11 Reasons to Get Behind Dermaplaning


In professional skin care, we are lucky to have so many forms of exfoliation to keep pores clean and promote quicker skin cell turnover for younger looking skin. There are three types of exfoliation: chemical, manual and mechanical. Chemical exfoliation, of course, is referring to peels, whereas manual exfoliation includes the use of an abrasive such as a scrub. There are a couple of mechanical exfoliation methods that are used today, one of the most popular being dermaplaning, which will be reviewed in this article.

Cell Turnover

The goal of exfoliation has always been to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover. Skin cells turn over every three to four weeks in young skin. With age, this process moves at a slower rate, making monthly exfoliation more important. Exfoliation “tricks” the skin into turning over at a faster rate than it normally would.

To trick the skin, a controlled injury (exfoliation) is created. When the skin is injured, new skin cells are sent to replace the old ones, and collagen and elastin are produced. Loss of collagen and elastin is the biggest contributor to wrinkles. While collagen can be put back into the skin, elastin is too big of a molecule. So, with all the methods of exfoliation that exist, what makes dermaplaning so special?

What is Dermaplaning?

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Dermaplaning is a lot like microdermabrasion, another popular mechanical exfoliation technique. Both mechanically exfoliate the skin, but dermaplaning also removes the vellus hair from the skin. In this method of exfoliation, a sterile, surgical scalpel is used to complete the process. It is definitely not as scary as it sounds. However, this method of exfoliation should be done by a licensed professional and definitely not at home. While the scalpel used is in a way “shaving your face,” you can think of it as shaving your skin. The technician will use small upward strokes around the entire face to remove any impurities, clogged pores and facial hair.

Benefits of Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning has numerous benefits, and this list will show you some to get you, or potentially your clients, on the dermaplaning train.

1. Cell regeneration. As mentioned earlier, dermaplaning will trigger the cell regeneration process to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Hyperpigmentation. Dermaplaning will exfoliate the top layer of your skin, taking off dead skin cells. Therefore, it can help lighten pigmented spots.

3. Immediate results. Other exfoliation processes sometimes take more time to show the results, but dermaplaning shows immediate results.

4. Safety. Dermaplaning is safe for everyone and there is no downtime involved.

5. Smooths rough skin. Dermaplaning is especially beneficial for people with rough, dry skin. The scalpel is effective in smoothing out skin and evening skin tone.

6. Hair removal. If clients are using this for hair removal, it is fine if they only have peach fuzz or vellus hair. It easily removes this hair without any problems.

7. Product penetration. Dermaplaning is good for letting products such as peels, strong serums or skin remedies penetrate deeply into the skin, as results are improved after exfoliation.

8. Mildness. Dermaplaning is a gentle form of exfoliation, and it can be more gentle than a peel or microdermabrasion for sensitive clients. It is also great for new clients who want to start with gentle anti-aging treatments before jumping into more.

9. Frequency. Dermaplaning is safe to do every three to four weeks, which is the target range you would want to get those cells turning over faster.

10. Catalyst. This is a great catalyst to deeper exfoliation procedures, as it preps one’s skin gently rather than harshly.

11. Makeup. Clients will notice that their makeup will go on better after a dermaplaning service.


The only time one would not want to dermaplane is if there is pustular acne involved. The surgical scalpel could easily rupture one of the pustules, and the bacteria could then spread across the face.

Anyone with hirsutism or excessive facial hair growth may want to rely on waxing, laser or electrolysis for the hair removal, as these forms remove hair from the root and not at the skin level like dermaplaning.

Check State Rules

Regulations on dermaplaning practitioners vary by state. Here in Colorado, estheticians are allowed to practice dermaplaning under a medical director, and they do not have to get another certification. However, some estheticians will still get a dermaplaning certificate. Before purchasing the tools and putting dermaplaning on your menu, check with the state board to see what credentials are needed for dermaplaning. In most places, you will find that you have to practice under a medical director while having a separate certification than that of your esthetic’s license.

Give It A Try

With dermaplaning, you can’t go wrong. It safely takes off the top layer of skin and hair. You can offer it monthly, and clients will see immediate results. I love this treatment, and I hope this article will make you want to also try it.

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Maxie Frericks is a licensed esthetician specializing in medical esthetics and waxing who currently operates at Velvet Day Spa in Greenwood Village, Colo. She is a national esthetics educator, having taught for Heritage College and the European Wax Center.

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