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How to dermaplane at home, according to experts

Dermatology providers explain which tools and techniques you can safely use for DIY dermaplaning.

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Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
featuring Kiko Gladsjo, MD
Updated on May 30, 2024 • 11 min read
Medically reviewed by Erin Pate, NP-C
Closeup of woman with two finger over left cheek and eyes closed
Kiko Gladsjo headshot
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
featuring Kiko Gladsjo, MD
Updated on May 30, 2024 • 11 min read
Medically reviewed by Erin Pate, NP-C
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.

In this article

What is dermaplaning?
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The key takeaways

  • Dermaplaning, also known as dermablading, is an exfoliating treatment that uses a small scalpel to remove the top layer of skin, helping in exfoliation and hair removal.

  • The process offers several potential benefits such as smoother skin, hair removal, exfoliation, reducing the appearance of scars, and facilitating easier makeup application.

  • While dermaplaning is generally safe, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects like sensitivity and redness, especially for different skin types.

  • There’s a distinction between professional dermaplaning done by dermatologists or estheticians and at-home practices. Each has its pros and cons, with professional sessions offering more thorough exfoliation but at a higher cost.

  • Key tips for safe and effective at-home dermaplaning include starting with a clean face, using the right tools like single-blade razors, working on damp skin, targeting specific areas, and being cautious about the angle and pressure used.

  • Hydration and sun protection are particularly important after this treatment! Post-dermaplaning skincare is crucial. Incorporating Curology products can help.

Curious about trying dermaplaning (aka dermablading) at home? The skincare treatment is all over social media—but there’s a lot you should know about it before you try it yourself. Luckily, board-certified dermatologist Julie Akiko Gladsjo, MD, is here with all the key info.

So what’s this facial fad really about? Before we dive into details, let's start with the basics.

What is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning, also known as dermablading, 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 cells and exfoliates the surface of the skin, in addition to shaving fine facial hair. A smooth canvas makes it easier to apply makeup. Removing fine, dark hairs on your face can also help brighten your complexion. But is this just personal grooming? Or, is the at-home dermablade technique a legitimate form of physical exfoliation that benefits the skin?

Should you try professional dermaplaning? Is it worth it?

Dr. Gladsjo, says, “In the world of beauty blogging, ‘professional dermaplaning’ almost always refers to a cosmetic procedure performed by an esthetician or medical provider. They use a medical-grade blade to gently ‘shave’ the surface of your skin, removing dead skin cells and peach fuzz. This cosmetic procedure isn’t surgery and generally has little to no recovery time.”

5 potential benefits of dermaplaning

Are you wondering what dermaplaning can do for your skin? It’s more than just a beauty buzzword—it can be a game-changer for your skincare routine! Dermaplaning isn't just about getting rid of facial hair; it’s a whole skin rejuvenation process. 

Here are 5 benefits that might just make you want to give it a try:

  • Exfoliation: Dermaplaning can help remove some of the excess dead skin cells on your face. But remember, it works differently for everyone so make sure you understand how to exfoliate your skin properly for your skin type.

  • Smoother skin: Dermaplaning can leave your skin looking and feeling smoother. 

  • Hair removal: Some people like how their skin looks and feels without facial hair. That’s not to say that you need to remove it—it’s totally a personal preference, and we support you either way! 

  • Reduce the appearance of scars: Dermaplaning, especially when performed by a professional, is meant to remove surface layers of the skin, which may help the appearance of scarring.¹

  • Easier makeup application: Dermaplaning can make your skin feel smoother, which can make makeup application feel like a breeze. Compare painting on a sheet of paper to painting on concrete. The former is a lot easier!

So, whether you’re looking to amp up your skincare game or just curious about new beauty techniques, dermaplaning could be a great addition to your routine. 

Possible side effects of dermaplaning

Different skin types react differently to different treatments. Depending on your skin type, some of the most common side effects of dermaplaning can include sensitivity and redness. If this happens, giving your skin a rest can actually go a long way! That might mean taking a day or two off from using products with salicylic acid, tretinoin, or other active ingredients.

Dermablade facials performed by estheticians or medical professionals are generally safe. So long as they have a good eye and a steady hand, your face should feel like a baby’s bottom. The biggest risk of the procedure is getting a cut (think of nicks when you cut yourself shaving). 

Cuts are unlikely when the tool is in the hands of someone with proper training and loads of experience, but might be more common if you’re dermaplaning at home.

Is dermaplaning safe?

