What is Dermaplaning?
The Dermaplaning procedure involves a surgical grade scalpel that is used to gently scrape the surface of the skin. This process removes dead skin cells from the outermost layers of skin, and most notably, the fine vellus hairs on the face.
These light vellus hairs are colloquially referred to as “peach fuzz.”
The removal of dead skin from the surface and pores is called exfoliation, and along with the removal of peach fuzz, perpetuates the coveted healthy glow that you desire. Like hair on other parts of the body, the color of vellus hair varies from person to person. It can appear colorless, blonde, grey, brown, or black – whatever the person’s natural hair color is. Everyone has vellus hair, as its biological function is to keep skin warm and provide a layer of protection against the sun.
However – also like the rest of the hair – some people may have thicker or more visible hair than others, and so it will require maintenance.
Dead skin cells on the other hand, are a natural byproduct of the skin. As the skin cells die, new ones are produced in their place; however, many dead cells remain on the face that can contribute to dullness, breakouts, wrinkles, and more. The buildup of these dead cells is called hyperkeratosis.
Limiting the amount of dead skin cells is an integral part of proper skin care, and should be included in every skin care regimen.
What Does It Treat?
A high amount of vellus hair can interfere with makeup application and compromise the appearance. Combined with the layers of dead skin on the face, vellus hair can also hamper the effectiveness of your skin care products as well. The peach fuzz and dead layers of skin serve as a barrier between the skin, and prevent the products from penetrating the deeper layers of skin as effectively. You will then need to use larger amounts of product to get the same effect, causes you to spend even more money for less results.
In addition, dead skin and the vellus hairs can create a buildup of dirt and oil that clogs the pores and hair follicles. These clogged pores not only block the effectiveness of products, but can also lead to blackheads, blemishes, and future breakouts. Because dermaplaning addresses both of these, it serves as a preventative measure to limit acne.
Dermaplaning is a great treatment for all skin types, including sensitive skin. In addition, it is also effective at addressing sun damage, fine lines, dry patches, and dull skin when combined with other treatments.
Because it allows makeup to go on much more smoothly, it is a very popular treatment that is received a few days before a big event, such as weddings and red carpet gatherings.
How does it work?
Before dermaplaning is started, your skin is cleansed with alcohol. The shaving process is then carried out afterwards with a surgical scalpel. This can generally take between 15-20 minutes in total. Afterwards, a light facial may be applied to keep the skin moisturized.
Those who are receiving dermaplaning in conjunction with other procedures will have this treatment performed first, and may forego the light facial at the end depending on what other treatments are being received.
While dermaplaning on its own noticeably brightens the skin, it is an exfoliation treatment first and foremost. Its primary duties are to remove the dead skin and hairs on the face. As a result, dermaplaning is very frequently done BEFORE other treatments in order to enhance their effectiveness. It is very common for dermaplaning to be performed before chemical peels and lasers, as these procedures can penetrate the skin much more deeply without the barriers of the hair and dead skin.
Because dermaplaning is able to assist with many other treatments, it can also be a valuable add-on to patients who wish to address certain conditions such as acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles. Dermaplaning helps trigger the cell regeneration process, which allows the skin to improve the appearance of certain conditions without irritating the skin. When combined with dermaplaning, new skin growth is stimulated to target problems such as sun spots and environmental damage.
Dermaplaning is one of the few treatments in which the results can be seen instantly when the procedure is completed. Right after treatment, you can expect to see a slightly brighter looking skin tone due to the removal of dead skin and hair. The skin’s surface will continue to improve over the course of the next few days as the newly exposed skin begins to settle. Patients can also expect less blemishes over time thanks to less dirt and oil building up in the skin and pores.
While the glow effects improve over the course of a few days, the changes to makeup and skin care products are applied immediately. Again, it is advised to wait one day after treatment before applying makeup in order to lessen the risk of any irritation. However, most skin care products such as moisturizers and serums can be applied on the same day. Many patients also like to receive a HydraFacial after dermaplaning as well, to instantly enhance the natural glow and skin’s texture even further.
Who’s a Candidate for Dermaplaning?
