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Mark it under the latest skincare fad (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/DC Refined)

What is dermaplaning, and is it something I should attempt at home?

Mark it under the latest skincare fad. YouTube is filled with videos of would-be dermatologists using razors, scalpels and other tools to remove the “peach fuzz” hair (yes, most of us have it, even if you swear you do not) and upper level of skin from their faces. Proponents say it makes skin look brighter and fresher, and helps makeup adhere and look better. But before you order the tools from Amazon and start brushing up on the how-tos, we asked Dr. Arleen K. Lamba, medical director for Blush Med Skincare in Bethesda, whether or not this is something you should even try to do at home.

What exactly is dermaplaning, and what does it do?

Dermaplaning, which is technically known as epidermal leveling, is a way to physically exfoliate the skin. The goal of this type of exfoliation is to resurface sun-damaged and dull skin. It falls in the realm of a gentle medical skin treatment that is performed by using a surgical blade that gently scrapes the outermost layers of the epidermis. The goal of dermaplaning treatments is to get rid of dead skin cells and impurities.

Is dermaplaning something you can do at home?

These treatments are best done under a licensed trained professional. Though these treatment options are offered at home, it does involve knowledge of the skin and keeping the area clean to avoid infection. For these reasons, I recommend seeing a professional. You also want to be sure you are a good candidate for dermaplaning.

How often should you undergo dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning can be scheduled every four to six weeks. Everyone is different and as the treatments advance you may increase the time between your scheduled treatments.

Okay, so the verdict is out from a skincare expert: dermaplaning is something that should be done by a professional in their office. However, even using a gentler tool to remove just that pesky peach fuzz can do wonders for making your face look better. If you want to go rogue and attempt it on your own, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Start with clean, dry skin, free from makeup, oil and dirt. Use your regular cleanser and toner, but do not apply moisturizer, serum or essences until after the dermaplaning is complete.
  2. Use an eyebrow razor, rather than a surgical scalpel or other sharper and more potentially dangerous tool. You may not be able to remove as much of the top layer of skin as you may want to, but you will remove the hair, and at least you’ll be less apt to cut yourself. You can buy packs of Tinkle razors (odd name but they do a great job) on Amazon, and you can use each one several times.
  3. Hold your skin taut, and rub the razor on your skin in short, downward strokes. Clean the razor after every few strokes by rubbing the hair and skin onto a tissue. Be especially careful on the forehead, nose and chin area, which are easier to cut than your cheeks.
  4. After you have completed your entire face, apply your usual serum and moisturizer.
  5. Repeat the dermaplaning process every week or two, or when you notice the peach fuzz returning.