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What Is Dermaplaning, and Should You Get This Face-Shaving Treatment?

This exfoliating treatment is trending, so here’s what you need to know.

Right now, in this very moment, you (yes, you) have layers upon layers of dead skin cells just chillin’ on your face, contributing to some of your most annoying skin issues: dullness, wrinkles, breakouts, you name it. Don’t freak—it’s totally natural, and by the grace of the skincare gods, you also have a ton of options to get rid of them, the most trendy of them being dermaplaning.

You’ve probably heard of dermaplaning before, or at least seen some crazy-looking videos on it, but if you’re still in the “wait, what is that?” camp, here’s the breakdown: Dermaplaning is an exfoliating treatment that involves a doctor or licensed medical aesthetician gently scraping the surface of your skin with a surgical scalpel to remove dead skin and peach fuzz. So, basically, it’s like shaving your face.

 .Sounds kinda cray, but people are flocking to it thanks to fact that it gets rid of facial hair, can make your face feel baby soft, and helps give you a smooth foundation application, all without having to use harsh exfoliators.

No more face hair and glowy skin?! Sign me up, right? But wait—like any skincare treatment (especially ones involving scalpels, hello), you need to hear the pros and cons to see if dermaplaning really is right for your skin. And to help you out, I got all the expert insight from Tamila Deveny, a medical aesthetician at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, and Melissa Doft, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in NYC. Keep reading for everything you need to know before trying it out.

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What to know before dermaplaning:

What are the benefits of dermaplaning?

Welp, not only does it grant you three wishes, but—JK, sorry. The results can vary for everyone, but realistically, you can expect to see smoother skin, zero peach fuzz (until it grows back, of course), and slightly brighter-looking skin. And because you’re removing all your dead skin cells, your skincare products will better penetrate your skin when you apply them, making them all the more effective.

What are the side effects of dermaplaning?

In the hands of a professional, dermaplaning is safe for all skin types, says Dr. Doft, especially those with sun damage, fine lines, dry patches, and dull skin. But, of course, there are caveats: If you have highly reactive, sensitive skin (like those with rosacea or keratosis pilaris), you may want to pass on this one, since it might irritate your skin. Same goes for anyone with inflamed acne—unsurprisingly, sliding a sharp scalpel over your zits can irritate them and worsen existing breakouts.

Will dermaplaning cause breakouts?

Quite the opposite, actually. A buildup of dead skin can clog your pores and hair follicles, which can not only cause pimples but also block your skincare products from penetrating the skin, which is why exfoliation is essential for maintaining an even, healthy glow. But, like I said, if you already have an existing breakout, you’ll unfortunately need to sit this treatment out.

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Who should I see for my dermaplaning treatment?

Don’t trust just anyone to perform the procedure. Dr. Doft and Deveny recommend only seeing a doctor or medical aesthetician from a dermatologist’s or plastic surgeon’s office to ensure the best and safest results. Oh, and please don’t try this at home. Since dermaplaning is performed with surgical scalpels (not your average razor), you should leave it to the pros to avoid nicks, ingrowns, and stubble.

How much will a dermaplaning treatment cost?

You can expect to spend $150 to $250 per treatment, but you’ll notice a difference in your skin’s texture and tone immediately, so at least you know it’s worth the price.

Does dermaplaning hurt?

The thought of a blade sliding across your face is a scary one, I agree, but it’s not actually painful at all. Think of it like shaving any other part of your body. Can you feel it? Yes. Does it hurt? Not if you’re doing it right.

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What to expect after dermaplaning:

Is there any downtime after a dermaplaning treatment?

Some light redness can be expected but not always. “It’s perfectly fine and common to make an appointment during lunch and go right back to work after the 40-minute treatment,” Deveny adds.

Can you wear makeup after dermaplaning?

Ever notice how peach fuzz tends to stand out even more underneath foundation and face powders? Well, since dermaplaning removes all the little hairs on your face, your makeup will actually glide on super smoothly. But hold up—although it’s tempting to see the results right away, try to avoid slapping on a face full of makeup immediately after your dermaplaning treatment.

“I love to let the skin breathe for the rest of the day,” says Dr. Doft. “If you need to wear makeup, you can, but your skin barrier is more open and may become more irritated.” Once your skin has had time to settle (about a day), proceed with all the foundation your little heart desires.

Should I put anything on my skin after dermaplaning?

Since your skin barrier will be more vulnerable after dermaplaning, Dr. Doft recommends using a rich hyaluronic acid mask or moisturizing cream to help repair your skin and keep it super hydrated and happy.

 

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Will shaving my face make my hair grow back thicker?

Contrary to what you’ve been told, dermaplaning will not make your hair grow back thicker or darker. Deveny explains that once your hair begins to grow back, it might feel different because the hair was cut straight across, but it’s actually the same texture as it was before and it will grow at the same speed.

How often do I need dermaplaning treatments?

Since this is a deeply exfoliating treatment, Dr. Doft recommends waiting at least a month between appointments, although some patients with sensitive skin can limit their treatments to even once a season.

Will dermaplaning make my skin more sensitive to the sun?

Post-exfoliation, your skin will be especially susceptible to the sun, so if you don’t take sun protection seriously (it’s 2019! Come on! It’s time!), you might want to skip this treatment altogether. Otherwise, you’ll need to be diligent with the SPF afterward—use gentle sunscreens of at least SPF 30—but that should be the case every day of your life.