, those holes won’t be visible and the results will eventually lead to glowing, smoother skin.
Can You Wash Your Face After Microneedling?
Yes, you can. However, it is important to note that after a microneedling skin treatment your skin will be extremely sensitive and more absorbent. Wash your face, but be mindful of the ingredients in your cleanser. Use a gentle cleanser that does not contain alcohol and avoid scrubbing too vigorously. Use regular room temperature water to cleanse your face and pat your face dry (don’t wipe) to avoid further irritating and drying your skin.
New skin treatments are showing up by the dozen. Thanks to technology, we can perform more of these from the comfort of our home without being patients at a doctor’s office and the hefty price tags that go with it.
Microneedling is one such example. Microneedling has been around for about 50 years, but it was only in the last few years that it became a treatment that could be done at home. It is our hope that our review of the Top 5 Microneedling Pens help make this technology more accessible and realistic for you.
Editor’s Choice: Dr. Pen Ultima M8 Professional Microneedling Pen
Our editors agree, the Ultima M8 Professional Microneedling Pen by Dr. Pen is an easy favorite. Despite being more expensive, we feel that the features and options that come with it are all worth it especially if you are planning on using it for the entire course of treatment.
There may be more affordable choices like the Sdara Derma Roller, Ultima A6 or the one by THAPPINK, but considering that microneedling skin treatments are a rather delicate operation, we’d rather spend the extra dollars, be safe, and use a product that is known for its microneedling pens
For more budget-conscious users, we still recommend the Dr. Pen Ultima N2 Derma Auto Pen. It’s cheaper, but you can rest easier knowing that you’re not sacrificing reliability and safety with a lesser known brand.In the end, dear reader, you know your needs and your skin concerns better than we do. The best decision will come from you. We merely wanted to help you arrive at a well-informed choice. We wish you luminous and smooth skin ahead!