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What is Dermaplaning and What You Should Expect

Kristina Cadwell  
October 1, 2019  

Dermaplaning has become a common treatment for removing peach fuzz (vellus). However, many still wonder what dermaplaning is, how it works, and how it compares to shaving and laser treatments.

In this article, we'll explain how dermaplaning works, reassure you that dermaplaning doesn't cause a stubble, and give you all the reasons to try it out.

Dermaplaning is cosmetic treatment for removing vellus hair.

What Is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a facial treatment that does two things simultaneously. First, it gets rid of facial hair, allowing your smooth skin to shine. Second, it gently exfoliates and removes all the dead cell buildup that has been sitting on top of your skin, preventing you from glowing.

How Does Dermaplaning Work?

Dermaplaning is a facial hair removal treatment that also does exfoliation. This means that it removes peach fuzz from your face, while physically exfoliating and revealing clean, radiant skin. After the dermaplaning treatment, the skin exhibits a natural glow that you usually need a highlighter to achieve. The new, fresh skin can breathe without the burden of an additional, dead skin layer.

Dermaplaning is a quick and safe way to make the surface of your skin more youthful, smooth, and radiant, especially if it's been dull. City dwellers are particularly prone to dull skin because of daily exposure to harsh environmental toxins.

What Does the Dermaplaning Procedure Look Like?

Dermaplaning is offered at salons or spa settings, where a doctor or licensed aesthetician uses a surgical scalpel to scrape across your face in gentle motions at a 45-degree angle. This allows very close contact with the skin to get rid of each little unwanted hair. It also cleans the face thoroughly, freeing it from the dead skin buildup. The skin feels baby soft after the procedure, and the immediate brightening effect is incredible.

One dermaplaning session lasts for about half an hour, potentially causes some redness, and has no downtime.

What Should You Expect from Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning instantly removes facial hair and brightens the skin. It effectively cleans up the skin from dead cells, debris, and other impurities, unclogging the pores in the process. As the result, your makeup will fully blend in, and your skincare products will penetrate deeper, helping your skin get all the benefits from active ingredients in the products. It is the perfect treatment for women who need a last-minute "miracle" for an approaching event.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Dermaplaning

Like many other cosmetic procedures, dermaplaning has numerous benefits, as well as a few drawbacks.


  • Two treatments in one: hair-removal and exfoliation
  • Pleasant, relaxing procedure
  • Non-abrasive, it doesn't use any harsh exfoliators that scratch the skin
  • Effectively removes any type and color of facial hair
  • Provides longer-lasting effects than shaving
  • No risk of ingrown hairs or razor burns
  • No downtime


  • It doesn't offer permanent hair removal
  • Highly sensitive skin may not tolerate the treatment well
  • Minimal chance of small, painless cuts

Is Dermaplaning Treatment Safe?

Dermaplaning is safe when performed by licensed doctors or aestheticians.

Dermaplaning treatment is generally safe when done in controlled conditions such as in a salon or a spa.

Your dermaplaning administrator is a medical doctor or licensed aesthetician who is a trained professional and knows exactly how to position the blade to achieve the best results without cutting you. Minor cuts can occasionally happen, but when done by an expert, they will not be as severe as when you cause them yourself. Generally, when performed by a certified professional, the dermaplaning treatment is safe, with little risk of side effects.

What Are the Side Effects of Dermaplaning?

Some people may experience slight redness right after the procedure. This will resolve quickly. If you've experienced similar redness from a facial, you have a good indicator of how long dermaplaning-induced redness will last.

Who Should Avoid Dermaplaning?

While dermaplaning is a safe treatment for most women, some conditions will prevent you from getting it. Most skin types are suitable for physical exfoliation via dermaplaning, but highly sensitive skin may not tolerate the treatment well. If you have active acne or inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, your skin may develop a reaction that could aggravate the problem.

How Does Dermaplaning Compare to Other Methods?

Dermaplaning is growing in popularity because it provides instant results, without the drawbacks of other hair-removal treatments such as shaving and laser hair removal.

Dermaplaning vs. Shaving

Advantages of dermaplaning over shaving.

