What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a highly popular skincare treatment that involves the gentle removal of dead skin cells and fine facial hair using a surgical scalpel. Performed by a trained esthetician, the procedure is relatively quick, painless, and has little to no recovery time.

Dermaplaning can effectively improve the overall appearance of your skin by exfoliating the outer layer and revealing smoother, brighter skin underneath.

One of the main benefits of dermaplaning is its ability to remove the build-up of dead skin cells. These dead cells can make the skin look dull and contribute to skin conditions such as acne and uneven skin texture. By gently scraping away this layer of damaged skin, dermaplaning allows for better absorption of skincare products and treatments.

In addition to exfoliating dead skin cells, dermaplaning also gets rid of peach fuzz or vellus hair on the face. This soft, fine hair can accumulate makeup, debris, and oils, leading to clogged pores and a lackluster complexion. By eliminating this facial hair, dermaplaning gives the skin a smoother, more even appearance, allowing makeup to go on more flawlessly.

Dermaplaning is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and dry skin. Unlike chemical peels or other cosmetic procedures, dermaplaning is a non-invasive treatment that does not involve the use of harsh chemicals. It is a safe and effective way to achieve smoother, brighter skin without the risk of irritating sensitive or dry skin.

Dermaplaning is a relatively quick treatment that can be done during a lunch break. The procedure typically takes around 60 minutes to complete, depending on the area being treated.

Afterward, there may be slight redness, which usually subsides within a few hours. It is important to note that dermaplaning is not recommended for individuals with cold sores or those with active acne.

Watch our video below to see dermaplaning in action:


How is Dermaplaning Different from Shaving?

Dermaplaning and shaving may seem similar at first glance, as both involve the use of a blade to remove hair from the face. However, there are several key differences between the two techniques.
dermaplaning facial treatment


1. The tools used in dermaplaning and shaving are not the same.

In dermaplaning, a surgical scalpel or an exfoliating blade specifically designed for the procedure is used. These tools are much sharper and more precise than a regular shaving razor or an electric razor. The use of a surgical scalpel allows for a more controlled and thorough removal of the outer layer of skin, while a regular razor is designed to simply cut the hair at the surface.

2. The purpose of dermaplaning goes beyond hair removal.

While shaving primarily focuses on getting rid of facial hair, dermaplaning is a skin resurfacing procedure that aims to exfoliate the skin, remove dead skin cells, and improve the overall texture and tone of the skin. It helps to enhance the skin’s natural glow and provides a smoother canvas for makeup application.

3. The technique and skill required for each procedure vary.

Dermaplaning is typically performed by a trained professional, such as an esthetician, who has expertise in the use of surgical blades and understands the anatomy of the skin.

4. Dermaplaning is a safe and gentle treatment for most skin types.

The procedure is performed with caution to prevent any damage or irritation to the skin. In contrast, shaving can be harsh on the skin, especially if not done properly. It can lead to razor burns, cuts, and ingrown hairs, particularly for individuals with sensitive skin.

5. The frequency of dermaplaning and shaving differs.

Dermaplaning is generally recommended to be done every 4 weeks, depending on individual needs and skin condition. This allows for the skin to fully recover and regenerate between treatments. On the other hand, shaving is often done more frequently, depending on personal preference and hair growth rate.

The Benefits of Dermaplaning


Benefits of dermaplaning - before and after

Dermaplaning has gained immense popularity in recent years, and for good reason. This skincare treatment offers a multitude of benefits that can transform the look and feel of your skin. From improving skin texture to enhancing your natural glow, here are some of the key benefits of dermaplaning:

1. Exfoliation

Dead skin cells can accumulate on the surface of our skin, leaving it looking dull and lackluster. Dermaplaning effectively exfoliates these dead skin cells, revealing a fresh, brighter complexion underneath. By removing this layer of dead skin, dermaplaning promotes cell turnover, which can result in smoother and more youthful-looking skin.

2. Hair Removal

One of the most noticeable benefits of dermaplaning is the removal of vellus hair, commonly known as peach fuzz. While this hair is soft and often barely visible, its presence can affect the smoothness of our skin and the application of makeup. Dermaplaning gently removes these fine hairs, leaving your skin feeling incredibly smooth and allowing products to penetrate more effectively.

