Is Dermaplaning Good for Acne?

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Dealing with an acne breakout is frustrating, especially if you feel like you’ve watched your pimples slowly disappear just to watch them come back. In full force. There are countless recommended treatments for people with acne, but the differences between various skin types and acne cases can make the condition difficult to solve.

Acne needs to be assessed by a dermatologist on a case-by-case basis to determine the ideal treatment method, but not everyone has the money or time to get to one.

One of the most common questions we hear when it comes to acne is this: “Is dermaplaning good for acne?” And the answer is yes… and no. It depends! In this article we will look at the cases in which you should dermaplane your skin to treat acne, and when you should avoid dermaplaning.


Is Dermaplaning Good for Acne?

Dermaplaning On Face

Dermaplaning is similar to shaving or epilating. The difference is that you’re not shaving the hair follicles off of your skin. Rather, you’re getting the top layer of your skin shaved off.

This layer can contain imperfections and dead hair and skin cells that can clog up your pores and cause issues further down the line. In a way, it’s much more like exfoliating or chemical peels.

If you want to keep your skin looking young and rejuvenated, then a dermaplaning treatment can ensure that you don’t have any pesky follicles close to your skin. These follicles can trap dirt and gunk.

Follow this simple Dermaplaning 4-Step Guide and you’ll know how to do it right.

From what you’ve heard of dermaplaning, it may sound similar to microdermabrasion. It’s true that both treatments share some similarities.

These treatments are both designed to affect the upper layer of your skin with the goal of making your skin healthier overall. However, one of the key differences between dermaplaning and microdermabrasion is that dermaplaning is a lot less uncomfortable, though you may still run into some minor discomfort.

There are a few reasons why you may have heard conflicting info about dermaplaning and acne. This is often because the treatment is very situational.

Whether or not dermaplaning will help your acne situation depends on how vulnerable you are to acne and whether or not you’re having an active breakout.

Dermaplaning With an Active Breakout

acne breakout

Is dermaplaning good for acne? Not if you’re having an active breakout.

If you’ve ever heard anyone say that dermaplaning isn’t for people with acne, they were probably referring to this. If you’re breaking out and you’re looking for a way to reduce the severity of your acne, you’ll want to look elsewhere like light therapy or prescription treatments.

Acne is one of the areas where dermaplaning can really go wrong.

When you’re in the midst of a breakout, dermaplaning can actually worsen your acne, so you’ll want to avoid it. This is because of the dermaplaning process. When a dermaplaning blade slides over your face, the skin will have to be relatively smooth so the blade can travel over the skin.

When there is acne on your face, the dermaplaning blade will have to slide over each of the bumps created by the cysts and pustules. This has a few negative side effects. At the very least, it will make it more challenging to dermaplane your skin, as the blade will bump around.

This will increase your chances of accidentally getting cut by the dermaplaning blade. Many dermatologists will outright refuse to perform the treatment on someone with too much acne due to this risk.

Keep in mind that this isn’t the only issue that you can expect to run into when dermaplaning with an active acne breakout.

If the dermaplaning blade ruptures or slices one of your acne pustules, you run the risk of further irritating your skin, causing discomfort. This will also leave your acne vulnerable to infection, as it will be an open wound on your face that can worsen if exposed to the wrong bacteria.

This is the main reason why people say not to pop your zits during a breakout.

However, the most pertinent reason not to dermaplane when you’re breaking out is because it can actually worsen your acne.


This is because popping the pustules on your face will release pus. That pus will then be spread across your face by the blade.

As this spreads across your skin, it can get absorbed into the upper layer, and this will make you more likely to break out further. Dermaplaning can also further activate your sebaceous glands if you have active acne, which will result in more oil on your skin.

This additional oil will make your skin more prone to further breakouts.

Dermaplaning Without Active Acne

If you’re not currently dealing with an active acne breakout, then you may benefit from dermaplaning your skin. This is especially true if you’re particularly vulnerable to active acne breakouts. It also works as maintenance if you want to ensure that breakouts don’t happen again.

While dermaplaning is typically used to soften the skin and remove fine layers of facial hair to make your skin even softer, it has a few key benefits that can help reduce your vulnerability to acne.

Most acne breakouts are caused by your pores getting clogged, causing the sebaceous glands under your skin to get overactive, producing too much oil.

Since this oil will start saturating your skin and it will have nowhere to go, it starts accumulating underneath your pores until it creates pus that will then become cystic acne.

Dermaplaning helps stop this process from even occurring in the first place by reducing the amount of buildup on your skin.

This is because the scalpel used in the dermaplaning process will remove many of the causes of acne from your skin. For example, the scalpel is so close to your skin when dermaplaning that it will actually scrape off layers of bacteria from your skin, reducing the prevalence of one of the major causes of acne.

Along with the reduction of breakout-causing bacteria, dermaplaning can also help unclog your pores like a blackhead vacuum or microdermabrasion machine, which we’ve already explained as one of the major causes of active acne.

Dermaplaning reduces the likelihood of clogged pores because it gets rid of dead skin cells and small hairs that can otherwise create these clogs. Over the next several weeks, these hairs will grow back.

An additional benefit that you’ll notice after dermaplaning is that your acne treatment products are more effective. This is because they’ll have an easier time getting into the outer layer of your skin since your skin will no longer be covered in a layer of dead cells and hair follicles.

This has the benefit of making your skincare products more effective and also more efficient. You won’t be wasting as much money on acne treatment products since less of a single product will have a much greater preventative effect. 

This is one of the main reasons why acne treatment products tend to work less effectively on people with acne instead of those who don’t currently have an active breakout.

You can wear makeup after dermaplaning, but you should wait a little while before applying it.

Can Dermaplaning Reduce Acne Scars?

Dermaplaning For Acne

One of the things that dermaplaning can do for patients with acne is the reduction of acne scars. This is because the procedure is designed to remove the upper layer of your skin, which is where you’ll find acne scars. While dermaplaning may not entirely remove acne scars, it can make them much less prevalent.

You can also try bleaching cream for acne scars.

Before you see this as a magic solution for your acne scars, keep in mind that there are a few cases where dermaplaning would be unsuitable for dealing with those scars.

One case is if you’re vulnerable to keloids, which are hard, raised scars that may be a lot more prevalent than the ones that were originally there.

Another reason to avoid dermaplaning if you have acne scars is if you have sensitive skin. While dermaplaning isn’t that painful of a procedure, it can be a lot more difficult to endure for people with sensitive skin.

This is because they’ll get a heightened stimulus from the feeling of the scalpel shaving their skin away.

Also, keep out of the sun, as tanning can make acne scars worse.

When you begin the dermaplaning process, clean your skin very thoroughly. Remove all makeup, and consider something like Micellar Water. Also, you may want to go through a facial steaming process as well.

After that, rinse your skin with iodine to ensure that all traces of the dirt and makeup on your skin have been eliminated. After this, begin the dermaplaning process. As the scalpel is run over your scars, it will induce your body to produce collagen, which will help smooth out your scar tissue. This process is similar to what occurs when using something like the Tria Age-Defying Laser.

As the scar tissue is scraped away by the scalpel, the combination of this and the collagen will help reduce the severity of your acne scars. When your treatment is complete, you may want to finish off the procedure by introducing antioxidants and vitamin C to your skin to help it produce more collagen.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).