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 Tweakments

Dermaplaning

What is dermaplaning?

The idea of having your skin shaved, free-hand, with a scalpel may not sound like fun, but this is a gentle if rather advanced form of facial exfoliation, carried out by a well-trained skin specialist using an ultra-fine scalpel. It’s a swift way to improve skin texture on the surface, because careful shaving not only removes the top layer of dead, polluted skin cells that make the face look dull, but also all the ‘peach fuzz’ vellus hair on the face, so your newly-denuded skin feels extra smooth. It will also be that bit more receptive to skincare ingredients and that bit more sensitive to UV light, so stock up on sunscreen.

Dermaplaning apparently dates back to Ancient Egypt, which has led at least one tweakments clinic to offer the treatment under the name, ‘the Egyptian Facial’. Cleopatra was a certified tweakments trailblazer and would bathe in sour milk (which is basically lactic acid) and fruit juice (a combination of glycolic and mandelic acid) to exfoliate and soften her skin before her face was very carefully shaved with a sharp blade. While the tools we use now have come on a lot, the principles remain almost exactly the same. Scroll down for all the info and FAQs about dermaplaning.

Dermaplaning 100

EXPECT TO PAY

£ 150

TWEAKMENT TIME

2 hours

LONGEVITY

3 months

ANAESTHESIA

None

DOWNTIME

None

Does dermaplaning work?

Dermaplaning is an extremely effective method of exfoliation. In less than an hour, your skin can go from tired and rough to bright and smooth. Make-up glides on more easily without the rough top surface getting in the way and your skin’s new preternatural smoothness will look great in photographs as smoother skin reflects the light more evenly. There’s a reason it’s so popular with celebrities and supermodels.

Unfortunately, dermaplaning isn’t suitable for absolutely everyone. If you have really sensitive skin or severe acne/rosacea, then anything that irritates the skin is going to be a bad idea. Dermaplaning falls into that category, so you’ll want to give it a miss.

How does dermaplaning work?

Your practitioner takes a 10-gauge scalpel and, holding it at 45-degrees to the skin, scrapes away at the top-most layer of your skin. Actually, ‘scrapes’ is too harsh a word, as the scalpel is used so gently that you can only just feel it.

The practitioner uses short, controlled strokes and works their way methodically over your skin. This removes the accumulation of crusty dead cells that give your skin a rough-looking texture and at the same time takes away the wispy vellus hairs. This exposes the more recently produced skin cells, which have a brighter and more youthful appearance, making your skin look rejuvenated and glowing.

dermaplaning

Top tips: Starting a skincare routine

What are the benefits of dermaplaning?

The main benefits of dermaplaning are:

  • Incredible exfoliation that leaves you glowing for a week;
  • Soft, soft skin – one thing you shouldn’t really be doing after dermaplaning is touching your skin, but will you want to keep feeling it;
  • Smoother texture – and I mean porcelain-smooth skin that’s readily apparent to the naked eye;
  • It removes facial hair – this can be a goal in itself, but it also means that the skin doesn’t trap as much dirt and oil throughout the day, keeping your skin looking brighter for longer;
  • Faster skin cell turnover – the body renews skin cells on average every six weeks, but dermaplaning gives you a shortcut to those vibrant new skin cells that lurk beneath the surface;
  • It’s a better surface for make-up – foundation goes on without issue and with minimal blending required, leaving you looking almost airbrushed;

Find a Practitioner Near You


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What can I do after dermaplaning? Dermaplaning aftercare explained…

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Without the dead cells on the skin’s surface, you’ll be a little more susceptible to the sun’s UV rays, so make sure to be especially diligent in applying sunscreen after your treatment and avoid direct sunlight wherever possible.

Don’t touch!

The exfoliation is excellent with dermaplaning and any products the practitioner uses – serums and creams, etc. – will sink right in. However, the same applies for dirt and grime – they’ll sink right in there too. For the first few hours after treatments, try to avoid touching your face – this is precautionary best practice though, so don’t worry too much if you do touch your face. If something happens and you end up with visible dirt on your face, just make sure to remove it with a mild and gentle cleanser at the first opportunity.

