Women are shaving their faces: why dermaplaning is all the rage
Here’s what you need to know about what are touted as the benefits, including brightening the skin, helping to fade dark spots and softening fine lines and wrinkles.
Men aren’t the only ones shaving their faces. Now, women are, too.
They’re doing it as a way of dermaplaning, which involves shaving the tiny, soft hairs on the face to get a youthful glow.
Dr. Mona Gohara, a Yale University dermatologist and associate clinical professor, is glad to see the practice become a subject of interest, especially on social media, including TikTok, on which the hashtag #dermaplaning, how has gotten more than 1.8 billion views.
“As a Middle Eastern woman, I constantly have hair on my face,” Gohara says. “So to be able to exfoliate and remove those hairs is a big cosmetic benefit.”
Typically, a dermatologist or licensed esthetician will use a surgical-grade scalpel to scrape off vellus hair (also known as ”peach fuzz”) and a top layer of dead skin cells. But experts say you can also do it at home with an exfoliation tool.
“It’s different from a regular razor because you can get a better angle with the long dermaplaning tools, and it’s also less sharp than razors, which are meant to cut thick hairs,” Gohara says.
“It’s not only men that have thick, dark facial hair. And it’s not only men that shave their face,” a TikTok user who goes by @thatgirlsare posted. “Let’s normalize some girls having thick dark facial hair and using razors to shave.”
“Love how confident it makes me feel,” @about_theglow wrote on TikTok.
Among dermaplaning’s benefits, it can brighten the skin, help fade dark spots and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
“While those soft, vellus hairs can be helpful, they also hold onto makeup, dirt, bacteria and a whole bunch of irritants,” says Cassandra Bankson, an esthetician who regularly shaves her face. “I found that when I dermaplaned my face, my selfies turned out crisper because the powdered makeup wouldn’t hold onto my facial hairs.”
Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a cosmetic dermatologist, says this skin-smoothing effect is one of the main benefits.
“It’s more than just a method for hair removal. It’s a much deeper exfoliation treatment,” Shirazi says. “So removing the dead skin cells allows for better penetration of your skincare products, making them more effective. It also allows for makeup to go on smoother.”
It’s a common concern that shaving might make hairs grow back thicker, darker and faster. But skincare experts say that’s “a complete fallacy.”
Bankson says it might appear this way because the hairs will “grow back evenly and appear to be popping up at once out of nowhere.”
But Gohara says hair growth and thickness are “genetically preprogrammed. There are different factors that play into this, like age, hormonal influences and genetics. That’s what influences the amount of hair and how thick it is — not how you remove it.”
For anyone with a skin condition — sensitive skin, rosacea, skin cancer, eczema or severe acne — the benefits aren’t worth the risks, particularly for infections, potential scarring or skin damage.
“Dermaplaning can cause breakouts in some people,” Bankson says. “Hairs on the face have a purpose of getting oil onto the outer surface of our skin. If you were to shave those hairs off, those oils could still potentially stay in the skin for those with acne or clogged pores, which could trap everything inside and cause a pimple.”
To minimize risks, Shirazi says it’s best to consult a professional who is skilled in the practice. For those opting to do it from home, make sure to proceed with caution.
“You need a strong skin barrier so, if you have dry skin or flaking red skin, it’s not a great treatment,” Shirazi says. “It can worsen skin conditions or flare them up. So be sure to first consult with your dermatologist.
“Always cleanse the skin being treated. And clean your hands, the tools and the area where you are going to be doing it. Be informed about dermaplaning, the dos and don’ts, the techniques, because the more you know, the better you can assess the risks.”
Read more at USA Today.