If you're ready to start using a derma roller, that means you're ready to completely overhaul your skin. These at-home devices, which work by stimulating your skin to regenerate itself, are like a lighter version of the in-office tools dermatologists use, and can help even out skin tone, fade unwanted scarring, and brighten your overall complexion. But the derma roller that you choose is only one half of the equation. The other half is finding the best serum to use with your derma roller.
Since the derma roller is literally creating micro-tears in your skin, it's imperative that the serums you're using before and during your rolling session are in line with the results you're hoping to achieve. So if you're looking for hydration, something like a hyaluronic acid serum would be ideal. If you're looking to brighten your skin or fade hyperpigmentation, a regenerating serum, like one that contains vitamin C, would be a great choice. Also, make sure you're looking closely at the label for ingredients that might be irritating. Even if your skin isn't hyper-sensitive, these products are deeply penetrating your skin, which means their effects are supercharged.
Make sure you're applying plenty of serum to your face before rolling, adding more as you go if needed. Then, massage slightly more into your skin once you're done before putting on your moisturizer. Derma rolling should be done at night, since it makes your skin more photo-sensitive, and also because nighttime is when your skin does the most regenerating.
Ahead, you'll find the best serums to use with a derma roller. Find the skin concern that matches yours, and go from there.
1. Best Serum For Dry, Sensitive Skin
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum
First Aid Beauty is known for its gentle hydrating products, which is part of what makes the brand's Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum so perfect for sensitive skin types. Its star ingredient is colloidal oatmeal, which works to calm and moisturize stressed-out, dehydrated skin. Also included in the formula are hyaluronic acid for hydration; aloe to further soothe and moisturize; and collagen, which plumps skin and can also help even out tone and texture. Since the formula is free of known irritants like synthetic fragrances and dyes, and common allergens like propylene glycol, this is a serum even the most delicate skin types can feel safe derma-rolling with.
2. Best SerumFor Dry And/Or Dehydrated Skin
Vichy Minéral 89 Daily Skin Booster Serum and Moisturizer
Another great serum for dry and dehydrated skin types (that also costs a bit less) is Vichy's Minéral 89 Daily Skin Booster Serum and Moisturizer. The lightweight formula works to plump and brighten your skin from the inside out using hyaluronic acid and glycerin, while the derma roller ensures that this it penetrates deeply, so its effectiveness is enhanced. While this serum is also free of common irritants like alcohol, fragrance, dyes, and parabens — making it another safe choice for sensitive skin types — you won't find the same soothing and calming ingredients like aloe and colloidal oatmeal. That said, if you're looking for general hydration, it's an excellent, affordable choice.
3. Best Serum For Oily Skin
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Oily skin types should reach for this bottle of The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum. Together, these two ingredients work to banish blemishes and reduce the appearance of enlarged, congested pores by unclogging them of dead skin and oil. This serum also helps regulate sebum production, which is useful if you're someone who tends to get greasy throughout the day, and it also contains niacinamide, a repairing ingredient that can help fade and prevent breakout-induced scarring. The result? An overall clearer, more even looking complexion.
4. Best Serum For Brightening
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients out there for brightening, and this serum from Mad Hippie boasts one of the best formulas out there. The reason its so great is because of its clean formula: it's enriched with a whole host of impressive natural ingredients that target everything from discoloration and dullness to unevenly textured, imbalanced skin. Standout ingredients include ferulic acid, an antioxidant that works in tandem with vitamin C to offer protective and brightening benefits; clary sage, to balance skin's moisture levels; hyaluronic acid, to plump and hydrate; and chamomile extract, which soothes and calms. Because this gentle formula is free of chemicals and common irritants, skin types of all kinds, including sensitive, can feel good about derma-rolling with it.
5. Best Serum For Regenerating
Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Serum
For an affordable option that will keep your skin looking healthy and plump, there's Olay's Regenerist Micro Sculpting Serum. Like derma-rolling itself, the mix of amino acids in Olay's serum work to regenerate skin, which can help with a loss in firmness and generally less vibrant appearance. The formula is also hydrating and smoothing, and it's noncomedogenic and fragrance-free to boot.
6. Best Retinol Serum
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Retinol Serum
If you're looking to use a retinol with your derma roller, this La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Retinol Serum is a great option. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind before incorporating a retinol into your derma-rolling routine, or vice versa. Whether you've been using a derma roller or a retinol first, you should suspend use for a week when you introduce the other product, just so your skin can get used to it. Then, slowly add in either the derma roller or the retinol, starting with twice a week and then working your way up to a more frequent routine.
This La Roche-Posay serum is a good retinol to use because it's low-grade, which means it won't irritate the delicate lower layers of your dermis, making it a safe option for sensitive skin types. It's also spiked with a version of hyaluronic acid, which helps counteract any dryness that might occur.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.