What is dermaplaning and should you try it at home?

While researching for skincare posts, I keep seeing articles about dermaplaning. It sounds fancier than it is, because it’s just shaving your face with a blade either at home or by an esthetician. This is an actual thing in skincare, a lot of women swear by it, and there are specific razors made for our faces. It’s supposed to remove the top layer of dead skin, exfoliate it and prepare your face for products. It also removes hair of course.

I use Surgiwax (the Brazilian formula) once a week for my face. It’s wax you heat in the microwave which doesn’t require strips. It has to be the right consistency or it can burn you and the process can sting a little. This week Sasha at Lainey Gossip wrote about the virtues of shaving your face. It included a video from former Bachelor contestant and beauty blogger Michelle Money showing how she does it at home. Money shaved her face when it had oil on it, however I found several articles and videos recommending to do it dry. I would not do it like that at home! Please moisturize or oil your face first. (Full disclosure: I have not tried this yet. I went to CVS to see if I could find razors but I didn’t have enough confidence to know what to try.)

Here’s a link to a video from an esthetician who explains the process. (The screenshot above is from that video.) She also addresses the number one question I have – will my hair grow back thicker or harder? She said that “shaving your face is not going to make your hair grow back any thicker or harder” and that your facial hair is due to genetics and hormones. She explained that “once you shave your face and it grows back it seems like a lot because you just were used to not seeing anything on your face.” She also said that your hair is being cut at a blunt angle so you “will feel a little resistance” that will eventually taper off and become smooth. The only downside is if you cut yourself. She also does it dry which I would not recommend.

Here are a couple of options for facial shavers and I’m also including some products to consider. This is an affiliate post and please research alternatives.

Little razors that leave skin baby smooth
I got this recommendation from Twitter, with Julie saying “it will change your life” and your “skin glows.” Reviewers write that the safety guards work and make it “very hard to cut yourself unless you actually purposely try to,” “as long as you are careful using them they work wonderfully” and that they “don’t irritate my skin.” Schick has a similar set of razors with glowing reviews.

A set of 9 dermaplaning razors that users swear by
If you don’t mind spending a little more money, these Shiseido razors are less than $15 for 9 and come with oil blotting paper. Users call them “the holy grail” of dermaplaning, say that they are great for shaping eyebrows and that “My makeup just glides on and my skin looks great.”

An alcohol free toner that makes a different in problem skin.
Prior to shaving your skin, you may want to use a toner to remove impurities. This alcohol free witch hazel toner comes in cucumber, lavender and rose. People rave that it clears hormonal acne, feels “refreshing” and “calming” and that it evens out skin tone. You also get a lot of product for the price.

An anti-aging toner that brightens skin
This vitamin c anti-aging toner has a 4.4 star rating with over 1,000 reviews. Women write that they get compliments on their skin, that it looks “clearer and bright” and that they’ve “noticed an improvement in breakouts and discoloration.”

A glycolic acid toning solution for clear skin
Out of all the products I’ve tried, this glycolic acid toning solution is my favorite. I use it only every other day in the morning and make sure to use serum, moisturizer and sunblock afterwards. Then at night I use a retinol or vitamin c serum. I’m pretty sure this is the stuff that’s making the most difference in my skin as it looks smoother and tighter. Here is an article that helped me understand how to use both products together in a skincare routine.

A vitamin C serum to reduce scars and spots
The esthetician in the video I recommended and many of you have mentioned Mad Hippie vitamin C serum. (I’m currently using this three serum set and have not tried it.) This is said to lighten scars, make acne go away quicker, and lighten and brighten skin. Some reviewers warn that it is not for people with oily skin and can clog pores. Here’s another vitamin C serum from InstaNatural which has over 4,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating.

Inexpensive Retinol serum that may reduce fine lines
The more I dig into Amazon skincare the more products I want to try! This is so affordable at $10.40. Women say that they can “see a softening of lines and just an overall glow on my skin” after using it, that their skin is “much smoother, firmer” and that their pores look smaller. Others warn that it’s not good for acne-prone skin and call it “nothing special.”

