YouTube beauty expert NurberXO in her recent May 2012 Favorites video asked about dermaplaning and its effect on hair so today I want to take a deep dive into the technique!
And as a quick aside, I love getting skin care questions in video form like NurberXO’s. So if you have a question, please post them as video responses to DermTV episodes and I’ll answer as many of them as I can!
To understand dermaplaning, let’s first start with its history.
Superficial exfoliation as a cosmetic technique for facial rejuvenation became very popular in the early 1990’s with the development of therapeutic strengths of glycolic acid for in office, physician performed, superficial peels. And while chemical exfoliation is superior to physical exfoliation for many reasons I’ve discussed in prior DermTV episodes, there are many forms of physical exfoliation, including shaving, that work. As a matter of fact, because most guys have been shaving and thereby exfoliating 2/3 of their face for many years, that’s the reasons by the 30’s and 40’s that men’s skin often looks better than women’s skin.
So… once the benefits of regular glycolic exfoliation caught on in the dermatologic community, plastic surgeons wanted to be able to also offer their patients the benefits of exfoliation. But since they weren’t trained in the use of chemical peeling agents, but they certainly are skillful with their scalpels, they invented Dermaplaning, which is merely a fancy name for the procedure in which they used a scalpel blade to do exactly what a razor blade does when you shave… It takes off superficial layers of dead cells at the same time it removes hair.
In the case of dermaplaning, the surgeon, or esthetician uses a scalpel blade…
…mounted on a regular scalpel handle…
…and with the blade at a medium angle to the skin, they scrape off the upper layer of skin like this...
And by the way, if you shave your legs, every time you shave them... you’re dermaplaning the skin of yours legs. After you shave your legs... don’t you just love how soft and smooth they feel? It’s NOT just from removing the hair that they feel that way; it’s also because the razor has EXFOLIATED your skin, making the skin surface smoother.
So if you'd like to try a VERY inexpensive form of dermaplaning on your face at home, why not consider gently shaving the skin on your face. You can use the same razor and cream you use for your legs in the shower, and in fact shaving in the shower is even more gentle. And if you have any facial hair, not to worry… shaving doesn’t make the hair thicker, coarser or grow any faster, and if you need some reassurance there are a bunch of DermTV episodes demonstrating that as well.