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Shedding Light on Dermaplaning

Cleopatra, the legendary bewitching Queen of Egypt, is believed to have regularly undergone dermaplaning treatments to maintain her olive-toned deity.

Cleopatra, the legendary bewitching Queen of Egypt, is believed to have regularly undergone dermaplaning treatments to maintain her olive-toned deity.

Dermaplaning—essentially, brushing a sharp blade over one’s face—is a centuries-old practice many modern women are incorporating into their beauty regimens.

Intrigued, yet initially horrified, at the thought of “shaving” my skin, I met with a local provider to debunk my dermaplaning misperceptions.

I was assured that dermaplaning is simply a mechanical method of exfoliation, which Honolulu aesthetician Joëlle Johnson likes to refer to as “teeth cleaning for the skin.”

“It removes ‘junk,’—baby hairs, dead skin cells, leftover product residue—and reveals brighter, glowing skin,” Johnson explains.

With a laundry list of benefits, including skin cell health, pore minimization, serum absorption, anti-aging, illuminating powers and more, I slowly shifted my skepticism. Bonus? There is no truth to the old wives’ tale that hair will grow back heavier than before. Thank goodness.

My curiosity at its peak following our conversation, I decided to book my first dermaplaning appointment.

Although admittedly nervous about the thought of a knife scraping across my face, I returned to Johnson’s office, determined to refresh my complexion, that following Saturday.

I took a deep breath, entered the salon and was transported to a relaxation oasis. A calming cup of chamomile, tranquil sounds and pleasing aromas warmly greeted me.

Assuring I was comfortable while completing customary paperwork, Johnson proceeded with a consultation: a skin analysis, followed by a step-by-step breakdown to what my skin was about to endure.

I entered the healing room, wrapped myself in a robe and made myself comfortable. I was ready for a skin-saving epiphany.

Taking the plunge, I scheduled the Skin Brightening Treatment, a 90-minute routine complete with a refreshing cleanse, light enzyme or chemical peel, and of course, dermaplaning to remove dead skin and extractions. The customized procedure is accompanied by nourishing masks and serums specialized for your skin-type.

The initial face cleaning was standard, opening my pores and preparing them to be brought back to life.

After placing eye shields carefully over the top of my nose, Johnson prepared for the main attraction. In a zen-like state up until this point, I winced as I heard sounds of a 1.5-inch blade being placed into a wand, ready to work its magic.

I prepared for a pain, attempting to relax my muscles, yet was pleasantly relived when the sensation of dermaplaning—a knife scraping across my face!—felt exactly as Johnson described (like paper brushing gently across my skin).

Relaxing, I understood why Johnson claimed many dermaplaning devotees fall asleep. She continued planning—like small brush strokes of an Impressionist painter, creating a canvas of clear skin. Meanwhile, I drifted away in a daydream, returning to earth approximately 30 minutes later, only by her informing me that the dermaplaning was finished.

Voilà! That was it. I was amazed by the soothing sensation in the routine. My woes had been wiped away—along with the gunk on my face.

While dermaplaning’s full effects aren’t usually visible until a week following treatment, I noticed (and felt) immediate results.

My dull complexion was revitalized. And not to be crude, but my skin felt as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I felt rejuvenated—ready to face the world with refreshed, glowing skin.

After being given a small collection of skincare samples, I thanked her, eager to schedule my next appointment.

Dermaplaning has flexibility advantages to other cosmetic treatments; it can be incorporated into a regular beauty routine or booked as a one-time procedure.

As glorious as I felt afterward, there are several precautionary measures to keep in mind before scheduling a dermaplaning appointment.

While the treatment worked wonders on me, it is not for everyone, including people with severe acne or those with extremely thin or sensitive skin. You also should avoid waxing or threading one week prior to treatment, and if possible, avoid makeup 48 hours afterward.

I’ve never been one to leave the house without makeup. But as great as my skin looked and felt afterward, I pranced around cosmetic-free with confidence.

To read more about dermaplaning and its benefits, look for the Prim & Potent article our April/May issue.