Dermaplaning is an exfoliation procedure which uses physical interventions to create results. It is similar to what most guys do with their skin every day when they decide to shave, but this practice is now trending as a popular beauty treatment for women as well.
The technician who performs this procedure will use a sterilized surgical scalpel to begin shaving away the surface of the skin. This process removes the outer-most layer of dead skin, along with the fine hairs that are sometimes found on the face. It is a procedure that women can have performed about 1-2 times per month, with each session lasting for about 30 minutes at a time.
Dermaplaning is not meant to work on terminal hairs, like those found in the eyebrows, because of the tools used. A doctor, nurse, or esthetician might manage your appointment, depending upon what the local regulations are for this procedure in your area. There is zero downtime after treatment, but this procedure can only be performed on the face.
If you are looking for another way to help your skin look younger and achieve a healthy glow, then these are the dermaplaning pros and cons that you will want to review.
List of the Pros of Dermaplaning
1. Dermaplaning sessions are exceptionally fast.
You can manage the average dermaplaning session during your lunch break at work if you wish. Most appointments for this procedure take less than 30 minutes to complete. Even if you have never taken advantage of this technique in the past, you can still be in and out with plenty of time to spare. Then you’ll get to enjoy all of the advantages that smooth skin can provide you for up to 30 days after.
“Dermaplaning uses a sharp #10 surgical blade held at a 45-degree angle to gently scrape the outer layer of the skin which consists of dull, dead skin cells,” said Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi to Prevention magazine. It isn’t a wonder cure for the skin, but this process can help with exfoliating in as little as 10 minutes for some women.
2. You will receive immediate results with zero downtime.
Dermaplaning does not require any downtime when the procedure is done correctly. You’ll see immediate results because the old layer of skin is scraped away by a trained professional. That means you’ll see the new skin begin to shine right away, improving your glow and overall appearance. If you have ever used a callus scraper or a pumice stone on your feet, then you’ve seen the older skin peel away to show the lighter, healthier layer underneath. That is why dermaplaning does for the face.
3. There are no chemicals involved with the procedure.
You are much less likely to experience a reaction to dermaplaning than other skin improvement procedures because there are no chemicals involved with the process. The technician uses a surgical blade to scrape away the dead outer layer of skin using specific patterns that are based on the location of the treatment. Then your skincare products can penetrate deeply when you cleanse your face, helping to take advantage of the many anti-aging properties that they provide while using less of the product.
The size of the blade allows the technician to target specific problem areas with much less effort than other skin treatment procedures as well. Instead of using a large instrument which manages the entirety of your face, you can opt to have only one area treated because it is being problematic for you.
4. It encourages the growth of new skin cells.
When your skin encounters trauma of any type, it will begin to flood that area with new cells to encourage the healing process. The goal of dermaplaning is to scrape away only the outer layer of your skin so that your face benefits from your body’s work to heal without creating swelling, scarring, or calluses. That is why it is imperative that you work with a trained professional with this service. If the scalpel cuts too deep, even if you are using a standard razor for shaving, then it can increase the risk of scarring.
Each procedure removes about 21 days’ worth of dead skin cells, along with the fine hairs that are on your face. Although you should go through a complete cycle of rejuvenation before having the process repeated, there are times when you can advance the schedule to treat specific conditions.
5. Dermaplaning removes the fine hairs on your face.
The fine hairs on your face like to trap the oils and skin cells that your body produces every day. Even if you wash the problematic areas regularly, a buildup of these items can still occur in your pores. This process eventually leads to whiteheads, blackheads, inflammation, redness, and soreness. Dermaplaning won’t help once your skin reaches this state, but it can help you to remove the follicles which can trap dirt and grime which can lead to the issue in the first place.
You can sometimes take advantage of this benefit with a standard razor, but the blades are duller than what a scalpel provides. That means it will take longer to create the results you want while the work increases the risk of an adverse event occurring.
