Home Blog What is Dermaplaning? A Skin Expert Explains

What is Dermaplaning? A Skin Expert Explains

Soft, smooth, lovely skin is within reach thanks to the dermaplaning facial aka epidermal leveling. Dermaplaning is so much more than just shaving your face. This cutting-edge treatment (no pun intended) brightens skin, removes fine hair, helps makeup go on smoother and refines pores instantly. The dermaplane treatment takes 45 minutes or less with zero pain or downtime.

Dermaplaning benefits

Dermaplaning is perfect before special events or any time your skin looks dull. The treatment:

  • Removes facial hair
  • Creates a flawless canvas for makeup
  • Promotes a radiant, even skin tone
  • Clears congested pores that lead to blackheads
  • Removes dead skin cell buildup
  • Softens the look of sun damage & fine lines
  • Reduces milia (hyperkeratinization aka bumpy skin)
  • Helps lessen acne over time
  • Refines tough, thick skin on face

Dermaplaning FAQs

Dermaplaning has many names. The treatment is known as dermaplaning (or dermaplanning, a common misspelling), dermablading, epi blading, microplaning, microdermaplaning, the scalpel facial, epidermal leveling and skin leveling. Here’s everything you need to know about the dermaplane facial.

What is dermaplaning?

A dermaplane facial is when a beauty technician uses a fine surgical steel blade to scrape away dead skin cells and peach fuzz on the face, revealing healthy, radiant, baby-soft skin.

“It’s just a really lovely way of giving the skin a good, refreshing exfoliation,” says dermal nurse Lea Barclay of Specialist Skin Solutions.

This exfoliating skin treatment has exploded in popularity in recent years. Believe it or not, many women have even started shaving their face at home A proper dermaplane facial at the skin clinic goes beyond just shaving. In fact, it’s really quite different.

Is dermaplaning the same as shaving?

That’s a big, fat ‘No’, according to Lea. Unlike shaving which cuts the hairs bluntly, dermaplaning goes in the same direction as the hair growth so that the hair is tapered off in the natural growth. It’s not going against the grain, she says. The sharp, professional scalpel blade that is used not only removes fine vellus hair, but also removes dead skin cells that are a leading cause of skin dullness and uneven skin tone. Dermaplaning at the clinic gives impressive results for instantly more radiant, smoother skin than shaving alone.

Sounds scary. Does dermaplaning hurt?

No, absolutely not. Some women are scared of the blade at first, but remember it is just working on the surface of the skin. It’s just removing fine hair and surface dead skin cells, so there is no pain.

Dermaplaning downtime

Women love that dermaplaning has no downtime. After the treatment, you can go about your normal daily routine, although Lea recommends not heading to the gym, sauna or hot yoga afterward. Any activity that will make you sweat can feel a bit uncomfortable the first day because the skin is so young and fresh that the sweat can sting a little. You should also avoid harsh cleansers and topical skin treatments as the young, healthy skin is more sensitive without all those dead skin cells toughening it up. Other than that, there are really no side effects or downtime at all.

Dermaplaning aftercare

Fresh, healthy skin is more exposed than skin that’s covered in old, dead cells. That’s why sunscreen is so important after treatment. Lea recommends a minimum of SPF 50 sunscreen. Mineral sunblock and physical sunblocks are better than chemical sunscreens, which tend to sting a bit and can irritate the new, delicate skin.

Give at-home exfoliating products a break for at least 2-3 days after treatment. “We’ve already heavily exfoliated the skin, so we don’t really want to be going back in and doing any more exfoliation. Over-exfoliating can actually be damaging to the skin,” Lea explains. Excessive facial exfoliation can disrupt the skin’s pH and moisture barrier, leaving it prone to redness, irritation and acne-causing bacteria.

Controlled exfoliation is the key. That’s another good reason not to try your own dermaplane facial at home.

Does dermaplaning make hair grow back thicker?

No, the hair won’t grow back dark.

“If you’ve got fine hair, it’s going to keep on coming back as fine hair. If you’ve got dark hair, you’re going to have dark hair. If you’ve got really fine vellus hair, it’s just going to take it off. It’s not going to grow back any darker. It doesn’t stimulate the hair to grow back [thicker] either,” Lea says.

Most patients only have fine vellus hair that’s nearly invisible, so they don’t feel or notice a thing as the hair grows back because it is so fine.

Want to know more about what you can do and what it all means? Get our guide: The 11 signs of ageing and what to do about it.

How long to get dermaplaning before event

Everyone wants glowing skin before a big event. If you’re planning a formal, a big party, or just want that refreshed look and it’s your first time getting it done, book your dermaplane appointment a week in advance. Once you know how your skin reacts, less time ahead of events is needed. Two to three days later, the skin looks brilliant.

