Pro Esthetician Teaches How Do Try Dermaplaning at Home

  • Master esthetician Claudia Colombo walks Insider producer Nico Reyes through dermaplaning at home.
  • Dermaplaning is a treatment that uses a sharp blade to exfoliate by gently scraping off dead skin cells and vellus hair to reveal smoother, brighter skin underneath.
  • Due to the use of a blade, Colombo does not recommend dermaplaning at home without the guidance of an esthetician.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Nico Reyes: Hey, Claudia, thank you so much for joining me today.

Claudia Colombo: I’m Claudia Colombo. I am a master esthetician, and I have my own private practice in New York City. So, dermaplaning’s a cosmetic procedure. It’s a professional treatment. We use basically a surgical scalpel, a steel scalpel with a disposable blade. Now, it basically aims at smoothing out the skin surface, and it aids in absorption of skin ingredients and active products. If you’re going to attempt something like this, a professional is a good person to have on hand. [laughs]

Nico: Yeah.

Claudia: To guide you and to keep you safe, to keep you healthy, and to give you some tips along the way, you know, what to do, what not to do. And to also, you know, maybe even see, is this even right for you?

Nico: I actually have three options. Something that I’ve used personally before is actually these eyebrow razors. Option two is this little set that I found from Schick. They started making, like, an actual little dermaplaning kit. But the third option is the one that’s probably closest to what you would actually use. And I have, like, a rounded scalpel.

Claudia: Aha, yes! You know what? I think that’s, I ordered some too just because I wanted to see, yeah, I think, is this the same one?

Nico: Oh, my God, yeah, I think we have the same exact brand.

Claudia: So, I did open one and I did a little bit on myself, and what I found was, again, there’s no precision in there. So, I feel comfortable you using this, because it’s not gonna go deep.

Nico: So, what is, like, our step one gonna be? How do you start this?

Claudia: What we’re gonna start with is first a nice warm, hot towel for you, and what’s happening, that compression is really just encouraging lymph flow, right? And just heating up the tissue. Your lymphatic system, our lymphatic system, think of it as the filtration system in the body, OK? So, it’s the way your body detoxes.

Nico: So, we used the hot towels, what’s next?

Claudia: So, we’re gonna do just some pumping and some rubbing on the face. We’re gonna start from the collarbone up. Let’s start with the jojoba.

Nico: OK.

Claudia: I love jojoba oil because it really mimics our own sebum. So that’s a good all-around oil to use. I would refrain from using coconut or any heavy vegetable oil. So, now let’s do some lymphatic work.

Nico: OK.

Claudia: So, we’re basically gonna do just, it’s like a little self-massage. So, let’s start above the collarbone, and then all you’re gonna do is just rub. OK, it’s just the rubbing, and you’re gonna go over the collarbone. It’s, like, above and over. And then what you’re gonna do is just a little tap, one, two, three, four, five. Cup the hand a little bit, and what you’re gonna do is drag, so it’s almost like a dragging massage, OK? It’s like a gentle muscle drag there. And what this is doing is specifically stimulating the nerves that live in this area, around the lymph nodes, right. So, you’re just moving that lymph fluid to the heart center so it drains towards the chest. So, behind the neck is a really important point. So you’re just gonna do the same type of movement again.

Nico: I’m gonna make my boyfriend watch this and study it.

Claudia: [laughing] Yes, make him do it.

Nico: It feels so nice. I love that.

Claudia: So, now, after that, you’re ready. Next, I was thinking for you we could do a little bit of exfoliation, OK? A little DIY is just mixing the jojoba oil with a little fine sugar and creating a nice mechanical exfoliation for yourself. Just, you know, circular motions, you’re gonna get into this area, sometimes a little buildup gets up in there. Don’t go too rough. For you, the best thing to do is apply just a little bit more oil.

Nico: So, should I crack open this scalpel? Is it time?

Claudia: Yeah, you can do that. So, what I want you to do though, if you have oil on your hands, you should wash that off.

Nico: Let me go wash.

Claudia: You wanna make sure you have a clean grip.

