Dermaplaning: Benefits, Side Effects, Cost, and More

Medically Reviewed
Priyank Pandey
Written by Priyank Pandey on August 02, 2020Medically Reviewed by Madison Dufour

Most people believe that dermaplaning is similar to other beauty treatments. But in reality, dermaplaning is the most effective treatment for your facial problems such as wrinkles, dullness and breakouts.

If you too are experiencing facial problems and are thinking about treatment, then this article is for you.

Well, today, Healthroid is bringing together experts from all over the world to discuss everything you need to know about Dermaplaning.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • What is dermaplaning
  • How this treatment works
  • Dermaplaning procedure
  • Dermaplaning benefits
  • Dermaplaning side effects
  • Dermaplaning cost
  • Lots more

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is an anti-ageing procedure that exfoliates the surface of the skin by removing the layer of dead skin cells and vellous hair, aka “peach fuzz”. This helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. This procedure involves the use of a scalpel handle with a blade that is designed specifically for dermaplaning, not for surgery! The dermaplaning blade is used on clean skin that has been prepared with a speciality oil on the forehead, nose, cheeks, chin and neck; Catherine Taylor, a licensed esthetician and founder of TaylorYourBrows, explains to Healthroid.

How Dermaplaning Works?

Dermaplaning is performed by passing the blade (sometimes called a derma blade) over the skin. By removing the outer layer of dead skin, called the stratum corneum, your complexion is improved just as it would be with any other form of exfoliation (for instance, chemical exfoliation). When the stratum corneum is removed, this also promotes skin turnover from below – which leads to brighter looking skin. In addition, dermaplaning results in the removal of the very fine, wispy hairs on the skin surface, termed vellus hairs. These hairs are oftentimes referred to as peach fuzz, which can be bothersome to many female patients, which includes more of a challenge when it comes to applying makeup; John Hilinski, Harvard Medical School graduate, Owner of JH Medical Spa, explains.

What is the Procedure of Dermaplaning?

According to Catherine, the procedure of dermaplaning varies to where the technicians get their training from, but DermaplanePro’s method for all skin types is highly recommended, which includes the following steps:

  • Step 1: cleanse the client’s skin.
  • Step 2: prepare the skin with wipe skin with the DermaplanePro Skin Prep which leaves the client’s skin soft, smooth and dry with no residue.
  • Step 3: apply a small amount of DP nourishing oil, which protects and nourishes the skin during the treatment. This step is very important as it makes dermaplaning comfortable, safer and faster than the dry technique. But this step would be skipped if the client has an oily skin.
  • Step 4: dermaplane starting from the forehead, below the eyes, nose area, from one cheek to another cheek and through the jawlline.
  • Step 5: cleanse the client’s skin with a gentle cleanser.
  • Step 6: apply a cool enzyme mask to remove the excess dead skin cells and soothe the skin as well
  • Step 7: this is when a technician would skip or use the add-ons services, such as LED light therapy.
  • Step 8: End with moisturizer and SPF.- cleanse the client’s skin.

Most technicians were trained to perform the dry technician, which is to wipe the skin with alcohol to dry the skin and start dermanplaning immediately after. This is a big no-no! Not only would it irritate the skin, but it could also lead to a reaction such as a histamine. The client will experience discomfort which would rob her the joy in a relaxing spa treatment; she explains.

With male clients, we do not dermaplane on a bearded area because shaving is also a form of exfoliation. If an untrained esthetician tries dermaplaning the bearded area, the client would experience discomfort. Also, the side effects would be skin irritations, hair folliculitis and breakouts. A properly trained esthetician would know to avoid this area; she added.

Dermaplaning treatments can be as short as 30 minutes or can be part of a 60 or 90-minute facial that incorporates enzymes, extractions, masks, and/or LED light therapy. The esthetician will help their clients determine the right combination for their skin; she added.

What Are the Benefits of Dermaplaning?

According to Catherine, the benefits of dermaplaning include the following:

  • Your skin will be softer to the touch and smoother in appearance.
  • You’ll enjoy a brighter complexion with a more youthful glow.
  • Active ingredients in skin care product penetrate more deeply improving skin health.
  • Immediate improvement in skin tone.
  • Helps reduce fine lines.
  • Makeup glides on easily so less is needed to look your best.
  • Great for all skin types and colors.
  • Will not aggravate telangiectasia (broken capillaries).
  • Helps reduce blackheads and enlarged pores.
  • Unlike waxing, it can be performed on clients using Retinols.
  • Minimal risk of post-procedure breakouts.
  • There is no downtime.

Also, according to John, dermaplaning removes those pesky, vellus hairs that be the source of frustration for many female patients. Other benefits of dermaplaning include the ability to perform the procedure on pregnant women – who are precluded from having chemical exfoliation due to risks to the developing fetus. Many medical spa patients simply don’t tolerate chemical peels due to skin sensitivities. These patients can typically tolerate dermaplaning very well as an alternative option.

According to Holli Holbrook, Licensed Aesthetician with APDerm; dermaplaning treatment is safe for all skin types and most skin conditions. 

What Are the Side Effects of Dermaplaning?