A lip “mask” to leave your lips very smooth
I bought this after some of you mentioned the recommendation on Go Fug Yourself. It smells decent, it leaves your lips very glossy and it moisturizes well. I don’t think the effects last beyond the initial hour or two that it’s on. I also have Mary Kay satin lip set with lip exfoliator and gloss. Their exfoliator is very good, but this Laniege lip mask is a better overall gloss. If you think of it like a gloss rather than a treatment it’s not as disappointing.

I have a question – do any of you use any of one of these at-home pulsed light hair removal devices and can you recommend it? They’re an investment and they have mixed reviews so I’m not sure. I will shave my face and report back on Twitter in this thread. I’m honestly scared but I’m ordering the Schick shavers today and will let you know.


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55 Responses to “What is dermaplaning and should you try it at home?”

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  1. Doodle says:

    I just started doing this and my face is soooo soft now! Sometimes I do it dry and sometimes I use this foaming cream I bought along with the razors – it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I think it probably depends on your skin type. I’ve noticed fewer breakouts which have been a problem during my cycle as I get older. I’ve started doing it on my upper arms to try to get rid of some scarring I have and it’s working when nothing else was.

    • fishface says:

      I have been shaving my face for years – dry and with shaving cream. Each to her own, but I get a better result shaving dry – the trick I’ve found is to use a mirror with at least 5X magnification to see all the bum fluff on the cheeks, and to go over the skin really, really slowly to avoid cutting yourself. It also helps if you stretch your skin slight with one hand, and shave with the other – fewer lumps and bumps to nick with the razor.

  2. Kimma1216 says:

    I spoke with my doctor and he said Dermaplaining on your own was a terrible idea for sanitary reason. He said puncturing your own skin with equipment that you don’t even know if you are cleaning properly (no matter how you try) is a terrible infection and germs waiting to happen and I agree. Not to mention people who have no idea what they are doing. I thought about doing it myself but when you take a step back and really think about it, it is not necessary and not hygienic.

    • Doodle says:

      It’s not puncturing your skin, it’s just shaving.

      • Gina says:

        You can cut yourself, it is a razor.
        I’ve had this done several times. I do like it because I feel like it removes dry skin and hair so products more easily absorbed into my skin and my make up lies smoother. I would never do it at home. I only have my aesthetician do it. No spots are missed.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        come to my house to watch me try this or, more accurately, create a bloodbath

    • Annika says:

      Was he referring to dermarolling?
      Dermaplaining is just a buzzword for shaving, exfoliating with a razor.
      It’s the same effect as shaving your legs.

      • Kimma1216 says:

        Sorry, I may have just seen the word and jumped to a conclusion without reading the whole thing. You are correct, derma rolling is what I was highly warned against 🙂 Thanks for keeping me honest.

  3. OriginalLala says:

    I dermaplane with the Tinkle and I swear by it. I also have a Tria laser hair removal device that I love. It’s reduced my facial hair by about 80% and what is left is pretty fine, though a few hairs seemed to have turned white with the Tria.

    • launicaangelina says:

      I suggested Tinkle to Celebitchy on Twitter and love them too. I use it dry and do not experience irritation.

  4. Lizzie says:

    warning about shaving your face – if you are acne prone or experience any form of folliculitis or (ingrown hairs) I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT. i tried it myself as an alternative to threading to save a buck, i have a lot of peach fuzz, and when it grew back in almost every follicle from my cheekbone down became a zit/ingrown. my face was a hot mess and i had to go to a dermatologist and they were like “don’t shave your face again” and my skin was destroyed for about 3 months while i broke out, the hair grew back and my acne cleared up. now i’m doing vitamin C and glycolic acid off the chain to diminish the red/dark spots left behind….and i had to go back to my threading lady with my tail between my legs. la roche posay effaclar system helped to clear up the acne though.

    • SarSte says:

      This also happened to me, about 4 years ago. Worst break out of my adult life. I just sneak my bf’s electric razor every now and then to deal with the peach fuzz – not as close of a shave and you gotta do it more often, but no irritation!

      • Here or there says:

        I have the JML Finishing Touch Flawless and have not looked back. It’s an electric razor for women. Peach fuzz gone with no irritation.

