Dermaplaning - Everything You Need to Know
Want to know what all the rage about dermaplaning is? Read on to find out how it’s done and what benefits it brings. We promise you’ll understand the hype!
By now you must’ve seen some random ASMR skincare video of people gliding a blade over their face in order to produce that satisfying scraping sound. You may have wondered what in the world they’re doing. The technique is called dermaplaning and it’s an all-rounder!
Although it’s existed for decades, this technique gained a lot of popularity as of late. More and more women are turning to it to get that smooth and glowing complexion. It’s even dubbed the most satisfying facial! Assuming you’ve seen the videos, you get why.
If you’ve been wondering what is dermaplaning and how it can be beneficial, read on to find out.
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What Is Dermaplaning?
Dermaplaning is a skin resurfacing procedure used to remove anything your regular exfoliants can’t. The treatment can remove up to 2 weeks of dead skin, peach fuzz and excess oils, resulting in a very soft, smooth skin texture.
It’s done by gently scraping your face with a scalpel, removing the top layer of your skin, and leaving the surface renewed.
Image source: Instagram @pureindulgenceskinandbeauty
Dermaplaning is a totally non-invasive procedure that is a great alternative to harsher exfoliating treatments such as chemical peels.
Because of its non-invasive exfoliating effects, dermaplaning is often paired with a facial treatment (which is how the term dermaplaning facial came to be – it’s dermaplaning plus something else).
This procedure goes by many names: dermaplaning, dermaplane facial, dermablading, microplaning or just blading.
Image source: Instagram @knapste_kliniek
Is Dermaplaning the Same as Shaving Your Face?
Facial dermaplaning is very similar to shaving, considering they both involve a blade going over your skin and removing excess hair and dead skin cells, but no, it’s not entirely the same.
Shaving your face will help remove peach fuzz off of your face and will make it smoother, but that’s about it. Meanwhile, dermaplaning done by a professional with a very sharp scalpel helps remove the stratum corneum of the epidermis skin layer – and everything on it, hairs included.
Removing hairs has a lot to do with the overall success of further skincare steps. With peach fuzz removed, products can penetrate deeper into the skin. Plus makeup glides on so much smoother and doesn’t have that cakey effect you get when it gets stuck in the hairs.
Dermaplaning is often used specifically for this purpose, while others are afraid of facial hair removal because of hair growth myths. But more on those later.
Image source: Instagram @glowskinstudionj
How Exactly Does Dermaplaning Work?
The dermaplane facial cleans your skin thoroughly, as dead cells and other debris that make your skin tone appear more uneven are removed. Toxins and irritants from the harsh environment damage your skin daily. This causes the top layer to appear dull – which makes you look aged.
The treatment is done by placing a sterile surgical scalpel at a 45-degree angle against your skin and slowly dragging it across your face. By eliminating the buildup that makes pores appear larger and texture rougher, your new skin immediately shows up fresher and brighter.
Image source: Instagram @beautifulyouskinandlash
What’s the Dermaplane Facial Like?
The treatment begins by cleansing your face to remove excess oils and dirt, and toning.
The technician will then start scraping your skin either manually with a scalpel or with an electronic dermaplaning tool. The tool is reminiscent of an electric razor and is called a dermatome.
During the procedure, you may feel tingling or scratching sensations. You shouldn’t feel any pain. But sometimes, the tech might use a numbing solution in the form of cream or spray.
The last step of the process is bringing moisture back into the skin. Your skin’s pores are now open and can soak up more product which is why serums and moisturizers are generously applied to it.
Not only does this boost moisture and help enhance the appearance, but it also prevents skin from feeling itchy and irritated.
At the very end of the treatment, sunscreen will be applied in order to protect your newly exposed skin from harmful UV rays.
What Issues Can Dermaplaning Improve?
The dermaplane facial is usually done to improve the general appearance of the skin.
It’s used to help with dull skin and get rid of dead skin buildup. It removes dry patches so it’s great for people with dry skin type, especially because it helps products penetrate deeper, allowing the skin to absorb moisturizer better.
It can fix a number of issues like:
- Fine lines
- Dull skin
- Light, shallow acne scars
- Enlarged pores
- Sun damage spots
- Dull skin
- Dry patches
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dermaplaning?
Pretty much anyone can benefit from a dermaplaning facial.
Most exfoliating treatments, such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion, have contraindications. Dermaplaning, on the other hand, is completely non-invasive and doesn’t use any harmful chemicals.
It’s great for all skin types.
It removes excess sebum from the skin, which is a great choice for someone with an oily skin type. On the opposite end, dry skin type will also benefit from the same treatment. The blade removes dry patches and helps moisturizers by allowing them to sink deeper into the skin.
This treatment can also be especially beneficial to those with:
- Aging skin
- Rough skin
- Uneven skin tone
- Shallow acne scars
- Fine lines
- Superficial hyperpigmentation
Image source: Instagram @miaskinbar
What Issues Can’t Dermaplaning Treat?
