Miss FQ digital content producer Terri Dunn had her face shaved during her lunch break. In her own words, here’s what happened before it grew back.
It’s been two weeks since I underwent a curious treatment called dermaplaning; the process in which a sterile, surgical scalpel is glided over one’s face and neck taking a layer of dead skin, fine facial hair (vellus), and trapped makeup along with it.
“You’re getting your face shaved?”, my mother shrilled down the phone when I told her. “What about when it grows back?!”
My mother’s assumption that I would come out the other side with thicker, darker facial hair wasn’t completely unfair, and, as it turned out, wasn’t too dissimilar from the reactions spurred by my colleagues and friends. After all, that is generally the case when we remove hair from our bodies when compared to the likes of waxing or laser.
But as someone with fairly sensitive, reactive skin and, admittedly, a lot of ‘peach fuzz’, I was curious.
I spoke to Renay Robertson, founder of Haven Skin Spa – where I got my dermaplaning treatment done – who brought me up to speed on how it works.
Scroll for the Q&A, plus my verdict on the treatment below:
“A big mistake many of us make in our 20s is using cleansers that are too stripping,” explains Renay. “Cleansers that over-clean the skin are removing your natural moisture barrier which can contribute to fine lines appearing sooner than they might have otherwise.”
Our skin’s natural shedding process, known as desquamation, allows new skin cells to come to the surface and give that soft, fresh feeling. However, as we age this process slows down resulting in a build-up of thickened skin, clogged pores, uneven skin tone and essentially a dull and lacklustre complexion.
“To overcome this, we need to exfoliate the surface of the skin to remove the dead skin cells that have clung to the surface of the skin instead of shedding away,” says Renay. “Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are the two more well-known treatments that improve the desquamation process but now dermaplaning is becoming the new popular go-to treatment because it has the added bonus of also removing facial hair.”
Who is dermaplaning for & who would benefit the most?
“This is a great treatment for most skin types including those who generally shy away from peels and microdermabrasions because they find their skin to be too sensitive or reactive,” says Renay. “It’s also a great treatment for getting into the hard-to-access places such as the creases around the nose and the side of the nose near the eye.”
What are signs someone might benefit from dermaplaning?
- Thickened skin.
- Congestion, blocked pores &/or enlarged pores.
- Sluggish cellular turnover (the desquamation process where the dead skin cells are not shedding off as quickly as they once did when you were younger – dead skin cells bonding and clinging to your skin’s surface gives a dull and uneven texture).
- Removal of vellus hair (it’s an alternative to facial waxing that gets you double bang for your buck: a facial exfoliation treatment + hair removal).
Can you see immediate improvements or does it take time?
“Yes! You will see immediate benefits. Your skin will look plumper because the fresh new skin cells that have just been revealed are still juicy and round, therefore plumping out the surface of your skin,” stresses Renay. “With those flat, dead skin cells removed, you will also look brighter and have a more even texture. Not to mention smoother with the fine vellus hair removed.”
How does it compare to at home treatments?
Says Renay: “Dermaplaning, like all professional treatments, is a great booster to your home care regime. Where cosmeceutical ranges are being used at home, the active ingredients and nourishing vitamins can penetrate the skin more effectively which means they are working harder and therefore delivering better results to your skin. Regularly giving that natural shedding process (desquamation) a helping hand will ensure your complexion always looks fresh, smooth and youthful.”
This is a great treatment to have on regular basis as it boosts your home care regime to achieve results faster
One-off session versus recurring treatments?
If you just want to try it as a once off: “It is the perfect party prepper treatment for those just looking for a one-off pick-me-up treatment, especially when combined with LED Light Therapy as it leaves your skin plump, fresh and smooth – it’s incredible how beautifully makeup glides on your skin after this treatment and how long it sits perfectly in place,” explains Renay.
On recurring sessions: If you are wanting to improve the appearance of your skin, Renay recommends kickstarting your skin with treatments every 2-3 weeks for the first 4 treatments then move to 4-6 weekly treatments to maintain your results. “This is a great treatment to have on a regular basis as it boosts your home care regime to achieve results faster,” says Renay.