What do dermatologists think of dermaplaning? Dr. Gladsjo says, “If the goal is a smooth, hairless face, at-home dermaplaning is a good option! It physically exfoliates the skin and removes peach fuzz, so it’s great for this. In-office dermaplaning is generally safe. You can talk to a professional to find out if it's right for you!” 

That said, there’s still not a ton of information about its benefits. 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.²

9 tips to dermaplane at home properly

Now that we’re up-to-date on the available medical evidence about dermaplaning you might be ready to try it out. But before you grab that dermaplaning tool, let’s go through some essential tips to make sure you do it right and safely. 

From choosing the right razor to mastering the perfect technique, I’ve got you covered. 

1. Start with a clean canvas: Always begin with thoroughly cleansed skin. This helps remove any dirt, oil, or makeup that could interfere with the dermaplaning process. Rinse well and gently pat your skin dry.

2. Choose the right tool: Opt for small, single-blade razors like Tinkle. These are specifically designed for dermaplaning and are much easier to handle, likely making your experience safer and more effective.

3. Work on damp skin: After cleansing, while your skin is still slightly damp, gently draw the dermablade across your skin. This helps in removing fine hairs and peach fuzz more effectively.

4. Target key areas: Focus initially on areas where peach fuzz tends to be thickest, such as the jaw, neck, and upper lip. These areas often require more attention.

5. Shave with the grain: For the gentlest approach, shave in the direction of hair growth. This technique is kinder on your skin and reduces the risk of irritation.

6. Maintain the right angle: Keep the blade almost parallel to the skin. Be cautious and ensure you don’t angle the blade too steeply to avoid nicks and cuts.

7. Avoid sensitive areas: Steer clear of dermaplaning over acne breakouts or inflamed skin. Doing so can aggravate these conditions and cause discomfort.

8. Double-check your work: Use a magnified mirror in natural light to inspect your skin. This will help you spot any areas you may have missed, particularly on the cheeks, chin, upper lip, or neck.

9. Be extra careful against the grain: Shaving against the grain can help remove stubborn fuzz, but be cautious. This technique requires a gentle, upward motion and can increase the risk of cuts, so proceed with care. Remember, while dermaplaning can be done at home, always prioritize safety and go gently to avoid any skin irritation or injury.

Remember, it's all about being gentle and cautious with your skin. With these tips, you’re well on your way to achieving that flawless, fuzz-free complexion you’ve been dreaming of. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the smooth results. Happy dermaplaning!

Young woman shaving her face by razor

How to take care of your skin after dermaplaning

Dermaplaning is an exfoliating treatment, so you’re going to want to give your skin plenty of hydration afterward. After you finish dermaplaning, treat any nicks by dabbing on a protective layer of Vaseline. Then, follow up with a moisturizer. One with hyaluronic acid is especially good for water retention, helping your skin look bright and plump. If you have especially dry skin, pamper your face with a thick moisturizer like the Curology Cream Moisturizer

Laying off chemical and physical exfoliators for a while could be another good idea, especially if your skin is feeling sensitive. In the days after your facial, keep your use of serums and other skincare products simple. Make sure to apply SPF extra-regularly to protect your fresh new skin cells, and consider skipping chemical and physical exfoliators if your skin is feeling sensitive.

Dermaplaning with a professional

A certified dermatologist or esthetician will use an angled surgical blade for shaving, rather than a single blade you can buy at the drugstore. This means that it’ll be easier to get rid of the layers of dead skin cells—so, in terms of exfoliation, this is the more effective way to go. You’ll also be able to chat with a dermaplaning professional, which can be very appealing if you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, or specific skin concerns. 

Of course, going to a professional comes with some costs—literally. Dermaplaning sessions at a salon can be pricey, especially compared to going the DIY route at home.

Dermaplaning at home

If you’re comfortable doing it yourself, dermaplaning from the comfort of your home might be the more attractive option. It’s generally safe and less expensive than going into a salon. 

However, most DIY dermaplaning kits come with just a small single blade—which isn’t to say that you won’t be able to remove dead skin cells! But it is more likely that you’ll be removing just your facial hair.

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 regimen that includes regular sunscreen and moisturizer application.

Moisturizing and sun protection are especially crucial after any form of exfoliation, like dermaplaning. Your freshly exfoliated skin might be more vulnerable and both hydration and protection from harmful UV rays can help. That’s where products like Curology's moisturizer and sunscreen come into play. 

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Our moisturizer is designed to provide the right balance of hydration without feeling heavy or greasy, making it a great follow-up to dermaplaning. As for sunscreen, we offer a mineral-based SPF 30 formula that’s lightweight, non-greasy, and minimizes white cast, making it great for everyday use. By incorporating these products into your post-dermaplaning care, you’re not only nourishing your skin but also protecting it from potential damage, ensuring that your skin stays healthy and radiant.

