Dermaplaning vs. Shaving
Dermaplaning and shaving are two completely different services, with different tools to achieve different
goals! While they both involve the use of a blade moving across the skin, that is the only commonality they
A shaving blade is a FLEXIBLE blade designed to remove only hair from the surface of the skin. The
proper angle to use a shaving blade is 30-35 degrees, and the blade is flexible so that it ‘floats’ over the
surface of the highly lubricated skin. (Think about a man’s double-edged shaving blade: it is bendable so
that it flexes as it glides over the skin. Even the blades women use to shave their legs are flexible blades
that are housed in a plastic guard or sleeve.)
On the other hand, a dermaplaning blade is a RIGID blade designed to exfoliate several weeks of dead
surface cells from the face. The proper angle to use a dermaplaning blade is 45 degrees, and we stretch
the skin into more or less small flat sections to match the blade so that it can clear away the vellus hair with
the first 2-3 strokes. Then we begin to remove or “plane” away the dead skin cells with the subsequent
strokes. This is the reason we teach you to use 6 to 8 strokes on the skin over the same area or section of
skin. We want that exfoliation to take place!!!
In short: a shaving blade can only shave the face. A dermaplaning blade (in the hands of a trained
professional) exfoliates the face.
It doesn’t matter how skilled one is at dermaplaning others’ faces, is it next to impossible to really and truly
dermaplane one’s own face! We are not contortionists. We cannot (1) hold the skin taught enough on our
own faces, (2) stroke the handle and blade in the proper direction on our own faces, and (3) we cannot
clearly “see” the perimeter and contours of our own faces from a mirror.
Folks who are using the tools being touted on the home shopping channels to ‘dermaplane’ themselves at home, are simply doing a glorified shave. The vellus hair is removed, but the dead skin remains!
Deborah Anne Ellis, LE, LMT
Lead Trainer/Technical Advisor, DermaplanePro