Dermaplaning, which we could also just call, “shaving your face,” because this treatment involves gently pulling a blade along your skin. But! Dermaplaning, unlike traditional shaving, uses a smaller blade to slough off dead skin cells in addition to removing wispy facial hair, so skin is more even in tone and texture. It’s superficial (there will not be blood) and strangely reminiscent of a cat lick (tickly, sandpapery). It makes makeup go on smoother, too. Makeup artist Vincent Oquendo uses it to get celebrities like Lily Collins and Hailee Steinfeld ready for high-definition cameras. And unless you have pustular acne, eczema, rosacea, or cold sores, you can safely DIY. Here’s how.
1. Prep skin.
Even though you’re not piercing the skin, it’s important to make sure your face is clean so you don’t introduce germs to freshly exfoliated skin, says Arash Akhavan, a New York City dermatologist. Akhavan recommends sudsing up with a gentle cleanser and following with a toner (Oquendo uses one with naturally antibacterial witch hazel) before you begin.
2. Wield the blade.
Hold the skin taut with a finger from one hand. With the other, hold the blade at a 45-degree angle to your skin. Make short, feathery strokes from your hairline toward the center of your face, avoiding (sorry, sometimes the obvious must be stated) your brows, eyes, nose, and mouth.
3. Finish your routine.
Apply skin-care products as usual, and toss the blade — reuse it and you’ll risk infection, says New York City dermatologist Heidi Waldorf. (Most dermaplaning kits, like the Dermaflash 2.0 and the Tweezerman Bright Complexion Facial Dermaplaner, come with at least three extra blades.)
For more on dermaplaning:
Now, find out how to make your own lip exfoliant: