Exfoliation is a common skin care practice and may already be a part of your at-home routine. Exfoliating a few times a week with a physical scrub or a chemical one can help remove dead skin cells to achieve smooth skin texture and an even skin tone. This can have anti-aging benefits, improve the appearance of acne scars, and even help your skin care products penetrate deeper.

A new method of exfoliation is circulating among skin care enthusiasts, and it's called dermaplaning. But, what is dermaplaning exactly, and is it safe to try at home? Read on to learn what dermaplaning involves, who it's for, and how to reap the benefits safely.

What Is Dermaplaning?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, dermaplaning is a procedure that involves shaving away the top layers of your skin to remove unwanted hair, smooth out skin, and reveal a new layer of undamaged skin. It's typically performed by a board-certified Dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or esthetician. It's a minimally invasive procedure, which is why some users turn to at-home dermaplaning for a more budget-friendly option. That said, there are risks to be aware of when you dermaplane at home.

Dermaplaning is often confused with microdermabrasion and dermabrasion, but these are all different procedures. That said, they are similar in that they encourage skin rejuvenation.

How Does Dermaplaning Work?

Dermaplaning involves a special type of tool—similar to an electric razor—called a dermatome. Like shaving with a regular razor, a dermatome has an oscillating blade that removes hair and skin cells. The blade rotates at high speeds to manually remove the outermost layer of skin.

When you have the procedure done by a professional, they typically use the handheld tool on your face, but dermaplaning is possible on any body part that grows hair.

Depending on the size of the targeted area of skin, the dermaplane procedure can last anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour. Dermaplaning doesn't usually hurt, but some people experience swelling, irritation, or redness. In some cases, a numbing cream or spray is used before the procedure to minimize any discomfort.

Can You Dermaplane at Home?

Now that you know what dermaplaning is, you may be wondering if you can—or should—do it at home. At-home dermaplaning probably isn't what you think. The dermatome tool that professionals use is pretty pricy, so many people don't own one and instead use more accessible tools. The DIY version of dermaplaning typically involves a facial razor or razor with a single blade or an electric tool made specifically for dermaplaning.

Dermaplaning at home can essentially be summed up as shaving your face closely with a small razor. At-home dermaplane tools are designed to remove peach fuzz and improve the appearance and texture of your skin. It's important to note that the at-home method isn't usually as effective as the professional treatment.

When performed by a professional, dermaplaning can be a relatively safe way to improve skin texture, such as scarring. However, it's not something that should be attempted at home on a whim. At-home dermaplaning looks a lot like shaving, which may seem harmless, but it can leave your skin in a worse state than before. To be safe, it's recommended to only get dermaplaning done when under the supervision of a professional.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning can be beneficial if you want to target concerns like dull, uneven skin, seeing as it sloughs off old skin, allowing new skin to form in its place. It's a popular choice among those dealing with acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles. The procedure doesn't slow or prevent aging but can improve the appearance of aging signs, so it's beneficial for anyone looking to increase their skin firmness and smoothness.

Seeing as this new skin is undamaged, it has a brighter and more youthful appearance. However, this skin is very sensitive to sunlight, so it's important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, like the EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40.

So, while you can dermaplane at home, should you? Dermaplaning is generally considered safe, but it's a treatment that's best reserved for professionals. Dermaplaning can cause skin irritation, infection, acne, and flare-ups of other skin issues, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Other risks of dermaplaning at home include fever blisters, changes in pigmentation, and thicker skin, so without a Dermatologist's help, you may be making matters worse.

After any procedure, always follow up with a post-procedure skin care routine. The EltaMD Dermal Wound Cleanser keeps freshly resurfaced skin clean while new skin cells are forming. Follow it up with the EltaMD Moisturizer to retain moisture without disturbing tender skin. If you're interested in the benefits of dermaplaning, talk with your Dermatologist to see if it's the right procedure to let your glowing skin shine through.


  • Lacey Muinos

    Lacey is a Southern California-based freelance writer who combines her passions—fitness, health, and a vegan lifestyle—with her work to help readers feel and be their best. Her work has been featured in Healthline, Livestrong, Verywell Fit, Eat This Not That, KinderBeauty, and more.

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