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How to safely dermaplane at home, according to experts

Yes, it can lead to smoother skin — but should you really try it on your own?
 Dermaplaning involves running a surgical blade over your face to remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells, which experts say will leave you a softer, smoother complexion.
Dermaplaning involves running a surgical blade over your face to remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells, which experts say will leave you a softer, smoother complexion.Vivian Le / NBC

There’s no shame in having a bit of peach fuzz on your face — it’s totally normal. There’s also no shame in wanting to get rid of it. After all, it’s your face, you should do what you want with it. Avoid picking up your favorite razor if you want to remove that fuzz. Instead, dermaplaning may be for you. 

Often performed by a dermatologist or esthetician, dermaplaning involves essentially using a sharp blade to shave the hair off your face. Beyond removing hair, this procedure has some other skin benefits, too. To learn more about dermaplaning, we spoke with board-certified dermatologists and asked them what it is and whether or not it’s safe to try at home. We also rounded up some highly rated dermaplaning tools if you decide to try them on your own. 

SKIP AHEAD What is dermaplaning? | Who is dermaplaning best for? | Is it safe to dermaplane at home? | How to try dermaplaning at home | 5 highly rated dermaplaning tools

What is dermaplaning? 

“Dermaplaning is a cosmetic procedure that involves using a surgical blade to gently scrape off the top layer of dead skin cells and vellus hair (peach fuzz) from the face,” says Dr. Alexis Young, a board-certified dermatologist at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center. It also has benefits beyond removing that fuzz. “It is often used to improve the skin’s texture and appearance and to promote a smoother, more even complexion,” explains Young. “Dermaplaning can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” And the perks don’t stop there. Because you’re removing dead skin cells, skin care products (like moisturizers and serums) can absorb better and your makeup will lay on your face more smoothly. 

Dermaplaning is a procedure best done by a dermatologist or aesthetician. However, there are a number of at-home tools with blades that have protective guards to make them safe for the average person to use. 

Is there anyone who should not try dermaplaning? 

Dermaplaning is a good option for most people. However, there are some who should proceed with caution. “Dermaplaning is not a great choice for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. You need a strong skin barrier to tolerate the treatment, so if you have dry skin or flaking red skin it’s best to first heal the skin before dermaplaning,” says Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of AziMD Skincare

Dermaplaning exfoliates the skin, so Shirazi notes that it can also cause certain conditions to flare up — like acne, psoriasis, eczema and hives. If you deal with these things, you should talk to your dermatologist before trying dermaplaning. 

Is it safe to dermaplane at home? 

Leave true dermaplaning — the kind with a surgical blade — to the experts, says Young. This is because using an open, unguarded blade requires a certain level of expertise. If you are going to do dermaplaning at home, it’s important to choose a high-quality tool and to follow the instructions, adds Young. Look for tools with guards rather than a straight exposed blade. It’s also smart to use a new blade each time you dermaplane. This helps to ensure you’re using a clean tool and that the blade isn’t dull. 

If you are too nervous to try dermaplaning on your own, the experts we spoke with said there are some alternatives that can give you similar results. “One option is to use a gentle exfoliating scrub or peel to remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover,” says Young. “Additionally, you can also try using a chemical exfoliant, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid, to help remove dead skin cells and improve the texture of your skin.” These alternatives can help smooth your skin, but Young says it is important to note that these at-home alternatives may not provide the same level of exfoliation as dermaplaning. 

How to try dermaplaning at home 

Want to give dermaplaning a go from the comfort of your own home? Follow the below tips to ensure you do it safely and effectively. 

  • Start with clean skin: Wash your face with your favorite cleanser and dry it completely. Shirazi also recommends cleaning your hands, the tool you’ll use (if it’s not new) and the area where you’ll be doing it. 
  • Work in sections: When moving the dermaplaning tool over your face, you’ll want to start in sections. Pull the skin taut in the area you plan to run the tool over. This will help the razor glide more easily. 
  • Use small strokes: Move the blade over the taut skin in short, downward strokes. Hold the blade at a slight angle for the smoothest shave.  
  • Rinse off: Once you’ve used the dermaplane tool over your entire face (skipping any irritated areas or bumps to avoid further irritation), wash your face again using a gentle cleanser to remove any remaining debris.  

Highly rated dermaplaning tools that are safe for at-home use

As dermaplaning has become more popular in recent years, at-home devices have come a long way regarding safety and effectiveness, says Shirazi. Below, we’ve rounded up highly rated dermaplaning tools. We chose tools that have protective guards, as our experts recommended. We included a variety of price points to fit all budgets and they all have at least a 4.0-star average rating from over 1,000 reviews. 

Kitsch Dermaplaning Tool 

4.3-star average rating from over 17,350 reviews on Amazon

With this set, you get 12 dermaplaning tools for under $10, allowing you to treat these as single-use tools — something both of our experts recommend. The tools have a plastic handle, removable safety cap and the razor has guards to help prevent cuts. You can also use this tool to groom eyebrows, according to Kitsch.

StackedSkincare Dermaplaning Face Exfoliating Tool

4.4-star average rating from over 2,045 reviews on Amazon

One of the more expensive options on our list, this exfoliating tool has a weighted handle to help give you a better grip and more control, according to the brand. It comes with a replaceable stainless steel surgical blade cover in a protective plastic cover for secure storage and travel. A set of three replacement blades can be purchased for $25. You can also purchase shorter precision blades, which StackedSkincare says are good for the nose, around the lips and near your eyebrows. 

Jasclair Dermaplaning Tool 

4.3-star average rating from over 20,220 reviews on Amazon

This pack comes with nine dermaplaning tools, each with a plastic handle and a stainless steel razor with microgrooves for both precision and safety, according to the brand. When not in use, the blade folds inward for safe handling. 

Michael Todd Sonicsmooth Dermaplaning Tool 

4.4-star average rating from over 1,510 reviews on Ulta Beauty

The most expensive option on our list, this rechargeable device gently vibrates as you glide it across your skin for better hair removal and exfoliation, according to Michael Todd. It has three speeds and the brand notes that the battery lasts for three hours before needing to be recharged. It also comes with eight blades, which should last you for two months, according to the brand. 

Schick Hydro Silk Touch-Up Dermaplaning Tool 

4.6-star average rating from over 188,320 reviews on Amazon

Schick is known for their razors, so it only makes sense that they’d have a dermaplaning tool, too. For under $7, you get three disposable dermaplaning tools. Each one has a plastic handle that encases a stainless steel blade. They all also have a plastic safety cap, which can be turned around and placed over the blade to create a precision blade for areas like your nose and eyebrows. 

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts with specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Why trust NBC Select?

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two board-certified dermatologists.

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