Dermaplaning is a great treatment because of how quick, simple and pretty much all-inclusive it is. However, there are some limitations.
Dermaplaning can’t treat:
- Deep wrinkles
- Deep scars
- Inflammatory skin conditions (psoriasis and eczema)
- Active acne
- Loose skin
Plus, for dermaplaning, your skin needs to be healthy and uninjured so as not to make the situation worse and to avoid infection. So if you are someone with an inflammatory skin condition, the dermaplaning treatment unfortunately isn’t for you.
Another condition facial dermaplaning can’t treat is active acne. If you are experiencing a flare-up, the blade scraping your face is far from something you should be doing – you’ll just spread the bacteria further.
Loose skin isn’t an issue for the dermaplaning facial either. General loss of elasticity is better treated with microneedling.
Who Isn’t a Candidate for Dermaplaning?
Although dermaplaning is a good choice for most, there are still some exceptions. Candidates who shouldn’t be undergoing this treatment are people with:
- Active or cystic acne
- Raised lesions
- Open sores
- Severe cases of rosacea (consult your dermatologist)
- Thick, coarse hair
- Cold sores*
- Skin rashes (contact dermatitis)
In some of these cases, the blade can nick a pimple or raised skin and create a wound that will take longer to heal. In other cases, it can just cause more irritation than normal, and a bit more excessive skin peeling.
*If you have a history of cold sores, don’t forget to tell your technician. In that case not only does the technician need to avoid the area but you also need to be on antiviral med so as not to spread the virus further.
Does Dermaplaning Hurt?
Since this procedure only requires scraping the surface of your skin, there is no pain or swelling associated with the procedure.
To be fair, saying a very sharp blade will be scraping your face does sound a bit scary, however, this treatment isn’t nearly as intense as it sounds. It’s actually a non-invasive, safe, and effective way to exfoliate your skin and remove unwanted peach fuzz in the process.
Image source: Instagram @eriksaulnieresthetics
Does Dermaplaning Cause Stubble?
No, dermaplaning (nor shaving for that matter) will not cause your facial hair to grow back thicker or create any stubble.
True, the hair may feel slightly different as it starts growing back, but that’s only because of the angle at which it was shaved off. This is just an illusion.
It’s still the same thickness and texture it always has been and it will continue to grow at the same speed it always has. Its color, however, might be something that’s changed.
Since peach fuzz has been on your face for quite some time, the sun and maybe some products helped bleach it so the new hair may appear darker in comparison. But it’s not growing actually darker, it just hasn’t been lightened as the previous fuzz has.
Will Dermaplaning Break Me Out?
Not if it’s done on clear skin. Dermaplaning shouldn’t be done on skin that has an active breakout because the bacteria from the pimples gets spread across the face, which can cause new ones to pop up.
But this shouldn’t happen if you have no breakout to begin with. The focus is on removing the excess skin oils and dead skin building, which actually helps prevent future breakouts.
However, if you do experience a breakout it will be because of improper aftercare, not the procedure itself. You need to refrain from touching your skin – no matter how soft it is.
Touching it with dirty hands allows bacteria to get into the pores, re-congest them and break you out.
How Many Sessions of Dermaplaning Will I Need?
Dermaplaning facials don’t have to be done continuously. They can be done regularly, if you are trying to actively maintain radiant skin. But they can also be done as a one time thing, for a special occasion or just to try this treatment out.
Since this treatment exfoliates deeper than regular exfoliants, it shouldn’t be done more than once a month. The general recommendation is to wait at least 30 days between sessions, but this can vary based on your skin type.
It’s important to wait long enough until your skin completes its rejuvenation cycle. Since this is an exfoliating treatment you need to wait for dead skin to accumulate again.
Consult your dermatologist on the frequency of the treatments that would work for you.
Note that if you are using dermaplaning primarily for hair removal, and you need to remove it more than once a month, maybe you should look into another hair removal solution as over-exfoliating your skin can damage it in the long run.
Image source: Instagram @clinicajoaocarlosbarros
How Long Does the Dermaplaning Treatment Take?
The actual dermaplaning is a quick procedure and it typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
The whole session – including consultation, preparation, explaining the aftercare instructions as well as the treatment itself – is under an hour. There’s no downtime, so right after it you can get back to your day.
How Do I Prepare for Dermaplaning?
This treatment doesn’t really require any special preparation.
However, it’s recommended that days leading up to the treatment you avoid waxing or tweezing, bleaching, and using harsh exfoliants and products containing anti-aging and anti-acne ingredients like retinols and retinoids, glycolic and salicylic acid, and similar
It’s also recommended to stay out of the sun as it makes your skin more sensitive and reactive.
Are There Any Aftercare Tips I’ll Need to Follow?
Since this is a non-invasive treatment, there really aren’t any strict aftercare rules you need to follow. But there are some things you can do to help your skin recover and achieve maximum results.
