What is Dermaplaning?

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How is Dermaplaning performed? 
It is safely performed by using a #10 blade (yes, a sterile surgical blade).  The blade is held against the skin at a 45 degree angle and stroked along the skin, just like shaving.  However, the practitioner is doing the stroking while holding the area of skin taut. 

This treatment, when professionally trained/performed, is extremely safe.  There is no more risk to the skin than when a man shaves his face.  As long as the practitioner has adequate training, the treatment should be very easy and quick.

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Dermaplaning is performed only on the facial areas only.
With exceptions to the nostrils, eyelids, neck and chest areas.


This procedure is similar to microdermabrasions or chemical peels; during said procedure there is typically 2-3 weeks worth of dead skin cells removed and you can safely have this procedure repeated every 3-4 weeks, it is recommended to wait this long between services to allow the skin to complete its normal skin cycle of approximately 30 days.

Dermaplaning can also be performed in conjunction with a chemical peel.  It is recommended using a Non-Traumatic Chirally-Correct peels (each ingredient contains only those molecules that will produce positive side effects to the skin).  They are made without harsh chemicals that might induce a burn effect on the skin.  Being loaded with antioxidants and nutrients as well as chirally-correct acids, such as L-lactic, L-malic and L-tartaric.

Still with the above precautions you still may still see some superficial peeling after a chemical peel and dermaplaning service. If you are seeing skin peeling after a regular dermaplaning procedure without the act of a chemical peel, the procedure may be too soon for your skins normal cycle to be complete.  Take note when you are having it done and try to lesson the procedures so you are lessening the skin peeling process that could occur.  This will not help with the health of your skin if you are not allowing your skins normal cycle to be completed.

The idea is to not over-exfoliate the skin.  We are just assisting with your skin’s natural exfoliation process.

Skin types/conditions that can be benefited or treated by this procedure:
Nearly all skin types can truly benefit from dermaplaning, however, it is not recommended that this treatment be used for those suffering from severe acne and an over production of the sebaceous gland (microscopic glands in the skin that secrete an oily/waxy matter, called sebum).  The oils from the sebaceous glad need to travel up and connect with the vellus hair (short, fine, light-colored, and barely noticeable hair that develops on most of a person’s body from his/her childhood. Typically referred to as “Peach Fuzz”).  If the hair is removed, then the oils tend to stay below where they are prone to mix with bacterial colonies, ultimately stimulating more acne.

This procedure is often a great alternative to someone that cannot have a chemical peel or microdermabrasion procedure due to contraindications that will prevent them from having said services.  Someone pregnant for example, would benefit from this process if they were concerned with the skin texture or were routinely having peels or dermabrasion services.

The only Contraindications to dermaplaning include an allergy to nickel, numerous raised lesions on the skin and inflamed acne.

Procedures for having Dermaplaning:

  • You should be explained the procedure and informed that although unlikely, there is a chance that you could obtain a superficial scrape or nick to the skin.
  • You should sign a consent form that states possibilities of complications.
  • Your skin should be cleaned thoroughly, using a cleanser with mild keratolytic properties, (such as beta or apha hydroxy acids) this will help loosen dead skin and allow for a deeper exfoliation with the scalpel.
  • The scalpel being used should have a #10 blade in the handle.  Blade may need changed during the process due to dulling that will occur.
  • Your skin should be completely dry.  If the skin has any moisture on it at all, there is an increased chance of nicking the skin, and the treatment will not be as effective.
  • Because the scalpel is being used on your skin, it is very important that you, the client remain still during the procedure.
  • The blade will be scraped across your skin at an approx. 45 degree angle.  The abrading of the surface with precise movements in the opposite direction of the hair growth, there is a pattern that should develop, such as starting at one side of the face and finishing at the other, to ensure that all of the areas are covered properly.
  • After the entire face has been treated, a hydrating moisturizer and sunscreen should be applied to the skin to finish the procedure.
  • If another peeling process will be used (such as a chemical peel), it is important that extra precautions are taken.  The peel will penetrate more deeply after the removal of the superficial layers of skin.

There is no downtime typically associated with this procedure.  You should be educated about the importance of using sunscreen (EVEN during the winter months) to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation (darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin).


Below video is a little bit silly, the commentator is a regular person, he is going for his first dermaplaning and has a very basic detailed process showed before and during and the after effects.  I chose this one because he did make me laugh, some of the videos… they get a wee bit too serious! (hope you enjoy!)


The below video is a bit more serious, it has a good amount of details without a LOT of medical jargon.  I wanted to find videos that are “client” perspective and client friendly… I hope these gave you some great detail!


Special thanks to two web sites that assisted me with details on my above blog:
Skin Inc.
Dermaplaning for Skin Rejuvenation
by Edie Pastis
Pure Skin Solutions

Thank you for being patient with me and reading my blog.
your patronage and use is always my greatest joy with regards to this blog… thanks for stopping by and reading!


Chemical PEELS… and all things pertaining to peels


Civilizations ranging from Ancient Egypt to Greece and Rome had techniques for facial peeling. They commonly used a solution of alabaster, milk, and honey to achieve healthier looking facial skin, which makes the facial peel one of the oldest cosmetic procedures known to man.

