Skin Gurus Widely Praise Dermaplaning Treatments – Should You Get One?
If you’ve gotten a facial in the last few years, you’ve probably been offered a dermaplaning treatment add-on to your facial. That probably resulted in a lot of questions like:
→ What is dermaplaning, exactly?
→ Why would you need it?
→ Is dermaplaning safe?
→ Is it worth the money?
You might have heard a friend or esthetician swear by their dermaplaning treatment giving them baby-soft, flawless skin.
But like many skincare treatments currently on the rise, it’s worth educating yourself before making the dive and signing up for a dermaplaning treatment.
Here’s everything you need to know + our honest opinion on this trending skin treatment.
What Is a Dermaplaining Treatment?
Did you know that your skin produces about 36 million new skin cells daily?1 Because we have so much cell turnover in our skin (thank goodness!), many people believe kickstarting that turnover through exfoliation results in clearer, glowing skin.
Dermaplaning is the act of removing a layer of dead skin cells from your skin’s surface, along with vellus hair (aka “peach fuzz”), with a single blade.
Formally called a dermatome, a dermaplaning tool is one of two things:
- A mechanical device that looks like an electric razor
- A manual scalpel
But plenty of people just call it a dermaplaning tool or blade.
You’re probably thinking, “Wait, isn’t this just shaving?”
A dermaplaning treatment is somewhat similar to shaving.
In fact, some people actually call it face shaving.
We liked this analysis of how it’s different from shaving:2
“[A dermaplaning treatment is] different from shaving because the intent is to improve the appearance of the skin as opposed to the removal of hair…”
– Dr. Camp
Essentially, there are different end goals. Vellus hair removal is just a byproduct, not the goal.
Can I Use My Regular Razor as a Dermaplaning Tool?
No! For starters, a real razor definitely doesn't get as close as a dermaplaning tool. So you're not receiving the result (exfoliation, mainly) you're looking for.
There are plenty of reasons that a standard razor should not be used for a dermaplaning treatment, including:
- The risk of dull blades
- Less mobility to smoothly work around crevices
- Possibility of spreading germs between other body parts and the face
So, if you’re considering a dermaplaning treatment, toss the at-home idea and let a professional use a formal tool.
What to Expect in a Typical Dermaplaning Treatment
After cleansing your face, a dermatologist or esthetician will pull your skin taught to avoid any knicks from the razor. Then they’ll gently sweep the blade across your dry face with delicate strokes.
The tool is held at a 45-degree angle to get the closest, cleanest shave. It’s very gentle. And like any form of manual exfoliation, this is key.
A dermaplaning treatment usually takes 10-20 minutes in total. It's often part of a facial or an add-on option.
Okay, now that you’ve got the basics, let’s get into the benefits of dermaplaning.
If you’ve already seen a friend’s dermaplaning before and after results, you might just be here to learn more about the potential risks. But don’t skip this section – you might learn something new. ;)
As we live life, our cells become damaged and congested, and often the skin cells aren’t able to keep up. They stop shedding properly, leaving you with dull, lifeless skin. At the same time, our cellular turnover slows down as we age. A form of gentle exfoliation would help nudge along the cellular turnover to keep your skin clear and radiant.
That’s where dermaplaning treatment steps in.
These are our favorite dermaplaning benefits:
- Exfoliation of dead skin to make skin brighter
- Deeper serum absorption + smoother makeup application (from removing vellus hair)
- Can “reset” hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone
- Smoothes complexion
- Treats acne scars (a safer and less invasive alternative to microneedling)
- Can treat flaky skin such as dermatitis (check out this study!)
- Softens fine lines and wrinkles
- Better moisture retention3
A dermaplaning treatment can be a gentler alternative to chemical exfoliation. It’s safe and non-invasive when performed by a licensed professional, during pregnancy, or for those with sensitive skin. But, like most treatments, there are side effects. Let’s look into them.
Dermaplaning Side effects
It’s always important to do your research when it comes to adverse side effects or troubling risks with a new facial treatment. We’ve got you covered with all the information you need.
Is Dermaplaning Safe?
When done correctly + safely, there are little to no side effects with a dermaplaning treatment.
There’s a chance you might experience minor reactions like:
- Swelling or redness from the exfoliation
- Burning or tingling sensation4
- Sensitive skin since a new layer of skin is revealed
The biggest risks with a dermaplaning treatment would come with trying to perform dermaplaning at home. We’d caution against doing any form of dermaplaning at home.
