What You Need To Know About This New Beauty Trend

Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
If you follow the latest in skin-care trends, you're probably aware of the popular professional procedure that promises to leave the skin smooth and glowing by removing dead skin cells AND unwanted facial hair (so long, peach fuzz). Offered at skin-care clinics, medical spas, and doctors’ offices, this technique is called dermaplaning. Read on to learn more. How does dermaplaning work?
Dermaplaning is performed on the face, under the chin, and on the sides of the neck. It is quick and painless. After properly cleansing and prepping the skin, a trained aesthetician or skin-care professional holds the skin taut and uses a 10-gauge scalpel held at a 45-degree angle to gently exfoliate the skin by scraping off the top layer of dead cells. This procedure also removes vellus hair (commonly referred to as peach fuzz). An aesthetician will also often combine dermaplaning with a salicylic, lactic, or glycolic acid peel (depending on your skin type) to enhance the treatment's exfoliation. Dermaplaning itself is a physical exfoliation; combining it with a chemical peel helps reduce acne scars, brown spots from sun damage, and clogged pores. On its own, the cost ranges from $100 to $160. When it's combined with a peel, it'll run you about $150 to $200. Typically, a cooling and hydrating mask will be applied following the treatment, which is intended to calm and soothe the skin.
Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
What skin types benefit from dermaplaning?
Nearly all skin types can benefit from dermaplaning, as long as there are no severe pustular or cystic breakouts going on. People with thin, easily irritated skin should avoid dermaplaning with a peel, which is probably just too much exfoliation. Dermaplaning will help reduce the appearance of acne scars, remove peach fuzz and leave the skin smooth and glowing. Plus, there is no recovery time. You have the procedure and are ready to return to your day. Who wouldn’t want that?
Will dermaplaning cause the hair on my face to grow back thicker?
Many people are under the impression that shaving hair causes it to grow back thicker and darker, but that is actually not the case. Dermaplaning will not cause the vellus hair on your face to grow back thicker or darker. Re-growth after shaving may feel slightly different because the hair has been cut straight across. However, if shaving (or dermaplaning) actually made hair growth back thicker and darker, I believe we would have just discovered a cure for male baldness.

How often should I get dermaplaning done?

Dermaplaning is recommended every three to four weeks. An aesthetician will help you figure out a schedule. Each time you get dermaplaned, you're removing about two to three weeks' worth of dead skin cells.
Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
Is there a safe way to try dermaplaning at home?
Although DIY skin-care methods are popular right now, because dermaplaning uses a professional blade, it is best to have it done by a licensed aesthetician who has been professionally trained. The benefit of getting the treatment done with an aesthetician is that they know exactly how many passes to do over the skin, so there's no danger of getting too much (or too little) exfoliation. A trained esthetician can customize the treatment depending on the number of passes or adding a peel to make sure treatment is effective and gives the desired results. Plus, in a professional setting, you're probably also looking at some post-dermaplaning comforting treatments. A cold ultrasound and cold mask, which hydrate the new cells with potent antioxidants to soothe inflammation and reduce post-procedure redness, are common techniques. But that's not to say that you can't remove some stubborn peach fuzz at home. For a light exfoliation and some facial hair removal, take advantage of the small disposable facial razors available at beauty stores and drugstores. The highest quality blades are sold to trained professionals only, but the blades available to non-professionals are great for at-home use because the blades are not as sharp; plus, they have protective plastic bands on them, which allows for hair to be removed without the risk of cutting the skin. When using a facial razor, it’s important to hold the skin taut so you don’t cut yourself. Be especially careful when working in angled areas such as the eyebrows or crevice within the chin. This isn't something you want to be doing too often — while this type of exfoliating is minimal compared to professional dermaplaning, it is still considered exfoliation and it could cause irritation, especially if you're using retinols, prescription retinoids, and acid exfoliators. Follow up with a soothing gel mask, which will help keep skin calm.
Dermaplaning is extremely popular. Once you experience it, you’ll be amazed at how baby soft and glowing your skin will look and feel.

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series