So you might be noticing a theme here on this blog: I like using odd facial skincare tools. And I am not embarrassed by it one bit! Anything for the sake of healthy, glowing skin amiright? So today we’re gonna chat all about DERMAPLANING. You might be like, what? Well, it’s a razor that you shave your face with. And I’m sure at this point you have about a thousand questions. And before you bust out the shaving cream, let’s learn more!
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I first heard about dermaplaning a few years ago so I booked an appointment to get it done professionally. That was dangerous because I was HOOKED and loved how it made my skin look and feel. Getting it done professionally is great if you can afford it, but I wanted to explore doing it at home on my own (and also save some money!) 🪒
In this post we’ll cover these topics:
- Skincare benefits of dermaplaning
- Is dermaplaning right for me?
- The best razor to use
- How to shave safely at home step-by-step
- Frequently asked questions
Skincare Benefits of Dermaplaning
First, let’s go over the benefits. Essentially, the razor is a really small scalpel (which is not as scary as it sounds, trust me!) that gently and safely removes peach fuzz and small, fine hairs 🍑 Some of the main benefits:
- Lightly exfoliates and removes excess dry and dead skin cells (helps keep pores clear too!)
- Allows for better penetration of skincare products
- Faster cell turnover (and can help with lines and scarring over time)
- Makeup applies much more easily (seriously, if you find your foundation sitting weirdly on your skin or clinging to patches, give this a try!)
- Your skin is left glowy, vibrant, and oh so smooth! ✨
“The benefits are dewy skin, faster cell turnover, and a smoother texture.” –Dr. Stafford Broumard
As I mentioned, I was hooked after dermaplaning for the first time. I could honestly care less about the vanity reasons (removing facial hair) but I just LOVE how my makeup and skincare applies sooooooooo much better. It feels like my skin can breathe better, too! For me there is no turning back and it is 100% WORTH IT.
Is Dermaplaning Right for Me?
The beauty of dermaplaning is that it’s non-invasive and there is no downtime! Which also makes it ideal for most skin types, even sensitive. Sometimes I like to recommend it to my clients who want an exfoliation but can’t use more intense chemical peels or exfoliating treatments. Or perhaps if you’re pregnant and are avoiding certain ingredients. And sometimes people want to remove hair but can’t handle lasering or waxing.
So it’s pretty much for anyone that wants to get rid of facial hair, dry flakes, or make their skincare products apply better! 💁♀
But not for everyone…
That being said, you definitely want to avoid active breakouts, acne, or inflamed areas. If you have some pimples here and there you can just steer clear of those particular spots and do the rest of your face. You basically just want to make sure you’re not spreading bacteria around or irritating anything that’s trying to heal. If you have severe acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, or a bad sunburn on your face then dermaplaning might not be for you.
Related blog post: “6 Simple Facial Tools for Clear, Glowing Skin”
Which Razor is Best to Use?
There are lots of razor options on the market. After extensive research and reading reviews I decided to buy this dermaplaning razor and I have been SO happy with it! It’s held up well over the years and I love that the handle is aluminum (not plastic) and the blade head is replaceable. It’s nice that you don’t have to throw the whole thing away each time and the pack of refill blades are cheaper. It’s a nice weight so it feels easy to control, plus there is a beveled edge around the tip which 1) helps keep the correct angle and 2) prevents you from nicking yourself!
Stacked also makes small precision dermaplane razor heads which are ideal for tricky areas like around the nose, upper lip, and eyebrows.
Do Tinkle Razors Work Well Too? (Tinkle vs. Stacked)
There is a cheaper option called a Tinkle razor which is technically made for eyebrows but many people use it for their full face and seem to love them. I did buy a pack to try and overall, they get the job done, but I still prefer the Stacked razor because it’s more effective in my opinion!
I do like how lightweight the Tinkle razors are and they are easy to control. However, it just feels too rough for my skin and almost seems like it’s tugging and pulling my skin, even when I am really gentle with it. And the shave doesn’t seem as close; I can already see hair growing back within 2-3 days.
Additionally, the blades feel dull after one use (and they do not have replaceable heads). My advice would be: if you’re on a budget and want to give dermaplaning a shot, you could try the Tinkle razors. I don’t recommend them for long-term use. But if you really want something effective that’s more of an investment, go with Stacked.
How to Safely Dermaplane at Home
It’s actually really simple once you get the hang of it and only should take a few minutes.
- Sterilize the razor by wiping it with rubbing alcohol or soak it in boiling water for a few minutes then rinse it off and dry it gently with a clean towel. And wash your hands!
- Prep your skin! Make sure you have a totally CLEAN and dry face with ZERO skincare products on it. Even something like a facial oil or moisturizer can dull the blade and not give you as close of a shave.
