What Is Dermaplaning?

What Is Dermaplaning?

When it comes to taking care of your skin, there’s not much more important than maintaining a consistent and comprehensive skincare regimen that covers all of your bases. While regular facials and treatments are great, if you’re not regularly cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin from sun exposure with a high-SPF sunscreen, your results are likely to be inconsistent at best.

“In essence, dermaplaning can be an effective way to ensure that your skin looks as smooth and even as possible.”

  • Shani Darden, esthetician

That said, it’s also important to know the ins and outs of different treatments so you can know how to address certain complexion concerns when they crop up. Dermaplaning is an increasingly well-known buzzword in the realm of skincare that’s getting more and more attention for the amazing benefits it offers.

So let’s go over the basics of dermaplaning, what it is, how it works, and whether or not this professional-grade procedure is right for you.

What Is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a cosmetic procedure that is typically administered by a dermatologist or licensed esthetician. It’s designed to remove the top layers of your skin, similar to the idea behind a chemical peel. Basically, it’s another type of exfoliation.

Dermaplaning is often performed using an electric razor with an oscillating blade known as a dermatome. It can also be done using a small razor or scalpel, which is why it’s sometimes known as microplaning or simply as blading.

 In addition to skimming away the top layer of your skin, which can also remove buildup, dead skin cells, and other less-than-desirable impurities lingering on your skin, dermaplaning can also take care of peach fuzz and facial hair. 

It’s not typically sought out as a hair removal procedure, but it’s a great fringe benefit that can leave your skin’s surface smooth and free of all of the fine hairs that can affect your makeup application.

What Are the Benefits of Dermaplaning?

I mentioned this briefly above, but dermaplaning is often sought out specifically to target blemishes like acne scars, including deep acne scars that can be more difficult to address. These include atrophic, hypertrophic, and keloid acne scars, which often result from cystic acne or other skin conditions.

Dermaplaning can also be useful in addressing dull skin or even dry skin because it can help to remove the top layer of dead skin. That build-up can interfere with proper skin barrier function, which creates a vicious cycle of flaking and dehydration. Removing these skin cells can help restore your skin barrier and make it easier for your skin to recover when it’s too dry. 

A dermaplaning treatment may also be useful in addressing sun-damaged skin and even visible signs of aging, such as fine lines or wrinkles.

As I also touched on above, while it’s no replacement for waxing or laser hair removal, one of the bonus benefits of dermaplaning is that the sharp blade can help to remove facial hair.

What Happens at Your Dermaplaning Appointment?

Dermaplaning appointments are pretty relaxed — you don’t have to worry too much about before and after-care, and you likely won’t have a massive amount of recovery time, if you even need any at all. Dermaplaning is also painless. At worst, you may feel a bit of a tingling sensation during your treatment.

You and your provider will likely discuss your goals and needs before treatment begins. Then, your provider will use either an electronic tool or a manual blade to scrape gently over your skin. 

It’s possible your provider will offer you a numbing spray or similarly minor options to minimize any irritation you might experience. While dermaplaning isn’t invasive, because the average treatment ranges from 20 to 30 minutes, it may start to make your skin a bit sensitive or sore.

Your provider will soothe your skin after treatment with a moisturizer, aloe, or another hydrating and redness-reducing skincare product to help your skin recover and to minimize the risk of side effects.

How Long Does Dermaplaning Last?

Dermaplaning can remove a significant amount of buildup, and the results can last up to three weeks if you take proper care of your skin.

However, to sustain these results over time, you’ll need to repeat the procedure about once a month. It’s also important to remember that dermaplaning can’t replace the rejuvenating benefits of a high-quality skincare routine.

How Much Does Dermaplaning Cost?

Like most cosmetic treatments, dermaplaning will likely be considered elective by your insurance, which means you will need to pay out of pocket. The cost for a dermaplaning session will vary based on your location and on the specific aesthetician you go to, but you can look to spend between $200 and $300 on one dermaplaning session.

Depending on how severe your concerns are, you may need more than one session to achieve the results you’re looking for. On the upside, dermaplaning doesn’t require any downtime, so not only can you go to your session on your lunch break and head straight back to work, but you shouldn't have to wait too long between treatments to book another session.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Overall, dermaplaning is a low-risk procedure that is safe for most skin types. As with any exfoliating treatment, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with over-exfoliating, but as long as you’re speaking openly with your dermatologist or aesthetician, they should help you steer clear of this potential problem.

It’s possible you’ll experience redness following a dermaplaning procedure, and occasionally minor breakouts may result from your first treatment, but this should clear up shortly. It’s also possible to experience infection or scarring after dermaplaning — such side effects are extremely rare, and there are things your dermatologist can do to mitigate them if they do occur.

The only people who might want to avoid dermaplaning are individuals who are prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH can happen as a result of injury or damage to the skin, leading to dark spots or blemishes. If this is something you experience, the dermaplaning tools may trigger your skin, so speak to a professional before proceeding.

What are Some At-Home Alternatives to Dermaplaning?

While professional dermaplaning treatments, there are options for targeted skin therapy that you can do in the comfort of your own home. While different from dermaplaning, these types of treatments can be effective in addressing concerns like dark spots, breakout scars, and visible signs of wrinkles.

LED Light Therapy

It may sound unbelievable, but LED light therapy may help to address skin concerns such as visible aging, breakouts, and even problems related to pigmentation, all while supporting your skin’s natural collagen production.

My Deesse PRO LED Light Mask is a great option if you’re worried about the potential irritation associated with dermaplaning or if you just want to enjoy clear skin from the comfort of your home. Dual diode LEDs deliver the highest dose of red, blue, and near-infrared light therapy in cutting-edge wavelength combinations to give you smoothing, clearing, and brightening benefits.

At-Home Microneedling

Another option if you’re looking to smooth, brighten, and plump your overall complexion is microneedling. The Dew & Go Microneedling Infusion Stamp is a breakthrough device that combines a gentle form of micro-needling with an infusion of ultra-hydrating serum to help plump and smooth your complexion.

Microneedling creates micro-injuries in the skin, which signals your body to repair your skin. This can help support brightness and can minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and even pore size over time.

When paired with hydrating Skin Brew Ampoules, which come packed with snail mucin and moringa leaf extract to nourish your skin and provide ample antioxidant protection, it’s the perfect at-home treatment to use in combination with your usual skincare regimen.

The Takeaway

In essence, dermaplaning can be an effective way to ensure that your skin looks as smooth and even as possible. However, it’s not a replacement for a consistent skincare routine, and if you’re trying to address concerns around your skin’s texture, you can also use products and at-home treatments that can help you achieve smooth skin.

As with any other treatment, it’s important to discuss any changes to your skincare regimen with a board-certified dermatologist, especially if you have particularly sensitive skin or active acne. While smooth, even skin can take some hard work and commitment to finding the routine that works for you, seeking out targeted treatments such as dermaplaning can help you get the results you want even faster.


Dermabrasion and Dermaplaning | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Acne Scars: Pathogenesis, Classification and Treatment | National Library of Medicine

Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation | National Library of Medicine

The Use of Advance Dermaplaning in Clinical Skin Care and Treatment | Clinical Dermatology Research Journal


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