3. Improved Product Absorption

Without the barrier of dead skin cells and facial hair, skincare products can be absorbed more effectively into the skin. This means that your favorite serums, moisturizers, and treatments can penetrate deeper and deliver their benefits more efficiently. This can lead to enhanced results and an overall improvement in your skincare routine.

4. Smoother Makeup Application

Have you ever noticed that your foundation seems to sit on top of your skin, emphasizing dry patches and uneven texture? Dermaplaning can help with that. By exfoliating the skin and removing any barrier, makeup application becomes smoother and more flawless. Your foundation will glide on effortlessly, resulting in a natural, airbrushed finish that lasts throughout the day.

5. Diminished Appearance of Fine Lines and Scars

Dermaplaning can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne scars, and other skin imperfections. By exfoliating the outer layer of the skin, dermaplaning encourages collagen production, which can help plump up the skin and reduce the visibility of these concerns. Over time, regular dermaplaning treatments can lead to a more even skin tone and a smoother complexion.

6. Suitable for All Skin Types and Skin Tones

One of the great things about dermaplaning is that it is suitable for all skin types and skin tones. Dermplaning is often favored over chemical peels for darker skin tones because it reduces the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Chemical peels can sometimes cause uneven pigmentation in darker skin, whereas dermaplaning provides gentle exfoliation without the same potential for pigmentary changes.

Risks and Side Effects of Dermaplaning


Risks and Side Effects of dermaplaning
While dermaplaning is a generally safe and effective procedure, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with it. Understanding these factors will allow you to make an informed decision and ensure the best possible outcome for your skin.

One common risk of dermaplaning is the possibility of slight redness or irritation immediately after the treatment. This is a normal reaction and usually subsides within a few hours.

However, individuals with very sensitive skin may experience more pronounced redness or even mild swelling. Using a gentle cleanser and applying a soothing moisturizer can help alleviate these symptoms.

Another consideration is the risk of nicks or cuts during the procedure. Dermaplaning involves using a surgical blade or scalpel to exfoliate the skin, and although the blade is sharp, the risk of injury is minimal when performed by a trained professional.

It is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced esthetician who can perform the procedure safely.

Who Should Avoid Dermaplaning?

While dermaplaning is a safe and effective skin treatment for many individuals, there are certain groups of people who should avoid undergoing this procedure. Understanding who should avoid dermaplaning can help you make informed decisions about your skincare routine.

1. Those with active acne or cystic acne

If you currently have active acne or cystic acne, dermaplaning may not be recommended for you. The process of exfoliating the skin with a surgical blade can potentially worsen the breakouts or even cause scarring. It is best to consult with a skincare professional to determine if dermaplaning is suitable for your skin condition.

2. Individuals with cold sores or active breakouts

If you have cold sores or active breakouts of any kind, it is advisable to avoid dermaplaning. This is because the procedure can potentially spread the infection and worsen the condition. It is recommended to wait until the cold sores have healed or the breakouts have subsided before considering dermaplaning.

3. Pregnant women

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make the skin more sensitive and susceptible to irritation. Because of this, pregnant women should exercise caution when considering dermaplaning. It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider before undergoing any cosmetic procedures during pregnancy.

4. Cancer patients

People with cancer who are undergoing cancer treatment should avoid dermaplaning because their skin may be more sensitive, prone to infection, and less able to heal, increasing risks of complications and irritation.

5. Extremely Sensitive Skin

If you have extremely sensitive skin, you should probably avoid dermaplaning as it can exacerbate sensitivity, leading to irritation, redness, and potential skin damage or reactions.

6. Sunburn

If you have a recent sunburn, you may find yourself with more severe side effects.

7. Oral Retinoid Therapy

The treatment is also not suitable for people who have taken Accutane or isotretinoin within the last 6 months.

If you fall into any of the above categories or have concerns about dermaplaning, it is best to consult with a skincare professional before undergoing the treatment.

They can provide personalized advice and recommend alternative skincare treatments that may be more suitable for your specific needs.

Taking these precautions will ensure that you make informed decisions about your skincare routine and prioritize the health and well-being of your skin.

How Often Should You Have a Dermaplaning Session?


showing facial hair removed by dermaplaning on tissue
Individual skin types, skin conditions, sensitivity, and hair growth may affect the answer, but there are some general guidelines to follow.

