Dermaplaning – the truth about the latest ‘quick fix’

You may have heard about it, or perhaps even tried it? So what is Dermaplaning, what does it do, what are the results and what they don’t want you to know.

As a skin clinic owner, I have had a lot of enquires about this latest treatment, so why am I not offering it?

In a nut shell, Dermplaning is essentially a glorified shave.

This ‘exfoliating’ treatment involves a beauty therapist (or anyone who has been on a short course) using a scalpel to gently scrape off dead skin cells along with the ‘peach fuzz’ hair on your face.

Although Dermaplaning can give you a seemingly instant, smoother and brighter skin, this can come at a price including infection and long term damage.

So what are risks?

1. Removing all the hair from your face may give you a temporary smoother appearance and touch, but these hairs are there for a reason. We have a mixture of hair follicles all over our face (except our lips and eyelids). Some of these follicles are attached under the skin to a gland called the ‘sebaceous gland’ which produces oil keeping the skin ‘nourished’. Facial hairs are used to carry excess oil and sweat away from the skin like a candle wick. When the hair is removed, it becomes much harder for oil and sweat to leave the skin leading to potential breakouts/spots. If you’ve ever experienced breakout post eyebrow threading, this is the reason why.

2. Even though Dermaplaning clients are told that facial hair will not grow back thicker and darker, I’m not totally convinced. A lot of my clients who have had Dermaplaning felt that the hair did grow back thicker and darker. Whether this is because the shaving stimulates quicker and darker re-growth or the once fine-tipped hair now has a harsh blunt edge, the verdict is out.

3. Dermaplaning not only removes the hair but also removes the top layer of our skin which is our primary environmental barrier. This top layer (known as the Stratum Corneum) is made up of compacted dead skin. Although you may have been told it’s healthy to remove dead skins cells, this only applies to the loose, detached ones, not the whole layer. Everyone’s Stratum Corneum varies in thickness depending on age, sun damage and exposure to free radicals. If you remove too much, you expose immature skin cells to an environment they weren’t ready for (hence the redness), prematurely exposing them to free radical attack and potential damage (hence why an SPF is highly recommended post treatment).

4. Many of my clients who have tried Dermaplaning experienced dryness post treatment. This is because Dermaplaning also removes the ‘hydrolipidic film’ that covers the entire surface of the skin. The hydrolipidic film is composed of sweat, sebum and water - its function is to help the skin maintain suppleness and retain moisture. Without a proven cosmeceutical home care routine to help rebuild this protective film, the skin can dry out very easily.

So what’s the alternative?

There are plenty of safer alternative treatments that resurface and smooth the skin giving you the same radiant glow. AHA’s and BHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids) are effective ways to exfoliate the skin whilst retaining the integrity by dissolving the loose, detached skin cells rather than the full Stratum Corneum. However, chemical peels come in various forms and strengths (from milder fruit enzyme peels to Lactic / Glycolic / Retinol or Salicylic acid) so it is essential that you use a trusted skin professional who offers a variety of peels from medically proven brands, to ensure you receive the right peel for your skin and concern. This bespoke approach is the difference between Dermaplaning and professional skin peels.


Most of my clients who have tried Dermaplaning have said they would not have it again. There are lots of treatments that can give you similar results without the potential risks and damage to the skin. Removing the top layer will not improve your skin long-term. Until there have been clinical studies to suggest otherwise, I’m afraid I won’t be offering it at The Advanced Skin clinic any time soon.

If you would like to discuss what peel is right for you book a free consultation now!

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