Everything You Need to Know About Dermaplaning

| Skincare
Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.28.16 PM
(Photo: iStock)

Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon or Carrie Underwood seem to have naturally glowing skin at all times, and now you can too. According to common beauty lore, golden icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were fans of a procedure known as dermaplaning — which is kind of also known as “shaving your face.”

Before you think twice and wonder if it involves Barbasol, think again. Recommended by dermatologists and estheticians, dermaplaning is a physical or mechanical exfoliating method that uses a sterile blade at a 45-degree angle to gently scrape the top layer of dead skin cells for a smoother, more luminous complexion.

Director of Philadelphia’s Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Center, Dr. Nazanin Saedi says dermaplaning is a painless procedure, safe for all skin types and lasts 30 minutes.

“Anyone who wants to exfoliate can benefit [from] dermaplaning,” she says. “One of the added benefits is getting rid of fuzzy facial hair too.”

Evens skin tone instantly
As the perfect way to help even out skin tone, dermaplaning helps restore an immediate vitality to your skin that might have changed over time or through sun damage. Similar to shaving, dead skin cells contribute to a discoloration that can be quickly removed. While you cannot treat over areas of acne, Saedi says areas of hyperpigmentation should lighten thanks to its exfoliating effect.

“However, if skin gets irritated, those prone to hyperpigmentation might get more,” she warns. Before considering a procedure, always consult your dermatologist to see what works best for your skin as every case is different.

Makes applying makeup easier
One of the reasons Hollywood loves dermaplaning so much is because its ability to eliminate peach fuzz, which can often cake our makeup and be seen by HD cameras. While dermaplaning allows for a fresh, clean palate for our cosmetics to glide smoother, the best part is makeup stays on longer, so you need not apply throughout the day.

“Since dermaplaning exfoliates, lotions, creams and makeup all go on smoother,” she says. “Also, any topical [or anti-aging] medications that you use will penetrate the skin better and be more effective.”

Eliminates fines lines
While dermaplane facials cannot remove deep wrinkles or scarring, it can help to eliminate fine wrinkles that develop over time. As we get older and our hormones change, there’s a gradual decrease in the production of matrix proteins like collagen and elastin — hello wrinkles and dark spots!

However, because dermaplaning helps skin to look smoother, Saedi says it can aid in a more glowing complexion, while reducing the appearance of these aging signs.

Removes “peach fuzz”
If there is one thing we all struggle with, it’s hair showing up in places we don’t need it to — like, our face or our upper lip. Whether you have short blond or dark wispy hairs accenting those gorgeous facial features, Saedi says dermaplaning is an efficient way of removing them.  

“[It] works for the soft, thin vellus hairs that we often call ‘peach fuzz,’” she says. “Some people have soft, thin dark hair and it will [also] work for them.”

However, Saedi says dermaplaning will not work for thick, dark course hairs known as “terminal hairs,” which are often dictated by hormones. Moreover, as she points out, vellus hairs do not grow back thicker much to the common myth associated with shaving. When we dermaplane, our vellus hairs lose their naturally tapered ends which appear like stubble. Yet in reality, it's an illusion. Vellus hairs in all their wispy nature will grow back in as normal.

Painless procedure
While waxing and threading can often feel painful and leave behind scarring, dermaplaning is practically painless. Think of it like shaving your legs but in this case with a smaller, more focused blade just for your face.

“Dermaplaning is not very hurtful,” Saedi says. “But your skin might feel sensitive afterwards and will be sensitive to light.”

Since there are no side effects, be sure to use a toner to calm and brighten skin, while moisturizing after with a serum or lotion to hydrate. Moreover, don’t forget to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to reduce the risk of inflammation and protect skin from UV damage.

Long lasting
Since a procedure like this can remove up to three weeks of dead skin cells and peach fuzz to leave your skin looking smooth and flawless, dermaplane facials can last up to about a month. Since hair grows back in three to four weeks, Saedi recommends to return for treatment at least once a month.

Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting new people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker.