POSTED: 10 May 2024

Everything You Need to Know About Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning facials are very much in vogue at the moment especially since you can also do them at home. The main draw with dermaplaning is that it can make your skin smoother, brighter and even treat things like acne scars. However, this exfoliation technique which essentially involves shaving your skin with a special blade is not without risks. In this article we explore the benefits of dermaplaning and how it compares with competitors like microdermabrasion and side effects. We’ll also explore the best dermaplaning blades, tools and techniques you can use at home for instantly flawless glowing skin!

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a physical exfoliation procedure that uses a sterile surgical scalpel to gently shave off the top layer of dead skin cells and peach fuzz (vellus hair) from the face. This leaves the skin smooth and radiant. It is also suitable for all skin tones and tolerated well by most skin types. Although dermaplaning facials are available as professional treatments at aesthetic clinics and spas, many people are increasingly opting for DIY dermaplaning at home using specialised blades.

History of the Procedure

Whilst dermaplaning (especially at home) might seem like a new concept, it has actually been around for a long time. The practice dates back to the ancient world. Ancient Egyptian women used sharp objects like pumice stones and seashells to remove dead skin cells and hair. This evolved across time and cultures to different tools. By the mid-20th century, dermatologists and plastic surgeons began refining this method by using sterile surgical scalpels to give smoother skin particularly before or after facial surgeries. The 1970s and 1980s saw dermaplaning gain traction in dermatology and aesthetics where it became a specialised facial treatment. By the 1990s, spas also adopted the procedure. This introduced dermaplaning to a wider broader audience when it was seen more as an advanced facial rather than a medical treatment. The early 2000s witnessed a surge in popularity of dermaplaning due to social media and beauty influencers. They made the treatment more accessible and hyped up its benefits. Another big step was the availability of dermaplaning blades and tools for at home use. Today, dermaplaning is widely available and popular as both a professional facial treatment and in at home skincare routines.

Benefits of Dermaplaning for Skin

Dermaplaning has a number of benefits which arise from it’s exfoliation of the superficial layers of skin to remove dead cells. As a result, this helps smooth down skin texture, fade hyperpigmentation and prevent clogging of pores. This process is immediate (you don’t have to wait for the skin to shed like in procedures such as chemical peels) and results in:

  • Clearer complexion due to removal of build-up of dead skin cells and keratin prevents clogged pores
  • Smoother skin as exfoliating superficial layers helps reduce texture and acne scars
  • Brighter & more even tone due to removal of patches of excess pigment
  • Reduction of Fine Lines as it removes superficial layers of skin

The effect of the above benefits also means that after a dermaplaning facial your skin is better prepared to absorb skincare serums and moisturisers. This maximises their efficacy. Another benefit is also that clearer and smoother skin provides a better base for makeup. In fact this is one of the reasons its become so popular ahead of red carpet events as it allows for seamless application of makeup and a more flawless finish.

How it Compares with Similar Skin Treatments

Whilst dermaplaning is very popular right now, there are other treatments that can provide similar benefits to the skin. Here’s how it dermaplaning compares with other skin treatments:

  • Microdermabrasion: These are both popular exfoliation techniques. However, microdermabrasion uses a machine with a diamond-tipped wand for more intense exfoliation. This makes it more suitable for sun damage and minor acne scars. Dermaplaning uses a sterile surgical scalpel which makes it suitable even for those with sensitive skin. It also removes peach fuzz which helps if you have unwanted facial hair.
  • Chemical Peels: Available in a variety of types and strengths, chemical peels use acids to exfoliate and remove the outer skin layers. They are effective for fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation as well as conditions like acne. However, peels often require a course of treatments, do not work instantly and there may be downtime due to peeling and flaking. Dermaplaning provides immediate, no-downtime exfoliation with instant brightening and smoothing. It does not have down time but is not as effective as peels for addressing specific skin problems like acne, advanced skin ageing or deep hyperpigmentation or scars.
  • Laser Resurfacing: Laser therapy removes skin layers and stimulating collagen production. It is ideal for deep wrinkles and severe scars but has longer recovery times and risks like post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Dermaplaning offers can quickly improves skin texture and radiance with no downtime though can not address severe skin problems. It is suitable who need a quick fix and prefer a less aggressive approach.
  • Microneedling: Microneedling uses fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin which promotes collagen production. It is effective for reducing scars and fine lines as well as skin sagging. However, a course of tretament is usually required and results are not immediate. Dermaplaning focuses on exfoliation and hair removal, but can complement microneedling by preparing the skin for better results.