    • Avery says:

      @Lizzie Thank you so much for putting this! I had an someone recommend this but was hesitant. Once you have acne (in my case cystic) you have to be so careful. We can’t do everything others do. I learned this the hard way.

      @Here or there I have been wanting to try Finishing Touch but wasn’t sure how it was going to work on my face. I have peach fuzz too….and hate it.

    • Gina says:

      I have to disagree, if you go to an aesthetician and they do it for you, it’s great.
      I am acne prone I have been my whole life and I have this done regularly because I have it done by a professional. That’s the key, you need to see someone who knows what they’re doing .

      • Lizzie says:

        well if you suffer from folliculitis and get bad ingrown hairs neither myself nor my dermatologist recommend it b/c my face fell off and is a giant scar several months later but you do you girl!

    • Liz version 700 says:

      I wonder if it is the name? I also have acne and occasional ingrown hairs and I am terrified of trying any facial products for shaving. Thanks for the warning

  5. LadyMTL says:

    I’ve never dermaplaned (I’m not thrilled about razors on my face, I’m a bit of a klutz, and I also have some adult acne) but I can attest to how wonderul the La Neige lip mask is. I have crazy-dry lips in the winter and that product is amazing – slather some on before bed and your lips will be thanking you in the AM.

    As for the toners, I’ve just started a bottle of Thayer’s. I currently have an enormous cystic pimple on the right side of my face, and I’m hoping it’ll help shrink it quickly. Ah, the joys of acne in my 40’s.

    • Erinn says:

      I’ve only heard good things about the Laneige lip sleeping mask – I was surprised Celebitchy didn’t find it lasted. I have a trial of their water sleeping mask and I find it works very well and lasts. I have some of their glosses coming in anytime now, and I’m excited.

      • LadyMTL says:

        I got a mini size of La Neige in a kit last year, and honestly loved it. It’s to wear when we sleep, so I’m not sure why it would have to last long…we’re sleeping, who even notices as long as our lips are nice when we get up? But hey, to each their own.
        I also really like Bite Beauty’s Agave lip mask, though it’s quite a bit stickier / thicker than the La Neige one.

      • Erinn says:

        Does it have the same kind of waxy ‘taste’ as their lipsticks? I have a love hate with their products haha. I love that they’re Canadian and they genuinely are beautiful. But I always feel distracted by that wax smell/taste.

        And that was my impression, too. That you put it on right before bed, and since you’re sleeping it has a better chance of sinking in. I’ve been using a Quo watermelon lip balm thing before bed that had a scrub on the other side… which is fine, but it’s not very thick or anything.

    • Kitten says:

      I use it too. It’s really great and very affordable.

  6. Sam says:

    I had it done professionally and she put baby powder on my face to help dry it out, she said it works better to remove dead skin if it’s completely dry. I’ve been “dermaplaining” my upper lip and chin area forever since waxing kept peeling my top layer of skin off. I never get breakouts in those areas now. I’ve done my entire face at home twice with great results. I use a drug store razor.

    I use sea breeze for sensitive skin after, vitamin c and lots of moisturizer.

  7. Christin says:

    The little pastel razors have been sold at beauty supply stores for years. Their small size make them good for eyebrow maintenance.

    They were very inexpensive, but then again any and all razors seem to have jumped in price.

  8. Allijo99 says:

    You got this!! I bought them because I always had longer fuzz between my eyebrows that was too much to pluck and my skin is too sensitive for wax. And at 37 years old I’m starting to get rando long hairs occasionally sprouting out of my forehead and chin. I started small — just the peach fuzz between my eyebrows. But then I got curious and did my upper lip. Then my cheeks, and finally around my eyebrows. You don’t have to do your whole face from the get go if you are unsure! But I will bet ten Markles you’ll be doing your whole face within two weeks.

  9. galant says:

    I can’t believe there are still women unintelligent enough to believe shaving causes hair to grow back thicker/darker. It’s pretty basic science, FFS. Does cutting the ends of the hair on your head alter the root in some way? No, no of course not. So it’s like that.

    • Annika says:

      I know, I can’t believe people still think that!!
      I get those comments all of the time when I tell people I shave my face.

