Skin Perception

Dermapen Vs Dermaroller Vs Dermastamp: How To Choose

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If you want to add a microneedling device to your skincare routine, you are probably wondering if you should use a dermaroller, dermapen or dermastamp. Even though these micro needling devices are similar, they do have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Table of Contents:

Microneedling tools are a versatile addition to skincare routines, offering a range of benefits from improved texture to reduced scars and fine lines. This minimally invasive procedure was introduced in 1990s mainly for treating scars, and has evolved significantly since. In a nutshell, modern microneedling combines the acupuncture technique with mesotherapy, and is meant to deliver a more youthful, glowing and healthier looking skin. If you are new to microneedling you might wonder what’s the difference between “microneedling and dermaroller” or “dermapen vs dermaroller vs dermastamp” or how to choose a micro needling device.

chart of microneedling devices including dermapen vs dermaroller vs dermastamp

Dermaroller, dermapen and dermastamp are three different devices used to perform a microneedling procedure.

Even though each type of microneedling device has very distinctive features, they all work in a similar manner: the device is applied repetitively (rolled or pressed, depending on the type) on freshly cleaned skin inflicting micro injuries and creating small puncture wounds in the skin. This controlled dermal micro damage triggers skin’s natural healing process, stimulates the release of growth factor, and leads to the activation of collagen production.

Benefits Of Microneedling

Regardless of weather you choose a derma roller, derma pen or derma stamp, all these microneedling devices help with skin rejuvenation and have a wide variety of applications:

  • Faster and deeper penetration of skin care products
  • Fine lines and wrinkle reduction
  • Softening of scars (including acne scars)
  • Softening of stretch marks
  • Skin tightening
  • Promotes skin repair
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Improves skin structure and texture
  • Helps with hyperpigmentation
  • Increases epidermal thickness
  • Stimulates hair growth

Dermapen vs Dermaroller vs Dermastamp

Dermaroller

$ 15-40
  • Aka microneedle roller, beauty needling roller
  • Manual, drum shaped
  • 192-540 needles (fixed length)
  • Rolled over the skin
  • Angled penetration
  • Great for treating large areas
  • Use up to 10-15 times

Dermapen

$ 80-140
  • Aka needling pen, dermapen stamp
  • Electric, pen shaped
  • 9-12 needles (adjustable length)
  • Automated stamp motion
  • Vertical penetration
  • Great for treating small areas
  • Single-use disposable needles

Dermastamp

$ 15-40
  • Aka beauty stamp, microneedle stamp
  • Manual, flat head
  • 20-140 needles (fixed or adjustable length)
  • Manually pressed into skin
  • Vertical penetration
  • Great for treating most skin areas
  • Use up to 10-15 times

Dermaroller

close up picture of black dermaroller

The original tool used for microneedling treatment was a dermaroller - a drum-shaped handheld needling device. Nowadays, the standard version of a dermaroller has a plastic cylinder with 192 stainless steel or titanium needles and has to be rolled manually over the skin.

There are two main characteristics of dermarollers – the drum sizes and the length of needles. The drum size determines the width of a roller and the amount of needles. The regular dermaroller size usually has between 192 and 540 small needles and is used mainly for the face or scalp.

The microneedling roller for the body is about three times wider than a regular dermaroller. It has between 1000 and 1700 needles and is a better treatment option for larger areas. In addition, there are also mini rollers with 192 to 250 needles, designed for treating small and sensitive areas like under the eyes and lips.

 

dermaroller-sizes

Features
  • Design: A handheld roller with a cylindrical drum covered in microneedles.
  • Needle Depth: Fixed needle lengths, usually between 0.25mm and 1.5mm. Please refer to the Length Of Needles” section below to determine which needle size is best for you.
  • Rolling Mechanism: The roller is manually operated, requiring consistent pressure and motion. 
Benefits
  • Cost-Effective: Generally cheaper than automated devices like Dermapen.
  • Accessibility: Easy to use at home, with numerous options available for different budgets.
Applications
  • Suitable for treating larger areas of skin such as the cheeks, forehead, and other parts of the body.
  • Used for improving skin texture, reducing scars, and stimulating collagen production.

