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Dermaplaning: tips and contraindications

A treatment that promises a smooth, radiant, fresh and velvety-looking face

Dermaplaning: tips and contraindications A treatment that promises a smooth, radiant, fresh and velvety-looking face

Is female facial hair removal still a taboo? Perhaps. While many consider it a habit to hide and keep private, others share the benefits that a tailored treatment can bring to the skin, making it brighter, smoother, fresher, and velvety to the touch. Using a razor or a sharp blade not only removes the peach fuzz – the more or less invisible hairs commonly found on the cheeks and around the hairline – but also exfoliates, removing the outermost layer of skin, which typically harbors dirt, sebum, and dead cells. This practice, known as dermaplaning, is one of the most popular beauty hacks among girls who learn its secrets on TikTok and Hollywood stars who – from Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor to Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Mendes, from Madonna and Kim Kardashian to Miley Cyrus and Doja Cat – use it to shine on the red carpet. Curious? Here's everything you need to know.

What is dermaplaning?

It is a non-invasive cosmetic skin care treatment, also known as facial scalpel, where a surgical scalpel is used to scrape off, and thus exfoliate, the upper layers of the skin. The sterile, super-sharp blade removes vellus hair, also known as "peach fuzz", dead cells, and impurities. The goal? Brighter, more even skin tone and an overall improvement in texture.

What happens during the treatment

The procedure, which lasts about 20-30 minutes, is extremely simple and not painful, although in some cases it may cause a slight tingling sensation. It can be performed by an experienced beautician who, after thoroughly cleaning the skin of makeup, oil, and dirt, applies a pretreatment solution to help remove impurities. At this point, they place a sterile, sharp surgical scalpel at a 45-degree angle on the face and, with a downward motion, gently scrape the skin's surface. Finally, using a cloth and warm water, the beautician removes excess hair and treats the skin with moisturizing and soothing products. Generally, a few days before dermaplaning, it is better to avoid any type of exfoliation, retinol, acids, and sun exposure. Immediately after, it is advisable not to wear makeup to allow the skin to breathe, hydrate abundantly, apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and use gentle products, as the skin may be a bit sensitive. The result, a radiant face, lasts about three weeks. The cost can vary but is around 80-90 euros. The treatment can be repeated on a regular basis or occasionally.

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Dermaplaning vs dermabrasion, oilplaning, and shaving: what's the difference?

Although they are very similar, dermaplaning and face shaving are not the same. The latter uses a regular razor and only removes the peach fuzz, while the former requires a sharper blade that allows exfoliation along with hair removal. Dermaplaning is often confused with dermabrasion, which, however, must be carefully performed by expert doctors using a dermabrader with a rotating head that produces a more intense exfoliation. Finally, an alternative to dermaplaning is its gentler version: oilplaning. With this technique, a facial oil is applied to the skin before the blade passes, helping the scalpel glide more smoothly and creating less friction. Simultaneously, the chosen oil intensely nourishes the skin with emollient and soothing actives, thus reducing the possibility of irritation and redness.

The benefits

Dermaplaning is suitable for all skin types, as long as there are no ongoing conditions, wounds, open cuts, or acne. When done correctly, it revives a dull complexion, promotes cell turnover, and makes the skin soft, giving it a refined texture, a smoother feel, and reducing fine lines. Moreover, it minimizes imperfections and hyperpigmentation, and makes skincare more effective because the exfoliation allows actives to penetrate more deeply.

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The contraindications: does it make hair grow back?

Generally, dermaplaning does not involve many risks or complications, but like any aesthetic treatment, it has pros and cons that mostly depend on the skin type. Those with highly reactive and sensitive skin or acne should avoid it to prevent worsening their condition. It is easy to understand that running a sharp scalpel over pimples can worsen existing breakouts and inflammation, as well as spread bacteria. Immediately after the treatment, it is normal to expect slight redness on the face, which can be managed with creams containing soothing substances, such as aloe and calendula. There may also be slight swelling, a burning sensation, or tight skin. Finally, it is important to debunk a myth: dermaplaning does not make the removed peach fuzz grow back thicker, darker, or ingrown and therefore harder to remove. This is an unfounded fear, as hair growth is determined by genetics and hormonal factors.

Can you do dermaplaning at home?

Getting dermaplaning done by a dermatologist or in certified beauty centers gives better results and ensures that the facial skin will be treated with the necessary care and delicacy. Many advise against DIY, but with the right tools and a careful procedure, it can be done at home. If you decide to proceed, make sure to use a specific razor for dermaplaning, disinfected, and hold it at a 45-degree angle, shaving the face with a downward motion following the contours of the face, without pressing too hard or spending too long to avoid damaging the skin barrier. Remember that the skin should be well cleaned in advance and moistened with a small amount of oil or face lotion. Once the shaving is complete, rinse, dry with a clean cloth, and moisturize the skin with a rich serum to soothe and keep it hydrated. Dermaplaning blades usually need to be replaced after 3 uses.