How to do Dermaplaning at Home

Whilst its not possible to simulate professional treatments, you can get many of the benefits of dermaplaning at home if you do it properly. Before diving into whether this could be safe and effective for you should consider a few things first:

  • Skin Assessment: Figure out if dermaplaning is suitable and safe for your skin type. If you have active acne, rosacea, eczema or underlying skin conditions then consult with a dermatologist first. The same is true for skin of colour as it is more prone to post inflammatory hyperpigmentations.
  • Right Tools & Techniques: Be ready to invest in a high-quality dermaplaning blade, such as a sterile surgical scalpel or a specially designed dermaplaning razor. Ensure you study the correct techniques and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Ready Your Skin: Avoid using any exfoliating acids, retinoids or irritating skin treatments a few days prior to and after dermaplaning.

Once you’ve lined up all the above and ready to give dermaplaning at home a go, here are some tips for a great facial:

  • Skin Prep: Use a gentle cleanser to remove any makeup, dirt and oils then dry skin thoroughly.
  • Hold Taut: Using one hand, hold the skin taut to create a smooth surface.
  • Angle the Blade: Hold the dermaplaning tool at a 45-degree angle to your skin.
  • Use Short, Light Strokes: Gently scrape the dermaplaning blade against your skin in short and light strokes. Do not go too deep or push too hard otherwise you will cut your skin. Avoid any areas with active breakouts or irritation.
  • Clean-up & Nourish: After dermaplaning, rinse your face with lukewarm water and apply a hydrating serum and moisturiser to soothe the skin. Wear sunscreen to protect the freshly exfoliated skin.
  • Sanitise Your Tools: Generally speaking disposable dermaplaning blades are better for this. If you prefer reusable ones then clean, dry and spray your dermaplaning tool with alcohol after each use.

Side Effects, Risks & Myths

Dermaplaning is generally considered a safe and low-risk procedure if performed by a professional or with the proper techniques at home. However, like any skincare treatment, it does come with some risks such as:

  • Slight redness and a feeling of sensitivity on the skin immediately after the procedure which usually resolves within a few hours.
  • Mild irritation or develop whiteheads a day or two after treatment.
  • Risk of nicking the skin if the blade is handled improperly which could lead to minor cuts or abrasions.

If done incorrectly and the wrong tools or conditions are used then there are more serious risks like infection, scars, and hyperpigmentation. Furthermore, people with active acne outbreaks or chronic skin conditions such as eczema should avoid dermaplaning, as it can exacerbate these conditions.

There are several myths surrounding dermaplaning which often puts off people from trying it. The most common ones to debunk are:

  • Hair Regrowth: Dermaplaning does not cause hair to grow back thicker or darker. The vellus hair will regrow at its natural rate and texture.
  • Skin Damage: When performed correctly, dermaplaning is a safe procedure that does not damage the skin. Using the right technique and tools is key to avoiding any harm.

As you can see, dermaplaning is an accessible skincare treatment that can provide immediate, visible benefits with minimal risk and no downtime. The main benefits include smoother, brighter and younger looking skin. Whether you have professional dermaplaning or decide to do it at home, the right blades and techniques are vital to ensure safety. Get advice from a skin professional to make sure that this treatment is suitable and effective for you especially if you suffer from any skin or health conditions.

At City Skin Clinic, we are devoted to personalised skincare. Our online skin clinic, offers safe and effective individualised treatments with prescription-strength ingredients including Tretinoin and Hydroquinone. Our doctors treat a range of skin conditions such as acne and scars, hyperpigmentationmelasma and skin ageing. To start your personalised skincare plan, book a virtual video consultation or use our online consultation form. The journey towards great skin starts here.

Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

Connect with us

  • Facebook Logo
  • Twitter Logo
  • Instagram Logo
  • Pinterest Logo
  • YouTube Logo
  • LinkedIn Logo

Start Your Online Consultation

The journey to great skin starts here. Start your online consultation for personalised prescription-strength skincare.

Start Consultation