Let’s be honest – ‘dermascraping’ is a brutal-sounding word.
Scraping dirt, debris and dead skin from your face seems slightly barbaric but that’s exactly what the new cleansing method sweeping the beauty industry entails.
If you’ve ever wished for a device that can suck all of the gunk out of your pores without having to visit a professional facialist (I know I have), then dermascraping is as close as you can get, and it’s fast becoming the new DIY facial trend to try at home.
What is dermascraping and what are the benefits for skin?
Not to be confused with dermaplaning (shaving the face to get rid of fine hairs and dead skin cells), dermascraping makes use of a small, scraper-esque tool which promises to push out all the nasties that clog pores and lead to blemishes, uneven skin tone and inflammation. Using a spatula head and ultrasonic vibrations, the tool is a deep cleanser and an exfoliator with the added bonus of helping skincare to absorb better.
Though TikTok and Instagram are just catching on, dermascraping isn’t actually new. “Dermascraping has been in the industry for many years and can be used before skin treatments to cleanse, gently exfoliate the skin and help product penetration,” explains skincare expert Lisa Harris. “It’s carried out by applying a water solution to the skin, while a metal spatula glides over. This is activated with ultrasonic, low frequency vibrations (around 20,000-30,000 vibrations per second) to break up and lift dead skin cells, unclog the pores and remove excess sebum,” or oil, which skin produces.
How does dermascraping work?
As someone who suffers from congested skin (an issue only exacerbated by wearing a face mask) not to mention the odd hormonal breakout, a tool that could reset my skin and clear my pores of all the crap that topical treatments can’t reach sounded too good to be true. So I decided to put it to the test.
Though dermascraping is still a little under the radar, there are a few tools out there. I tried Dermaflash’s Dermapore first. At £99, it’s pricy, but perhaps cheaper in the long run in comparison to professional facials. Coming out the other side of a monthly breakout, using a metal spatula to scrape over the remains of cystic blemishes felt dangerous. I was quite literally slicing the heads off spots and I was worried about the long-term repercussions, not to mention scarring. It might be a good idea to avoid active spots. After that, I slowly covered every inch of my face, using firm pressure and taking way too much pleasure from seeing the debris left on the device. It was working!
After a few hours, my chin began to tingle and by the evening I had a full-blown reaction on my hands. A cluster of angry spots had appeared and new friends came to join them every hour for the rest of the day. In a panic, I spoke to the brand and was assured that a level of ‘purging’ is expected as I had brought all the gunk to the surface of my skin. After a few days, new spots stopped appearing and my complexion calmed down. Since then, I haven’t had the same reaction when using the tool. Although I didn’t find the infuse function (for helping skincare absorb better) overly effective, I was very impressed by how much it pushed out of my pores and the softening effect it had on my skin after every use.
“If DermaScraping is over used or used too aggressively you can damage the skin barrier, causing sensitivity, or can stretch the skin, causing premature ageing. I always recommend treating blocked pores professionally, at your local skin clinic, if pores are extracted incorrectly, there is risk of scarring the skin.” Lisa says
I love a skincare device as much as the next person but as Lisa points out, there may be more effective ways to uncover glowing skin. She rates products containing papaya enzymes, which “provide a deep yet gentle daily exfoliation, dissolving unwanted dead skin cells and debris to reveal fresher, clearer, more radiant skin.” Lisa adds: “Enzymes actually oxygenate the skin, speeding up the healing process of any breakouts.”
Another trick is to add a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda to your cleanser and mix together; this creates a healthier PH balance, an environment for good bacteria take over the bad bacteria which causes blocked pores and inflammation.