A typical dermaroller can be used 10-15 times after which it has to be disposed of, as the needles get dull (similar to razors). However, a more advanced model of dermarollers are designed with interchangeable heads, so instead of disposing of the entire device, you can replace just the head part.

To point out, microneedling rollers need to be sanitized after each use. Most dermarollers don’t come with a sanitizing solution and it has to be purchased separately (read how to properly clean your dermaroller/ dermastamp). 

  • Pros of dermaroller

    Effective, cheap, easy to use, treats wide variety of skin concerns, little recovery time, great for treating large skin areas, minimal side effects.

  • Cons of dermaroller

    Requires some practice of applying the right amount of pressure while rolling, difficult to treat isolated or small areas of skin, micro tearing of the skin’s surface is possible, needs to be sanitized after each use.

Best Derma Rollers For Beginners

Here are a couple of great dermarollers suitable for beginners:

Sale
Derma Roller Microneedling Roller for Face, Beard Growth - Includes Free Storage Case (1-Pack), Brighten,Rejuvenating,Smoothening, Unisex
  • VERSATILE: Safe and simple to use.
  • Affordable: An affordable alternative to costly cosmetic treatments, our microderm roller will give...
Sale
ROSELYNBOUTIQUE Derma Roller for Hair Beard Facial Skin Face 540 Microneedle 0.25mm Cosmetic Beauty Instrument
  • Versatile Tool: Use it on your face, hair, and beard for a more comprehensive beauty routine.
  • Safe and Gentle: The 0.25mm needles provide a comfortable experience, ideal for beginners or those...
  • Easy to Use: Our roller features an ergonomic design for effortless application at home.
  • Durable Quality: Made with high-quality materials for long-lasting use.
  • Compact and Portable: Take your skincare routine anywhere with this convenient and travel-friendly...
Derma Roller for Face and Body - Angel Kiss 4 in 1 Titanium Microneedling Roller Kit Micro Needle Roller, 300 and 720 Needles 0.25mm,1200 Needles 0.3mm
  • Our derma roller are ideal for beginners or sensitive skin for home use, highly regarded among...
  • Made of high quality titanium needle, come with 3 different roller heads, 1200 needles 0.3mm for...
  • Our cosmetic dermaroller works with gentle pressure, just roll and roll to get the benefits, A key...
  • You can use our micro needle as a face roller for women, or as a beard roller for men. At DIY secret...
  • Whoever you’re shopping for - a partner, a BFF, or yourself, our derma roller make the ideal gifts...

Dermapen

pink color dermapen and needle cartridge

The initial microneedling tools evolved over the last decade. Derma pen (aka micropen, microneedling pen, needling pen) is an upgraded version of a derma roller. In particular, it's a smaller device that looks like a thick pen, and instead of the needle cylinder, the derma pen has replaceable single-use needle cartridges consisting of 9 to 36 small needles. Interestingly, it is often confused with or misbranded as dermastamp.

To emphasize, the needle cartridge needs to be disposed of after each treatment, unlike the derma stamp and derma roller which are not motorized and can be disinfected (submerged) with isopropyl alcohol for up to 15 treatments.

The main difference between dermapen vs dermaroller is that dermapen is a fully automated microneedling device, as it is electrically powered and rechargeable.

Unlike a derma roller that has to be manually rolled, the dermapen is held perpendicular to the skin, and the penetration motion is done in a stamp-like manner once the microneedling pen is switched on.

Another advantage of dermapen is the adjustable needle depth and ability to choose different speed modes, so your treatment can be fully customized (see post-treatment care).

When comparing dermapen vs dermaroller, one of the advantages of using derma pen is that it allows a more precise treatment for isolated skin areas and is great for targeting individual scars or wrinkles. In general, derma pens are usually more expensive than derma rollers and range between $60 and $150.

Most trustworthy microneeling pens:
Dr. Pen Ultima A6 Electric Professional Skincare Kit
Dr. Pen Ultima A6 Electric Professional Skincare Kit
✅ GET THE GLOW – Use affordable skincare tools in the comfort of your own home

Tip 1: Microneedling with needles of 0.5mm and longer can feel quite painful and numbing cream/topical anesthetic is recommended. We suggest using estheticians’ favorite Greencaine Blast or Ebanel Numb 520 on Amazon.

