How to dermaplane at home - everything you need to know, according to skin experts

Dermaplaning vs dermablading. DIY or professional treatment?

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas
Nov 02, 2021 · 5 min read

Closeup of woman with two finger over left cheek and eyes closed
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Originally published on September 20, 2019

Hi, it’s me, your favorite skincare blogger, here again with my mustache and acne scars. Which gets me to the topic of dermaplaning. Are you curious about what it is? Is dermaplaning a passing trend or is it here to stay? Before we dive into details, let's start with the basics.

What is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is an exfoliating skin treatment. It involves the use of a small scalpel to remove the topmost layer of the skin, known as "peach fuzz." Dermaplaning scrapes away dead skin sells and exfoliates the surface of the skin.

Dermaplaning instagram screenshot

I’ve been using Tinkle razors to shave the fine hairs off my face for years. While researching, I realized that these small, single-blade razors a dermaplaning tool. Dermaplaning smooths the surface of the skin, making it easier to apply makeup. For me, removing fine, dark hairs on my face also helps to brighten my complexion. Is this another form of personal grooming? Or is the at-home dermaplaning a legitimate form of beneficial skin exfoliation.

Closeup of Tinkle Razor product (photo by cupcakes and cashmere)

Photo Credit: Cupcakes and Cashmere

Should you try professional dermaplaning? Is it worth it?

In the world of beauty blogging, “professional dermaplaning” almost always refers to a cosmetic procedure performed by an esthetician, who uses a medical-grade blade (a.k.a. a dermablade) to very gently “shave” the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and peach fuzz in the process. This cosmetic procedure isn’t surgery and generally has little to no recovery time. The most common side effects of dermaplaning include increased skin sensitivity and redness; leaving your skin alone after a dermaplane facial is a good idea.

Side effects of dermaplaning / dermablading

It’s always a bad idea to use a dermablade on areas of skin inflammation such as acne or rosacea — it may irritate these conditions and make them worse. Plus, it’s way too easy to accidentally cut bumps and other uneven topography on the face. Finally, as with other forms of physical exfoliation, overdoing it can be rough, so back off if your skin shows signs of over-exfoliation like redness, tightness, and dryness.

Is dermaplaning safe?

Dermaplane facials performed by estheticians are generally safe. It’s essentially gentle shaving, so long as they have a good eye and a steady hand, your face will be like a baby’s bottom. The biggest risk of the procedure is getting a cut. This is unlikely when the tool is in the hands of someone with proper training and loads of experience. But it might be more common if you're dermaplaning at home.

What do dermatologists think of dermaplaning? It depends on what you're looking for. If you prefer your face hairless, great! In the opinion of most esthetic dermaplaning is generally safe. If you expect dermaplaning to get rid of acne scars and pits, clinical research is lacking. And the research that's available doesn't show significant difference.

In 2011, a team of plastic surgeons published a systematic review of medical research on dermaplaning, oxygen therapy, and light therapy as non-invasive facial rejuvenation strategies. After looking at 42 peer-reviewed studies, they concluded, “The overall amount of scientific data supporting [dermaplaning] was found to be scarce, anecdotal, and not well documented.” Despite this, cosmetic dermaplaning procedures continue to grow in popularity.

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How to dermaplane at home

Now that we’re up-to-date on the medical evidence (or lack thereof) about dermaplaning: if you want to use a tiny baby razor like the Tinkle to remove fuzz from your face, here’s how to do it.

  1. Cleanse your skin. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

  2. Use small, single-blade razors, like the ones made by Tinkle. These types of razors are easier to use for dermaplaning.

  3. While your skin is still damp, draw the dermablade to remove fine hairs and peach fuzz.

    • Generally, peach fuzz is thickest around the jaw, neck, and upper lip, so I recommend focusing on those areas first.

    • Shaving with the grain is usually the gentlest on your skin.

  4. Keep the blade relatively parallel to the skin. And be careful not to cut into the flesh.

  5. Don’t dermablade over acne breakouts or inflamed skin.

  6. Check your work with a magnified mirror in natural light. Go over any parts of your cheeks, chin, upper lip, or neck that are still fuzzy.

  7. Be careful if you're shaving against the grain. Upward motion can help get rid of stubborn fuzz but it's also easier to cut yourself.

  8. Treat nicks by covering them with a protective layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor.

  9. Follow up with a moisturizer. One with hyaluronic acid is especially good for water retention, helping your skin look bright and plump.

Let confidence be your guide

At the end of the day, dermaplaning isn’t a skin routine necessity, so whether or not you choose to dermaplane is a personal preference. At the same time, the results of regular dermaplaning — either at-home or at the salon — won’t compare to a good skincare regime that includes regular sunscreen application and the wisdom of dermatology. When you sign up for Curology, you’re paired with your own licensed dermatology provider to bring the expertise straight to you. Sign up for a free trial and choose the complete set or just a bottle of prescription cream for $4.95 to cover the cost of shipping and handling.*

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We're here to tell you what we know. That's why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone's skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.

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Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas

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