Does dermaplaning make the hair grow back thicker or more bristly?

Hair thickness is determined by the interaction between hormones and your hair follicles, which reside in the dermis, the layer of skin below the top surface. Dermaplaning obviously doesn’t involve any hormones and it only scrapes at the epidermis, the outer layer, and doesn’t get anywhere near the follicles, meaning there’s no way it can affect the thickness of the hair.

What dermaplaning does do is cut the vellus hairs about two-thirds of the way up the shaft. Technically, this leaves a cut edge that you might think would feel sharp and bristly, but because vellus hairs are so thin, so delicate, and so very soft, the fact is you just can’t feel the cut edge, so there is no bristliness to worry about.

If you’ve heard stories about how shaving can increase hair growth and coarseness, this is a myth that has been prevalent since the 1920s that you can happily resign to the rubbish pile. For more information, download my full dermaplaning factsheet, where I go into further scientific detail about why the hair doesn’t (and can’t!) grow back thicker due to dermaplaning or shaving.

FAQ ABOUT Dermaplaning


Is dermaplaning safe?

Yes, absolutely. In the right hands. It’s entirely reasonable to entertain a certain level of apprehension about having your face worked over with a very sharp knife by someone you’ve only just met. However, as long as you follow my tips for staying safe and make sure to visit a good practitioner, you have nothing to worry about. With the right technique using a sterile blade held at a consistent 45-degree angle, this is no more hazardous than a shave with a razor.

Does dermaplaning hurt?

Not at all. The scalpel is used to scrape, not slice, and it’s only removing the very uppermost – and already dead – skin cells, so you’re not going to feel any pain. All you’ll feel is a light, slightly scratchy scuffing sensation as the blade works its way around the face.

Where can I get dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is an increasingly common treatment and the lack of specialist equipment has only helped to boost its availability. But please remember that you are still entrusting your face to someone wielding a very sharp blade. Technique is all-important and experience is key, so find a practitioner with good credentials.

How much does dermaplaning cost?

You can expect to pay from £150 for a dermaplaning session.

How long does dermaplaning take?

Just under an hour, in my experience. Your practitioner may apply a peel before the scraping starts to loosen the skin cells up a bit – whether they do often boils down to personal preference and your exact skin composition – and then the fun starts and they’ll be scuffing away at your face for a good half an hour to forty-five minutes. This is usually followed by the application of an active serum —  taking advantage of the skin’s reduced barrier — and a sunscreen.

How long does dermaplaning last?

The effects of dermaplaning are most evident during the first week. After that, your skin starts to return to how it was before, and your vellus hair regrows – and you may want to go back for another session about six weeks after treatment.

Can men get dermaplaning too?

Gentlemen, yes you can do this too. There’s no reason not to. You might think that removing vellus hairs is a waste of time, particularly if shaving a beard does much the same job, right? Well, apart from the fact that there’s obviously a lot more of your face to shave than just the bearded area, there’s also a distinct difference between the techniques used in dermaplaning and shaving.

Should I shave before dermaplaning?

If you have only vellus hairs on your face – which are thin, short, and unpigmented – then there’s no need to shave. The dermaplaning will take care of that. If you have a beard, you’ll want to shave it off – the skin underneath your beard will benefit from the treatment too. If you really don’t want to remove your beard, mention it when you book the appointment – they should be able to work around it, but make sure they’re aware of the situation.

Are there any side effects to dermaplaning?

As long as you don’t have very sensitive skin, or severe acne or rosacea, the worst you can expect after a dermaplaning session is some mild redness, and that only lasts about half an hour.

What is it like to have dermaplaning?

When I tried the treatment, signing the form saying that I understood that the therapist would be using a scalpel on my skin gave me pause for thought. But once she started work on my face, I stopped feeling anxious. The scalpel was used so lightly I hardly felt it, and the soft scuffing movements were so hypnotically soothing that, as the treatment carried on (it takes the best part of an hour), I was nearly lulled to sleep.

MORE POSTS ON Dermaplaning


What is dermaplaning?

Does dermaplaning cause hair to grow back thicker? Will it work for my skin type? Alice Hart-Davis gives the lowdown on dermaplaning.

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