Dermapen vs Derma Roller: Unveiling the Best for Your Skin

Debating over using a “Dermapen vs Derma roller” can be mind-boggling. I’m here to help!

As a licensed esthetician, I’ve witnessed the skin-transforming effects of both treatments – including my personal favorite, the Dermapen (you’ll see why!)…

To help you decide, I’ve conducted thorough research, consulted with other experts, and compared their pros and cons – plus a neat comparison table to make it super easy.

So, let’s dive into this guide to determine the best choice for your skincare needs!

Key Takeaways

  • Speak with a dermatologist or skincare professional before starting any microneedling treatment for personalized advice and optimal results.
  • Dermapens offer more precision and customization options, while Derma Roller is more cost-effective and user-friendly for at-home treatments.
  • Your choice should be based on lifestyle, diet, skin type, and age.

For the final verdict – including my personal choice – delve into this section…

Derma Roller vs Dermapen: Which Treatment Is Best For Me?

If you’re eager to find out which treatment suits you better, it depends on various factors!

The variety of Dermapen and Derma Roller tools can be overwhelming. In fact, without even trying hard, you’ll find a plethora of Dermapen and Derma Roller tools online [1].

On top of that, all these tools boasting to be the best and most effective don’t make it easier for you.

You’ll still find enough variety to leave you boggled, even choosing based on effectiveness and quality.

Both Dermapen and Derma Roller have their pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider which treatment best suits your needs and preferences:

  • Your Lifestyle.
  • Your diet.
  • Your skin type.
  • Your age.

Despite their minute similarities, Dermapen is a much better skin enhancement tool.

If you’re looking for an effective, less uncomfortable, safer, and easier procedure, I’ll confidently suggest you go for Dermapens.

Before I dive further into the dermapen vs derma roller comparisons, let’s quickly discuss how they originated: microneedling…

How Microneedling Improves Your Skin & Attacks Wrinkles

What exactly is this “microneedling” Jane and her sister rave about?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure where fine needles create tiny punctures in the skin. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s a fantastic process (plus it doesn’t hurt much!)…

lady having a microneedling session

Here are some perks to why you should try it:

  • Enhances the absorption of skincare products for better results.
  • Is a minimally invasive procedure with little to no downtime.
  • Provides long-lasting results.

Here’s the magic: the body’s natural healing process kicks in and stimulates collagen production, which leads to firmer, smoother, and more youthful-looking skin [2]. 

Microneedling – thanks to collagen production – can tackle various skin concerns like acne scars, wrinkles, stretch marks, and uneven skin tone.

Now, what’s a dermapen got to do with it all? Let’s find out in the next section…

What Is a Dermapen?

If you’re a bit confused and wonder “What is a dermapen”, here’s what you need to know:

Dermapen is one word. It’s a trademarked beauty tool, so you’ll usually see it followed by the ® symbol.

It’s not a big deal if you call it a Derma Pen, but knowing the correct spelling is still valid.

The Dermapen tool falls into the “handheld device” category.

In fact, according to a study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, Dermapens provide more consistent results.

They are “less painful and more economical as there is no need to buy a new instrument every time [3]”.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg – here’s a brief breakdown of the pros and cons:

More precise and targeted treatment for hard-to-reach areas.Usually more expensive than Derma Rollers.
Adjustable needle depth for a customized treatment.Requires more skill and expertise to use effectively.

This invasive procedure consumes more investment and time since you can customize the pulses and needle lengths.

If it sounds scary, I promise it’s not!

You’ll find these instruments to be highly versatile. But that also translates to higher chances that you will take more time and trial and error to find the settings that fit you the best.

However, this microneedling therapy via Dermapens remains among the top choices for professionals.

If you opt for Dermapens, you’ll find fewer flaws in microneedling rollers, making your skin shine like the sun…

How Does The Dermapen Work?

The workings of dermapens revolve around the oscillating pulses. Right at the site of treatment, these pulses are responsible for the movement of the needle.

Unlike Derma Rollers, the needle in a dermapen takes a vertical approach instead of the rolling motion imminent in Derma Rollers.

The Dermapen is described as “an automated microneedling device which looks like a pen.

This ergonomic device makes use of disposable needles and guides to adjust needle length for fractional mechanical resurfacing” (Singh & Yadav, 2016) [3].

Thanks to its enhanced grip, this design makes it easier to hold the tool properly. Dermapens also offer you more maneuverability and comfort. In simple words, it’s easier to use.

