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From chemical peels to microdermabrasion, there are many professional skin procedures that can minimize the build-up of dead cells that contributes to fine lines, dullness and clogged pores. Dermaplaning is one of them, but this treatment goes beyond simply exfoliating the skin. According to board-certified dermatologist and president of the Dermatology Institute of Boston Dr. Emmy Graber, “Dermaplaning leaves the skin smoother and brighter while helping makeup glide on better.”
The advantage as compared to other professional exfoliating treatments? During office-based dermaplaning, a trained aesthetician uses a scalpel to manually scrape away dead cells, taking “peach fuzz” along with them. Yet licensed aesthetician and founder of StackedSkincare Kerry Benjamin emphasizes that dermaplaning is not shaving. “It is a way of physically exfoliating the face, and hair will not grow back thicker or darker. Dermaplaning uses a single-edge blade while traditional razors typically have three to four slanted blades, which do not remove nearly as much dead skin.”
What are the benefits of dermaplaning?
Beyond instantly smoother skin, improvement in fine lines and enhanced radiance with no downtime (although the skin may be pink for up to 30 minutes afterwards), the fact that dermaplaning removes dead skin cells and hair comes along with additional upsides. Benjamin explains, “Dermaplaning can increase the efficacy of serums and other products like peels by allowing them to penetrate more deeply.” Even more, without a layer of “peach fuzz” standing in the way, foundation and other makeup go on more smoothly and generally look better. Dermaplaning can also help reduce acne breakouts by minimizing the dead skin cells that can trap oil and debris within the follicle and potentially clog pores. But for the record, Dr. Graber advises waiting at least four weeks between professional dermaplaning treatments.
How to care for your skin after dermaplaning
Although professional dermaplaning is considered a downtime-free treatment, there are a few special considerations after you head home. “Patients should avoid applying foundation the day of treatment, although it’s safe to use the day after. It’s also best to avoid retinol and retinoids, as well as other exfoliators and alcohol-based toners for a few days after dermaplaning,” says Dr. Graber.
Who should avoid dermaplaning
Dermaplaning is not for everyone. According to Dr. Graber, “This treatment should be avoided by those with rosacea or active acne, as it can cause flare-ups of both of these skin conditions. Dermaplaning should not be performed if a patient has a cold sore, as the treatment could spread the virus to other areas of the face.”
Dermaplaning at home
Dr. Graber believes that this treatment is best performed by a professional, since true dermaplaning is performed with a scalpel (which should not be attempted at home). Her primary concerns are the risk of cutting the skin, going too deep and lack of proper tool sterilization, which could lead to infection. Consider yourself warned!
But this this said, proceed at your own risk—and there are several at-home dermaplaning tools that can help you reap the exfoliating, skin-smoothing and fuzz-eliminating benefits of this professional treatment. Benjamin shares that a high-quality at-home dermaplaning tool is likely to have several safety features in place. “The StackedSkincare Dermaplaning Facial Exfoliating Tool has a beveled piece that wraps around the blade to prevent nicks, while helping to ensure the tool is placed at the correct 45-degree angle against the skin.” This tool also has some weight to it, which helps maximize control.
When dermaplaning at home, limit your DIY treatments to once a week. Benjamin advises cleansing the skin beforehand and allowing it to dry completely before beginning. “The drier the skin, the better to remove the maximum amount of skin cells,” she says. It’s also essential to sanitize the blade with rubbing alcohol after every use—and replace blades after four uses at most since they become increasingly dull and will not be as effective. Here, a few other at-home dermaplaning tools to try…
Tweezerman Bright Complexion Facial Dermaplaner
With an ergonomic handle that fits comfortably in your hand and maintains the ideal angle for safe dermaplaning, this tool comes with four easy-to-clean blades that can be used for up to three months (depending on your frequency of use).
Michael Todd Beauty Sonicsmooth
This supercharged tool features sonic technology to enhance the dermaplaning experience, and the kit includes a pre-treatment cleanser, post-treatment soothing gel and eight single-use blades.
Tinkle Eyebrow Razor
Despite its name, the Tinkle can be used on the entire face—and thanks to its budget-friendly price you can toss it after one use without the bother of sterilizing your dermaplaning tool.
Note: The StackedSkincare Dermaplaning Exfoliating Facial Tool was provided for review. All other products were purchased or sampled in store. All opinions are my own.