What Is Dermaplaning? How To Safely Shave Your Face At Home

Exfoliation is an integral part of every skincare routine, but did you know there are other ways to do it aside from the usual scrub and acids? Dermaplaning is a technique which involves carefully dragging a blade across your face. Sounds scary? Trust us it isn’t. The purpose of the treatment is to remove any peach fuzz, whilst simultaneously exfoliating the skin. We spoke to medical doctor and director of Joyful Skin, Kemi Fabusiwa to find out exactly what it is, what it does and how to get it right at home…

What is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a form of mechanical exfoliation that involves gently scraping away the upper layers of dead and dying skin cells using a surgical scalpel.

Is dermaplaning safe? Can anyone have it?

If the thought of scraping a sharp knife across your face sends shudders down your spine, fear not, Dr Kemi insists it is entirely safe and pain-free. She does go on to suggest that those with sensitive skin should err on the side of caution, though, as the treatment can cause “slight irritation and redness.” It is safe, but care must be taken when carrying it out so you don’t irritate the skin and damage your moisture barrier.” 

While the internet might posit the procedure as a miracle cure for scarring, Dr Kemi stresses the importance of avoiding dermaplaning if you have acne or any other skin conditions. “Those who already have breaks in the skin i.e. sores, open wounds or acne shouldn’t be dermaplaning as this can exacerbate the wounds. It is also important to avoid waxing, exfoliating acids or retinol before the treatment as these will pre-sensitise your skin and can lead to irritation.”

What are the benefits of dermaplaning and what can you expect?

As with all exfoliating treatments, the main purpose of dermaplaning is to slough off old, dead skin, improving the texture and tone of your complexion. However, you’ll be please to know it has some other added benefits up its sleeve, as Kemi explains. “Dermaplaning increases cellular turnover and paves the way for younger, fresher skin underneath. It also removes facial hair, stimulates collagen production and allows your products to penetrate deeper into the surface of your skin.” The best part? “Results are instant so your skin will look revitalised straight away.”

What about aftercare?

Post-treatment, don’t go slathering on everything and anything in your bathroom cabinet, please. “Make sure you moisturise properly after dermaplaning to restore your skin’s moisture barrier. It is also vital that you wear a broad-spectrum SPF (even during the winter months) as your skin will be more sensitive to the sun.” Exfoliation junkies beware. You’ll need to steer clear of your go-to liquid acids and scrubs for the week after or you risk a sore, red face.

Tips for doing it at home?

The main reason you’re reading this article is presumably because you’re planning to try and DIY. In theory, you can achieve the same results yourself so long as you are careful. First things first: you have to use a dermaplaner. Taking a knife/razor/another sharp instrument to your face is not advised or in any way acceptable, so please make sure you don’t do this and purchase a proper tool instead (we disclose this for you in the paragraph below). Once you’re ready and raring to go with said tool, read Dr Kemi’s expert tips. 

“It’s important to properly sterilise your dermaplaner to ensure that you’re not introducing bacteria into the epidermis of the skin as this can cause breakouts and infections,” she says. “You must ensure that the scalpel is not blunt because this can damage the skin. Whilst less cost-effective, I would recommend going to a trained and licensed aesthetician if you can.”

Which products should I use?

Kitsch Eco-Friendly Dermaplaners is our tool of choice for two reasons. One: you get a generous 12 in a pack, perfect if you have a track record of losing small beauty tools (our hand is up). Two: they’re eco-friendly. Each one has been created out of sustainable plant-based fibres, which is pretty impressive if you ask us. 

If your budget permits, treat yourself to Tweezerman’s Bright Complexion Facial Dermaplaner. This also comes with three replacement blades.