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Skin

Dermaplaning: tried and tested

It’s the most requested skin treatment in New York and the hottest pre-red-carpet treatment, but what does dermaplaning actually do? NEWBY HANDS trials the skin-shaving treatment

Beauty

What is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning: Think face-shaving but with a surgical-grade scalpel in the steady hand of a qualified practitioner, rather than doing it yourself in your own bathroom with a disposable razor. A chemical-free exfoliation, the blade is scraped over your skin surface to gently remove the dead surface cells and that little layer of peach-fuzz facial hair, leaving the 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.

What does dermaplaning feel like?

There is no oil or cream used during a dermaplaning treatment, so the blade does feel dry and scratchy, leaving my skin red and a little bit sore – to counter this, I used a richer, soothing cream for a couple of days afterwards. Although some women claim to have this treatment on the day of a big event, based on my personal experience, I wouldn’t recommend dermaplaning on the same day as a party. My skin is not sensitive, but it still took a couple of days to show the glowy benefits, rather than the post-scalpel redness. Also, I’m pleased I chose Dr David Jack in London’s Harley Street (whose clinic offers an Egyptian Facial dermaplaning treatment); not only has he dermaplaned for eight years, but, as a plastic surgeon, I trust the scalpel in his experienced and steady hand. “It’s basically a chemical-free exfoliation,” he tells me, as the blade deftly scrapes away layers of self-tan and dead skin from my dry forehead. “Unless you have very sensitive skin, I combine dermaplaning with a peel, as it’s easier to lift off the dead cells. Also, I can create a bespoke treatment, using lactic acid for dry skin, mandelic for pigmentation or azelaic for rosacea.”

The benefits of dermaplaning

1. It removes the dead surface cells and facial hair that can trap oils and dirt, leaving the skin ultra-smooth, fresh and glowing.

2. Not only does it help product penetrate and absorb deeper into the skin, but makeup goes on more smoothly afterwards.

3. Using vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and retinol post treatment will be more effective and fast-track their results.

4. Combined with a peel, dermaplaning can lift dry, dead skin, reduce the appearance of pigmentation and help diminish rosacea and acne scars.

5. Fine lines are softened and the skin texture is left more even.

6. Dermaplaning is suitable for all skin types.

Before and after dermaplaning

My skin looks more red than glowing and it feels like I have a light sunburn for at least 24 hours – which is why I definitely wouldn’t recommend having this done on the actual day of an event. I suggest investing in a velvety, comforting cream or an overnight mask to use after the treatment, which will act like a barrier. That said, my makeup does go on like a dream, as though I’ve used the best primer possible. And, with no peach-fuzz hair to matt down my skin, it visibly glows as though I’ve just had an indulgent facial – not a five-minute face scrape. “The real benefit of dermaplaning is that any active products you use will be better absorbed. Using vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and retinol after your treatment can be particularly effective,” says Dr Jack. (I’d recommend using something potent and active like my favorite Sarah Chapman Radiance Recharge System, which uses a 10-day program of skincare ampules.) After my dermaplaning treatment, it takes a couple of days for me to see the real benefits, but what stands out is an evenness of texture. Plus, I’m now hair-free and my skin has an incredible reflective glow to it. Ideally, dermaplaning is supposed to be repeated every six weeks (every skin-renewal cycle), but I think I might want it more often than that – because having one’s face ‘shaved’ is clearly the secret to lit-from-within skin.

Dermaplaning at home

I would definitely advise going to a qualified dermaplaning professional. Although there are plenty of at-home kits out there, it needs an experienced hand. “I see a lot of scratched, red skin on women who have tried doing it themselves,” says Dr Jack. “Also, the scalpel I use is laser-cut, unlike machine-cut razor blades, so it cuts through the downy vellus hair without irritating the follicles. Whereas a razor pulls on the hair root and causes those little bumps you get if you shave your face.”

Does the hair grow back thicker after dermaplaning?

“This is my most-asked question – and the answer is no,” says Dr Jack. “Only a change in your hormones can alter your hair growth.”

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