  10. Bunny says:

    I shave my face with a drugstore razor and shave cream. I don’t have any problem areas of hair, just peach fuzz on my cheeks that I find distracting.

    I read and read about it, and finally took the plunge. I was afraid that it would grow in looking heavy, but it hasn’t. I’ve been shaving this way for the last year or so.

    The funny thing is that people notice, but they’re not sure what they’re noticing – “You look great today, did you do anything differently?”, that kind of thing. It makes. My makeup go on super-smooth and evenly.

    I still pluck my eyebrows. I know that it’s possible to shave that area, too, but I’m used to plucking, and find that is how I get my best shape.

    I’m ordering the glycolic acid serum you recommend. Looking forward to trying it!

    • me says:

      I use to wax weekly and pluck my mustache. The waxing really damaged and darkened my upper lip skin.

      I just shave my upper lip with a regular fresh razor whenever I need to and it’s way better.

  11. tempest prognosticator says:

    I’ve been so curious about the shaving thing. Dare I try it?

  12. Gemma13 says:

    Dermaplaning is just shaving with a small razor, right? It’s being touted as some newish miracle thing, but it’s the same thing? Am I missing something? Genuinely asking, not trying to be a d*ck about it.

    I have a ton of peach fuzz, dark sideburns, dark and long arm hair, and a bit of a mustache. When I was in middle school I started shaving my face, upper lip, and arms when someone pointed out I was hairy (why are kids so mean?), but I hated the way my face felt after just a few hours. I still shave (dermaplane?) my upper lip as that doesn’t bother me and bleach the rest once a month. I can see a “glow” after bleaching, but I think it’s due to the lighter hair. My arms are forever hairy. I dgaf anymore.

    Edit: After reading all your comments maybe I should give it another go (face not arms). Maybe I was shaving incorrectly?

    • Christin says:

      Maybe it was the type razor you used?

      I’ve used a regular size, women’s razor (one of the nicer disposable ones with aloe strips above the blades) on my face twice a week for several years now, right after I lather up with a gentle liquid cleanser. I’ve never had any stinging at all. I use a light hand and avoid the eye area. It really does help makeup go on smoother.

  13. Isabelle says:

    The old school trick, just shave your whole face with a disposable razor. My grandma would do it to remove flakes off of her skin and make it “smooth” . We are a body hairless bunch so it always confused me as to why she did it when I was a kid.

  14. Cee says:

    I just started doing this to my mustache (is that even the name for it?) and side burns. I’m very very very pale and my facial hair is not light enough. Also, I’m super obsessed with my skin and I hate facial hair. So I gave this a try. I have something similar to the little razors first in this list and they work FINE with dry skin. It removes everything pretty well. However, I also own something similar to Shiseido’s and I cut myself more than once. They’re SUPER SHARP so you definitely need to apply oil and go lightly.

    I shave the sides of my face every 3 months so I can attest hair doesn’t grow back sharp, darker or fuller.

  15. hnmmom says:

    I don’t think I would ever feel comfortable shaving my face. I used to use the microwavable wax at home but now I switched to the Nair Ready Strips. You just pull the strips apart, the wax is on them and use on your face. So easy and so quick. Just as effective at hair removal as the hot wax I used before.

    Also, thank you for these skin care posts. It has inspired me to actually start a skin care routine (tomorrow I turn 49, figured I might be a little late getting started lol). Nothing fancy, just drug store level products (mostly Neutorgena HydroBoost and Olay Regenerist lines), but I’ve added in an eye cream, a serum, better daily moisturizer and a night cream. I am always religious about sunscreen but was using just Cerave face wash and lotion. So, hopefully when I turn 50 in 366 days, my face will still look 49! 😉

    • Celebitchy says:

      Oh I’m glad you found stuff that works for you! I’m 45, I learned so much about skincare and I think it has made a difference in my skin.

  16. IMUCU says:

    Only shave (or wax) my upper lip. I’m too afraid to do it to my whole face. I have used Thayer’s toner & Instanatural products for a few years now. Both good for sensitive skin.