6. The cost of a dermaplaning session is very reasonable.
Although it might not seem like a reasonable expense to have a dermaplaning session compared to shaving your face at home with a razor, there are sessions that begin at just $75. Even when you work with a top-end facility at the upper end of the pricing spectrum, the most you’ll typically pay for this service is about $200. That means anyone who has unwanted facial hair and wants to take advantage of the benefits of exfoliation will enjoy the results that this procedure offers.
It is not unusual for a medi-spa or a dermatologist to offer this product with a chemical peel or facial if you want one because it will allow those products to sink deeper into the skin as well. That means your results can be even faster than what the individual services could provide by themselves.
7. There are minimal side effects with dermaplaning.
The only possible side effect for someone after a dermaplaning session is a slight redness of the skin. This issue fades quickly, usually within a couple of hours, unless you receive sunlight exposure to your face during that time. There is a risk for more advanced problems if the procedure is not done correctly, so make sure to review any reviews or recommendations from your preferred provider before scheduling your appointment.
The only issue to consider is what your face will look like in contrast with your neck. If you have lots of fine hairs that are below your jawline or near your ears, then the shaving process can create a distinctive line that could be noticeable. You’ll want to speak with your technician about what options would be available to you in this situation to ensure the results are what you want them to be.
8. You will notice fewer breakouts over time.
Although some people believe that dermaplaning causes acne breakouts, this issue usually occurs when there is already a skin health issue happening. The opposite happens when you receive dermaplaning when your skin is healthy. The buildup of dead skin cells will clog your pores and follicles. That will cause pimples to form or trigger problems with acne and block the effectiveness of your skin care products. Even a robust facial cleanser cannot clear out your pores as well as a trained technician using this procedure.
When you treat acne early, the American Academy of Dermatology says that you will get faster results from each treatment. Early prevention can also reduce the potential for scarring, stop lingering spots from developing, and decrease the need for medication to treat the problem. Having a clear complexion can also help some individuals sidestep the emotional distress that comes when you don’t look how you feel.
9. It does not follow the same processes as dermabrasion.
Dermabrasion is the mechanical exfoliation of the skin using suction, micro-crystals, and other small abrasives to remove the outer layer of dead skin. Most technicians will not offer this service anymore because there are scarring and infection complications that are more common than they are with dermaplaning. Some people mix up the two services, thinking that they use similar techniques since they offer a similar final result, but they are two distinctive options.
This procedure is not intended for kids, but any qualifying adult can take advantage of what a quick scrape of the skin can provide when your reflection starts to look tired and dull.
List of the Cons of Dermaplaning
1. It does not work well if there is acne present on the face.
If you have oily skin, then it helps to cleanse it thoroughly before going to a dermaplaning appointment because that will provide more of a clean contact area for the technician to remove the top layer of old skin. Anyone who has active acne should avoid this procedure because it can become irritated and sore when coming into contact with the scalpel. If you have ever used a razor over a pimple, then you know what it feels like.
You will want to work with your dermatologist to manage any issues with eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea before booking a dermaplaning appointment as well. The procedure could actually cause your red bumps and irritation to spread if you were to follow through with one during a breakout.
2. You cannot manage dark facial hair through dermaplaning.
The “old wives’ tale’ of shaving hair to make it grow back bigger and blacker is not true. What you do need to worry about with dermaplaning is the use of this procedure to remove thicker hair follicles because it can create the issue of stubble as it tries to grow back. If the scalpel takes it below the skin line, then there is the additional risk of suffering from an ingrown hair and a possible infection.
When you use dermaplaning to manage your non-vellus hairs, then you can also experience what guys would call a razor rash. There can be irritated spots around the follicle, redness, chafing, and other issues with discomfort.
3. The pigmentation of your skin can change with dermaplaning.
Although this outcome is relatively rare, it is possible for dermaplaning to create changes to the pigmentation of your skin. Individuals who have freckles may see changes to the coloration of treated spots. Any place where there is hyperpigmentation may see adverse impacts because of this procedure. If you have moles or birthmarks, especially ones that are raised, then this disadvantage is enough to make it so that you should speak with your primary care doctor before working with a specialist to ensure the results are what you want to see.
