Sarah Vaughter answers questions about OwnDoc products

Forums => Dermarolling / Microneedling => Topic started by: SarahVaughter on November 21, 2010, 05:24:29 PM

Title: 19 ways to recognize dermarolling scammers
Post by: SarahVaughter on November 21, 2010, 05:24:29 PM
1. They claim FDA approval

We don't know of any commercially available dermaroller to non-medical doctors that has FDA approval. If a site claims that their roller is FDA approved, they should state the FDA registration number. With that number you can verify the FDA approval. Without it, you can still verify the claim here:

You'll find that typing for example "Dermal Integrity" into "Establishment name" yields zero results, meaning the company has no FDA-registered devices. When a company lies about FDA approval, what else are they lying about? Sure, most rollers come in boxes with the FDA seal on them. I don't know what the FDA can do about that, since they can't possibly open all mail and verify all stamps and seals. There is very little they can do against a Chinese eBay seller anyway.

2. They give their dermaroller a brand name

There are a ver few real real brand names in the roller world. Apart from Dr. Roller, Original Dermaroller, and SRS Micro Meso, there exist no other brands of dermarollers. The Scientia roller, for example, is just an overpriced Dr. Roller with the cardboard packaging removed. All other dermarollers except the forementioned three are generic models made in China. They come in generic plastic boxes and are packaged in generic cardboard boxes. However, any company ordering a few thousand of those rollers will get branded versions, typically a brand name on the roller handle, a brand name on the plastic box or a customized box, plus a customized cardboard box.

3. They claim patented or patent-pending manufacturing processes.

Apart from the Original Dermarollerâ„¢, no other rollers have any patents on them, because China - the country that produces them - does not even honor international patents, in practice. So the factories don't bother with for example a very expensive US patent. If they claim patents, ask for their patent number(s) so that it can be verified.

4. They say they only sell certain needle lengths to medical doctors, but if you try to order, there is no verification that you are indeed a doctor.

They have this bogus restriction to gain trust with the customer and create a desire to purchase the "medical-grade" roller. When the customer attempts to order the roller, all that is required is to tick a box saying: "I am a medical doctor" for the rollers with long needles.

5. They claim that their rollers are manufactured in the US or Europe

No dermarollers are produced in the US or Europe. All rollers are made in China or Korea. Not that this matters, but it's just a trick to gain customer confidence.

6. They claim a unique invention, such a "special needles", "more needles" or "special light".

An example of this: (

7. They make many unverifiable or vague statements to make their product seem more attractive.

Such as "quick results", "doctor-directed", "natural, high tech skin care technology", "high quality polished Swedish stainless steel", "unique quality control serial number",  "unique patented ergonomic design by award-winning designer", "medical grade plastic", "no <fill in scary term>"

8. They are too dismissive of competing rollers, claiming they will "rust" or "dull quickly".

In fact, not even the worst rollers in our dermaroller test ( rusted. It simply is sowing FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt)

9. They have many glowing testimonials on their site.

It is very easy to make up a few testimonials. For dermarolling products, we don't bother to put them on our site any more. We opened an open forum instead, where everyone can discuss their experiences - good or bad. Enthusiastic testimonials are highly suspicious, for the simple reason that:

A. Permanent results only come after at least half a year of rolling - regardless what they'd like you to believe.

B. If any enthusiastic testimonials are received before that, then it is unethical to publish those rather premature testimonials, because they're due to temporary puffiness or other transient effects.

C. After a half a year or more of rolling, customers are unlikely to send in testimonials any more.

We have sold many thousands of dermarollers, and we hardly ever received a "raving testimonial" of the type we read on the scam sites. We do not believe that the sites selling those over-priced rollers publish real testimonials. Some sites haven't even been selling rollers for more than a few months and they already have testimonials about "amazing results". Testimonials really don't make much sense, for dermarollers. Any decent dermaroller will give similar results. All that counts is the price and that it's not of inferior quality. And of course that you stick to a good treatment regimen, such as our dermarolling instructions (>. Incidentally, we've noticed that the "brand names" are putting our guidelines online in a "spun" (rephrased) form. It's still very recognizable in some cases. They had to "spin" them, because we forced them to remove literal copies. We worked hard on our instructions - an ongoing project. We resent that others pretend to be knowledgeable by publishing rephrased versions of our research.

10. They have very many before-and-after pictures on their site.

It is very hard to acquire good before-and-after pictures. A customer has first to religiously stick to an optimal treatment schedule for a year or so, then decide all by themselves to send in high-resolution, sharp, well-lighted pictures, and trust and agree that the photo's can be used on some commercial site, as long as a small black box is placed over their eyes.

