Dermaplaning vs Shaving

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 share!

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
Phone: 317-718-0800

Comments (8)

  1. Claudia Estep
    4 years ago

    Do you have a Dermaplaning with hydrafacial protocol? Can we do this, is no too much for the skin?

  2. Sandra Long
    4 years ago

    Thanks for that reminder. I remember when taught dermaplaning the instructor said the main goal was to exfoliate and hair removal was side benefit. I like the explanation of not being able to effectively do the service on yourself and that at home kits\tools are really ineffective on clients, for those reasons mentioned.
    Thanks Again

  3. Razel
    4 years ago

    During this pandemic I think it is okay to go with shaving since we are all required to be at home.

  4. Gail L Killiebrew
    3 years ago

    Would love more information in where can I take a class to learn the procedure here in st.louis mo

  5. Leslie Holm
    1 year ago

    During Covid 2020-2021, I had many nurses of color who had grown thick skin on their chin from medical mask abrasion. They wanted their chin hair LHR. Until I dermaplaned the chin scar tissue off the laser could not reach the hair. Shaving just aggravated the chin. Of course if their was active pustules I could go neither. It was a challenge but I worked with them to come in when the breakout subsided. Once I was able to do both on the same day or week the results were amazingly fast. Smooth Un stained chins in 3 – 4 months.

    • Michelle McLemore
      1 year ago

      Thank you so much for sharing! We love hearing how those certified with us are able to make their clients happy with dermaplaning.

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