A good cleanser or micellar water, the occasional exfoliant, a couple of sundry potions at my bedside: That pretty much sums up my skin-care routine. It’s working just fine, but I’m aware there are many (many) more steps I could be taking to not just protect my skin, but improve it. I’m fairly lazy though, which pretty much rules out any treatments that require trips to the dermatologist or visits with an aesthetician.
When I was offered the chance to test out DermaFlash—a new $189 exfoliating device that promises to unearth smooth, bright, younger-looking skin—I jumped on it because the tool is made to be used at home, and the process lasts only a few minutes. I was also intrigued by the fact that it only launched a few weeks ago and already has been picked up by Sephora, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and QVC.
Created by Dara Levy, a Chicago-based former spa owner, the tool is essentially DIY dermaplaning—a monthly procedure that uses a surgical blade to remove the top layer of gunk from skin. DermaFlash, a scaled-down approach meant to be used once a week, has the same goal: To refinish skin by removing built-up debris and dead cells, while also—critically—getting rid of the abundance of peach fuzz most women don’t even know they have.
I can attest to the fact that the procedure is ridiculously easy. It starts with a pretreatment cleanser followed by a few minutes of moving the device around your skin slowly, during which you don’t feel a thing but subtle soothing vibrations.
When I was done, I was shocked at the amount of barely visible hair caught in the device, and the result was pretty spectacular. I looked healthy and dewy, as if I’d dabbed on a good highlighter; had no flakiness; and noticed my makeup went on much smoother the next day. I had no residual redness or irritation, either.
The beauty of the tool is in its craftsmanship—it’s got built-in safety features so it’s impossible to abrade the skin or go too deep, unlike traditional exfoliators. “Those apricot scrubs really can make your skin raw and thin it out,” Levy told me, adding that DermaFlash works the same for all women, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, and skin type.
For me, the biggest surprise was the amount of baby hair that was removed while using the tool. When I asked Dana why women should buy a $189 device to remove it rather than just use a razor to crate a flawless canvas—a topic that’s gotten plenty of buzz in recent months—she automatically, emphatically shook her head.
“Men grow terminal hair and women grow vellus hair. Terminal hair is like each [strand] on a man’s face being like a teeny tiny piece of copper wire, so men need to lubricate their beards and get them softened for the shaving experience. Vellus hair—peach fuzz—is a very different quality so [DermaFlash] removes it dry.”
Levy also points out that a regular razor can only go in one direction so the hair needs to be wet so as not to get irritated, while DermaFlash blades have a unique edge that can be used up and down. “It’s actually modeled after the hummingbird—the only bird that can fly forward, backwards, sideways, upside down and hover in midair,” she said.
It’s been a week since first using DermaFlash, and I’ve noticed my skin still looks remarkably even. Last night, I found myself studying my face in a 15x magnifying mirror I dug out from under my vanity looking for evidence that the peach fuzz I’d had no idea about was growing back. I did see a light layer, so I’m planning to stick with the weekly recommendation and do session number two tonight.
If it works as well as my inaugural experience, I think I might be ready to throw out the 13 tubes of store-bought exfoliating creams taking up valuable real estate in my medicine cabinet.
The only caveat: The system comes with six blades and must be changed each time you use the device, so you’re buying a $39 replacement kit—prep cleanser and finishing treatment included every six weeks. Still, it’s cheaper than relying on in-office monthly treatments, and the results appear to be comparable.