Scroll to see before and after images + our digital content producer’s verdict on the treatment.
The dermplaning diary from our Miss FQ digital content producer who went ‘under the knife’.
During the treatment:
When I arrived at Haven Spa, my skin therapist Chloe was friendly and informative, ensuring I understood what I was heading in for from start to end before we began. During the process, Chloe glided the surgical scalpel over my freshly cleansed face. The pressure was firm, but not uncomfortable in any way. It felt as though the edge of a credit card was being dragged across my face. The noise, however, was alarming. As it scratched across my forehead the noise echoed in my ears seeming louder that it probably was (kind of like how you can hear yourself chewing…) Again, there was no discomfort, and, after a while, I got used to it, if not a little excited by it, for it was the sound of my new face.
After Chloe had treated areas that were relatively more populated with vellus hair (say the edge of the jawline) at my request, she would show me what she was scraping off. To my horror, sat there on a little cotton pad, was a caramel coloured candy floss looking bundle of hair glazed with dead skin cells and trapped makeup I’d clearly been hoarding despite my extensive at home cleansing regime.
‘Holy s**t,’ I thought. “Keep going,” I said.
One hour after the treatment:
My cheeks felt flush and a little warm, there was no tightness or tension and I did my best not to touch it given its newfound vulnerability without all my dead skin and hair to protect from the elements. Fortunately, Chloe lathered me up in sunscreen and sent me on my way with plenty of aftercare recommendations. I took a selfie post-treatment, and this is what I discovered…
My skin, though a little red (which soon disappeared), was glowing, taut and dewy. Just look at my sharp jawline!
One day after the treatment:
The following morning I ran a gentle cream cleanser over my face. The texture was UNREAL. I’ve never, ever, felt my skin so smooth in my entire life. Forget baby smooth, dermaplaning smooth is where it’s at. My skin looked radiant and almost airbrushed. I toned, moisturised and went on my way to an early morning class at the gym without makeup on. Something, I’d previously never felt able to do. But f**k it, I was glowing.
I did, however, experience sweat running down my forehead for the first time. While it’s not unusual for me to experience a little perspiration in my hairline during a workout (in fact I’ve always bragged about my inability to sweat), without the peach fuzz and grimy skin built up, sweat just slid on down only to be stopped by my eyebrows. (I know, TMI!)
One week after the treatment:
Holy moly, I’ve started to feel my little wee hairs coming back, but somehow, it’s no bother at all as my skin has been soaking up all my serums and oils like it’s nobody’s business. I’ve ditched highlighter and am getting away with a smidge of concealer under my eyes and a sweeping of mineral foundation for a completely polished look. The darkness around the edges of my nose has dramatically softened and there’s not a dull area to be seen.
Two weeks after the treatment:
Okay, hairs are well on their way to growing back but again, aren’t visible, sharp or affect my silky smooth hydrated face. In fact, I’ve become obsessed with my morning and evening skin care rituals. Instead of resenting my products and my skin for their previously underwhelming efficacy, it’s almost addictive as I can see and feel positive progress with every application. But the biggest difference? The texture on my nose. This is where I’m usually quick to get oily congestion even just a day or two after normal exfoliation. Instead of dealing with a grittiness and pore size impossible to conceal with makeup, I am left with a smooth texture that garners just a wee bit of shine throughout the day that’s easy to cover.
If you invest in good skincare but don’t see results as fast as you’d expect or prefer, dermaplaning is the perfect boost you need to truly get the value of your products. It’s been the perfect treatment to reset my face after a build up I can’t even quantify. While my lifestyle doesn’t necessarily afford me to make it a monthly lunchtime excursion, I’ll certainly see that I make a visit every couple of months or ahead of big events to give myself a boost. After all, when I spend as much as I do on good skincare, the treatment is the difference between seeing those products go from zero to hero.
The treatment costs $125 at Haven Skin Spa.