What Is Dermaplaning? Can You Really Shave Away Your Acne Scars?

 Photo Source:  The Chriselle Factor

Photo Source: The Chriselle Factor

Another day, another cool new way to give your skin the love it craves. Today, we bring you dermaplaning: an exfoliating treatment you’ve probably seen trending across your Insta feed for the last year and some change. You’ve probably seen it in action already: a blade seemingly scraping the dermis of its willing participants and thought, “hard pass,” but trust me, dermaplaning isn’t as scary as it may look.

What is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is basically like shaving your face. But unlike traditional shaving, dermaplaning uses a smaller blade to slough off dead skin cells and wispy facial hair, so skin is more even in tone and texture. Gunna Covert, Master Esthetician, describes dermaplaning as a “procedure where the esthetician uses a sterile surgical scalpel, while holding the skin taut and swipes the blade in upwards motion. It removes dead skin, in addition to getting rid of vellus hair.” It’s also worth noting that the shave is superficial (read: bloodless!).

 Photo Source: Feel The Heal

Photo Source: Feel The Heal

According to American Med Spa, “Dermaplaning is designed to treat the small, but deep scars that sometimes result from cystic acne,” and the service “may be an attractive option for those seeking to improve the tone and texture of their skin, or remove deep scars from acne without the possibility of irritation from chemical peels and the expense of laser skin resurfacing.” Dermaplaning treats deep acne scars by “skimming” the surface layers of skin that surround the craters. And contrary to what most think: it’s virtually pain-free. Although it won’t get rid of all of your scars, it can definitely help improve their appearance.

What are the benefits?

And if you’re into instant gratification (hello, me myself and my millennial friends), dermaplaning may be interesting to try out. Covert says, “You’ll see instant improvement in skin texture, it helps your products penetrate much better and helps stimulate cellular turnover.” For those of us spending hundreds of dollars on fancy serums, this is a huge bonus. Also, if you’re looking to remove unwanted peach fuzz, dermaplaning will leave you with hairless and smooth skin. Plus, removing the soft facial hair that traps dirt and oils can help to prevent breakouts.

Dermaplaning is especially effective on people with dry or rough skin texture, and is particularly beneficial for mature skin which tends to have a buildup of dead cells as cellular turnover slows down with age.

What are the potential negative side effects?

Dermaplaning is fairly non-invasive and safe for pretty much all skin moods. The most common reported side effects include redness or tightness after a treatment, but those effects only temporary. Johns Hopkins has listed a few other more serious complications, but those occurrences are very rare.

Who should avoid dermaplaning?

Covert advises people suffering from active acne (more specifically, pustular acne) to steer clear of dermaplaning. Also, people with active facial eczema, psoriasis and cold sores should consult a physician before giving dermaplaning a try.

Is there downtime?

Luckily, this procedure does not require downtime and “most people return to their regular activities immediately,” according to Restor Medical Spa, who offers dermaplaning at their establishment.

Will my hair grow back thicker and longer after dermaplaning?

According to Restor Medical Spa’s website, “The hair on your face is not the same as the hair on your legs or bikini line.”

Although there are a number of blogs out that advocate for DIY dermaplaning, we strongly advise you not to try this at home. It takes a very specific technique to resurface your skin cells without causing damage (short strokes at a certain angle). So honestly, if you're curious about giving dermaplaning a shot, we recommend you do your homework and find a physician with good reviews.