You could use a razor to shave your face, just like men do. But this won't yield the same results as dermaplaning. For starters, shaving will get the hairs but only slide across the dead skin layer, while dermaplaning goes deeper.

Women with leg-shaving experience know that shaving with a regular razor comes with a risk of cuts. The risk of cuts from dermaplaning is minimal when the treatment is performed by a certified professional who uses a single blade, much sharper than those sold in drugstores.

If you shave your face, you may experience ingrown hairs several days later—a risk that is nonexistent with dermaplaning.

Razor burns can also happen with shaving, but not with dermaplaning. Razor blades are machine-cut, and they are likely to irritate the hair follicles, causing razor burns. Laser-cut scalpels used by professionals for dermaplaning won't do that.

Of course, don't forget the added benefit of hair removal by dermaplaning: the epidermal exfoliation, which doesn't come with shaving.

Overall, dermaplaning provides more benefits and a safer experience than shaving.

Dermaplaning vs. Laser

Laser treatments also remove vellus hairs, and they do it very well. However, a laser comes with some downsides. It will take you several sessions to see permanent results, while dermaplaning provides them right away. The advantage of laser hair removal is that it takes facial hair away for good, but if you have a big event tomorrow, laser can't help you. Dermaplaning can.

Another advantage of dermaplaning lies in its ability to remove all types of vellus hair. If your vellus hair is fair—and facial hair often is—lasers won't work on them.

In the dermaplaning vs. laser battle, the winner depends on your facial hair as well as what you want to achieve. If you want to enjoy immediate results and keep vellus hairs under control, you'd have to undergo dermaplaning treatment about once a month.

What Should You Know About Dermaplaning?

Though dermaplaning is considered safe, there are some conditions and situations that may make the procedure riskier. The following information will help you choose when and how to undergo dermaplaning.

Things to know before choosing dermaplaning.

Can You Do Dermaplaning on Acne?

Experts generally recommend regular exfoliation to people with acne-prone skin in order to minimize breakouts. However, if you do have active acne when you want to do dermaplaning, it is better to wait. As the treatment is performed with a sharp surgical blade that touches the skin very closely, it could cut some acne lesions and not only hurt you, but spread the bacteria as well. If you currently have an active breakout and you want to undergo a dermaplaning treatment, it is best to postpone it.

Read about different types of acne and available treatments.

Can You Do Dermaplaning at Home?

Please don't try dermaplaning at home. It may seem easy to do on your own. However, blades that beauticians use differ from those you can obtain from a store. Additionally, performing dermaplaning on someone else differs from doing it on your own face because of the angle and the view of the surface. If you want excellent dermaplaning results, use only professional dermaplaning treatments.

How Often Would You Need to Dermaplane?

To continue having a hairless, smooth facial skin, you need to repeat the dermplaning process about once a month.

Does Dermaplaning Cause Stubble?

This is one of the first questions we hear when we suggest dermaplaning for smooth and glowing skin. A lot of patients first think of men's stubble and are horrified to imagine that happening to them. Will your hair grow back thicker? Will dermaplaning cause a stubble? Luckily, no! No need to worry. In fact, the method of hair removal has little to do with how your hair grows. The speed of growth and the texture of the hair is a genetic matter, so you can relax and enjoy this treatment without the fear of sporting a 5 o'clock shadow.

Women with darker complexions may disagree from personal experience. However, their eyes are tricking them. When you have darker hairs that you don't remove, you get used to how they look. Once you remove them, you experience brighter skin with no hairs and no dead skin layer. This means that when they grow back, they may look darker, but they are not. They're the same color as always, just with a brighter background.

Does Dermaplaning Cause Breakouts?

No. Quite the opposite—it can actually prevent them. Breakouts are caused by bacteria and dirt in pore openings and on top of hair follicles. Clogged pores can sometimes be a recipe for disaster, especially if your skin is oily and prone to acne. Dermaplaning will remove the buildup of gunk sitting on top of your face and enable your fresh skin to breathe, which is necessary to prevent breakouts.


Dermaplaning is a popular shaving and exfoliating procedure that takes little time and has minimal side effects. It offers quick results and beats shaving and laser hair removal in several ways. Unless you have a highly sensitive or inflamed skin, there is no reason to deny your skin a brighter, more appealing look.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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