How long do dermaplaning results last?

The results are immediate. And again, there is no downtime. However, unlike IPL hair removal, the hair will eventually grow back. Lea recommends a follow up appointment every 4-6 weeks to maintain that fresh, healthy, fuzz-free facial skin.

Who can’t get dermaplaning done?

If you have open sores, healing wounds and certain other skin conditions, those areas cannot be treated. Dermaplaning with acne is also not advised. Don’t worry if you can’t get epidermal leveling, though. Dermal nurse Lea Barclay at Specialist Skin Solutions will assess your skin and provide alternative solutions to get your skin looking great. Once acne and other skin problems are under control, you can get a dermaplane facial.

Epidermal leveling safety

Dermaplaning is painless. But is it safe? Yes, and here’s why.

Ideal for pregnant & lactating women

You have to be careful with skin treatments when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Dermaplaning is safe for both since no chemicals are involved and it is only working on the surface of the skin.

Dermaplaning at home vs. in the clinic

They sell dermaplaners for home use. However, even the best dermaplane tools for home use tend to be low quality. You hear about the handles breaking as pressure is applied to the skin, which can lead to cuts and injury. Just think how close that blade is to your eye!

The dermaplaning razor blades are often poor quality and not sharp enough, which can lead to skin scraping and razor skipping. Some women that attempt dermablading at home end up with shallow cuts and scratches that appear hours later. It will look red at first, then turn into a scab. It kind of looks like a cat scratched you.

The scalpel blade used in a professional skin clinic is far superior to at-home dermaplaning tools, meaning better dermaplaning results and safety.

At the clinic, Lea uses a brand new, unopened, sterile surgical blade for each client. Dermaplaning at home involves reusing the same blade over and over, which isn’t sanitary or safe. So, in-clinic treatments are also safer for that reason.

A qualified microplane specialist knows exactly how much pressure to apply so you won’t cut your skin. This is a treatment that is best left in the hands of trained professionals.

Dermaplaning in the clinic

Dermaplane aka epidermal levelling is a premiere skin exfoliation treatment that is perfect for big events. The treatment can even be combined with other skin treatments. Dermaplaning and chemical peels are one of Lea’s favorite combinations because the results are spectacular. It must be a light chemical peel to avoid exfoliating too much. Lea loves the Aspect Dr. Fruit Enzyme Peel, which you can get in the clinic or buy for home use.

A gentler option is dermaplaning followed by the Sculpt Mask treatment at Specialist Skin Solutions. This is a professional face mask with turmeric, bromelain (pineapple enzyme) and hyaluronic acid to refresh, refine and hydrate the skin after the dermaplane facial is complete.

Microdermabrasion vs. dermaplaning

Both are exfoliating treatments, but dermaplaning has the added benefit of removing unwanted peach fuzz from the face. Those fine blond hairs can be annoying. If you look closely at your cheeks, chin and forehead, you’re likely to spot them. In certain lighting, they may look invisible. These fine facial hairs, known as vellus hair, are much more obvious in outdoor lighting, especially on a sunny day.

And of course, sometimes those hairs aren’t blond. Brunettes and older women know what that is like. No one likes having that scraggly dark hair on the upper lips, chin or cheeks.

Dermaplaning is also slightly less irritating than microdermabrasion. For gals with super sensitive skin, they might prefer the dermaplane facial for this reason. Your skin will glow afterward!

Dermaplaning vs. laser hair removal

When it comes to removing unwanted hair on the body, you’ve got options. Laser hair removal, IPL and electrolysis are both permanent and effective. However, laser devices don’t work on light or blond hair. The fine vellus hair on women’s faces is often blonde, so dermaplaning is a better option. Lasers are also ineffective on tanned and dark complexions. Meanwhile, dermaplaning gets rid of facial hair with ease, regardless of skin tone.

Oil blading

Dermaplaning with oil is great for clients with dry skin. Known as oil blading, this advanced technique uses oil to restore crackly skin with supple moisture. The blade glides very smoothly as well, thanks to the slip provided by the oil. This reduces blade skipping, a common problem with aging and dry skin types. At Specialist Skin Solutions, Lea uses skin-safe oils to perform the treatment. This particular treatment can be repeated every 4-6 weeks to keep your skin hydrated, radiant and free of dead skin cells that lead to dull skin.

Get fresh, healthy skin with a dermaplane facial

Epidermal leveling is a fast, easy and painless way to remove unwanted facial hair, help makeup go on smoother and boost skin radiance dramatically in 45 minutes or less.

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