What is dermaplaning? Here’s why the trendy facial treatment isn’t for everyone

With so many beauty treatments out there promising to give you youthful, smooth, and glowing skin, it can be tempting to want to try them all. But not every facial, cream, and procedure is for everyone. Knowing the facts about a treatment before you book an appointment is key to *actually* achieving that oh-so-sought afterglow.

That’s why we tapped experts to give us the beauty breakdown on dermaplaning, a method of skin exfoliation that’s been getting some buzz on Instagram for its scalpel-on-face videos. But despite what it looks like, it’s not the same as face-shaving with a regular old razor. From eliminating stubborn peach fuzz to getting rid of built-up dead skin cells, dermaplaning has several benefits, but keep in mind that it’s not suitable for all skin types. From how much it costs to its potential side effects, here’s what you should know:

What is dermaplaning?

“Dermaplaning is a method of skin exfoliation where a blade is used to gently remove dead skin cells, excess oil buildup, and small hairs that can clog pores,” explains Dr. Sheila Krishna, a board-certified dermatologist. It is best done by a professional, during an in-office procedure. In other words, while it might be tempting to get a blade from the drugstore and try it out yourself, this one should be left to the skincare pros who have the right tools and technique. Do not try this at home, please.

What’s involved in a dermaplaning facial?

Your dermatologist or esthetician will usually start by cleansing your face and applying a hydrating serum. “We’ll then place a sterile blade or medical-grade scalpel at a 45-degree angle and drag it slowly across your skin, which is held taut,” says Dr. Steve Fallek, board-certified plastic surgeon and medical director of BeautyFix Med Spa in New York City. This is a gentle way to remove your face’s peach fuzz, and shouldn’t cause any pain or irritation during the treatment.

What are the benefits of dermaplaning?

“The main benefit of this is the removal of dead cells, scar tissue, and other debris that may be making your skin’s surface look uneven,” says Fallek. By getting rid of the outermost layer of skin, your esthetician can reveal a clearer, smoother, and more even-toned face. Some dermatologists and estheticians even chose to follow up a dermaplaning session with a facial or additional treatments like a chemical peel, since dermaplaning can help the skin better absorb topical products—there are fewer obstacles (such as peach fuzz and dead skin) that ingredients have to work through in order to get into the skin, Dr. Krishna explains.

What are some of the potential side effects of dermaplaning?

“Not everyone is a good candidate for the treatment,” warns Inna Knyazevych, co-owner and lead esthetician of In Glo Med Spa in Manhattan. “People with sensitive skin, rosacea, and acne should stay away from it, as it can further irritate the skin.” Knyazevych also warns that many clients experience tiny skin bumps days after the treatment, due to ingrown hairs. “The skin barrier will be also compromised afterward and that will leave the skin feeling drier than normal,” she says, which is why rich moisturizers and masks are typically recommended following the procedure.

Our experts confirm that dermaplaning does not cause facial hair to grow back darker. However, it may feel a bit different, since the treatment cuts the hair directly across, so don’t be alarmed if your face feels a a little rougher when the hair starts to grow back.

How much does dermaplaning cost?

Depending on the location and level of expertise, a dermaplaning facial can cost anywhere from $150 to $300.

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