4. It can thicken your skin.
If the scalpel goes a little too deep and takes more skin then the dead outer layer, then the body treats that situation as if it were a minor injury. As with any other place on your body where there is a high potential for injury to the skin, calluses can begin to form around the treatment area. You may begin to notice patches of thicker skin develop during the recovery period because of this issue. That is why it is essential to work with an esthetician, nurse, or doctor who is familiar with this work at all times.
You may also notice issues with this disadvantage if you have sensitive skin, allergies, or are highly reactive to certain chemicals or products.
5. You can develop fever blisters during your recovery.
Fever blisters are caused by HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus type 1), which passes to a person by saliva or skin contact. Some people call them cold sores, especially when they appear around the lip. The virus remains dormant in the nerves of the face, activating when there is stress placed around the skin. You may feel itching, burning, or tingling sensations within 24-48 hours of the procedure if you experience this outcome.
There are also times when stretching the skin can help to trigger the virus. The blisters will eventually pop, forming a painful sore that covers with a crust and looks like a scab. Until the sore heals, you may experience several different crusting issues that may take several weeks to finally go away.
6. Dermaplaning is not a DIY procedure that you can do at home.
Although guys can see healthier skin over time with regular shaving, they are targeting their non-vellus beard and mustache hair with their razor. The scalpel used for dermaplaning resurfaces the skin using a refined, delicate touch. It features surgical blades that are much sharper than the average home-based blade, and the procedure works better when the skin can be stretched tightly.
If you want a fast and easy way to let your skin begin to enjoy a brighter glow, then a quick shave might help you out in a pinch. Dermaplaning is the next level up from this, requiring a skilled and licensed professional to complete the work.
7. Your skin will be sensitive to the sun after a dermaplaning treatment.
Because you are losing the outer layer of skin on your face, it will be much more sensitive to sun exposure than what you would normally experience. People of all cultures and ethnicities may see pink tones to their face for the first few hours after the procedure. You will want to bring along a broad-spectrum sunblock that provides you with at least SPF 30 protection to ensure that you don’t receive an unnecessary sunburn.
Too much sun exposure after dermaplaning can also lead to hyperpigmentation risks for certain people. If you have freckles, moles, or other areas of lighter or darker skin, then an SPF 50+ product is a better option to consider.
8. Some skin tones do not benefit from the dermaplaning procedure.
There are some skin tones which are hypersensitive to hyperpigmentation. Anyone with such an issue would not be a good candidate for the procedure. Some individuals are also prone to discoloration and scarring, so this work would not benefit them either. If you have acne scars or other facial issues which create deep pockets, you will want to opt for a different form of skin rejuvenation to ensure that the results you receive are what you wish to have.
9. Guys cannot take advantage of dermaplaning in most circumstances.
Most guys will not get the opportunity to take advantage of dermaplaning because of the nature of their face. The beard and mustache hairs do not respond well to the shaving process from the surgical blade. Even if you could find someone who was willing to complete the procedure, the risk for ingrown hairs would be exceptionally high. You could treat the upper part of your face, depending on where your beard line ends.
This disadvantage can apply to some women as well. If you suffer from a hormonal or genetic condition that causes you to grown facial hair with the color or thickness of men, then you may not be a good candidate for this procedure either.
Verdict on the Pros and Cons of Dermaplaning
Dermaplaning is a useful procedure that can help your skin look healthier and happier for about a month with a single treatment. Although there is an expense to consider when choosing this option over others, it can also give you results for an entire month without the use of chemicals or irritants. The speed of each session is another advantage that is worth strongly considering as well.
For most people, this option is painless. It doesn’t require numbing cream like microneedling, providing you with a sensation that feels similar to what happens when you shave your legs. Downtime is very rare.
The pros and cons of dermaplaning show that it is a useful option for women and some men that want to have their face feature younger, healthier looking skin. Look for a trained professional in your area to take advantage of this service today.