Dermaplaning is completely chemical free. The lack of chemical solutions also means that is a great option for patients with sensitive skin, or those who have allergies to certain ingredients used in other procedures. Because harsh exfoliator chemicals or solutions are not needed for this treatment to be carried out, this treatment is safe for women who are pregnant or nursing.
Darker skin tones especially can benefit from dermaplaning. The treatment does not irritate or cause abrasions in the skin, and thus, there is no risk for hyperpigmentation.
While dermaplaning can safely be performed on patients with sensitive skin, it should be noted, that the skin is cleansed with alcohol prior to treatment.
Who Is Not a Candidate
Patients with conditions such as rosacea, eczema and keratosis pilaris will want to consider other treatments, as dermaplaning is a manual treatment that can aggravate these conditions.
Patients with active cystic acne will also want to postpone their treatment until the breakout has had time to pass and is a bit more under control. Inflamed acne can get irritated and worsen existing breakouts. Although dermaplaning cannot be used on current acne breakouts, it does aid in preventing future acne.
Patients who have taken Accutane in the past 6 months will need to let their provider know during their consultation in order to determine if more time needs to pass before receiving treatment as well.
What to Expect
One of the most noticeable benefits of dermaplaning is that the removal of peach fuzz and dead skin enhances the absorption rate of the skin immediately. Your skin care products will be much more effective, and will penetrate the layers of skin more deeply.
Another big benefit is that makeup will also glide on much more smoothly. This reason alone is why many patients like to get this a couple days before large events. It is highly recommended to wait one day after treatment to apply any makeup. Adding makeup immediately after dermaplaning can still be done if it is absolutely truly needed, but because the skin barrier is newly open, it will be more prone to irritation that first day. It is advised to wait one day so the skin can settle first.
While the treatment doesn’t have any downtime, the skin can have a slight red tint after the treatment. This is normal, and should be expected. The slight redness will resolve on its own shortly, and no other action is required on your part. Patients are able to continue their regular daily routines the second they leave the office.
Dermaplaning is not intended to be a simple “shave and go” procedure. Maintenance is required afterwards from your end via the use of skin care products. The biggest benefit of this treatment is that your products will be greatly enhanced. The removal of hair and dead skin cells allow the products to penetrate the skin much more easily. This treatment is great for those with dry skin or rough skin textures.
Moisturizers and products that promote hydration are recommended, such as Vitamin C in the daytime and retinol in the evening. Wearing sunscreen with SPF 30+ after treatment is especially crucial. The skin is more susceptible to the sun since it will be fully exposed, and because product absorption is increased, sunscreen’s effects are amplified.
Because this is an exfoliation treatment, patients should wait at least one month in between appointments. Ideally, receiving the treatment about once every 4-6 weeks is optimal, as that is the average length of time for each skin renewal cycle. Those with sensitive skin can limit their treatments to once per season if they prefer. Timeframes may also be adjusted to accommodate other treatments that are performed in a series, such as lasers.
As the hair grows back on its own over time, many are under the impression that the hair will be thicker or grow faster or that there will be more than before. These beliefs are all incorrect. The hair that grows will not be any different than before. Because the hair is cut at an angle, newly sprouted hairs might feel prickly at first which is normal. The thickness and growth speed are still the same, and the ends will taper off naturally on their own to their regular smooth form.
Dermaplaning has been growing in popularity rapidly the past few years due to being a non-invasive exfoliation; however, due to the nature of the procedure, there are a few common myths surrounding it many people believe that aren’t actually true at all. Below are some popular myths surrounding dermaplaning:
Myth: The Hair Grows Back Thicker
Hair trimmed from dermaplaning does NOT grow back any thicker or faster than it did before. Factors such as hair texture and growth speed are determined by genetics.
Myth: It Hurts
Many exfoliation procedures can be painful. Even though this treatment uses a surgical tool, dermaplaning is an exfoliation treatment that has NO PAIN.
Myth: Not for Certain Skin or Hair Types
Unlike other hair removal methods such as waxing and lasers, dermaplaning is effective on all skin tones and complexions, and all colors and variations of hair.