Is At-Home Dermaplaning Dangerous? Dermatologists Weigh In

12 min read

Dermaplaning, the most requested in-clinic skin treatment, is starting to creep in to our home skincare regimens too. But what does it do, and is it best left to the experts? MOJEH investigates

Does your complexion checklist include smoother skin, an even texture and an around-the-clock glow? If you’re ready to take your skincare treatments to the next level, then dermaplaning may be the routine booster that you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, it is a treatment that removes the very top layers of dead skin as well as peach fuzz facial hair, also known as vellus hair. Designed to leave the skin on your face smoother and glowing, it started out as an in-office practice with skincare professionals using 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. As a chemical- free form of exfoliation, it leaves your skin ultra-smooth, fresh and glowing. Plus, when you apply your makeup afterwards, you’ll find it goes on as smoothly as silk, which is why dermaplaning is in such demand as a pre-event treatment.

In-clinic, this complexion-smoothing skincare technique involves a blade, usually a scalpel or electronic dermaplaning tool, which gently removes the outermost layer of skin. “It’s a physical exfoliation treatment that removes build-up of dead skin cells, dirt, oil and vellus hair,” explains Alizey Mirza, the COO of Biolite Aesthetic Clinic in Dubai. “It instantly smooths and brightens the skin by removing the outer dead layer, revealing brighter and smoother skin with a luminous glow.”

Excessive product build-up, dirt and pollution can clog pores and make them appear bigger. Dermaplaning has an unclogging effect by clearing excess sebum and dead skin cells, making pores appear smaller. Since it clears the pores, it can also help to prevent some types of acne. So who should avoid it? Although dermaplaning is considered one of the safest exfoliation methods for all skin types, Dr Shadan Naji, dermatologist at Dr Kayle Aesthetic Clinic, says it’s incompatable with some skin conditions. “It may exacerbate the condition for anyone who has a skin irritation such as eczema or acne. Also, if you have very dry, flaky skin, I would never recommend dermaplaning.” The treatment boosts cellular turnover, stimulating collagen and elastin production and helping to achieve a youthful and radiant complexion, together with reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Even though a sharp blade is involved, the treatment is pain-free and leaves you with virtually no downtime, making it a great alternative to a chemical peel or microdermabrasion.

“This is a cosmetic procedure that uses a painless blade to gently remove dead skin cells and unwanted facial hair,” explains Dr Naji. “Similar to exfoliation, the skin treatment aims to make your skin appear smoother and more radiant by scraping away the upper layer of the skin on your face. By removing dead skin, it ensures the active ingredients from skincare products penetrate deeper.” However, dermaplaning does not equal dermabrasion. “Think of dermaplaning as a deeper form of microdermabrasion,” says dermatologist and DERMAdoctor founder Dr Audrey Kunin. Both treatments resurface skin, but dermaplaning takes off most of the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin, while microdermabrasion only takes off the layer above called the stratum corneum. Plus, microdermabrasion can’t and doesn’t remove any facial hair.

While dermaplaning requires no downtime, there are a few things you should keep in mind after the procedure to avoid unwanted complications. You will need to be extra careful about sun exposure, avoiding direct contact with the sun for the first 48-72 hours as sun damage can reverse the effects of dermaplaning and create pigment blotches on the newly uncovered skin cells. “The skin barrier is more vulnerable post procedure, so it is best to allow the skin to breathe and settle down before applying makeup or having other treatments,” says Mirza.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Browns & Co (

At-home dermaplaning tools are simple and user-friendly, making them the perfect way to maintain your skin at home following a more thorough professional treatment. The StackedSkincare dermaplaning tool is designed with a replaceable, sharp but still very safe blade, while other foolproof home options include electronic devices like the Dermaflash Luxe, which comes with a 22-year pedigree of in-spa dermaplaning use. The Dermaflash needs to be charged because it uses a subtle sonic vibration and a proprietary stainless steel edge, says Dara Levy, its founder. “The sonic vibrations reduce friction and generate a pulse that resonates deep beneath the skin’s surface,” Levy explains. “They have the ability to cause muscles to contract 30 to 50 times per second, similar to a mini-workout. These contractions have the potential to increase circulation and bring oxygen and nutrients to the tissue, yielding a naturally healthy, rejuvenated glow.” Both have angled blades so they can be placed on the skin at a safe, effective angle for dermaplaning. Whatever tool you choose, make sure it’s explicitly designed for dermaplaning and avoid dull blades, which can result in skin irritation and leave stubble behind.

Start by cleansing and thoroughly drying your skin to remove makeup and excess oil before beginning. “Hold your skin taut and begin creating light downward feather strokes with your blade at a 45-degree angle,” advises Dr Kunin. “Keep your hand behind the blade as you work your way across your entire face.” Then when you have finished, you can follow up with an acid peel for added exfoliation. If your skin is on the sensitive side, skip the peel the first time, and follow with your favourite serum and moisturiser, such as Dr Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum and Augustinus Bader’s The Cream. The at-home version of dermaplaning isn’t nearly as invasive, or as transformative, as the in-clinic treatment, as it doesn’t remove as much. But as a top-up treatment, done once a week or every 10 days, it is a great addition to your skin regimen.

Where To Try It?

Browns & Co, Dubai

A bonus that comes with this treatment is the thorough consultation you get on arrival with the clinic’s skin specialist. The expert knowledge will ensure you get the best results possible, and you’ll leave with all the information you ever wanted to know about your skin. If you choose to do dermaplaning on its own, the procedure will last around 45 minutes and includes a meticulous cleansing session followed by the dermaplaning and face massage. Try not to wear makeup for at least 12 hours, don’t exfoliate for a week and, most importantly, wear your sunscreen (religiously) post treatment. This facial is excellent for all ages as it rejuvenates the skin whatever its type, leaving it clean, taught and radiant for days after. Book now

Biolite Aesthetic Clinic, Dubai

Ask any UAE-based woman that takes good care of her skin who is responsible for her success, and many will confidently state Mona Mirza, CEO and founder of Biolite. The recently refurbed Al Thanya Road clinic should be first choice especially for anyone new to, and nervous about, the world of dermaplaning. Safely in the hands of Mirza’s expert team, anticipate a tick list of exactly what to expect and a full skin assessment before going under the light; this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. More often than not your treatment plan will begin with the Silk Peel Dermalinfusion to fully prep, clean up and re-hydrate the skin before moving on to a course of dermaplaning. The medical-grade SIlk Peel treatment uses diamond tip exfoliation and deep extraction to rejuvenate skin and improve complexion. Book now

Ace Your Aftercare

Amp up your aftercare with these all-time favourite skincare saviours. Think hyaluronic acid for hydration, black rose for radiance, and more…

Read Next: Banish Sun Damage With These High-Tech Laser Treatments

  • Words by Eliza Scarborough