What You Really Need to Know About Dermaplaning

Caitlin S. Miller
dermaplaning What You Really Need to Know About Dermaplaning

Photo: Image Source / Getty Images

By now you’ve probably heard of dermaplaning. From celebs who swear by it (word on the street is Marilyn Monroe was a fan) to glossy magazines that boast its benefits, dermaplaning is a top buzz word in the skin care biz. But do you really know what it does? If scary images of scalpels come to mind, we’re here to bust any misconceptions you might have about the treatment.

What is dermaplaning?
“Dermaplaning is a non-invasive procedure where the surface of the skin is gently grazed by a sterile blade to remove fine vellus hairs A.K.A peach fuzz and the superficial dead skin cells from the epidermis,” explains Dr. Jessica Weiser of New York Dermatology Group in New York City. The result is extremely smooth, fuzz-free skin.

How does it work?
According to Dr. Whitney Bowe, board certified dermatologist in New York City, the true definition of dermaplaning involves using a surgical blade that goes all the way down the deeper levels of the skin, namely the dermis. “However, in practice, most practitioners tend to stay in the epidermis,” she explains. “Since it removes superficial dead layers of the skin, it helps skin care products penetrate more easily.” She adds the process is only meant for the face, not the nose, neck, or chest.

What are the benefits?
In addition to allowing skin care products to penetrate the skin better, dermaplaning has other benefits, explains Dr. Weiser. “By removing the dead skin cells, dermaplaning is a form of slightly deeper exfoliation and can improve skin turnover and healing, in addition to allowing better penetration of skin care products,” she notes. “This can leave skin more radiant and healthier looking.” In addition, she adds that dermaplaning is appropriate for all ages and for most any skin type. “It is helpful to address mild textural abnormalities in the skin and to make skin more refreshed through improved cell renewal.” Looks like Marilyn Monroe was onto something.

Is it painful?
Anytime there’s a blade involved in a beauty treatment, this is sure to be at the top of anyone’s list of questions. But according to both doctors, dermaplaning is not painful at all. Cue sighs of relief now.

How often should you be dermaplaning?
“I recommend this about once a month,” says Dr. Bowe. “It’s important to allow your skin enough time in between each treatment to rejuvenate itself so you avoid over exfoliating.”

Can you do it home?
With a number of at-home treatments on the market, it can be tempting to play doctor for a day and attempt the treatment yourself, but our experts strongly advise against this. “I recommend researching your doctor or obtaining a referral prior to receiving treatment from an experienced professional,” says Dr. Bowe. “Definitely do not do this at home! If you are looking to exfoliate the skin at home, I would strongly urge you to utilize an at-home peel pad with alpha and beta hydroxyl acids instead of coming at your face with a blade!” Bottom line: If you want a deeper exfoliation, go with an expert.

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