Take a look at this video showing how to use a dermapen:

What Is A Derma Roller?

Sometimes, there’s a lot of confusion over how to spell this. Most beauty experts spell it as two words Derma Roller.

However, It’s also spelled as one word, “dermaroller” by just as many people. Spell it however you’d like; it doesn’t change what it does!

Derma Rollers are microneedling tools that are most effective for wrinkles and stretch marks that do not require an intense microneedling treatment or the use of too many products [5].


Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons:

More cost-effective than Dermapen.Less precision compared to Dermapen.
Simple and easy to use for at-home treatments.The fixed needle length limits customization.

If you need a light microneedling procedure, Derma Rollers will efficiently fit your purpose.

The best Derma Rollers offer excellent results, especially with other fantastic skincare products.

You don’t need specialized training to use the tool, either. It’s pretty intuitive.

That said, though, PLEASE keep these rollers sterilized and sanitized. Otherwise, you’re looking at high risk for infection.

However, cleaning the needles and maintenance is quite simple. It’s also easy to store, which guards the needles against quickly turning dull and saves you a few bucks.

How Does The Derma Roller Work?

Unlike the Dermapen, which contains a needle that goes up and down, Derma Rollers use just one rolling head.

And it’s this rolling head that houses countless needles. Here’s a fun fact: All of them are made of stainless steel.

The treatment site for Derma Rollers is usually broad regions such as your abdominal area, neck, and face.

Yet It’s effective for treating fine lines, dark circles beneath your eyes, atrophic acne scars/acne scarring, facial scars/scar scale, and wrinkles.

For the best outcome, use it in combination with hyaluronic acid. If you’re unsure about the best procedure, check out this video:

Are Derma Rollers Better Than Dermapens?

Let’s be clear: Derma Rollers are not better than Dermapens.

When you compare it to Derma Rollers, Dermapens cause less damage. That means better results and a much quicker healing process.

Although the setup will surely take you more time, you decide the aggressiveness of the treatment procedure. You can even precisely choose the needle depth.

So in case your pain tolerance is relatively low, this feature is a bonus for you.

The treatment procedure with a Dermapen is in itself faster. It amply helps lessen decoloration and enhances collagen production [3].

Studies have shown that Dermapens provide more consistent results and have a higher patient satisfaction rate than derma rollers.

A 2017 Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology study notes that derma rollers offer “good tolerability of treatment among patients, increased transdermal delivery of drugs, and practicality of use in the skin of color [4].”

Thus, the tool is also efficient as a collagen induction therapy.

However – and I stress – always consult your dermatologist or skincare professional before deciding on a microneedling treatment.

Don’t forget to explore my in-depth analysis on ‘Microneedling vs Dermarolling.’ Also, enhance your skincare regimen with our guide on the ‘Best Serum for Microneedling.’

How Your Skin Type Plays a Role in Your Microneedling Decision

The onus you bear on deciding between the Dermapen and Derma Roller -like good looks – can be very deceiving, but here are some general guidelines:

1. Know your skin type

As a start, determine if your skin is oily, dry, combination, or sensitive.

If you have sensitive skin (like mine), a Dermapen might be a better choice because it lets you control the needle depth and treatment intensity.

For some other skin types, the Derma Roller can be a breeze (see here!):

Oily skin types may benefit from Derma Roller as it can help to reduce oil production and improve skin texture.

lady with blotting paper on her oily face

Dry skin types may benefit from Dermapen as it can help to improve hydration and plumpness.

Depending on the specific skin concerns, combination skin types may benefit from either Dermapen or Derma Roller.

2. Pinpoint your skin concerns

What about acne scars, fine lines, or hyperpigmentation?

middle-aged lady holding her face and wondering if she can microneedle after botox

Thanks to its precision and adjustable needle depth, a Dermapen can zero in on these issues more effectively.

However, the Derma Roller should not be overlooked, as it can still work well for less sensitive skin types or larger treatment areas.

3. Learn from real-life experiences

Take Sarah, a 35-year-old client with sensitive skin who wanted to address her fine lines and wrinkles. She was fed up and, after all the trouble, approached me.

I recommended a gentle microneedling treatment using a Dermapen, and after just a few sessions, her skin visibly improved in texture and appearance.

Don’t take it from me or Sarah: Test it out yourself! In the end, what have you got to lose?