Tip 2: Using cooling tools like ice globes, ice roller or chilled gemstone roller can significantly reduce irritation after microneedling treatment and sooth the skin right away.

  • Pros of dermapen

    Adjustable needle length, precise vertical penetration with no skin tearing, treats wide variety of skin concerns, great for isolated or smaller areas, disposable needle tips.

  • Cons of dermapen

    Takes longer to treat larger areas, requires some practicing, needle tip needs to be replaced each time, temptation to use longer needle setting.

Dermastamp

dermastamp with clear handle and pink needle head

This tool is a hybrid of dermaroller and dermapen. Instead of a cylinder that has to be rolled, derma stamp has a round, square, or rectangular-shaped flat tip covered in needles. Because the surface of the derma stamp is flat, the device has to be vertically pressed (stamped) into the skin. Unlike dermarollers that create angled puncture wounds that may cause micro tearing of the skin, derma stamp creates vertical wounds and allows more precise and even treatment of the skin.

When comparing dermastamp vs dermapen there are many similarities. However the main difference between them is that stamp-like motion in dermapen is fully automated, while derma stamp has to be pressed into skin manually.

The size of derma stamp varies – some devices can have needle tips the size of a dime with about 20-40 needles, while others can have up to 140 needles, with much bigger flat heads. 

Another similarity when comparing derma roller vs derma stamp is that they both can be used up to 10-15 times. Also, just like dermaroller, dermastamp needs to be sterilized after each use, and sanitizing solution has to be purchased separately.

Here are a few great entry-level derma stamps that we like:

Adjustable Derma Stamp | Microneedling Pen For Face
Adjustable Derma Stamp | Microneedling Pen For Face
We use the best materials to make sure you have a good experience.; This is a stamp for anyone to use at home...
Sale
Hydra Needle Fine Touch Serum Applicator Derma Stamp
Hydra Needle Fine Touch Serum Applicator Derma Stamp
Micro Needle with Screw thread for Direct Solutions Delivery; Hydra Needle 20 is an innovation, it can...
  • Pros of dermastamp

    Precise vertical penetration, effective, treats wide variety of skin concerns, easy to use.

  • Cons of dermastamp

    Hard to find in stores or online, requires sterilization after each use.

*Be aware!!! Nowadays, many manufacturers of microneedling devices are using the terms “dermapen” and “dermastamp” interchangeably (most likely due to the stamp-like motion of the dermapen). So if you are looking to buy a dermapen, it might be labeled as “dermapen stamp.” Just keep in mind that dermapen is automated and has a power button, while dermastamp is a manual tool.

Related: Best serums to use with microneedling.

Choosing Your Personal Microneedling Tool

By now you should have a better understanding of skin needling tools and the difference between dermapen vs dermaroller vs dermastamp. Regardless of which skin needling device you choose, you can address various cosmetic facial issues and see visible improvements with regular treatments. Also, before purchasing a microneedling tool for home use, do your research and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What skin condition are you trying to address?
  • What part of the body will you be microneedling?
  • How thick/thin and sensitive is your skin?
  • Any previous experience with the microneedling?
  • What needle length is right for you?

Other things to consider when choosing a microneedling device:

  • Type of device (dermapen vs dermaroller vs dermastamp)
  • Number of needles (different drum size for face, body, eye/lip area)
  • Length of needles
  • Needle material (stainless steel, titanium)
Choosing the Right Tool
  • For Beginners: Dermaroller is a good starting point due to its simplicity and affordability.
  • For Professionals or Advanced Users: Dermapen offers more control and versatility, making it suitable for professional use.
  • For Spot Treatments: Dermastamp is excellent for targeted areas and specific skin concerns.

If you are new to microneedling, read below about different needle lengths and the article about What dermaroller size is right for you?

dermapen vs dermaroller comparison of different sizes

Length Of Needles

Different skin concerns can be addressed by using microneedling devices with different needle lengths, which will cause different penetration depths. Therefore, the longer the needles, the deeper puncture wounds will be inflicted, the more painful the procedure will get, and the longer time it will take to recover. Depending on how thick your skin is, spotted bleeding is very likely with needles of 1 mm and longer.

