What Is Dermaplaning: Benefits, Side Effects, and Cost

Find out if you're a good candidate for dermaplaning or if you should skip it altogether.

Actress Margot Robbie

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Celebrities seem to possess naturally glowy skin, luscious locks, and wide-awake eyes. There are three main reasons for this: good genes, amazing glam teams, and some very well-kept industry secrets. Dermaplaning is one of those secrets—chances are, even if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve seen the results.

Meet the Expert

We spoke with Dr. Stafford Broumard and and aesthetician Jocelyn Locascio and begged them to divulge Hollywood’s best-kept skin secret. 

What Is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a non-invasive skin procedure that involves using a sharp tool to exfoliate the surface of your skin, while also removing small, fine hairs.

Basically, an esthetician or dermatologist takes a small scalpel and very gently scrapes the surface of your skin using light, feathering strokes. If this sounds like something out of a horror movie, keep reading—you might be surprised.

Keep scrolling to find out how celebs use dermaplaning to sculpt their cheekbones, remove facial hair, brighten their complexions, and more.

What Are the Benefits?

So, what exactly does lightly scraping your skin with a scalpel accomplish? A lot, apparently. “Dermaplaning’s purpose is to give your skin an immediate exfoliation for a luminous glow that lasts a week,” Broumard says. “The benefits are dewy skin, faster cell turnover, and a smoother texture.” Physicians might recommend dermaplaning to anyone who is about to undergo a laser treatment or deep chemical peel, to allow the products to penetrate more deeply into the skin. Plus, the light shaving motion gets rid of little facial hairs while it exfoliates.

Side note: It's crucial to wear sunscreen after getting this service because the skin is very sensitive to the sun and hyperpigmentation (dark skin spots) are possible.

Who Can Benefit?

“Anyone who has unwanted facial hair and anyone who wants exfoliation can benefit,” Broumard says. Dermaplaning is also great for pregnant women or those with super-sensitive skin since they can't use certain products and exfoliating treatments. “It’s an alternative way to lightly resurface the skin,” he says.

Benefits can be reaped almost immediately, too, explains Locascio. "Dermaplaning prepares your skin to accept topical skin care ingredients more rapidly and evenly, so a nice serum post dermaplaning is a great idea," she says. "Vitamin C serum is a popular choice. Growth factors, peptides and other powerhouse ingredients can be used."

Preparing for Dermaplaning Procedures

Preparing for a dermaplaning procedure is easy and requires little more than cleaning your face and ensuring you don't use anything too harsh in the days ahead of your appointment.

"Prepare for dermaplaning by avoiding chemical and physical exfoliating the day of treatment," says Locascio. "It’s best if you don’t use your retinol for a few days before as well. You’ll need to prep the skin by double cleansing and using an alcohol prep pad to degrease the skin/remove remaining natural oils."

Dermaplaning vs. Dermabrasion

Lest you get confused, dermaplaning is not in any way similar to dermabrasion, which is a mechanical exfoliation that uses micro-crystals and suctioning to exfoliate.

Dermaplaning, on the other hand, is quick, easy, and requires no downtime. However, you do need to wait at least two weeks until the next session.

Does It Hurt?

This one’s easy. “Dermaplaning is virtually painless,” Broumard says. The only possible side effect is slight redness, which fades almost immediately.

Risks and Side Effects of Dermaplaning

While dermaplaning could cause irritation, it's unlikely. Of course, some medspas will add dermaplaning to another procedure, like chemical exfoliation, which could have other side effects such as redness, irritation, stinging, or rash. "In addition to dermaplaning, your esthetician can add on a chemical exfoliating treatment such as a peel or enzyme," Locascio notes. "Once chemical exfoliants are applied and neutralized, you can apply your serums and a gentle moisturizer. Don’t forget your sunscreen as well."

When to Call a Doctor

If you notice redness that doesn't go away, or find yourself suffering from a rash or feeling any sort of pain or tingling for a noticeable amount of time, it's time to visit a doctor. While these side effects are very rare, seeking out an expert's advice is always important.

Who Shouldn't Have Dermaplaning Done

Those with severe skin sensitivities or any sort of skin issue like rosacea or psoriasis should speak to a doctor first before undergoing a dermaplaning procedure. As dermaplaning works by gliding along the surface of the skin, it could exacerbate any underlying issues.

How Much Does It Cost?

Dermaplaning prices range from $75 to $150 and up. Many dermatologists' offices or medspas that have it on the menu will offer it with a chemical peel or facial because it allows products to sink deeper into the skin with the aim of quicker or better results.

Sign Me Up—Where Can I Get It Done?

Ask your esthetician if he or she is familiar with dermaplaning—if not, they can usually suggest someone who is. The important thing is to find someone who is experienced, adept, and skilled—they are holding a scalpel to your face, after all.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dermabrasion.

  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dermabrasion and Dermaplaning.

Related Stories