Nearly all those pictures are copied from course books on dermatology and plastic surgery. That's why they're all uniform-looking with similar background and lighting and you don't see a Copyright message on them such as on our pictures that really do come from happy customers. If it weren't for the big "Vaughter Wellness" text on our pictures, they would be plastered all over the Internet by now.

11. They claim that most dermarollers have 0.15 mm thick needles that last shorter, and that 0.3 mm is better.

We have tested many dermarollers in our dermaroller review ( and we did not find any roller with 0.15 mm needles. To our knowledge, nearly all dermarollers available in the market today have a needle thickness of 0.25 mm and the reason is that scientific research found that that is the ideal thickness for microneedling. 0.3 is the upper limit (such thick needles increase the risk of scarring) and 0.2 mm is the lower limit (lower than that and the beneficial effect of collagen regeneration is sub-optimal). So this is a myth in order to spread suspicion against the other rollers. As an aside, 0.15 mm needles would bend very easily.

12. They claim that their rollers last a full year or longer.

This is always a lie, because technology is not yet so advanced that they can produce non-blunting metal needles for affordable prices. Needle tips are only a few molecules wide at the end and they always blunt after a few thousand skin penetrations. Perhaps there exist an exotic material such as ceramics that blunts slower, but there exists no special dermaroller today that lasts longer than about seven average treatment sessions, meaning that you roll not a tiny patch of skin and not a huge area such as your entire chest. Don't forget that these plastic dermarollers are originally intended to be used only once - they are intended to be sold as disposable rollers for clinics.

Noone can claim that their rollers last "more than one year". All needles blunt and how fast they blunt depends on how much you roll. One year is only achievable when you only roll small areas - infrequently.

13. They claim that dermarolling does not hurt and that numbing creams can damage nerves.

This is totally false. Dermarolling hurts - a lot. Even rolling with a 0.5 mm roller hurts. Many say: "It hurts like hell". The only possible reason someone would want to claim that dermarolling doesn't hurt or is only "slightly painful" would be to sell more rollers.  Dermarolling is as painful as those needles look! No point in denying that. If you are scared of pain, don't roll or use ice packs or a numbing cream. If you want to look better, you'll have to suffer. No free lunch. Most competitors find it impossible to supply numbing creams because they are prescription-based in Europe, China refuses to dropship them due to frequent confiscation so there are very few places that still dropship them. In fact only one company in the world still does this. So White Lotus, unable to sell numbing creams and afraid people will buy the entire order from another vendor, simply claims that dermarolling doesn't hurt. Their site is full of scary warnings to warn against everything that doesn't fit their business model, such as "There is scientific evidence that numbing creams can damage local nerves". Funny how they never give a link to such "evidence" - because there is none.

14. They sell their own sterilizing spray

Microneedling devices should be thoroughly cleaned after use by rinsing it in warm soapy water first and then immersing it for at least half an hour into a > 60% alcohol solution or some other kind of sterilizing agent such as Chloramine-T (cheaper and more effective than alcohol). Merely spraying the needles is not enough by far, as the alcohol evaporates before the bacteria die. It takes a long time to really sterilize (as opposed to merely "disinfect") something with alcohol - a few seconds of spray won't cover every part of the needles fully. The reason they sell a tiny spray bottle for several times the price of a large bottle with denaturated alcohol from the pharmacy is because they can make good money with it. They can't make money with a large bottle of disinfecting alcohol - you can buy that cheaper in a local store. But that's exactly what you should do, if you want to properly disinfect your dermaroller. If you want to go one step further and sterilize your microneedling instrument, you should use Chloramine-T.

15. They claim that dermarolling can increase breast size

Anyone who understands the principles of microneedling knows this can't be true:

White Lotus claims that dermarolling can enlarge breasts (

Of course, such wild, unsubstantiated claims sell more rollers. they know very well that dermarolling can't augment breasts, so they are careful to call it "Breast Enhancement Acupuncture". Buyer beware - at the time of writing, they sell a dermaroller that costs 3 dollars bulk wholesale and a needleless massage roller, plus a tiny "serum" bottle for $139.95. That's $9.95 worth of value and $130 profit. And if you use the roller to increase the size of your breasts, it's not even worth $9.95 - it just won't work.

16. They claim that vitamins can be harmful, when used with dermarolling.

Probably because there is little profit margin on pharmaceutical vitamins (because they have to be purchased from a pharmacy first) and there is much more profit on self-produced "serums", White Lotus claimed that vitamins are bad because they are "artificial" and they can cause liver failure and whatnot. Because the skin is 1000 times more "open" and the vit. A will damage your liver, etc.