0.13 mm – is used to enhance the absorption of skincare products, deeper and faster penetration, and reduce pore size and fine lines. This type of dermarollers is the safest for home-care use. The procedure is painless and can be done twice a week or each other day if tolerable by skin. 

0.25 mm – enhances penetration of skincare products, mild skin rejuvenation effect, improves overall skin appearance, and can also be used on the scalp to stimulate hair growth. This type of dermaroller is also approved for home use. The procedure is mostly painless, but individuals with thin or sensitive skin might feel some discomfort, especially in the area under the eyes, forehead, and neck.

0.5 mm-0.75 mm – medical grade microneedling device that is used to stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, helps with hyperpigmentation, light scars, and improves overall skin texture.

1 mm – in addition to all the anti-aging benefits provided by 0.5mm-0.75mm, 1mm microneedling also addresses light scars (including acne scars) and stretch marks. Needles of this length can cause bleeding, and the procedure can feel quite painful, so numbing cream might be needed.

1.5 mm – should only be used by trained professionals, as needles of this length pierce through the entire epidermis layer and reach the dermis level. It is used for treating facial scars including deep scars, as well as for treating wrinkles and stretch marks. Numbing cream or topical anesthetic is needed, as it’s very painful.

2 mm-3 mm – for in-office use only. This type of microneedling is used mainly for deep scars and stretch marks while treating large body parts like thighs, abdomen, buttocks, legs and arms.

How Often Can You Do Microneedling At Home?

It depends mainly on the length of needles, skin thickness and sensitivity. The longer the needles are the more time between the microneedling sessions needed for your skin to heal. Devices with 0.1mm – 0.3mm needles can be used each other day, 0.5mm can be used once a week, 0.75mm – 1mm can be used once a month.

In conclusion, like with many at-home treatments and devices, it is important to have realistic expectations. Regardless of all the distinct features of dermapen vs dermaroller vs dermastamp, noticeable results can be seen after several treatments and are cumulative with the continuous use of a microneedling device. That being said, you should plan on using your dermaroller, dermapen or dermastamp for at least 3-6 months (that’s how long it takes for new collagen synthesis).

Learn also what to use after microneedling to sooth your skin.

Using dermaroller for stretch marks: is it effective?

Microneedling Precautions

Overall, microneedling is an effective treatment for skin resurfacing, combating signs of aging, and addressing acne scars. Also, it is easy to incorporate into your regular skin care. This skincare procedure is safe for all skin types, however, there are some precautions.

Do NOT use microneedling devices if you have:

  • Active acne
  • Hepatitis
  • Active skin infection like herpes or warts
  • Chronic skin disorders
  • Skin diseases like psoriasis or eczema
  • Ongoing cancer treatments like chemo or radiotherapy
  • Poor healing
  • Keloidal tendency
  • Blood clotting issues
  • Also avoid area with raised moles or raised scars

Are you cleaning your dermaroller properly and do you know when is time to change your roller?

 

Sources:

Ablon G. “Safety and effectiveness of an automated microneedling device in improving the signs of aging skin.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Vol 11, Aug. 2018

Arora S, Bhandaree P. Gupta. “Automated microneedling device – a new tool in dermatologist’s kit – a review.” Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists, 2012

Bahuguna, A. “Microneedling – facts and fictions.” Asian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2013

Glynis Ablon, MD. “Safety and effectiveness of an automated microneedling device in improving the signs of aging skin.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Vol.11, Aug. 2018

Lauren Meshkov Bonati, Gorana Kuka Epstein, and Tamara Lazic Strugar. “Microneedling in all skin types: a review.” Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, Volume 16, Issue 4, April 2017

Maeliosa T.C. McCrudden, Emma McAlister. “Microneedle applications in improving skin appearance.” Experimental Dermatology, Vol. 24, Issue 8, April 2015 

Satish Doddaballapur. “Microneedling with dermaroller.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, Jul-Dec. 2009

Singh A, Yadav S. “Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal, Vol. 7, Jul-Aug 2016

Tina Alster, Paul Graham. “Microneedling: a review and practical guide.” Dermatologic Surgery, Vol. 3, March 2018

Yang J, Liu X, Fu Y, Song Y. “Recent advances of microneedles for biomedical applications: drug delivery and beyond.” Acta Pharmaceutica Sin B., Vol. 9, Issue 3, May 2019

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