First and foremost, the most important thing is not to touch your face with dirty hands, or let any other unclean surface come into contact with it. This means you should get a clean pillowcase and sleeping mask, as these can be real dirt traps.
Exfoliating the layer of dead skin strips your skin of its natural oils and protective barrier. You’ll need to restore the moisture and rehydrate the skin after dermaplaning.
Until your skin barrier is restored your skin can appear red and tender. Be cautious about which products you are using in the days following the treatment. Retinol and exfoliating acids should be avoided. Use a gentle cleanser.
You should avoid using makeup for about a day or two. Makeup isn’t absolutely forbidden, but your skin is very absorbent and reactive, so best not expose it to unnecessary products that can clog your freshly cleaned out pores.
Part of the aftercare is also staying out of the sun as much as possible for the next couple of days. After a dermaplaning facial, your skin is more photosensitive, so make sure you are applying sunscreen to protect it.
Is There Any Downtime?
No, you don’t need to plan for any recovery downtime. Right after the procedure, your skin may be slightly red and tender. But that reaction, if it even occurs, goes away quickly.
How Long Does the Skin Need to Heal Afterwards?
Most clients resume their normal activities right after the procedure. Skin will heal within a day or two and if you get any blotchiness or slight stinging that will also resolve itself within 24 hours.
However, the skin’s sensitivity is increased so you need to pay attention to giving it a bit more care than usual.
Effects of the Dermaplaning Facial
Dermaplaning has several benefits. You can expect your complexion to look brighter, skin tone more even and skin to be softer to the touch.
Deeper product penetration means your serums and moisturizers will be more effective and deliver more benefits.
This also goes for makeup. Peach fuzz will no longer interfere with your makeup application, allowing the smoothest base possible. Your makeup will appear more natural. Also, dermaplaning takes care of the dry patches so your foundation won’t look cakey.
Image source: Instagram @simonelima_beauty
When Can I Expect an Improvement?
Improvements can be seen immediately after the dermaplaning treatment. But for some, it can take 48 to 72 hours for the benefits to fully kick in.
Those cases are often in individuals whose skin gets red after the procedure. Only after that redness subsides will you see the full results.
If you are doing dermaplaning regularly, after a while you can start seeing an improvement in the form of fewer scars, smaller wrinkles, and a general boost in skin health.
How Long Will the Effects of Dermaplaning Last?
The results depend on your skin type and how fast your hair grows. Usually, it’ll be around 3-4 weeks. After that the results will have faded, as dead skin cells accumulate again and peach fuzz grows back.
Is Dermaplaning Safe?
Dermaplaning is safe when performed by a licensed and trained technician. There are little to no side effects of this procedure and the limitations for who can do this treatment are minimal.
What Are the Risks of Facial Dermaplaning?
This is a very low-risk procedure. Still, if done improperly, the dermaplaning facial can jeopardize the skin’s integrity. That’s rarely the case, but it’s exactly why you should get a professional treatment.
Potential risks are:
- Persistent redness
- Prolonged irritation
- Cuts and bleeding
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dermatologist.
Image source: Instagram @libraspa (not their work)
Are There Any Side Effects of Dermaplaning?
Dermaplaning side effects are rare, but they do occur. The most common side effects are:
- Slight irritation
- Slightly heightened sensitivity
Some people experience breakouts and start developing whiteheads on the skin in a day or two following the procedure. But this is mostly due to improper aftercare, rather than the procedure itself.
Another potential side effect is patchy pigmentation, which should fade or vanish with time.
How Much Does Dermaplaning Cost?
This treatment can cost between $75 to $250 per treatment, but the average cost of a dermaplaning treatment is $125.
The price of course varies depending on the experience of the technician, location of the salon, etc.
Can I Do Dermaplaning Myself?
Many people do dermaplaning by themselves. However, this is facial shaving rather than dermaplaning in most cases.
Real dermaplaning is done by using a very sharp scalpel that scrapes the skin surface. These tools are used by professionals that know exactly how to do it without damaging the skin. Trying it yourself is not recommended as you can cut yourself and scar your face.
The tools for home use do achieve similar results, however, they don’t exfoliate as much.
Mostly, they just remove the peach fuzz and some dead skin cells. Although not as effective as a professional treatment, at-home dermaplaning does have its benefits, primarily the budget-friendliness.
If you decide to DIY it, just remember – clean your skin, be gentle, and don’t go over the same area more than once or you risk irritation. Use light pressure and don’t forget to be very careful where the skin is thin like around your nose.
You’ll need a special tool – don’t try to use any old razor you have on hand. Here are our picks:
BEST DERMAPLANING TOOLS
Dermaplaning – Main Takeaways
The dermaplaning treatment offers many benefits, especially if you take into account that it’s basically without risks. It’s unique in the sense it’s pretty much for everybody and offers immediate results. Plus it’s really satisfying! So why not give it a go?
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