Is Shaving a Good Way to Exfoliate?

Skin care gurus have recently been touting shaving all areas of the body as one of the best ways to exfoliate the skin without using “harsh” chemicals or “abrasive” exfoliating tools. But is shaving going to do anything for you besides removing some unwanted hairs? ViaBuff investigates!

Shaving Can Exfoliate the Skin….


Shaving to exfoliate the skin is clinically known as dermaplaning, and involves using a straight-edged scalpel blade to remove excess dead skin cells. While many DIYers suggest using razors at home, it would appear that the safest and most efficacious route is to undergo dermaplaning at your local physician’s office. The service may also be offered in a spa setting. It is believed that dermaplaning exfoliates the deeper layers of the epidermis and will remove fine vellus hairs (the lightly colored hairs on your face). Dermaplaning is believed to encourage cellular turnover and allow topical products to more deeply penetrate the skin. This procedure is suitable for virtually every skin type and can be used to treat conditions such as blemishes, clogged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, milia, and sun damage.

Since it removes a significant amount of skin cells, dermaplaning is generally performed once per month. The procedure involves a physician or aesthetician gently scraping a scalpel blade against one’s skin, with the entire process taking between 15-30 minutes for the face. While one certainly can practice dermaplaning at home (such as when shaving one’s legs), you are likely to have a more thorough exfoliation if you undergo dermaplaning at a physician’s office or spa. While most women fear that shaving all over the body (especially the face) may make the hairs grow back darker and thicker, shaving the hairs does not in fact make them thicker. Rather, cosmetic chemist Dr. Neal Schultz notes that we feel that we regrow “thicker” and “darker” hairs because 1.) the new hairs are rather stumpy and blunt, unlike fully grown vellus hairs and 2.) newly-grown hairs have not yet been bleached by the sun, so they may appear darker than before (UPMC, Cosmopolitan, Dr. Leslie Gerstman, Dr. Neal Schultz for

….But You May Be Better Off Using At-home Treatments Weekly

Shaving will remove some debris from the outer layer of skin especially when employed by a trained medical provider using a straight-edge facial razor. However, we were unable to find any scientific evidence examining the efficacy of dermaplaning compared with chemical exfoliants and common physical exfoliants. It is important to note that the benefits of dermaplaning may not be due exclusively to the razor scraping away at the surface of your skin; some spas and physicians’ offices pair dermaplaning with chemical peels or other exfoliating methods, which likely influence the efficacy of the dermaplaning session (New York Magazine). Additionally, the cost of repeated office or  spa visits may be financially unrealistic for many people, making it available to a limited client base. Since dermaplaning is typically performed once per month, we must also question the long-term healthfulness of leaving one’s skin unexfoliated for several weeks at a time. In short, while dermaplaning may exfoliate the skin we are reluctant to exchange our tried-and-true exfoliating method for shaving just yet.


We use and recommend the use of the ViaBuff Exfoliating Buffs with a strong exfoliating serum. The buffs are dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free, offering 60% more usable surface area than typical exfoliating buffs or loofahs. To use our buffs, simply wet your skin (preferably in the shower), apply an exfoliating serum to the buff and massage it against your skin. There’s no need for a professional to intervene, and the exfoliation procedure can be performed at your leisure and as frequently as you like. Once or twice a week is considered frequent enough for most people. Our buffs are designed with four different strengths to meet the needs of 10 different skin types. They last for an average of 90 days (three times longer than a typical loofah).

Bottom Line

Dermaplaning is one possibility for exfoliation, but we were not able to uncover any clinical evidence discussing its efficacy, especially when compared to other exfoliating tools. Rather, you may benefit from using one of the ViaBuff Exfoliating Buffs, an affordable at-home treatment that can remove dead cells from the skin without inducing irritation. If you have any questions about using the ViaBuff buffs, please feel free to send us an email – we love hearing from readers!

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