Since the procedure involves gliding a blade over the skin surface, one side effect is tissue trauma if the blade gets mechanically caught up on a skin irregularity. For instance, in patients with acne scarring, the topography of the skin is very irregular due to the rolling and pitted scars. Patients with active acne and pustule formation also have irregular surface contours. In both of these situations, dermaplaning may be too traumatic given the risks of damaging or irritating the skin. Another consideration (not a side effect but something to consider) is that vellus hairs will invariably grow back fairly within weeks to months in many cases. That is because dermaplaning removes those hairs at the skin surface and not at the level of the follicle. In this sense, dermaplaning may be considered a bit pricey if patients are doing it mainly for vellus hair removal; John explains.

Also, according to Catherine, the side effects of dermaplaning are very minimal if performed correctly. The client would experience the feeling of a light sunburn. The aftercare instructions are similar to waxing.

How Much Does Dermaplaning Costs?

The pricing for dermaplaning varies from state to state, from city to city. In general, dermaplaning ranges in price from $75-$150 per treatment session while an add-on should be $50+; all the experts told.

How Long Does Dermaplaning Lasts?

The cosmetic effects of dermaplaning will typically last about 3-6 weeks on average. As the new skin layers form and begin their natural migration to the surface, this will soon become the ‘new’ dead skin layer. This entire process of skin turnover can take upwards of 3-4 weeks to occur, which means that repeat dermaplaning may be desired shortly thereafter. Many patients, however, will have dermaplaning done every 2-3 months; John explains.

According to Dr Javad Sajan, Seattle Plastic Surgeon and Medical Director of Allure Esthetic; the removed hair can take up to a month to grow back in some patients after dermaplaning treatment. However, this will vary from patient to patient.

Does Dermaplaning Hurts?

No. It is considered a relatively painless cosmetic procedure. Dermaplaning is very well tolerated by most patients when the procedure is performed by a professional medical esthetician. The one subset of patients that has to be careful with dermaplaning is those with pitted and rolling acne scarring. In these patients, the scalpel or blade simply doesn’t glide over the skin surface as readily – and can cause trauma to the skin if it gets mechanically caught up on the irregular topography of acne-scarred skin; John explains.

Also, Catherine says, dermaplaning shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable at all if one properly. Scraping, nicks, and small cuts in the skin are possible, but rare, and can cause slight bleeding. Caution is always used with minimal scraping at a slow and steady pace. Before I start, I’d inform my client that I’m about to start. Should they feel a sneeze coming up or need to scratch, just let me know and I’d move my blade away immediately.

When To Do Dermaplaning?

Catherine recommends dermaplaning once a month (4-6 weeks). She said I wouldn’t recommend it on the same day as any big event like a wedding or graduation. Instead, I recommend getting dermaplaning several days before a big event – especially brides. If this is your first time, try this a month before the big event so we can see if your skin reacts either dermaplaning or a product used on your skin during or following treatment.

Also, John says that any patient looking for an office-based, non-invasive skin rejuvenation procedure should consider dermaplaning. If you are looking to simply get a more radiant look to your skin, this is a great option. However, if you are expecting a marked transformation in your skin – with wrinkle reduction, for example – you will be disappointed.

What Should Someone Put On Face Before Dermaplaning?

There is nothing, in particular, that has to be put on the face before dermaplaning. Some medical estheticians will apply a skin cleanser before treatment – while others will consider the natural skin oils as a nice lubricant for the dermaplaning; John explains.

A thorough cleansing to-be-treated area removes all excess oil and bacteria from the skin; Catherine said.

Do Hair Grows Back After Dermaplaning?

Hair will continue growing normally. Growing back thicker is physiologically impossible. The soft, fine vellous hair will grow back slowly – usually in about 4 weeks; Catherine explains.

According to her, two types of hair grow on our bodies:

  1. Vellous hair is the thin, fine, soft hair that typically covers the entire body.
  2. Terminal hair is the course hair that grows on the head, face in men, underarms, legs and pubic areas.

Dermaplaning, waxing, tweezing, sugaring, threading or any other depilatory form of hair removal cannot alter the terminal type of hair grown in any given area.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Dermaplaning?

Just like waxing, any pinking of the skin should disappear within 2 to 3 hours after treatment. Slight pinking is normal. It indicates that the layer of dead skin cells was removed, revealing the new skin surfacing. Sometimes, the swelling or histamine reaction can occur. To remedy, apply a cold compress or anti-histamine cream to reduce redness, hiving or irritation; Catherine explains.

Is It Safe To Do Dermaplaning At Home?

It technically can be done at home – but only if you have a real steady hand. Otherwise, you will risk cutting the skin and/or irritating it more than rejuvenating it. Like many other medical-grade procedures, perhaps you should just visit your favourite medical esthetician to have this done by a true professional; John explains.

Also, Catherine is not in favour of doing dermaplaning at home. According to her, dermaplaning requires the proper training, professional tools and technique. Otherwise, one would risk skin injury and possible irreparable scarring. No matter how many times people have said, dermaplaning is not the same as a facial razor.

Dermaplaning vs Microdermabrasion

According to John, dermaplaning and microdermabrasion – both are mechanical methods to exfoliate the skin. Dermaplaning simply involves the use of a manual blade to scrape the skin surface while microdermabrasion uses a device to spray the skin with very fine crystals that help to remove the dead, outer layer of skin. Dermaplaning has the added advantage of removing the finer, vellus hairs, which microdermabrasion will not do.

Before And After Pictures

Here’s an example of before and after results with dermaplaning treatments:

Source: Taylor Your Brows
Source: Taylor Your Brows
Medically Reviewed
Priyank Pandey
Written by Priyank Pandey on August 02, 2020Medically Reviewed by Madison Dufour

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