First of all: You need so much vit. A to cause liver damage that if you would eat a hundred tubes of vit. A cream, nothing would happen. Scott's South Pole expedition ended badly and that was partially due to vit. A poisoning. They had been eating polar bear livers for weeks, ingesting absolutely huge amounts of vit. A, millions of times more than is in an entire tube.

Secondly: Vit A cream is not used directly after dermarolling! So their scaremongering is based on a straw man, a false premisse, a red herring.

For the rest: It has been proven many times in a clinical setting that vit. C and D is very beneficial and even essential to healing skin. The same with vit. A. "artificial" or "natural" are meaningless words without exact definitions. Uranium is natural, would you eat it? The vit. C we sell is 100% medically pure L-Ascorbic acid crystals, purer than found in nature, achieving great results in medical trials.

Of course there is little money to be made with vit. C, hence the disinterest on the part of White Lotus to sell it, because if they charge too much, anyone can see that and buy it locally. Our vit. C sells for three dollars. Instead of lying to our customers and squeezing the last drop of cash out of them, we chose to simply provide whatever has been proven to be beneficial, for an honest price - our cost plus a modest percentage.

17. They sell tiny bottles of expensive, self-made "enhancement serums" with extracts of some cheap herbs of which the efficacy is wholly unproven.

You know how you can immediately recognize dermarolling scammers? They  sell their own "miracle serums" instead of clinically proven vitamin  creams and ointments. Vitamin creams are expensive. They are  made in pharmaceutical companies and sold in pharmacies. They have  proven themselves in countless medical studies and conform to strict  quality requirements. Such vitamins are expensive and not much money can  be made with them, hence the need to sell self-produced "serums" that  cost nearly nothing to produce and can be sold at a huge profit margin.  The most expensive part is the bottle and the cost of shipping. Stay far  away from those peddling their own serums, potions, herbal extracts and  essential oil mixtures. Scientia sells self-branded multivitamins for a dollar a pill (30 dollars/month) that cost 50 cents a bottle wholesale. Made in China. Buyer beware - source your multivitamins from a reputable Western manufacturer, not from a 20-year-old in Hong Kong.

18. They copy lare sections of text verbatim from competitors

Most online vendors of dermarollers are youngh Chinese males pretending to be respectable, large companies. Those kids do not have the slightest interest in microneedling, but they are very savvy internet marketeers. Because they have more "make money online" schemes going, they don't write their own articles but they copy from sites like ours. Cases in point: Scientia and Skinfinite. Both copied large sections of text and, in Scientia's case, even photo's from our site. It's usually stuff from my dermarolling guidelines, but they copied the descriptions in our web store or sales page as well. If you see anything that are near-identical to paragraphs that I wrote, you have just spotted a scammer. Scientia is by far the worst offender, and we had to submit three DMCA takedown requests to get just one of his many sites cleaned up:

19. They say that you should roll more often than once every three weeks with needles of 1.5 mm length (or similar advice)

Such advice will ruin your skin instead of improve it. The full cycle of collagen regeneration takes months - many months! All such advice does is sell many more rollers because the more often you use them, the sooner they get blunt. This advice is either based on ignorance or malice.
Title: 20 signs you're dealing with a dermarolling scammer
Post by: FINLEY on January 04, 2011, 02:30:54 PM
Thanks for the info- somehow I previously missed this post.  I actually have been rolling for 10 months and have noticed a big difference in my skin, and a gradual, but steady,  improvement in my decades-old acne scars.  I feel so much better about my appearance, and feel more confident when meeting the public.  You really have been a God-send to me.

I had looked at several sites before choosing to purchase from your company.  I noticed some "warning signs" myself, including, frequently a lack of writing skills by so-called professionals, testimonials by clients who were rolling much too frequently, and a lack of information regarding safe procedural practices and the physiological processes involved.  I thank you again for the research you have done, and for your attention to safe and effective procedures, and the information you provide re: the science behind it all!  Without that info I never would have proceeded.  Additionally, on my last skin cancer check my dermatologist informed me she noticed an improvement in the scarring based on past photos.  She was the person who recommended rolling to me after both a Pearl laser treatment and a CO2 laser treatments were only minimally helpful.  She told me she felt it was the best procedure for me, even though she does not do it in her office.

I feel confident when I order from you that I am getting safe equipment and sound advice.   So, once again, thanks!
Title: 20 signs you're dealing with a dermarolling scammer
Post by: SarahVaughter on January 04, 2011, 04:07:57 PM
Thank you :-)

I want to add that in the rare case that a customer reports a problem with a product, that we always refund immediately and/or send a free replacement as well. Sometimes we do both.