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Which Microneedling Cartridge Is Right For You?

5 years ago I began to microneedle my face at home with a microneedling pen. At that time there was not sufficient information about the needle cartridges and what they did. The options were Nano, 12 pin, and 36 pin cartridges, but I couldn’t find information on what made them different, besides the obvious addition of more needles. Because of the lack of information I reasoned, more punctures from a cartridge with more needles, would invariably cause more consistency in my skin during application, thus I picked the 36 pin cartridge to accompany my first microneedling pen, the Dr Pen A1.

Take a look at the most popular derma pen, the M8

Only this year, have I even ventured into using other pinned cartridges because I didn’t understand the nuances and differences until now. Frankly the lack of information did not hurt me, if anything it prevented me from buying cartridges I most likely never would have used. However, I get this question so much; “which cartridge should I choose? or what is the difference in cartridges?” that I decided to dig in and look at what sets these needle pin cartridges a part.


The Nano Round Cartridge is great for regular use. This basically touches the top layer of your skin, allowing your products to penetrate more fully and helping get rid of old skin cells that build up causing your skin to look dull. A Nano cartridge has a max depth setting of .25mm and can be used with BB Glow serums. This cartridge stays in the epidermis.

The Nano Square Cartridge is exactly the same as the Nano Round, the major difference is that it is a square and not a circle. The square is ideal for brows when you want straight edges and for hard to reach areas like in the nose crevices. This cartridge stays in the epidermis.


The 12 Pin Cartridge is actually very aggressive because by having more space between needles this cartridge can really stab thoroughly having great effect on scars. Because this cartridge can needle up to 2.5mm in depth, it will help to induce collagen by entering into the dermis. Just because the 12 Pin Cartridge can go to 2.5mm in depth does not mean you will always use it at this depth. Its a great option for certain areas that you are treating, like in my case a chicken pox scar, but I rarely needle my whole face at this depth, in fact it would be quite difficult considering some areas of your face are very thin, like your forehead or eye areas. So although it has the range to needle at 2.5mm you will constantly adjust its depth on your pens dial.


The 36 Pin Cartridge is what I use the most. I like it because it picks me very evenly and causes my skin to glow. Like the 12 pin, the 36 pin cartridge has a max range setting of 2.5mm in depth. I attribute this cartridge the most for improving my skin.


In the end the choice is yours. What are you looking to achieve? I don’t truly believe you need all of these cartridges. If you buy a 36 Pin Cartridge this will give you options and range. For instance perhaps you have a couple scars that you want to address this year and you want to improve the texture and luminosity of your skin while inducing collagen production. The 36 Pin Cartridge will treat all of these concerns. You can needle deep during a session to induce collagen and treat your scars, then 2 weeks later you can set the depth to only .25mm and basically nano your skin, allowing products to penetrate, you can even use BB Glow with 36 pin at the .25mm setting.

If you never ever want to think about the possibility of bleeding then you are perfect sticking to a nano cartridge. Nano cartridges are painless and your skin will glow afterwards.


I like cartridges that give me flexibility, which is why I don’t buy nano cartridges. I have some because I receive them from time to time but I would never order them because with my pin cartridges I can get the same results.

After nearly 5 years of at home Microneedling my skin is constantly improving from all of the sun damage I created while in my twenties. Now I am 37, and my skin looks more radiant, even, and smooth.

I hope this post helps you when deciding which cartridge is right for you. Have a great day and I hope your skin starts to glow:)

For specific information on needle selection please read our needle depth guide post.

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