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Dermaplaning is an exfoliation method done by dermatologists, plastic surgeons or aestheticians using a 10 gauge scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dulling dead skin cells in order to reveal a smoother fresh skin surface.
Furthermore you achieve a smoother make-up application as it also removes facial hair and peach fuzz or vellus hair. Cosmetic dermatologists sometimes use dermaplaning to help to prepare the skin for procedures like laser treatments and chemical peels as it creates a more optimal "canvas" to work with. As the top layer of the skin is removed, it would allow better penetration of skincare products.
Dermaplaning is supposed to be suitable for almost all skin types except those with active acneic skin. However, I would be careful if you have fragile skin, are prone to get broken capillaries, red dots or redness. If done well, the procedure is painless and is comparable to shaving. Prior to the procedure, the skin will need to be cleaned and dried. Sometimes AHA and BHA (Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids) or a combination of both are used as preparation. The skin is pulled taut with one hand, and in the other hand a sterile 10 gauge blade (scalpel) is placed on the skin in a 45 degree angle. With short strokes, the dead skin cells and peach fuzz is "shaved" off.
Dermaplaning instantly improves the skin's texture. The skin surface will feel very smooth. There is no downtime, however you may be left with some redness or sensitivity. It is claimed that vellus hair does not regrow darker or stronger, it just might feel different as the ends are cut off straight. However, speaking to dermatologists with experience in dermaplaning, they gave a clear warning that they did see a more coarse hair regrowth in costumers with darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick scale 3 or higher).
There are some devices developed for dermaplaning at home. One of those devices is called Dermaflash and the device is shown in the article picture. It's currently only available in the US. I did try the Dermaflash. The design looks aesthetically pleasing, but found it to be quite large, thus suitable for bigger areas like the cheeks, however more difficult to use when more precision is requered around the brows, lips and nose. Some use a smaller and very affordable eyebrow razor. Although you may get satisfactory results after using a home device, the safest and best results you will obtain when dermaplaning is done by a professional. The treatment results will keep approximately 3 - 4 weeks. Ask your health care provider if dermaplaning would be a suitable exfoliation method for you. Personally, I prefer the use of gentle acids over any mechanical form of exfoliation, however both methods don't remove facial vellus hair. That could be a valid reason to opt for dermaplaning. Don't forget to use adequate sunscreen afterwards.
click here to read more about chemical vs mechanical exfoliation
We can support's skin natural exfoliation process in various ways, for example with mechanical or chemical exfoliation.
Desquamation (shedding of skin cells thus exfoliation) is an important part of the skin's natural regeneration or renewal process.
Already in our twenties, this process slightly, however increasingly starts to slow down (Kligman 1983). As a result, the cells on the surface of our skin (corneocytes) become bigger (Kligman 1989) and a little disorganised. This leads to a duller appearance (loss of radiance) and a more rough texture of our skin.
A very comprehensive comparison of both methods:
The word "acid" unfortunately sounds very harsh and skin-unfriendly. Many acids are actually skin's own, like for example lactic acid is a skin's own natural moisturising factor (NMF) and so is hyaluronic acid. The level of NMF's decrease as we age and our skin my lose the ability to maintain well hydrated. Many years ago the benefits of lactic acid were capitalised by using baths filled with donkey milk. Citric acid is commonly used in skin care products and toners to balance skin's pH. Gluconolactone is only gradually penetrates skin and is very gentle.
It's unfortunate that "acids" have such a negative connotation, as our skin (healthy and problematic) can benefit if we use them regularly. Moreover, I prefer this method over mechanical exfoliation for all skin types, however particularly if you have dry skin, acne- or redness prone skin, sensitive skin or mature skin.
The risk of exfoliation is over-exfoliation. Over-exfoliation is damage of our skin barrier and the symptoms are very comparable to dry or (hyper) sensitive skin symptoms, which are: redness, irritation, tightness, excessive dryness, dry patches, flaking skin, uncomfortable stinging, or even burning sensation. Whenever you experience one or more symptoms of over-exfoliation, it's recommended to reduce the number of times you exfoliate and support the skin barrier repair with a moisturiser.
Hope you enjoy healthy skin & take care.
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