Though dermaplaning sounds simple, it’s easy to overuse and damage the skin. Remember how picking pimples is hard not to overdo sometimes? Same idea.
Plus, the blade in a dermaplaning tool is extremely sharp, and it’s easy to knick yourself.
Many commercial razors are cheaply made and unsanitary.
If you’re set on trying dermaplaning at home, consult your esthetician and order a dermaplaning tool from a trustworthy company.
The side effects of dermaplaning, in general, are relatively small and not something we see as a massive concern. Just make sure your dermaplaning treatment is done safely, in moderation, and administered by a professional.
Things You Should Know Before a Dermaplaning Treatment
Like any facial treatment or procedure, there are some things you might want to be aware of before you commit. Here’s the rundown you need from the frequency of the treatment to confusing terminology. We’ll also talk about how to prep before the dermaplaning treatment.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dermaplaning?
Do not get a dermaplaning treatment if:
- You are on Accutane now or have been in the last 6 months
- If you’ve used an intensive exfoliating product in the last 48hrs (including Retin-A, Renova, or any medically-prescribed exfoliating product)1
- Have extremely sensitive skin, a sunburn, or fresh wounds
If you qualify for any of the above, consider looking into a safe and healthy alternative to dermaplaning.
How Often Should You Get a Dermaplaning Treatment?
Once a month with your monthly facial is a reasonable choice.
More than once a month could disrupt the skin and disturb your skin’s natural 28-day turnover.
Let the skin do its job. We don’t want to get in the way.
Dermaplaning vs. Microdermabrasion
Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. Even though they are both exfoliation treatments, these are very different procedures.
Microdermabrasion is a bit more invasive than a dermaplaning treatment. It involves a mechanical device with an abrasive textured surface rubbed against the skin. In other cases, microdermabrasion is done with a fine particle spray powerfully applied to the skin to remove and suction dead skin cells.
We prefer a dermaplaning treatment because it’s gentler on the skin and gives you the same results. A dermaplaning treatment respects the integrity of your skin barrier in a way that aligns with our holistic perspective.
Though a dermaplaning treatment can provide satisfying results, achieving your dream skin (Jello skin, anyone?) will still require time and effort. It’s not a fix-all.
Above all, prioritize clean products, hydration, and nourishment for your body. It shows in your skin.
If you decide to try out a dermaplaning treatment with your licensed esthetician or dermatologist, here’s how you’ll want to handle the aftercare.
- Ensure that your esthetician only applies non-toxic skincare products after your treatment. Products will sink into your skin even easier than normal after fresh exfoliation, so you want to be sure they’re safe.
- Your skin will be a little more sensitive for a few days afterward. Prioritize nourishing serums and creams that boost collagen and revive your skin.
- Wear non-toxic sunscreen for the first few days for extra protection. After that, let your skin see the sun – sun exposure is good for you.
- Keep up your skin routine. Be sure to moisturize at night. Wash daily (cleansing in the evening and rinsing with water in the morning).
- Go makeup-free for a day or two if you’re up for it. Your new skin will have time to strengthen and breathe a bit more easily.
Keep in mind: you’ve just exposed a new layer of skin that may or may not have been ready to be exposed.
Protect it extra carefully!
The Bottom Line: What We Think About Dermaplaning
When it comes to exfoliation, less is more.
Here’s our opinion on a dermaplaning treatment compared to many other forms of exfoliating treatments:
Similar results, far less risk for a compromised skin barrier or complications.
So if you’re curious to try it out, you’ve got the green light from us. The biggest takeaway here is to be mindful and responsible in how you practice dermaplaning.
Avoid dermaplaning at home to be on the safe side and let your Holistic Esthetician handle it. Besides, it’s far more relaxing for someone else to do it.
You get to sit back, relax, and enjoy the benefits.
Truthfully, we love this non-invasive, low-risk treatment to brighten skin and see immediate improvements in tone and texture.
Are you considering a dermaplaning treatment at your next facial appointment?
Let us know how it goes, we’d love to hear about your experience!
P.S. Now you’re surely wondering – does PP’s holistic spa offer dermaplaning?
It's not a part of our spa menu... yet ;)
- The International Dermal Institute | Exfoliants Get Down to Business
- Prevention.com | What Is Dermaplaning? Dermatologists Share What You Need to Know About the Procedure
- Clinical Dermatology Research Journal | The Use of Advance Dermaplaning in Clinical Skin Care and Treatment
- Radiance by WebMD | What Is Dermaplaning?
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