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Smoothing the Way: An Introductory Guide to Dermaplaning

Closeup of the doctor with a scalpel treating the woman's skin. Dermaplaning treatment.

Dermaplaning is a skincare treatment that has steadily grown in popularity over the last decade. Often called the “close shave facial,” this technique uses a surgical scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dead skin cells and peach fuzz hair. The result? Babysoft skin that glows from within.

Closeup of the doctor with a scalpel treating the woman's skin. Dermaplaning treatment.
Closeup of the doctor with a scalpel treating the woman’s skin. Dermaplaning treatment.

When properly performed by a licensed esthetician, dermaplaning is generally safe for all skin types and tones. It provides both instant gratification along with long-term skin benefits. If you deal with complexion issues like acne scars, fine lines, roughness and dullness, dermaplaning may help resurface a fresher, smoother facial canvas.

This in-depth guide will cover everything you need to know about the dermaplaning process, benefits and risks, ideal candidates, and what to expect during and after your very first treatment.

The Dermaplaning Procedure

During a dermaplaning session, the esthetician will have you lay back comfortably on a treatment bed. They start by thoroughly cleansing the skin to remove any lotions, makeup, sunscreens and debris that may interfere with the blade gliding smoothly across the skin.

Next comes the namesake scraping! Using a sterile, surgical scalpel or specialized dermaplaning tool, your provider will hold your skin taut with one hand while gently scraping along the surface in consistent, fluid strokes with the other hand. They often begin along the cheeks, moving meticulously across the forehead, nose, chin and other areas of the face where clients want enhanced smoothness and clarity.

The technique requires a finely honed skill. When performed properly, dermaplaning only removes the top layers of stratum corneum (dead skin cells on the epidermis) along with fine vellus hairs (peach fuzz). The pressure should never go deeper to injure live tissue or blood capillaries underneath. Professionals take care of sensitive areas like the delicate skin near the eyes and mouth.

I recently started dermaplaining at the recommendation of my esthetician. My skin has been incredibly dry lately (thanks to winter and perimenopause) and it seemed like nothing I was using to moisturize was working. Dermplaining would help remove dead skin layers and the peach fuzz on my face to allow my moisturizer to reach my skin and help create and repair my skin barrier.

In total, my first dermaplaning facial lasted just over 30 minutes. After removing all the dead cells and peach fuzz hair from my face, my esthetician applied smoothing serums and moisturizers to finish off. Even before looking in the mirror, running my hands across my freshly treated skin, I could feel the remarkable softness and silkiness!

I’m two treatments in and I’m loving the results. My foundation goes on much more smoothly and looks so much more like skin and my face feels moisturized for the first time in a couple of years!

Immediate Benefits

Many people opt to get dermaplaning done right before a big event like a wedding or reunion. Just one treatment can give your complexion an instant boost, allowing makeup to glide onto a smooth, vibrant canvas. Along with the promise of gorgeous skin that day, you can anticipate these bonuses immediately after dermaplaning:

  • More radiant, glowing complexion minus dull skin cell buildup
  • Soft as a baby’s skin all over your face
  • Peach fuzz hair removed for up to 4 weeks
  • Cleansing, toning and makeup application all go on better

However, the smoothing and clarifying perks only last so long. Within several days as skin cells shed normally, texture can start reverting. So dermaplaning is often recommended monthly or before special occasions when you want your skin looking its best. Combining it with plasma treatments can help stimulate longer-lasting collagen and elastin renewal.

Surprised woman lifestyle smile amazed beauty skin trendy fashion portrait pink yellow dermaplaning
Surprised woman lifestyle smile amazed beauty skin trendy fashion portrait pink yellow

Long Term Improvements

With consistent dermaplaning every 4-6 weeks, you may notice additional skin enhancements over time:

  • Improved absorption of skincare products
  • Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Minimized look of acne scars
  • Decreased hyperpigmentation and age spots
  • Tighter, firmer skin tone

By removing the dead cells and debris that build up on your face over weeks, dermaplaning allows nourishing serums and moisturizers to soak in better. This optimizes their rejuvenating benefits. Customizing your homecare regime to harness these impacts can promote lasting improvements in skin smoothness, radiance and youthfulness.

Potential Side Effects

When performed properly using a sterile blade and proper technique, dermaplaning is very safe for most people. However, some clients do report temporary irritation, rashes or bumps after treatment. The scrape and peel process opens microscopic abrasions in the protective skin barrier. For some people, this can instigate slight inflammation or acne breakouts.

I did have a few small bumps after my first treatment on my chin, but none with the second.

To avoid complications, only visit licensed, reputable estheticians with specialized dermaplaning training. Understand the prep protocols along with aftercare to allow the stratum corneum time to rebuild stronger over several days post-treatment. Avoid rubbing or picking at skin during this phase. Use caution with prescribed topicals like retinol, benzoyl peroxide, or vitamin C to avoid over-sensitizing fresh skin.

Who Benefits Most?

In general, dermaplaning is appropriate for men and women of any skin tone or type. The customization ability and non-invasive nature allows solid results with minimal downtime or discomfort. As always, set reasonable expectations around visible improvements matching your natural collagen abilities.

People with these skin goals often respond very well to periodic dermaplaning:

  1. Dull, tired complexions – Dead skin cells and debris accumulate faster for some, making skin appear lackluster. Dermaplaning whisks away this film instantly.
  2. Fine lines/wrinkles – Smoothing away rough skin enables better product penetration to aid collagen production. Peach fuzz removal also means makeup applies more flawlessly.
  3. cne scarring – Facilitating gentle resurfacing helps improve texture over time, diminishing the look of old acne marks.
  4. Hyperpigmentation/sun spots – These dark patches result from overproduction of skin pigment cells called melanocytes. Exfoliating allows brightening treatments to work better. It also removes darker tinged dead cells.

Combination Approach For Optimal Results

While a standalone treatment, dermaplaning also pairs well with other techniques like chemical peels or microneedling. The exfoliating step preps skin perfectly for absorption of medical-grade serums and PRP therapy. For those seeking intensive age defense, combining approaches can optimize overall improvements.

The Future of Your Facial Skin

Ready to say goodbye to dull, dreary skin and hello to a vibrant, luminous complexion? Dermaplaning by a licensed esthetician may offer the resurfacing reboot your skin needs. Along with the instant gratification of silkier smooth skin, over time this simple “shave facial” can help minimize signs of aging. Just take care to avoid over doing it. Consistency with proper aftercare is vital for safe, successful outcomes.

When performed monthly by an expert hand, dermaplaning is suitable for most skin types craving clarity. Do your homework to find the right provider for your unique needs and goals. Schedule a few treatments before a special event to put your glowing skin on full display! With this non-invasive approach, achieving gorgeous, youthful skin could be as easy as a close shave.

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Laura Pucker

A sociable content creator and social media expert, who loves dance, makeup, and has an upbeat attitude towards life.


Lindsey Chastain

Lindsey Chastain

A creative writer passionate about helping others succeed in living their best life, creating art and making a positive impact.


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