Let’s Discuss: Does The DERMAFLASH Really Work?

“I’m going to drink wine and shave my face,” I announced, raising my glass of pinot noir to the camera. My sister and I were chatting about our respective Friday night plans via FaceTime® — and even over the semi-pixelated call, I could sense her hesitancy. In fact, it was the same uncertain expression I myself had given anyone who swore by dermaplaning.

In essence, dermaplaning is a form of deep exfoliation. Using a specialized, straight-edged razor (or scalpel), the process literally sloughs off the top layer of dead skin and peach fuzz. The treatment has become a medspa staple — and, like many popular professional treatments, has trickled down into DIY devices. In 2016, DERMAFLASH® ($189) became the preeminent at-home dermaplaning device. (You may have seen it on social media or Sephora® shelves.) Unlike an in-office dermaplaning session, the tool allows anyone with even subpar coordination skills to safely slough away in their PJs.

Until that fated Friday night, my own DERMAFLASH device had been collecting dust under my bathroom sink. I had been wanting to try it (glowy skin — count me in), but the thought of bringing a razor-like tool anywhere near my face made my palms sweat every time I thought about it. After all, unsightly hair regrowth was not a risk I’d been willing to take. 

Until I’d had a few glasses of wine. Plus, my boyfriend had gone out that Friday night, making it the ideal opportunity to slough away in privacy (lest something wildly unsexy happen).

According to DERMAFLASH founder, Dara Levy, I was not alone in my regrowth fear. In fact, stubble is the most common reason women avoid dermaplaning, she notes. “Rest assured that your hair will not grow back thicker or darker,” she tells me when I express my concern.

Peach fuzz is a completely different ball game than, say, armpit hair. The hair on your head and body is called terminal hair and, depending on where it is, its coarseness and thinness varies. “The hair on a woman’s face is called vellus hair; it’s soft and fine,” Levy explains. DERMAFLASH is designed to remove said vellus hair (a.k.a peach fuzz) just above the surface of the skin. In fact, the device is incapable of “shaving” any hair other than fine fuzz. So, says Levy, “It does not — and cannot — impact the growth, color, or texture of a woman’s facial hair.” (Phew.)

The Process

After charging the device for a few hours and watching a few dermaplaning videos on Instagram® for reassurance, I was finally ready to give it a go.

The DERMAFLASH tool comes with two accompanying skincare products: the Preflash® cleanser and the Postflash® moisturizer. (Once you run out, you can buy more product as part of the Essentials Kit, $29) First, I used the cleanser as I would any other formula, and patted my face dry. I noticed that my skin felt squeaky clean — almost tight. While tight skin is usually a sign that a cleanser is stripping the skin (i.e. bad!), this cleanser is actually intentionally skin-tightening, so that it provides a taut surface to glide the device over.

Then, I popped on a new “edge” — i.e. the razorlike exfoliator — into the DERMAFLASH. (The kit comes with eight edges, which you are supposed to swap out before every treatment.) As per the instructions, I began gliding the tool across my face in small, feathery strokes, starting from the spot just below my ear. (Levy advises holding the skin taut for best results.) After a few passes, I couldn’t help but ogle all of the white debris — dead skin with a side of fuzz, presumably — falling from my face. Needless to say, the experience was incredibly satisfying. Plus, it was entirely painless.

The Immediate Results

“Flashing” my entire face took around seven minutes. After I’d finished, I stood back to assess my results. Overall, my skin looked radiant, as if I’d just used an excellent face scrub. I applied the Postflash Moisturizer (soothing, but nothing extraordinary) and went to bed feeling satisfied, but not overly-wowed.

The next morning, I’d almost forgotten about my dermaplaning adventure — that is, until I applied my foundation. Subtle as my peach fuzz had been, it had been dulling my glow. Post-flash, my foundation spread on like butter and left an unprecedented smoothness in its wake.  

Furthermore, powder highlighters seemed to transform into much more flattering versions of themselves on my newly-sloughed skin. Before DERMAFLASH, these formulas had a tendency to coat each individual vellus hair (ergo, I’d mostly stuck to creamy products). Post-DERMAFLASH, even the powderiest of makeup posed no issue, and I found myself faced with an expanded number of highlighter choices as a result.  

Incidentally, it’s no wonder the DERMAFLASH is a red carpet favorite among celebrities. “[The DERMAFLASH] instantly creates a flawless canvas for makeup,” Levy affirms. “It’s the secret weapon of Hollywood’s A-list aestheticians and makeup artists, and should always be the first step before red carpet makeup or skincare application.” (Read about the celebrities who used the tool before the Golden Globes® here.)

One Week Later

In short: I can officially confirm that my beard fear was completely unfounded. Amazingly, my tiny, soft peach fuzz returned . . . as its tiny, soft self. (In other words, not exactly the mammoth resurgence I had anticipated.) While the device will not permanently remove peach fuzz, it can be used often enough to prevent vellus hair from ever fully growing back. “When used weekly as recommended, DERMAFLASH results build upon themselves, including an amazing change in tone, texture and radiance over time,” Levy asserts.

Despite the intense exfoliation DERMAFLASH provides, Levy says there’s no need to necessarily ditch your favorite chemical exfoliator. Simply limit it to once per week when you’re using the DERMAFLASH. (Sidenote: I love a good at-home peel, so I was happy to learn that the device wouldn’t alter my skincare routine!).

I have yet to confirm the cumulative results firsthand — but I couldn’t wait to share my instantaneously glowy results with my sister. If I may say so myself, skin this bright was bound to glow, even over FaceTime.

DERMAFLASH was gifted to the author for the purpose of writing this article.

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