During the era of Cleopatra, she was known for her beauty regime, and part of this regimen was taking a daily “milk” bath, but, did you also know the milk was from a donkey? They would use a mixture of donkey’s milk and honey, legend has it that no less than 700 donkey’s were needed to provide the quantity of milk necessary for her daily bath!

Poppaea Sabina (30 – 65 BC), second wife of Roman Emperor Nero, who is referred to in Pliny’s description of the asses’ milk virtues for the skin:

“It is generally believed that asses’ milk effaces wrinkles in the face, renders the skin more delicate, and preserves its whiteness and it is a well-known fact, that some women are in the habit of washing their face with it seven times daily, strictly observing that number.”

Poppaea, the wife of the Emperor Nero, was the first to practice this; indeed, she had sitting-baths, prepared solely with asses’ milk, for which the purpose large troops of donkeys would be brought along with her on during her journeys.  Pauline Bonaparte (1780–1825), Napoleon’s sister, is also reported to have used asses’ milk for her skin’s health care.


chemical peel is a body treatment technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin to slough off and eventually peel off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Thus the term chemical peel is derived.

Some types of chemical peels can be purchased and administered without a medical license, however people are advised to seek professional help from a dermatologist,esthetician, plastic surgeon, or otolaryngologist (A physician specialized in diagnosing and treating diseases of the head and neck, especially those involving the ears, nose, and throat (ENT). Also called an ENT, ENT doctor, or ENT physician) on a specific type of chemical peel before a procedure is performed.



  • Alpha hydroxy acid peels

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk and tomato juice. This is the mildest of the peel formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Alpha hydroxy acids can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin’s texture.

There are five usual fruit acids: citric acidglycolic acidlactic acidmalic acid and tartaric acid. Many other alpha hydroxy acids exist and are used.

  • Citric acid: These peels are simple and effective, although not incredibly invasive or capable of significant improvement with one treatment.
  • Glycolic acid: This acid creates a mild exfoliating action. Glycolic acid peels work by loosening up and exfoliating the superficial top layer. This peel also stimulates collagen growth.  High strength peels are good in terms of efficacy but they irritate more. Some glycolic peels claim the use of strontium nitrate in order to try to reduce skin irritation. Nevertheless, strontium nitrate is a product which is strictly prohibited in cosmetic products since it has a high toxic potential
  • Lactic acid: This peel will remove dead skin cells, and promote healthier skin.
  • Malic acid: This peel is the same type of mildly invasive peel and can open up the pores, allow the pores to expel their sebum and reduce acne.
  • Tartaric acid: This is acid is capable of delivering the same benefits as the above peels.

AHA peels are not indicated for treating wrinkles.

AHA peels may cause stinging, skin redness, mild skin irritation, dryness, and take multiple treatments for desired results.

  • Beta hydroxy acid peels

It is becoming common for beta hydroxy acid (BHA) peels to be used instead of the stronger alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels due to BHA’s ability to get deeper into the pore than AHA. Studies show that BHA peels control sebum excretion, acne as well as remove dead skin cells to a certain extent better than AHA’s due to AHA’s only working on the surface of the skin.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid.

  • Jessner’s peel

Jessner’s peel solution, formerly known as the Coombe’s formula, was pioneered by Dr Max Jessner, a German-American dermatologist. Dr Jessner combined 14% salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol in an ethanol base. It is thought to break intracellular bridges between keratinocytes. 

It is very difficult to “overpeel” the skin due to the mild percentages associated with the acid combination.

  • Retinoic acid peel

Retinoic acid is derived from retinoids.

This type of facial peel is performed in the office of a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist in a medical spa setting. This is a deeper peel than the beta hydroxy acid peel and is used to remove scars as well as wrinkles and pigmentation problems.

It is usually performed in conjunction with a Jessner; which is performed right before, in order to open up the skin, so the retinoic acid can penetrate on a deeper level. The client leaves with the chemical peel solution on their face. The peeling process takes place on the third day. More dramatic changes to the skin require multiple peels over time.

  • Trichloroacetic acid peels

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is used as an intermediate to deep peeling agent in concentrations ranging from 20-50%. Depth of penetration is increased as concentration increases, with 50% TCA penetrating into the reticular dermis. Concentrations higher than 35% are not recommended because of the high risk of scarring.

Trichloroacetic acid peels:

  • are preferred for darker-skinned patients over Phenol
  • smooth out fine surface wrinkles
  • remove superficial blemishes
  • correct skin pigment problems

Trichloroacetic acid peels may:

  • require pre-treatment with Retin-A or AHA creams
  • require repeat treatment to maintain results
  • require the use of sunblock for several months (this is a must)
  • take several days to heal depending on the peel depth
  • Phenol Peels

Phenol is the strongest of the chemical solutions and produces a deep skin peel. Some publications claim that phenol peel affect could be due to the action of croton oil and that phenol would not be effective without this oil. In reality, many phenol peel solutions exist that do not contain croton oil. This last is only a penetration enhancer, acting at the epidermal very superficial layers. Croton oil is not the only penetration enhancer that can be used. Effects of a phenol chemical peel are long lasting, and in some cases are still readily apparent up to 20 years following the procedure.  Improvements in the patient’s skin can be quite dramatic. A single treatment usually achieves the desired result.

