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The Derma Roller vs Dr Pen

Microneedling devices like Dr Pen and derma rollers are both used to stimulate the production of new collagen by creating micro-injuries in the skin. Microneedling causes micro-injuries to the epidermis, which then stimulates your body’s collagen as a repair response to the damaged skin. The result of this response is a fresher, brighter complexion and a reduced appearance of skin concerns such as acne scarring, sun damage, fine lines, loose skin and more. This is also called CIT, or collagen induction therapy.

Some of you may know all about microneedling and collagen induction therapy and wish to try this treatment at home, but you are unsure which device your need or what the difference between a microneedling pen and a derma roller is.

A derma roller involves using a mini wheel covered with tiny needles to gently prick the face, whereas a Dr Pen microneedling device is an electric pen. For the rest of this article we will go into detail about the differences between a microneedling pen and a derma roller, and why a microneedling pen is the superior option. However, a derma roller is a good option for beginners and those who are nervous about using a motorised device. 

Microneedling Pens

A microneedling pen is more precise

Microneedling pens can easily treat those tricky areas such as around the eyes, nose and upper lip. It’s more difficult to reach these areas with traditional rollers as they are inflexible and require movement over a large area to achieve the same result.

Microneedling pens have adjustable speeds and needle depth on the one device

With a derma roller, you need to purchase different sized cartridges which are hand operated. A microneedling pen has adjustable needle lengths which can be altered during your treatment. For example, some people might like to use a 1.5mm needle length on their cheeks and a 0.5mm on their neck. With a derma roller, you would have to change cartridges completely.

This is extremely important when treating specific skin concerns such as acne scarring or delicate areas of the face such as the eye area.

You can also switch up the speeds on a microneedling pen. For example, you might like a faster speed around your mouth area and a slower speed on your forehead.

Less downtime is required with microneedling

The needles in microneedling pens penetrate the skin vertically whereas with derma rollers the needles penetrate the skin at an angle causing more chance of ‘tears’ through the skin leading to more trauma and a longer recovery time.


Fast treatment with minimal discomfort

As Dr Pen device is motorised, making it more precise and accurate on its depth of penetration and can penetrate the skin from up to 100 times per second with an adjustable speed. Derma rollers speed cannot be adjusted as it is a hand operated device. It also is more tiring and time consuming for the user. The ability to adjust the speed also minimises any pain and discomfort you may be experiencing.

Dr Pen devices are travel friendly

Dr Pen microneedling devices are small and lightweight, making them very easy travel companions. You can easily fit your device in a makeup case and depending on which model you choose, you don’t even need to pack a battery or cord. If you own the premium Dr Pen Ultima X5 model, you will be able to charge it prior to travelling as it can be operated cordlessly.

Microneedling devices can also be used for nano-needling

Dr Pen models can all be converted to nano-needling devices by changing the cartridge to the nano-needle. Nano-needling improves your ability to absorb vital antioxidants and other ingredients from your serum, therefore improving the appearance of your skin texture and tone. Nano-needling stimulates collagen production in the skin by safely infusing active ingredients from your serum through tiny nano-channels. This is very similar, but less invasive than microneedling and allows up to 97% product absorption. For more information on nano-needling, see our blog here and our FAQ section here.

Attractive design

Dr Pen devices offer sleek designed devices and colours such as rose gold, purple, silver and blue making them attractive options.

Hand Held Derma Roller

Dr Pen derma roller

Easier for beginners

If you're a beginner, you may find the derma roller easier to control and less intimidating. As it isn't motorised, can control the speed and pressure more easily and slowly build up your tolerance of the pressure and speed. 

No charging or battery required

As the derma roller is a hand held device, you don't need to worry about charging it or having a power outlet nearby when you use it. This also makes it easy for travelling.

More cost effective

Dr Pen microneedling devices are far more sophisticated than the derma roller. Therefore, they're more expensive. Keep in mind you will still need to change the cartridges regularly. However, this cheaper option means you aren't investing as much money into the device if you're just wanting to try it out, therefore, the risk is much lower too. 

Rolls over a larger area

The cartridges are much bigger than the Dr Pen's, which means you cover a larger area while rolling. This is handy for areas on the body, such as the hips and thighs, or if you are focusing on your cheeks. However, if you wish to focus on smaller areas, like the nose and around the eyes, the derma rollers are much more difficult to use. 

As you will understand from reading this article, the derma roller is a good option for someone wishing to trial microneedling, without investing too much. It will help you feel comfortable and perhaps give you the confidence to upgrade to a Dr Pen device. 

If you’d like to learn more about microneedling, we cover a range of topics in our blog section here. You can also purchase your own Dr Pen here, or see our new derma roller kit here

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From our in-house Beauty Advisor to the warehouse staff that package your order with love and care, we are invested in your results. We are here to help you and be a part of your skin journey. 

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