I Got My Face Dermaplaned for the First Time and It Was Equal Parts Gross and Satisfying


You know those beauty treatments that could put you to sleep? Lymphatic massage, scalp facials, the massage chairs at the nail salon… Well, I wasn’t expecting dermaplaning (taking a surgical blade to your face to remove peach fuzz and slough off dead skin) to be one of them.

Recently, I took a trip to the newly opened Glowbar in Tribeca, where a comprehensive facial takes just 30 minutes. I’ve had a lot of facials over the years, and I wasn’t expecting a half-hour session to actually leave me glowing, as the name suggests. I made an appointment to go in before work, thinking it would be your standard cleanse-exfoliate-hydrate routine. (An excuse to save the extra 20 minutes I’d normally spend doing my own skin care routine is always a bonus.)

The space itself is soothingly minimalist, which makes sense given the whole efficient-facial concept. After checking in, I was shown to a beautiful trough sink—here, clients wash their own face to speed up the process, saving time for the stuff you can’t do yourself. I chose a cream cleanser, lathered up, rinsed and then waited for my aesthetician to take me into the treatment room.

That’s when she asked if I wanted to include dermaplaning in my service. A standard 50-minute facial at most places doesn’t even include that, but at Glowbar, whatever treatments your aesthetician chooses for you are included in the price, so I said yes. She applied a serum and then got to work quite literally shaving off the baby hairs on my entire face (yep, including my forehead) with a scalpel. It felt a little scrapey…but in a good way? She explained that it’s different from just taking a disposable razor to your own face at home, because the precise angle of the blade and the physical exfoliation technique are what help reveal a brighter complexion. After about 15 minutes, she showed me the results—and it was weirdly satisfying (and slightly gross) to see what had come off my face. I’ll spare you the details and just say you should do it and see for yourself.

My aesthetician finished the session with a chemical exfoliator, more serums (which now easily sunk into my skin without a barrier of peach fuzz to get through) and EltaMD’s cult-favorite SPF moisturizer before sending me on my way. The studio conveniently has a giant mirror in the waiting room, so I checked my complexion on the way out and I was, in fact, glowing. Imagine starting every morning that way? The dream.

I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t your hair grow back darker and coarser? Nope, not in the slightest. It even took much longer to grow in than I expected (I’m talking about a month). And at $65 per session (or $55 if you opt for a membership), it’s actually pretty affordable to keep up that smooth, glowy complexion on a monthly basis. Which I’ll keep in mind the next time I need a 30-minute nap.

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Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...