Phenol peels are used to:

  • correct blotches caused by sun exposure or aging
  • smooth out coarse deep wrinkles
  • remove precancerous growths

Phenol peels may:

  • pose a risk of arrythmias if applied without following strict rules
  • permanently remove facial freckles
  • many formulas cause permanent skin lightening by reducing the ability to produce pigment
  • require increased protection from the sun permanently

The side effects you may experience and how long your recovery will last depend on the type of facial peel you have done. Salon and commercial systems have very little side effects and the recovery time is no longer than a day or two.

Facial peeling performed by a plastic surgeon will cause redness, flaky skin, and general skin irritation which can last a month or more with Phenol peels. Recovery is usually a week or two with other peels, however, there are a few peels that can last longer.  You may also have to limit your activities, meaning being outside, sometimes even at all for days, your daily work-outs may be interrupted, even your diet.  It’s not a good idea to have this procedure if you have something coming up soon after having it done.  Always plan accordingly and always make your Esthetician or Medical Professional of your medical history and the medications you are taking. You must do this in order to make certain you have an effective and safe procedure.

Light chemical peels like AHA and glycolic acid peels are usually done in a Spa setting, medical Spa, or medical office. There is minimal discomfort so usually no anesthetic is given because the patient feels only a slight stinging when the solution is applied. No pain killer is needed.

Medium peels like TCA are also performed in the doctor’s office or in an ambulatory surgery center as an outpatient procedure and are a bit more painful. Frequently, the combination of a tranquilizer like Valium and a pain pill usually suffice. TCA peels often do not require anesthesia even if the solution itself has – at the contrary of phenol – no numbing effect on the skin. The patient usually feels a warm or burning sensation.

Phenol is the classic deep chemical peel. Old phenol peel solutions are very painful and most practitioners will perform it under either general anesthesia, administered by an MD-anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. More recent formulas easily allow a simple heavy sedation, usually intravenous. Recent phenol peel formulas can be applied locally (chemical blepharoplasty or cheiloplasty)without any kind of anaesthesia.



The deeper the peels the more complications that can arise. Chemical peels are risky and should always to be administered by a licensed professional or an M.D. specializing in skin care such as a dermatologist.

The possible complications include prolonged erythema, pigmentary changes, milia (white heads), skin atrophy and textural changes.

I recommend if you plan on doing ANY home PEEL, to first consult your local Esthetician, or medical professional to get advice on what you should start with initially.  Most of the time even if you go to an Esthetician and they are unaware of your skin type, they will start with a lower solution rate, and then build you up.

As a licensed Esthetician, I am allowed to service my clients without medical supervision, a 30% solution or lower.  Anything higher you would always want to be in a more medical surrounding with professionals that are specializing in Medical Skin Care Therapy.  There are a wide variety of solutions and depending on the skin, and what you are wanting out of the peels is dependent upon what will be placed on said skin.

I would definitely recommend to prevent any damage or infection to seek professional advice, or go to a professional for your first experience in getting a Peel.  Remember you are putting acid onto your skin, your face for that matter, this isn’t something you want  to do wrong.

If you are a budget and need to save money, seek out local Esthetic schools in your area, they may have “new” people administering these products, but they always have licensed, well educated professionals teaching and watching over them making certain that the products being applied is correct and done in a safe manner for their clients.  You will definitely save money by going this route and probably learn something as you will be in a teaching facility too!


You will be well informed as to what you can and cannot do during peeling. It will be your responsibility to follow this advice since you will be caring for your skin at home.

There are certain conditions that may require postponement of your peel.

These include:
• accutane within the past year
• inflamed acne lesions
• open cuts or scratches on your face
• any facial surgery within three months, including a facelift or eyelid surgery
• recent or upcoming intense sun exposure

In addition, if you are under severe physical or mental stress, it is not a good time for a peel.  It is important that you can devote all of your energies to your peel and are not distracted by other physical or mental needs.

It is extremely important that you do not pick, scratch, pull or rub your skin during your peel. If you do, you may damage the underlying new skin and cause scarring or changes in your pigmentation.

Please realize that these warnings are for your protection. If you are not sure if you should do something or don’t understand the directions, seek knowledge and call your professional before you do anything!
Am I A Good Candidate For A Facial Peel?

The facial peel is indeed an effective treatment for acne, acne scars, uneven pigmentation, and deep wrinkles. If you suffer from one of these skin conditions, a facial peel is definitely something to consider. If you feel your condition is too severe to be treated with commercial products, consult with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. They will help you decide which peel is best for you.

As with all things in life, you should have realistic expectations. Face peels can dramatically improve the appearance of your skin, but they are not a cure for chronic skin conditions and they do little for deep scarring.  The results you do experience will not last forever, so subsequent treatments will be necessary.