- Start shaving at a 45-degree angle in short strokes! You want to hold your skin taut as you do this and make sure you have a firm grip on the razor. Start at the top of your forehead going down. Then at the top of your cheekbones near your hairline going towards your nose. Then your upper lip and jawline (in a downward motion). Do NOT go over the same area more than once. Avoid your nose and eye area.
- Follow up with your regular skincare routine. I like to splash my face with cold water when I’m done just to make sure all the excess hair and gunk are rinsed away. If you feel it necessary, you can cleanse again too. I suggest using a toner, moisturizer/facial oil, and then sunscreen 🧴
- Sterilize the razor again, dry it off, and store for next time!
Dermaplaning FAQ & Myths
Every time I share about dermaplaning, I get SO many questions. Here are the most common ones:
How often do I need to dermaplane?
A common misconception is that you have to “keep up” with it and once you start, you won’t be able to stop. I mean, you’re gonna be addicted, but you certainly don’t HAVE to keep it up. You can literally dermaplane once and never do it again. More on this in the next question!
I personally dermaplane every 4-6 weeks which is really relaxed, but that’s usually when I notice that my facial hair has grown back to normal. I’m pretty lazy about it but you can definitely do it more frequently (up to once a week). I also like to shave a couple of days after microneedling when I notice dry, flaky patches of skin.
Will my hair grow back thicker or darker?
NOPE! This is another misconception. I have been dermaplaning for 2+ years and I’m not a hairy beast, haha! Your hair will just grow back to normal if you stop shaving. The razor makes a blunt tip, so it might *appear* like the hair is growing thicker for a short period of time, but once it gets a bit longer, you’ll see that it’s the same! Nothing is happening to the hair follicles themselves. You aren’t going to have a 5 o’clock shadow or anything, don’t worry. According to well-known aesthetician Kerry Benjamin:
“When you dermaplane, you are removing very, very fine hair called vellus hair. This hair is so thin and soft that removing it with a dermaplaning tool will have little to no impact on how it looks when it grows back.”
And since I have light blonde hair, I thought maybe you’d like to hear it from someone with dark hair for a little reassurance. My friend Megan swears by dermaplaning:
How often should I replace the blade?
It’s going to depend on your specific razor, but with the one I use, the blades are good for about 4-5 uses. Or do it sooner if you feel like the blade isn’t as effective anymore.
Are there side effects?
It’s non-invasive and low risk so there are no major side effects if done correctly. You might experience slight redness or a faint tingle but that should go away quickly.
Some people note that their face stings or is itchy afterward. This could be for a couple of different reasons so it’s hard to say for sure. Some razors have nickel in them so if you have an allergy, that could be why. I’m not able to wear nickel earrings yet have no problem with the razors. You can always patch test a small area of your face before doing it all over.
Again, I recommend rinsing with cold water and then moisturizing afterward so your skin is clean and well hydrated. This might help with the “itchy” feeling too!
Will it make me break out or cause acne?
It shouldn’t but everyone has different skin! Dermaplaning should actually help prevent breakouts. But if you are breaking out after dermaplaning, it could be because:
- You didn’t sterilize or properly clean your razor.
- You didn’t have a totally clean face or maybe had some makeup leftover on your skin.
- You shaved over an active breakout and spread bacteria.
- You are over-exfoliating your skin. Avoid exfoliating peels, scrubs, treatments, etc. a few days before dermaplaning.
I suggest applying this Blemish Balm after dermaplaning because it can help calm skin post-shave and prevent breakouts. If you do break out, try a manuka honey face mask 🍯 and leave your skin alone as much as possible while it heals.
Related blog post: “My Skin Story: How I Naturally Cleared My Acne”
Does dermaplaning hurt? Will I cut myself?
No, it doesn’t hurt! In my opinion, it’s actually really soothing and kind of like ASMR. A good way to describe the feeling is like a credit card wiping across your skin? It’s really satisfying to watch the hair scrape off, too!
The only time I’ve cut myself with the razor is under my ear lobe while removing sideburn peach fuzz because I wasn’t careful and had the razor at a weird angle. But it was SUPER minor and barely felt like anything. Just hold it at the correct angle, go slowly, and you’ll be fine!
What products should I apply after? Do I need to avoid the sun?
You can follow up with your regular skincare routine after dermaplaning. I suggest using a toner, moisturizing with a lotion or facial oil, and then a sunscreen if it’s daytime. Since dermaplaning is revealing a “new layer” of baby skin, then yes, it’s super important to be cautious with sun exposure over the next few days. Either wear a hat or sunscreen! ☀️
Want to know what skincare products and natural mineral sunscreens I love? Check out my list of faves!
(Or buy the razor on Amazon here)
That was pretty extensive, but please do let me know in the comments if there’s still more you want to know. Oh and one last thing: After dermaplaning, you’re going to feel the urge to keep touching that baby 👶 soft face of yours, but pleaseeeee resist the temptation. Happy shaving!