Dermaplaning is the manual or mechanical removal of dead skin cells by gliding a scalpel over the surface of the skin. The scalpel removes excess dead skin as well as vellus hair; the soft, lightly colored hair on the face. Because of the use of an extreme sharp blade, only the flatter planes of the face are recommended for dermaplaning. The nose, neck and décolleté are not ideal areas for this treatment. Dermaplaning is best for those too sensitive for microdermabrasion, dry dull skin, congested skin, those bothered by vellus hair and as an alternate to other exfoliation treatments.
The process involves a first deep cleanse, follow by a degreasing of the skin with an astringent or in some cases (very oily skin) acetone. I prefer a very dry surface when I dermaplane so I can see and feel the skin’s texture very distinctly. There are some estheticians who prefer to do the same service with a glaze of oil over the skin for various reasons. In either case the technician begins to slide the blade gently over the surface of the skin, holding very taut to minimize folding or slipping of the skin. If the skin is taut and the technician has gentle yet firm control of the blade, the chances of cuts are very slim. Cuts do occasionally happen, but they are usually small nicks easily treated with styptic. An experienced esthetician can avoid issues by controlling of the angle of the blade as they work.
Dermaplaning can then be coupled with a mild chemical or enzymatic exfoliation or a hydrating and nourishing mask. At the end of the treatment the esthetician will apply appropriate serums and moisturizers for the skin type. Sunscreen is a must after dermaplaning as the skin will be sun sensitive, like after a chemical peel. Moisturizer must be worn as well for the reason that maintaining a barrier is important after treatment.
Also important is preventing the spread of bacteria. As a thin layer of skin has been removed and the vellus hair that protects the face is gone as well; the skin can be more prone to break outs if proper home care is not followed. Phones should be sanitized, pillowcases and towels should be replaced, and make up brushes need to be deep cleaned as well. Hands need to be clean when touching the face. These habits should be kept up for a few days after dermaplaning. If proper home care is followed the chance of issues after a treatment is small.
Recommended for dermaplaning:
– dry skin, sensitive skin, congested skin, those with issues with dullness and product absorption, anyone with concerns with vellus hair
Not recommended for dermaplaning:
– open lesions and pustular acne, inflamed skin, compromised barrier function, very recent peels, those taking retin-a, accutane, any one with a herpes simplex A outbreak
Pictured below: dermaplaning equipment