I recommend that my clients wait at least three or four weeks between sessions. Dermaplaning is a deep exfoliation that removes dead skin that has built up for two or three weeks.

This timeframe allows the skin to fully recover and regenerate before undergoing another exfoliation treatment.

Remember that the primary goal of dermaplaning is to remove the top layer of the epidermis and vellus hair, revealing smoother, brighter skin underneath. Overdoing the procedure or performing it too frequently can potentially disrupt the skin barrier and lead to irritation, redness, or even damage.

If you have sensitive skin or if you have had previous adverse reactions to exfoliating treatments, you may need to space out your dermaplaning sessions even further. It is essential to closely monitor your skin’s reaction after each session and adjust the frequency accordingly.

In addition to the recommended waiting period between sessions, it is crucial to maintain a proper skincare routine and protect the skin from sun exposure. Applying sunscreen daily and using gentle, nourishing skincare products can help prolong the results of dermaplaning and keep the skin taut and healthy.

Does Dermaplaning Cause Stubble?

Many people wonder if dermaplaning can cause stubble to grow back thicker or darker.

The short answer is NO, dermaplaning does not cause stubble.

Unlike shaving or using an electric razor, dermaplaning involves gently scraping off the top layer of skin using a surgical scalpel or a sterile blade. This process effectively removes the fine, soft hairs from the face, leaving behind a smooth and evenly exfoliated surface.

The misconception that dermaplaning causes stubble stems from a misunderstanding of how hair growth works. Vellus hair is extremely fine and does not gain thickness or color intensity when removed. When the vellus hair is shaved or dermaplaned, it will grow back to its natural state – soft and colorless.

So rest assured, dermaplaning will not make your facial hair grow back thicker or darker.

Is Dermaplaning at Home Safe?

While it is typically performed in a professional setting by trained experts, some individuals may wonder if dermaplaning at home is a safe option.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that dermaplaning at home carries certain risks, especially if not performed correctly. The process involves using a surgical scalpel or a sterile blade to gently scrape off the top layer of dead skin cells and fine hairs from the face.

Without the proper knowledge and technique, one may accidentally nick or cut the skin, leading to irritation, infection, or scarring. Moreover, the risk increases for those with sensitive skin, active acne, or other skin conditions.

One of the key advantages of professional dermaplaning is that it is performed by experienced skincare professionals who have been trained to handle the procedure safely. They possess a deep understanding of different skin types, concerns, and limitations, ensuring tailored treatment that minimizes the potential risks.

Additionally, professionals use high-quality, sterile instruments and follow strict hygiene practices to maintain a safe and clean environment.

In contrast, at-home dermaplaning may involve using DIY exfoliating blades or tools that may not be as precise or hygienic. This can increase the risk of cuts, infections, and damage to the skin barrier.

Furthermore, without proper guidance, individuals may not know how to properly prepare their skin, which products to use during and after the procedure, or how to address any complications that may arise.

Another crucial consideration is assessing your own capabilities and comfort level. While some may feel confident in their skills and knowledge, dermaplaning requires a steady hand, adequate lighting, and the ability to maintain a consistent angle.

Performing the procedure on your own without the right skills and experience may result in suboptimal outcomes and even potential harm.

If you’re considering dermaplaning, it is strongly recommended to consult with a skincare professional before attempting the procedure at home. We can evaluate your skin type, assess any underlying conditions or concerns, and provide personalized advice.

Additionally, we can guide you on proper techniques, recommend appropriate products, and offer alternatives if dermaplaning is not suitable for your specific circumstances.

How Much Does Dermaplaning Cost?


relaxing massage after dermaplaning treatment
The cost of dermaplaning can vary depending on various factors such as the location, the reputation of the skin care professional, and additional services offered.

Soliette in Cape Town offers a Dermaplaning facial for R950, which takes 75 minutes.

This price includes:

  • a consultation
  • a double cleanse to ensure that your skin is prepped and clean
  • the actual dermaplaning procedure with a sterile scalpel
  • a hydrating mask
  • a neck and shoulder massage while your skin absorbs all the serums from a hydrating mask
  • application of sunscreen
  • any post-treatment skincare product recommendations

Click HERE for more info on treatments and pricing.