We try dermaplaning: the 'scalpel facial' everyone's buzzing about

Having a scalpel rubbed over your face in the hopes of improving your skin's luminosity isn't as scary as it sounds, writes Nothemba Mkhondo

11 November 2018 - 00:00 By Nothemba Mkhondo
Features writer Nothemba Mkhondo.
Features writer Nothemba Mkhondo.
Image: Supplied

Having a skin texture that is smooth and supple and that can effectively absorb all the goodness from your skincare products is a big factor contributing towards glowing skin.

We've seen a skincare treatment called dermaplaning on our social media feeds, but not everyone knows exactly what it is.

At first glance, it's having a scalpel rubbed over the surface of your skin in the hopes of improved skin luminosity. That may sound scary, but the good news is that it's not as bad as it sounds.


Dermaplaning is a non-invasive 25 to 30 minute skin treatment where a scalpel blade is gently rubbed over the skin.

This action helps to remove old skin cells and increase new cell turnover for a more youthful appearance. It also works well on pigmentation as pigmentation sits on the top-most layers of the skin.

If you have stubborn peach-fuzz or vellus hair on your face, dermaplaning helps to removes this so that makeup can sit well on the skin.


After the skin is cleansed, oil is applied to prep the skin and to form a barrier between skin and blade. Starting from the forehead and working around the face, the skin is gently scraped with a scalpel blade at a 45° angle, working in small strokes.

A mild alpha hydroxyl peel is applied to remove any hair or dead skin left behind.

Lastly, a balm is applied to help calm the skin as well as a tinted sunscreen to protect from sun exposure.


"It's not as painful as I had imagined. It was a little bit uncomfortable in some sensitive areas of my face like the chin and around the mouth but otherwise I barely felt it at all."


"Immediately afterwards, my skin looked brighter and felt super smooth and soft to touch. In the following days my skin was still smooth but, surprisingly, the dry and flaky areas had already returned.

"I didn't see much benefit besides the smooth skin texture on the first and second days. It's a good treatment to consider for instant radiance and smoothness for a special event, but for long-term results it's not really something I would rush to do again."

• Nothemba Mkhondo had her treatment done at Dr P Aesthetics Lifestyle Centre