Family Health: Dermaplaning uncovers fresh facial skin

Hiding under the thin, outermost layer of skin cells on your face is fresh new skin. All you have to do is remove these dead cells to reveal the smooth, vibrant complexion beneath. This is called exfoliation, and there are several ways to do it. One of the most effective is called dermaplaning. This method uses a surgical blade to scrape away the outermost layer of skin.

Gentle and safe

Scraping your face with a scalpel can sound like a dangerous process. But it’s safe and comfortable when done by a trained professional. Dermaplaning is also less disruptive to your skin than other exfoliation methods, such as chemical peels or dermabrasion.

After cleansing and drying your skin, the aesthetician holds the blade at a 45 degree angle and gently scrapes your forehead, chin, cheeks and other areas. It’s typical to treat the entire face, although the focus may be on problem areas such as dry or oily skin. A good practitioner uses light, feathering strokes and the sensation is similar to the feel of shaving your legs.

A fresh appearance

Unlike some exfoliation methods, dermaplaning doesn’t require down time afterward. Treated skin may appear pink for a short time, and some people have slightly reddened areas that resolve in one to two hours. You’re likely to notice that:

  • Your skin seems fresh, radiant and smooth.
  • Large pores are smaller.
  • Your skin has a more even tone.
  • Minor skin lines are diminished.
  • Lotions and other products penetrate better and makeup glides on easily.

The smoothness comes from the newly exposed layer of skin, and also because dermaplaning removes unwanted hair from your face. This fine hair eventually grows back, but dermaplaning does not make it regrow thicker or darker.

Dermaplaning treatments take about 30 minutes. Your skin will be more sensitive to the sun afterward, and it’s important to use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to avoid damage from sunburn and areas of hyperpigmentation. This is especially important for the first two weeks after your treatment.

Most people continue with regular dermaplaning treatments about every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain the effects.

Wide appeal

Dermaplaning works with all skin types, and since it doesn’t involve chemicals it’s safe for pregnant or nursing women. If you have active acne or very sensitive skin, your aesthetician will talk to you about timing your treatment for the best result.

While home dermaplaning kits are available, it’s a bad idea to use one. The technique must be learned and even small mistakes can lead to infection or scarring. Dermaplaning is one of the best examples of “don’t try this at home.”