Below, I’ll dive into the key differences between the Dermapen & the Derma Roller to further assist you in making the best choice for your skincare journey…

What Are The Key Differences Between Dermapen & Derma Roller?

Thanks to my years of experience in the beauty industry, I’ve condensed the differences as shown below:


While a machine powers Dermapens, Derma Roller is mechanical [4].

The former has needles that oscillate up and down vertically with adjustable speed levels. In contrast, Derma Rollers move horizontally on your skin [4].

You can customize the length and the depth of the needle punctures with Dermapens. But Derma Rollers offer no such customization features, and the needles are much shorter.

Quicker Healing Time

Since the puncture wounds of Dermapens are much more minor, the healing process is faster.

On the other hand, Derma Rollers involve the rolling procedure. And it creates wounds in the form of a crater!

lady using a derma roller

Do you want a crater on your skin? I bet you don’t.

Also, the healing duration is much longer since the wounds are larger.


Precision is among the standout features of Dermapens. It can treat difficult-to-reach regions such as the upper lip area, nose, in and around your eyes, etc.

You cannot reach (forget to treat!) such areas with the help of Derma Rollers.

How do they stack up, and – more importantly – can you decide based on a small division on a page?

Side-By-Side Comparison: Dermapen vs Derma Roller

I recall another client named Kate came to me, completely overwhelmed by the variety of microneedling tools available.

She was desperate to find the best one for her sensitive skin but had no idea where to start.

Here’s a clear and straightforward comparison between Dermapen and Derma Roller that I shared with her (she was amazed!)

For a more comprehensive comparison, launch into this nifty comparison table (all to make it easier for you!): 

TreatmentDermapenDerma Roller
PrecisionMore precise and targeted treatment for hard-to-reach areasLess precision compared to Dermapen
Needle DepthAdjustable needle depth for a customized treatmentThe fixed needle length, limiting customization
CostIt can be more expensive than Derma RollerMore cost-effective than Dermapen
Skill RequiredIt may require more skill and expertise to use it effectivelySimple and easy to use for at-home treatments
Best ForRecommended for professional use or advanced usersRecommended for at-home use or beginners
ConsultationAlways consult a dermatologist or skincare professional before starting any microneedling treatment for personalized advice and the best results.Consult a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized advice
ResultsMore consistent results and quicker healing timeEffective for light microneedling and combined with other skincare products
LimitationsIt can be more expensive and require more expertiseLess precision and limited customization options
MaintenanceNeedles are disposable and require cleaning and maintenanceNeedles should be sterilized and sanitized after each use

Note: The best treatment option depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, skin type, and age, and I recommend that you consult your dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized advice.

What you get with Dermapens are long-lasting results – and they are certainly more satisfying…


1. Do dermatologists recommend Derma rolling?

Dermatologists generally advise against at-home microneedling due to the risk of bruising, scarring, and skin trauma.

2. Are Dermapen results permanent?

No, but scheduling quarterly microneedling sessions with your dermatologist can help maintain your results.


That concludes this article on “Dermapen Vs Derma Roller: Which Is Better?”

If you’re searching for a tool that offers more consistency in terms of functionality and results, I’d strictly suggest you go for Dermapens.

As a licensed esthetician, I have seen the benefits of both Dermapen and Derma Roller treatments – and provided you with the best tools and comparisons based on my years of experience.

At the same time, I would also recommend consulting your dermatologist to get a better grasp of what your skin type needs.

lady in a microneedling session


  • 1. Sharkey L. Do Derma Rollers Really Work? [Internet]. Healthline. 2020 [cited 2023 Apr 29]. Available from:
  • 2. Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD. Collagen – What Is It and What Is It Good For? [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2016. Available from:
  • 3. Yadav S, Singh A. Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons. Indian Dermatology Online Journal [Internet]. 2016;7:244. Available from:
  • 4. Iriarte C, Awosika O, Rengifo-Pardo M, Ehrlich A. Review of applications of microneedling in dermatology. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology [Internet]. 2017;Volume 10:289–98. Available from:
  • 5. Cardellino C. Hi, What Even Is Dermarolling? [Internet]. Cosmopolitan. 2020 [cited 2023 Apr 29]. Available from:
About Olaf Bieschke

Olaf Bieschke is a senior year medical student from Charité University of Berlin in Germany. He has gained professional experience in various hospitals and offices in Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Brazil and Spain. Currently working on a dr. med. title thesis in neurosurgery. Follow him on LINKEDIN AND FACEBOOK. Learn more about him HERE.

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