Would you be nervous if an esthetician came at your face with a scalpel? That’s the main tool involved in dermaplaning, a technique that involves using a blade to shave off both the dead skin cells along with the fine vellus hair—or “peach fuzz”—on your face. It’s a two-for-one deal, and dermaplaning fans say it leaves you with baby-smooth, younger-looking skin.
The Lookbook talked to Lindsey Blondin, esthetician/spa director and dermaplane expert at George the Salon in Chicago, and Dara Levy, founder of at-home dermaplaning device Dermaflash (Sephora’s top-selling skincare device), about what to know before you take it all off—of your face, that is.
Shaving your face is a great exfoliator. “A lot of people don't think they have peach fuzz. They're shocked at the amount [that comes off your skin when you Dermaflash],” says Dara. “It’s not just peach fuzz, it's dead skin cells and built up debris. It looks like a lot of stuff coming off your face the first time you flash. It's unexpected and it's also very gratifying.”
With all that "stuff" cleared off your face, your makeup goes on smoother. Plus, that exfoliation encourages your skin cells to turn over. “In the end, it leaves your skin brighter, smoother, glowing, more youthful,” Lindsey says.
It’s not painful at all. “Most of my clients fall asleep while I do it” Lindsey says. “I'm using a scalpel on your face, which sounds scary—it sounds like it might be painful. It's a very light stroke, it almost feels like someone is just kind of brushing your skin.”
The hair on your face won’t grow back darker or thicker. OK, but is there any chance of us growing a beard by starting a face-shaving habit? “That is an old wives' tale,” Dara says, explaining that the vellus hair on women’s face is different than the terminal hairs that make up men’s beards. “We can't change your hormonal hair growth pattern,” she says.
Dermaplaning is great combined with products. Lindsey recommends that her clients dermaplane once a month during their facials, and she also recommends they add on a peel too. “I love to do a mask afterwards, like a gel mask, because everything just absorbs so beautifully,” says Darcy. "You're taking away that barrier to penetration. All your products work really well."
Don’t dermaplane if you have acne. “If you have open acne, stay away from that,” says Dara. Also, use SPF, avoid strong retinols the day before or after treatment, and Lindsey doesn’t dermaplane anyone on blood thinners (a nick could be really bad in that case).
Using Dermaflash at home will only take you five minutes, once a week. If you want to go the at-home route, Dermaflash is easy to fit into your beauty routine. “It's 10 minutes at the most. Once you get the hang of it, it's under five minutes,” says Dara of the three-step process, which involves getting your face squeaky clean, using the Dermaflash while holding your skin tight with your other hand, and then putting on a specially formulated cleansing balm. Keep the product away from your nose (it's too bony), lips, or eyelids.
This product is designed for women’s skin and there are safety features, but this is a blade after all. So whatever you do, don’t get it anywhere your eyebrow, because you CAN take one of those off. “It's a blade specifically designed for the delicate skin on a woman's face. There are multiple safety features built in to avoid nicks or cuts, but you definitely need to be aware of your eyebrows,” Dara says. That would be not great, if your skin looked amazing but you were missing an eyebrow. We’re going to make sure our hands are steady and that we watch plenty of how-to videos beforehand.
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