Dermaplaning

Everything You Need to Know About Dermaplaning

By Spotlyte Staff

Stocksy / Sergey Filimonov

What is Dermaplaning?

In addition to cleansing, moisturizing, and healing skin from sun damage, exfoliation is a crucial part of any good skincare routine. There are myriad ways to slough skin, but dermaplaning is one of the buzziest forms as of late. You may have seen videos of the process on social media: someone takes a razorlike tool to a face and literally “shaves” away a layer of dead skin and peach fuzz. Admittedly, watching dead skin and hair fall like snow is strangely satisfying. Even more satisfying? Revealing luminous, resurfaced skin beneath. Below, everything you need to know before you try the treatment. [Editor’s note: As always, talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any new treatment.]

FAQS

Joslyn Blair
  • What concerns can dermaplaning address?

    Like any form of topical exfoliation, dermaplaning can help reveal brighter, even-looking skin. As we age, our skin cell turnover — i.e. the rate at which our cells shed — decreases. As a result, those dull, dead cells stay on the skin’s surface for longer. At its core, exfoliation acts as a catalyst for cell turnover to reveal brighter-looking skin more quickly. Dermaplaning is one of the deepest forms of physical exfoliation, meaning that it removes more skin than, say, a quick manual scrub. In addition to sloughing away dead skin, dermaplaning has the added benefit of removing vellus hairs (a.k.a. “peach fuzz”).
  • How does dermaplaning work?

    Dermaplaning relies on a surgical scalpel to gently scrape away dead skin cells and peach fuzz — two things that can dull your complexion. Professional treatments are performed by a dermatologist, an aesthetician, or other licensed provider. Incidentally, there are many at-home devices inspired by professional dermaplaning treatments. While similar in concept, DIY tools do not rely on a scalpel (for obvious safety reasons!).
  • Does dermaplaning hurt?

    We understand — “scalpel” sounds a little frightening. But if you’ve ever shaved any part of your body, you probably have a general idea of what dermaplaning feels like. While it’s not shaving, per se, the treatment does have a similar, stroke-like feeling. Some people even say it feels relaxing!
  • How much does dermaplaning cost?

    As with most aesthetic treatments, dermaplaning can vary vastly in price. The average cost of a professional treatment can range from around $50 to about $1,000, depending on your geographic location and the size of the area being treated. To maintain results, you’ll have to schedule an appointment every three to four weeks.
  • What are the risks of dermaplaning?

    When performed by a licensed practitioner, there are very few common risks associated with dermaplaning. Temporary side effects may include tingling, aching, redness, blotchy patches, small whiteheads, and enlarged pores. Other, more rare but serious, side effects are infection, scarring, or changes in skin pigmentation if you do not protect your newly-resurfaced skin from UV rays.
  • Is dermaplaning right for me?

    Dermaplaning is safe for most skin types. However, those with darker complexions may be more blotchy afterward or even risk permanent discoloration. If you have pustular acne, frequent blisters or sores, or another inflammatory skin condition, it is not recommended (the scalpel can aggravate these skin conditions).
  • What outcome can I expect after treatment?

    Immediately after treatment, your skin will look and feel significantly smoother. Plus, you might notice that your makeup glides on more easily, thanks to fuzz-free skin. It’s important to note, however, that dermaplaning does not remove coarse facial hair. The scalpel only sloughs deeply enough to remove vellus hair. And don’t worry — we promise your peach fuzz will not grow back into a thicker, darker version of its prior self.
Joslyn Blair
Joslyn Blair

THE PROCESS

Consultation

During a dermaplaning consultation, your provider (whether a dermatologist, aesthetician, or other licensed practitioner) will determine whether you are a candidate for dermaplaning. This process will include a physical skin assessment and a thorough review of your skincare and medical history.

Procedure

In some ways, dermaplaning is similar to a facial. For one, you will be reclined during the treatment. Your provider will cleanse and dry your skin. Next, they’ll move the scalpel in small strokes across the skin at a 45 degree angle. This motion will gently and effectively remove any dead, dull cells sitting on top of your skin’s surface, as well as any peach fuzz. Post-procedure, your provider will apply a moisturizer and sunscreen. The entire treatment usually takes less than an hour. On a separate note: Since dermaplaning essentially removes a barrier of skin, it allows products to absorb more deeply — and consequently work more effectively. For this reason, some people schedule additional facial treatments, such as chemical peels, directly after dermaplaning.

Recovery

As with any exfoliating facial, there is not usually any “downtime” with dermaplaning. However, your skin may feel tight or raw post-treatment. Because this exfoliation essentially removes a (thin) layer of skin, your face will be particularly sensitive to UV rays post-treatment. Now more than ever, be sure to slather on the sunscreen! Immediately post-procedure, you’ll be able to apply makeup, skincare, and otherwise go about your regular routine. (In fact, skincare will likely absorb more deeply and work more effectively!) Most people do not experience much redness post-treatment, but there is a possibility that your skin will look slightly flushed for a few hours.

Results

One of the beauties of dermaplaning is its instantaneous results. Immediately, skin will look more luminous and feel smoother. After a week or two, you will likely notice some of your peach fuzz growing back. The fuzz may feel slightly more prickly (but not stubbly!) during this phase, but it will not look any darker or thicker. To maintain the results of dermaplaning, you’ll need to book an appointment every month.

Next Steps

If you think you might be a candidate for dermaplaning, chat with your dermatologist or skincare specialist about your options. Additionally, be sure to stop exfoliating at home at least few days prior to your dermaplaning appointment — you don’t want your skin to be too sensitive beforehand.
Joslyn Blair
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