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology.*

When you sign up for Curology, you’re paired with a licensed dermatology provider to bring the expertise straight to you. Sign up for a trial and choose the complete set or just a bottle of prescription cream - personalized for your concerns!

FAQs

What is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning (AKA dermablading) is an exfoliating skin treatment. It involves the use of a small scalpel to remove dead skin cells and “peach fuzz.” Dermaplaning scrapes away dead skin cells and exfoliates the surface of the skin.

Is dermaplaning safe?

Dr. Gladsjo says, “If the goal is a smooth, hairless face, at-home dermaplaning is a good option! It physically exfoliates the skin and removes peach fuzz, so it’s great for this. In-office dermaplaning is generally safe. You can talk to a professional to find out if it’s right for you!”

How often should you dermaplane?

Once a month is generally enough, especially if you’re getting a professional dermaplaning treatment.

Does dermaplaning help acne?

Dermaplaning doesn’t do a whole lot to get rid of acne. The main benefits of dermaplaning are temporarily brightening and smoothing the skin. And you may be wondering if you can dermaplane if you have acne. It’s possible, however, you should dermaplane around any active pimples and never over them. Your dermaplane tool might rupture breakouts, potentially leading to acne scarring.

Should you see a professional for dermablading or do it at home?

It’s totally up to you! Both have pros and cons, so it’s important to know what to expect. Seeing a professional ensures you benefit from their expertise and sterile environment, which can minimize risks like infections or uneven results. On the other hand, doing it at home offers convenience and cost savings. However, it requires you to have a steady hand and a good understanding of the technique to avoid cuts or skin irritation. Whichever option you choose, make sure you’re comfortable and informed about the process.

What does dermaplaning with a professional entail?

A certified dermatologist or esthetician will use an angled surgical blade for shaving, rather than a single blade you can buy at the drugstore. This means that it’ll be easier to get rid of the layers of dead skin cells—so in terms of exfoliation, this is the more effective way to go.

Is my skin more sensitive to the sun after dermaplaning?

Yes, you should avoid sun exposure after dermaplaning (and you’re smart for asking). Exfoliating treatments like dermaplaning can increase sun sensitivity, so be sure to wear sunscreen and practice sun avoidance. (Pro tip: Curology's Everyday Sunscreen is a mineral-based SPF 30 formula with a silky, non-greasy texture that minimizes white cast—great for everyday wear.

What should I put on my face before dermaplaning?

Before you start dermaplaning, it’s best to cleanse your face thoroughly. This removes any makeup, oil, or dirt, giving you a clean slate. Just cleanse, rinse well, and pat your skin dry.

Is it better to dermaplane wet or dry?

Actually, it’s recommended to dermaplane on slightly damp skin. This helps the blade glide more smoothly and reduces the risk of irritation or nicks.

How do you dermaplane at home for beginners?

For beginners, start by choosing a small, single-blade razor. Cleanse your face, and then gently pull the skin taut. Use short, light strokes to remove the hair and dead skin. Remember to be gentle and take your time.

How often should I dermaplane at home?

Once every three to four weeks is a good frequency. This gives your skin time to recover and reduces the risk of over-exfoliation.

What is the best dermaplaning tool?

Look for a small, single-blade razor designed specifically for dermaplaning. Brands like Tinkle are popular, but there are many options available. Choose one that feels comfortable in your hand and has good reviews for safety and effectiveness.

What should I use to remove the dead skin cells?

The dermaplaning tool itself will remove dead skin cells. Just use the razor gently on your skin, and it will scrape away those cells along with the peach fuzz.

How do you clean your face after dermaplaning?

After dermaplaning, gently wash your face with a mild cleanser to remove any lingering hair or dead skin. Then, apply a soothing moisturizer to hydrate and calm the skin.

What are the benefits of dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning can give you smoother skin, reduce the appearance of scars, help with exfoliation, and make makeup application easier. It’s like a mini-facial that refreshes your skin.

• • •

P.S. We did the research so you don’t have to:

  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dermabrasion and Dermaplaning. (n.d.).

  2. Pryor, L., et al. Dermaplaning, topical oxygen, and photodynamic therapy: a systematic review of the literature. Aesthetic plastic surgery. (2011).

Erin Pate is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She earned her Masters of Science in Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.

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This article was originally published on January 24, 2022, and updated on May 9, 2022, and January 23, 2024.

• • •
Our medical review process: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.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
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Erin Pate Nurse Practitioner, NP-C

Erin Pate, NP-C

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