Once a trade secret in the modeling industry, dermaplaning — a skin-resurfacing technique that quickly, safely, and painlessly removes dead skin cells and increases cell turnover — is becoming widely available. In fact, there’s now even a DIY version. “It’s far gentler than laser skin resurfacing or dermabrasion, yet it still produces an immediate and dramatic glow,” reveals Chicago plastic surgeon Julius Few, MD.
How does it work?
With traditional dermaplaning, a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or aesthetician uses a specialized blade at a 45-degree angle to painlessly scrape away dead skin cells (and the facial hair that can crop up with time) from your forehead, cheeks, jawline, and chin. “Mechanically removing the top layers of skin also stimulates the fibroblast cells underneath to make more collagen,” the protein that keeps skin elastic and youthful, Dr. Few says. And the procedure has still another benefit: Removing your skin’s uppermost layer allows topical products, such as serums and moisturizers, to be absorbed more deeply, make them more effective.
How long does it take?
The whole procedure takes 30 to 45 minutes, after which your skin will be smoother, brighter, and any mild scars, fine wrinkles, and age spots will be far less visible. “You get an immediate glow because dermaplaning improves blood flow to the skin,” Dr. Few says. “And your skin tone is evened out when dead, dull surface cells are removed.”
Dermaplaning isn’t painful, so it doesn’t require a numbing lotion. Your skin may be red and feel hot (like razor burn) the next day, but you can minimize that by applying a rich moisturizer that re-creates the skin barrier right after the treatment, Dr. Few says. Some doctors also use a cooling mask to reduce redness.
Who is the best candidate?
Dermaplaning is not for everyone. “It can’t be used on or around acne or other active skin lesions,” says Michelle Henry, MD, a clinical instructor in dermatology at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “You also want to be careful around moles or skin tags.”
How much does it cost?
One session is about $100 to $150, and four to six treatments, four to eight weeks apart, yields the best results, Dr. Henry says. Additionally, a gentle, at-home dermaplaning-like device, DERMAFlash, is available at Sephora stores and online ($199.00, Sephora). It uses sonic vibration and a blade to sweep away dead skin and facial hair — all in 10 minutes. The kit contains a six-week supply of skin-prepping solution, blades, and soothing lotion.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Reverse Aging.
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