At-Home Dermaplaning: An Esthetician's Guide

Shaving your face for better skin? Yes, really. Here's how to pull it off.

at home dermaplaning
(Image credit: Getty - Francois G. Durand)

By now, you've probably heard of dermaplaning, and you're either intrigued or a bit weirded out by the unconventional skin-smoothing practice. This method of face shaving, designed to leave the skin on your face smoother and glowier, started out as an in-office practice with skin pros wielding surgical-grade razors. These days, it can be done safely and effectively from the comfort of your home—as long as you're using the correct products and techniques. Here to explain how: Los Angeles based esthetician and StackedSkincare founder, Kerry Benjamin. Read on for the smooth, bright (and fuzz-free) complexion of your dreams.

What Is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a complexion-smoothing skincare technique that uses a blade—usually a scalpel or electronic dermaplaning tool—to gently remove the outermost layer of skin. "It's a physical exfoliation treatment that removes dead skin, dirt, oil, and vellus hair [a.k.a. peach fuzz]," explains Benjamin.

What Are the Benefits of Dermaplaning?

• Manual exfoliation: "It instantly smooths and brightens the skin by removing the outer dead layer of skin," says Benjamin.

• Better results from your skincare products: The removal of hair and dead skin allows for your skincare products to more easily penetrate into your dermis.

• Seamless makeup application: Once unwanted facial hair, dirt, oil, and dead skin has been removed, and your skin is now baby-soft and smooth, which makes it the perfect canvas for makeup.

• Diminished lines: Consider dermaplaning an anti-aging treatment—over time, you'll notice smoothed lines, smaller-looking pores, and less dullness.

Is Dermaplaning Safe?

Although dermaplaning is considered one of the safest exfoliation methods for all skin types, those dealing with active acne breakouts should steer clear. "Anyone with active pustular acne should avoid dermaplaning until their acne becomes less inflamed," says Benjamin, who even recommends dermaplaning for pregnant women suffering from hormonal breakouts and dry skin.

Before and after using your blade, make sure to disinfect the tool with rubbing alcohol and rinse with warm water.

What's the Difference Between In-Office and At-Home Dermaplaning?

In-office dermaplaning involves a very sharp, surgical-grade ten-blade scalpel used by a trained skincare professional. At-home tools are more user-friendly. "The StackedSkincare dermaplaning tool is designed with a replaceable, sharp—but still very safe—blade," says Benjamin.

Other fool-proof home options include electronic devices like the Dermaflash Luxe. Whatever tool you choose, make sure it's explicitly designed for dermaplaning (as opposed to, say, an eyebrow razor), and avoid dull blades, which can result in skin irritation and leave behind stubble.

How Do I Dermaplane at Home?

Start by cleansing your skin to remove makeup and excess oil. Allow skin to dry completely before you begin dermaplaning.

"Hold your skin taut and create light downward feather strokes with your blade at a 45-degree angle," says Benjamin. "Keep your hand behind the blade as you work your way across your entire face."

How Do I Care for Skin My After Dermaplaning?

And after you're done? "You can follow-up with an acid peel for added exfoliation," says Benjamin, who likes StackedSkincare's TCA Multi-Acid Face Peel. If your skin is on the sensitive side, skip the peel the first time. You can slowly introduce it into your routine if you realize dermaplaning needs to be part of your monthly maintenance routine. 

Moisturizing is vital when treating skin post-dermaplaning. You know how after you shave your legs, you slather it in lotion to keep your skin extra smooth and soft? Similar principle here. After using this mini shaving device, opt for creams and overnight masks containing hyaluronic acid to repair your skin barrier and lock in the moisture. And because we love to say it always: Wear sunscreen. Reapply it regularly. Your skin is going to be sensitive, so don’t ruin all the work you just put in by not protecting your face afterward.

Chelsea Hall
Chelsea Hall

Chelsea Hall is the Assistant Fashion and Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers celebrity style, fashion trends, skincare, makeup and anything else tied into the world of fashion and beauty