    • Anna S says:

      I came to say the same thing about Thayer’s toner and Instanatural products! Both are awesome and I have sensitive, acne prone skin in my early 40s.

  17. Kitten says:

    Wait–is this only for if you have facial hair or is this for exfoliating or both? I don’t really have facial hair but I would be interested in trying for exfoliating purposes…

    I literally just bought The Ordinary GA toner last week but I haven’t been able to use it because I just got the vampire facial on Saturday and I can’t use anything abrasive/exfoliating for two weeks. I’m excited to try it though.

    PS @ C/B I just started watching “You” because of your recent post about it and now I’m addicted 🙂 Thanks for the rec!

    • Renee says:

      Ok I have to know….what is a vampire facial?

      • Kitten says:

        Vampire Facial is PRP = Platelet Rich Plasma. They draw a vial of blood from your arm, spin it through a centrifuge and then reinject it into your (numb) face. Then they smear the plasma on your face and use a micro-needling pen to penetrate the skin’s surface so the topically applied plasma can absorb into your skin properly.
        The idea is that you’re using your own blood’s concentrated plasma to promote healing and repair by stimulating new collagen and elastin.

        In the few days following treatment I could tell a difference in my skin immediately (skin looks thicker/fuller, pores smaller) but I’ve heard that can be from the residual swelling. I’m waiting till the one month mark when the effects are at their peak before I recommend it to anyone (it is VERY expensive compared to a standard facial) but so far, so good.

    • alsf says:

      exfoliation. it’s cheap, easy, and awesome once you get the hang of it. Just be gentle and be careful around your eyebrows — use a mirror. It helped lessen the 11s I was getting. I do 1-2 a week, depending on how lazy I am feeling.

      side benefit is removing peach fuzz.

  18. Becks says:

    I use the tinkle razors and they are great. I also use the Ordinary GA toner and it makes my skin glow. I”m such a fan of Ordinary products, they are effective and you can’t beat the price point!

  19. KidV says:

    I’ve been shaving my face for years. I have a lot of blonde peach fuzz that is invisible as long as I stay indoors. The second I get in the sun I swear it glows. I use my face cleanser and a disposable razor. I think I’ll try one of the dermaplane razors and dry skin. See if it’s any different/better.

  20. C-Shell says:

    I’ve had dermaplaning done by an aesthetician as a preamble to chemical peels. Professionals use a scalpel. It’s really really relaxing, and your skin feels like a baby’s butt after. The aesthetician would do a quick swipe of acetone first to dry out my skin. A few months ago, I started taking a break from the professional service and bought one of those little circular Flawless shavers. It works pretty well on my peach fuzz and the occasional, random coarser hairs that pop out along my jawline, but it does NOT exfoliate, which I miss. After reading this article, I might try-this-at-home with one of the recommended razors. Thanks, CB!

  21. Kaye says:

    As an older person, I started seeing a lot of peach fuzz around menopause. I’m blonde, so it wasn’t super visible but it was there. I started out with depilatory cream – mixed results. I tried waxing it myself – poor results. Then I bought some disposable razors and some moisturizing shave cream, and I’ve never looked back. I shave twice a week with excellent results. I’ve never cut myself, but I don’t have acne or moles on my face.

  22. me says:

    does this stimulate skin cell turnover? I’ve also heard about dermaneedling to stimulate collagen and cell turn over.

    Is this ok for people with dry skin?

    i love skincare.

  23. Jaded says:

    I use a Lightstim LED wand and It is amazing. After a couple of weeks my skin colour is more even, little blood capillaries around my nose are gone and I swear my eyes aren’t as droopy (I’m 66 and could pass for 46).

    • KidV says:

      Oooohhh. I have rosacea and tend to get broken capillaries. Which one do you have? I see one for wrinkles and one for acne.

    • KidV says:

      Oh Jeez. I just realized I have the Quazar LED thing. You know you have too many skincare gadgets when you forget you have something. I think I used it for a week then got too busy and forgot about it. I’ll be digging it out tonight.

