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Dermaplaning: What you need to know

Ever wondered how models can be photographed close-up at every angle without revealing even a hint of facial fuzz? It’s all thanks to dermaplaning. JESS LACEY has the lowdown


What is dermaplaning?

Already an established exfoliation technique used in Asia, dermaplaning is now one of the most requested treatments in New York skin clinics, too. Essentially, the treatment involves using a sterile, surgical-grade scalpel to carefully shave, or scrape, the top-most layer of skin and fine hairs from the face. The concept can sound terrifying, but for many it’s the secret to clear, even, smooth and hair-free skin.

Suen Lee, medical esthetician at Tribeca MedSpa, says the treatment – which doesn’t cause irritation so there’s no downtime afterwards – transforms her clients’ skin. “We use a 10-gauge scalpel held at a 45-degree angle to manually exfoliate the outer layers of dead skin cells and vellus hair [the peach fuzz that’s too fine to be caught by lasers]. It’s an excellent rejuvenation treatment for the skin, and really delivers a youthful, bright complexion.”

Is dermaplaning right for you?

It can be done on any skin type, say experts, except those with acne. And there’s zero truth to the idea that shaving makes hair grow back darker and coarser. You could do it at home (Shiseido’s pink facial shaving wands are hugely popular all over Asia), but you’d need a photographic-studio level of lighting to pick up the fine hairs, as well as a steady nerve – and hand – so this is one procedure best left to the experts.

What should you do post-treatment?

Eliminating dead skin cells, pollution buildup and downy hair doesn’t simply create a better base for makeup, it also allows skincare products to sink in more effectively. For the week or so after treatment, your skin will be particularly receptive to anything that you apply, so take advantage and slather on hydrating serums followed by moisturizer. As with any resurfacing treatment, skin will be more at risk from UV, so ensure it’s protected with a good SPF. If you want a deeper exfoliation, follow with a light, acid-based at-home peel. However, this can irritate, so only attempt one after you’ve had a couple of dermaplaning treatments and you understand how your skin reacts.


  • Lixirskin
    Universal Emulsion, 100ml
  • Lancer
    Omega Hydrating Oil with Ferment Complex, 30ml
  • Dr. Barbara Sturm
    Hyaluronic Serum, 30ml
  • La Mer
    The Moisturizing Soft Cream, 60ml

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.