Some swear by the silky smooth results of dermaplaning but is this viral skin care trend both effective and safe? Absolutely, if you visit a spa professional for your treatment. Read on to discover some dermaplaning misconceptions, some not-so-ideal outcomes and our best advice for avoiding any dermaplaning regret.
Also known as "microplaning" or "blading," dermablading is a professional skin care treatment that skims the face with an exfoliating blade, specifically created for use on the skin. The process removes dead skin, product build-up and the vellus hairs (also known as peach fuzz) found on the cheeks and chin. After, you should notice and feel rejuvenated and smooth skin on the face.
Eminence Organics Regional Sales & Education Representative Tamara Hughes says mistaking dermaplaning for shaving is a common error. “A dermaplaning treatment and shaving at home are completely different and use different tools to achieve different goals,” she says. “Although they both use a blade that moves across the skin, this is about all they have in common.”
"Despite the amount of at-home blades available," says Hughes, "Dermaplaning should always be done by a certified dermaplaning technician."
Want a more in-depth explanation on dermaplaning? Check out our guide to a dermaplane facial here.
According to Healthline.com, dermaplaning can minimize the appearance of acne scarring, pockmarks and fine lines. It can also give you a smooth and radiant complexion after the treatment. As a result, applying and removing makeup should be much easier. Even skin care products can be applied more easily, with some believing the product absorbs into the skin better.
Unlike laser hair removal and other cosmetic treatments, there is little to no recovery time other than making sure you apply sunscreen and watching how much time you spend in the sun. As dermaplaning only affects the top few layers of skin, it is considered a minimally invasive treatment, involving less risk than other treatments. According to Hughes, freshly dermaplaned skin can be perfect to enhance the results of chemical peel treatments, facials and microneedling.
Is dermaplaning safe to do at home? No! Always go to a spa to do this treatment, don't try to do it at home. In terms of the results, they last about three weeks and, because your skin is in a fragile state, your skin is at a risk of sun damage in the days following. Because of the skin’s fragility, you should avoid using retinol or tingly skin care products for a few weeks following the treatment. Those with some skin conditions (see below) shouldn’t attempt dermaplaning treatments.
According to Hughes, dermaplaning is typically performed by a certified technician. This is because dermaplaning is a professional treatment and removes two to three weeks of dead skin cells as well as vellus hair. She explains the difference between professional dermaplaning and using a razor at home: “In the treatment, they use a surgical blade at a 45-degree angle for the main purpose of exfoliation. In comparison, facial razors are tools that feature a safety guard and sit on the skin at a 35-degree angle and were designed to be used at home. Its main purpose is hair removal and ONLY removes the hair on the surface of the skin.”
Every skin type could respond well to dermaplaning, and the practice can be particularly beneficial for those with:
- Acne scars and pock marks
- Dull skin
- Dry skin
- Sun-damaged skin
- Fine wrinkles
- Concerns about their vellus hair, which can thicken naturally due to age or conditions such as polycystic ovaries.
Who Should Avoid Dermaplaning?
- Severe sunburn
- Active breakouts
- Sensitive skin
- Accutane or tretinoin application in the past 6 months
- Cancer, and are undergoing cancer treatment
- Spider veins
- Cystic acne
- Viruses such as chicken pox or shingles
Dermaplaning Regret #1: You "wing it" and try it at home
It’s not hard to find an at-home dermaplaning blade but just because you can try a dermaplaning facial treatment on yourself, doesn’t mean you should.
“Dermaplaning should always be done by a certified dermaplaning technician in order to avoid injury and adverse reactions,” Hughes says. “You will want to make sure that you research certified technicians that were trained with proper techniques. Make sure to read the reviews and discuss the treatment with them before you start.”
Without the proper training, sanitizing knowledge, or knowing how to angle the tool, you’re at risk of damaging the delicate skin on your face, which may prompt an infection, irritation, scratches or even scarring.
YouTuber Natalies Outlet mentions her own bad experience after dermaplaning with an old blade, describing the results as feeling like “ingrown hairs.” “I had bumps for months,” she says in her video.
Dermaplaning Regret #2: Your Breakouts Worsen
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the sliding motion of dermaplaning can make breakouts worse by spreading bacteria around. In time, this can even cause more breakouts and agitate existing acne. We always recommend avoiding dermaplaning if you’re living with acne, active breakouts or using acne treatments like Accutane or Isotretinoin. However, if you think your skin is clear enough to attempt the practice, ensure you’re working with a professional to keep dermaplaning tools far away from any broken skin or blemishes.
Dermaplaning Regret #3: Dermaplaning Irritates Your Skin
Although you might be impressed with an initial feeling of smoothness, a few hours later, your skin can feel tight and scraped if dermaplaning has worked a little harder then your sensitive skin would prefer. We always recommend talking to your dermaplaning professional or dermatologist before the treatment to discuss whether it's right for you.
However, if your skin only occasionally suffers from sensitivity, consider an oil planning treatment that applies a layer of facial oil to the skin before dermaplaning to reduce any friction. And always remember, your treatment should be slow, careful and very light on the skin to avoid scratches and irritation.
Dermaplaning Regret #4: It Reignites An Old Cold Sore
Unfortunately, dermaplaning the wrong area can awaken an old cold sore site, reactivating the herpes simplex virus on the skin. To avoid this, visit a doctor to secure an oral anti-herpes medication or antibiotic to prevent any outbreaks, and always let your skin specialist know about your cold sore history prior to your treatment.
Dermaplaning Regret #5: Neglecting Your Skin After Treatment
As dermaplaning has removed a layer of older skin to expose a new one, a restorative routine is necessary in the weeks following your treatment. According to SELF.com, the skin cells in the epidermis take about 14 days to turn over, so follow your dermaplaning facial treatment with a routine that replenishes the skin barrier to maintain smooth, healthy skin in the long term.
This means a focus on:
- Hydrating serums and hyaluronic acids to add moisture to the skin
- Moisturizing in the weeks following the treatment
- Sunscreen, as your skin is even more susceptible to UV damage
- Avoiding skin care products that make your skin tingle
- Avoiding retinol
- Gentle cleansing
With proper care and professional help, dermaplaning rejuvenates the skin and leaves it looking perfectly smooth. If you are interested in exploring this innovative treatment, visit our Spa Locator and call your nearest Eminence Organics Spa Partner to check if they offer dermaplaning services.