The rows of needles may freak you out at first glance. And probably at second and third glance, too. But this prickly device, which comes with a peptide-and-retinol serum, is friendlier than it looks. “It’s basically foolproof,” says New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner of the skin-needling roller, a tool that creates teeny, tiny holes in the skin, triggering a healing response that produces more collagen.

“It has a safety feature that prevents puncture wounds from going too deep into the skin.” Still, Zeichner recommends treading lightly. “The needles create channels that allow active ingredients to penetrate deeper,” he says, “but the flip side of that is, you’ve also opened an entry point for bacteria.” To prevent irritation and possible inflammation, Zeichner suggests sticking with the serum that comes with the roller (“It’s supplied in single-use ampules, so there’s no risk of contamination”) and limiting treatment to three times a week. With continued use, Zeichner says, the system can help even out skin texture and diminish small scars.

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