Nico: Let me go wash them right now. Be right back.

Claudia: So, you’re right-handed, so hold the tool in your right hand. Then what you’re gonna do is just lift the brow up a little bit, right. We’re gonna start on the right side. What you always want with the opposite hand is just to hold the skin taut. You’re gonna wanna hold it in, like, a 45-degree angle.

Nico: Oh, so, like, to the skin? Sorry, I’m nervous. [laughs]

Claudia: Flatten it on the forehead first, and then you’re gonna start short strokes and scraping.

Nico: Yeah, it’s, like, the teensiest bit tuggy.

Claudia: Yeah, so don’t keep going over the same spot.

Nico: OK.

Claudia: So, now you’re gonna move on to the next. And you could, if it feels like it’s pulling, then add a little bit more oil there.

Nico: I see a little, like, bit of flaky skin starting to come off. [laughs]

Claudia: You’re not gonna get much with this because, again, it’s not as sharp, which is actually good in this instance. It’s very easy to cut the eyebrow off. Even with this that it’s dull. So, what I would say is, you know, for people, is, like, brush the hair down, so you don’t get into the eyebrow. You wanna go just above.

Nico: It looks like I might have gotten one or two [laughs] eyebrow hairs, but we’re good. We’re gonna keep going.

Claudia: I see something coming off.

Nico: Yeah, for sure. There’s, like, a bunch of little fuzzies and oil.

Claudia: Yeah, I think maybe place your left hand above. Yes.

Nico: This is way better, OK.

Claudia: Exactly. [laughs]

Nico: Oh, my God, look, it’s coming off.

Claudia: Way to go! See? Yep.

Nico: Whoa. And you see how I have, like, one little scab here? Are we avoiding stuff like that?

Claudia: Yeah, yeah, definitely go around it, ’cause I’m not sure what that is. I can’t tell.

Nico: I think it’s just, like, a pimple that I might’ve picked at and it, like, scabbed over.

Claudia: OK, yeah, so let it be. Yep. You can change the angle and come up. Come up this way. Dermaplaning is first and foremost an exfoliation facial procedure. It’s not really a hair removal. The extra perk is that we’re removing that fine facial hair, ’cause as we’re going along the strokes, you’re removing dead skin, and the hair’s gonna come along with it.

Nico: And it’s not painful. Not painful at all. I feel like people see this, and they’re like…

Claudia: It shouldn’t hurt, yeah. It should not hurt at all. You could really just start, like, at the end of the mouth and then work up and then under the nose. And now, just below that little mark that you have here, it’s the chin, right. You have this little area here, so what you could do is just stretch a little bit and then angle it, and you’re just gonna do those short little strokes here around the chin. Be careful there, ’cause that’s an easy place to nick because it’s at an angle.

Nico: Whoa, that had a lot of nasty stuff in it. [laughs] So far so good! That was actually a lot less scary once we actually started doing it.

Claudia: I know, you were so scared.

Nico: I was nervous!

Claudia: It’s intimidating.

Nico: It’s intimidating to hold a scalpel in my hand. This is something I’ve never used or bought before, so I was like, oh, God, if I, like, slice my whole face open right now. [laughs] It feels good, and it looks good, so I’m really, really happy with the results. I didn’t know how this was gonna go [laughs] with this scalpel. After dermaplaning, what can you really expect from your skin?

Claudia: You shouldn’t have that many issues with having the hair grow back, and the hair will grow back. But it will grow back in a way of pretty much the same, if not less. That’s what I’ve always experienced.

Nico: But not thicker or darker or anything like that?

Claudia: Not thicker or darker.

Nico: Thank you so much for helping me out today, Claudia. This was not an easy thing to do, like, on my own, but your guidance is super, super helpful and I definitely recommend anybody who does wanna try it, please don’t do it by yourself. Call your esthetician and have them kind of walk you through this, ’cause it’s not easy.

Claudia: If it’s done properly, it’s a great treatment. I love it.

Nico: Yeah, that’s the key, if it’s done properly. [laughs]

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in August 2020.

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