  24. Anne H says:

    I’ve done at-home dermaplaning aka, shaving my peach fuzz that has suddenly gotten very thick as I approach 40! I started doing it lathered up with soap and then learned you’re supposed to do it dry for the exfoliation so have done it that was since. I order these, same brand as one you have above but they fold and I’ve found them easier to maneuver than the straight ones: https://amzn.to/2FXgDJf
    I suffer from adult acne and find that on occasion I will have a little irritation or an additional blemish the next day, but generally I think it makes my skin smooth and really does a great job of removing the peach fuzz and blond mustache (seriously, when did that happen??), that I continue to do it. But I typically only use the razor ones or twice. They’re meant to be used once I think. If I reuse, I’ll sanitize the blade before using again with alcohol or witch hazel. I’ve also read that if you have any at home scrubs/peels its a good time to do right after, to really get that top layer off. I’ve used ExfoliKate and another home “peel” sample I got from sephora. I liked it! Although could cause additional irritation if you’re really sensitive. Also, I do it at night, so any redness (I’m super fair, so everything makes me red/pink) is long gone by morning and my skin feels really smooth and my makeup goes on really well! You should try it! Good luck!

  25. alsf says:

    I’ve dermaplaned for years off and on, and doing it dry is best. It makes it easier to know how hard to push down (not very) and control so you don’t cut yourself.

    It’s a great surface exfoliant and I started using it because it’s easier on my sensitive skin than scrubs, as long as you’re careful but how hard you do (and whether you do over an area repeatedly.) It’s fabulous and much lighter than what the ladies do when you get a body exfoliation at a Korean spa (which is magic.)

    You can use pretty much any razor, but singled bladed ones are better. For instance, those pink super cheap disposal ones for your legs work well, but the fact 3 bladed razors are much harder to use – more likely to cut yourself.

    The ones designed for your face are good, I’ve recently tried the sephora one, and liked it fine.

  26. tuille says:

    At 60 I got a bit more facial hair, mostly blond, but occasionally a long or dark one on my chin or upper lip. I plucked. Then I tried a Tinkle razor on my forehead & it was so smooth afterward – love it. I occasionally shave my whole face & it removes dead skin & smoothes it. I cleanse then use a serious toner, let my face thoroughly dry for about 15 minutes, then shave dry. I use a very mild freshener afterward, usually MUAC Sea Mineral or Cucumber toner. I tried a wet creamy shave once but it just gunked up the razor & obscured the target, I can see what I’m doing better when I do it dry.
    I’ve never gotten cut or had anything stubbly happen.
    Marilyn Monroe & Liz Taylor were both regular face shavers.

  27. Anh says:

    I have tried the light permanent hair removal thing. The closest thing that I bought is this: https://amzn.to/2B2hOnI The model that I bought cost more (AUD400-500) n I think is a higher-end model because it doesn’t require light replacements or sth.

    I WOULD NOT recommend this product because:

    * You have to contort yourself into all sorts of positions to really get to the hair (‘cos u have 2 shave VERY CLOSELY first). I got my partner 2 initially give it a go but he lacks th patience, attn 2 detail n keen eyesight (see? U need VERY BRIGHT light shining on th exact area 2 pick up every hair). After getting no results w his shabby shaving, Iv started ALL OVER AGAIN 2 do myself, completely surrendering my pubic area 2 a professional 4 a later time. A professional, I imagine, wud have th training, experience, best tools n lighting.

    * It’s EXTREMELY TIME-CONSUMING. Th light window thing is tiny n u have so much surface area 2 cover. I imagine a professional’s would b (much) bigger n therefore quicker.

    * It’s not even that effective. I should be a perfect candidate 4 this method: dark hair on light skin, but nope. I didn’t read this in th instructions in th beginning but it’s been exactly useless where my hair is fine.

    I say don’t waste your time or ur $. Cough up n go 2 a professional, stick 2 ur current hair-removal methods or join th anti-hair removal-if-it’s-not-ur-choice thing bandwagon.

  28. Shiseido blades are one of the few eyebrow razors that are returnable on Amazon. Silly as it sounds, there is a lot of deception and fraud in the market for eyebrow razors (because shady sellers are taking advantage of the dermaplaning trend. A lot of these sellers don’t stand by their products and hide behind a “This item is not returnable” badge.