In this post I’m going to give you a clear dermaroller size guide based on facial skin thickness. Very often dermarolling enthusiasts find themselves considering purchasing a lot longer needle size dermaroller than they actually need.
Too long needle size is more painful to use and can cause more harm than good to your skin if used too frequently. Read on to better understand how to choose dermaroller based on what facial area you are planning to be dermarolling.
Your Skin Basics
The actual thickness of your skin is different throughout the body. The thinnest skin — about 0.5 millimeter in thickness — is found on the eyelids, while the thickest skin, at about 4 mm, is on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. Different thickness of the skin also requires you to pay attention to choosing the right dermaroller needle length.
Your skin consists of three layers of tissues that all pay important role
The epidermis – the outer layer of the epidermis is constantly flaking of dead skin cells and in the lowest layer of the epidermis new skin cells are produced which move upward to the surface. As they rise to the surface, they harden and die. This kind of new skin cell production and reaching to the skin surface takes about 28 days. Read more on skin cell renewal & exfoliation importance.
Special skin cells called melanocytes in the lowest part of the epidermis are responsible for giving your skin color.
These melanocytes produce melanin – the more your skin has melanin, the darker it is. In case of any kind of misfunction of melanocytes there may be too much or too little pigmentation in skin.
Dermarollers are helpful to improve the skin appearance by normalizing the production of melanin in epidermis – in case of hyper-pigmentation & dark spots use dermaroller together with brightening agent like Vitamin C. This way dermaroller normalizes the production of melanin by melanocytes by improving cell turn-over & whitening agent helps to lighten existing dark spots/areas in skin.
The dermis – this middle layer of your skin contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, sweat & oil glands. Most important is that it’s mostly consisting of collagen & elastin fibers that give skin it’s strength and elasticity. Collagen & elastin also are vital for youthful appearance – as you age the production of these fibers in skin reduces.
Dermarolling helps to activate skin remodeling and triggers the production of new collagen fibers in the dermis layer of the skin, which makes it an essential tool for anti-aging & skin lifting purposes.
The subcutaneous layer – this deepest layer of your skin mostly consists of fatty tissue, blood vessels and nerves. It acts like a cushion to protect the body from injuries.
Skin Thickness In Different Facial Areas
Researchers have made great effort into measuring the exact depth of the skin. Richard Y.Ha, M.D et al from the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center published a study where they examined skin thickness in multiple facial areas and created a facial skin thickness index.
When looking at the index values on the image right or in chart below you should know that skin thickness increases up to the age 20 and since that starts to decrease. But these average means should give you great guidance to choosing the dermaroller size based on skin thickness in different facial areas.
The study used the skin thickness on the eyelids (approximately 0.5 mm) as a base to all other facial areas.
From the image of the skin thickness index you can see that the skin on forehead is 2.85x thicker than the skin on eyelids and skin in the nose tip is 3.3 times thicker than on the eyelids.
Dermaroller Size Guide Based On Skin Thickness
Based on the study I’ve created a small guide of the skin thickness & recommended longest dermaroller needle size in different facial areas suitable for dermarolling.
All recommended needle lengths are stated as „up to“ so if the skin concern is not very deep in skin you can always start with a bit shorter needle, specially if you are just starting with the dermarolling. If the concern you are planning to treat is deep(er) in skin, go for the longer dermaroller needle size.
Facial Areas Suitable For Treating With Dermaroller
Skin Thickness Index
Skin Thickness in mm
Longest recommended dermaroller needle size
Brow & forehead area – deep lines on the forehead, furrow lines, glabella lines
upper eyelid – brow lift, skin sagging, tightening
lower eyelid – lines around the eyes
malar eminence – crows feet, lines around the eyes (in cheekbone area)
cheeks – sagging cheeks, acne scars, enlarged pores, pigmentation
philtral column – frown lines, nasolabial folds
chin – enlarged pores, acne marks, pigmentation, etc
submental crease – sagging skin under chin
neck – sagging skin, tightening
nasal dorsum – enlarged pores, lines
nasal tip – enlarged pores, lines
Tips For Choosing The Dermaroller For Facial Microneedling
From the above chart you can see that actually the thickest skin on face is on chin & cheeks and even in these areas it will not be thicker than only 1.62 mm. This also means there is no need to be using dermaroller longer than 1.5 mm in any facial area. Below you can find full facial area dermaroller size guide.
By using longer needle size dermaroller you will very likely create too much trauma to your skin that is not necessary for improving the appearance of lines, loose skin, acne scars etc. However life if not perfect and so isn’t our skin either – atleast in the matter of healing different skin concerns.
When you look at the scar or wrinkles etc, then the bottom of it is usually way lower than rest of the skin surface so actually you have to reach the bottom of it to induce collagen building that would fill it in. When dermaroller is best to be used with wider scars & fine lines – like stretch marks, box & rolling types of acne scars, first lines etc, then sometimes dermastamp would be better alternative for the microneedling treatments.
Comparing Dermastamp With Dermaroller
Smaller areas of the body e.g. around the lips, between brows area
Larger areas of the body, e.g. neck and décolleté, cheeks and any other suitable area.
Lines and wrinkles, e.g. under eye, nasolabial folds
Lines and wrinkles e.g. forehead
Specific, distinctive scars e.g. acne pits
Large scarred area e.g. major accident/significant burn scars
Isolated pigmentation marks e.g. age spots
Consider choosing dermastamp if the skin you are treating has smaller, isolated, deeper lines or acne pits – like lines around the lips, nasolabial lines, etc. Same kind of skin concerns most likely may be treated with different needle size dermaroller – take a look at the needle size guide below and by comparing the suitable dermaroller size to different skin thickness areas, choose dermaroller needle size that will not be longer than skin thickness in that area.
Detailed Dermaroller Needle Sizes For different Skin Concerns
Increasing Skin Care Products Absorption
Deeper Wrinkles, Lines
What About Choosing Your Dermaroller Size?
When you are choosing the dermaroller for your at home dermarolling treatment you should answer two questions.
What is the skin concern you are treating?
What facial area you are treating?
Choosing Dermaroller Size Examples
To make it clear for you here are some examples how to choose roller size yourself.
Question #1 “I have not very deep acne scars & some enlarged pores.”
Question #2 “I will be dermarolling my cheeks & forehead.”
Best Dermaroller Size: Based on the recommended longest dermaroller sizes & the skin concerns (not very deep acne scars & some enlarged pores), 1.0 mm dermaroller would be great choice to start with. If the scars are deep, 1.5 mm would be better.
Question #1 “I have deep nasolabial folds & lines around my lips.”
Question #2 “I will be dermarolling area around my lips.”
Best Dermaroller Size: Based on the recommended longest needle sizes & the skin concerns (deep nasolabial folds & lines around lips), 1.0 mm dermastamp or narrow 3-line dermaroller would be great choice to start with. These tools have smaller needling area when compared to regular dermaroller so it makes it easier to target the lines & move around the lips.
I hope this post helps you choose dermaroller size and convinces you that longer needle is not always necessary – skin needling is more about patience than creating aggressive trauma with too long needles and dermarolling too frequently.
Got something to add? Feel free to share your thoughts & if you have any questions, feel free to ask me by leaving your comment below 🙂