Estheticians Swear By ‘Oilplaning’ To Give Sensitive Skin a Mirror Finish Without Irritation


There’s a good reason why dermaplaning wandsโ€”those tiny, cute razors that remove dead skin cells and hairโ€”have been all over your social media lately. With a few strategic swipes, they remove peach fuzz and unwanted hair, leaving behind a brightened complexion that’s easier for your skin-care actives to penetrate.

As simple as this process may look on your TikTok feed, though, it’s pretty easy to get wrongโ€”which can leave your skin angry and irritated instead of soft and smooth. For this reason, “oilplaning”โ€”which involves adding a small amount of oil to the skin while dermaplaningโ€”is a great workaround for anyone who’s new to the face-shaving process or who has sensitive skin.

According to Deanne Mraz, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Connecticut, using a facial oil when you dermaplane creates a barrier between the skin and the razor blade, which can prevent tugging and irritation and will ultimately minimize nicks, abrasions, and ingrown hairs.โ€œHowever, it also makes the skin more slippery so it requires more precision and patience,โ€ she says Read on for our experts’ tips. on how to do it right.

The benefits of oilplaning

While the prospect of minimizing irritation and ingrowns is likely enough to get you on board with oilplaning, the benefits don’t stop there.

According to Cynthia Franco, a celebrity aesthetician in California, it can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. โ€œYouโ€™re deeply exfoliating the outermost layer of dead skin cells which start to create fine lines, plus, it will also help to boost collagen production,โ€ she says. Additionally, the oil can help hydrate your skin to smooth any “crinkles” (AKA dehydration wrinkles) you may be dealing with.

Additionally, monthly oilplaning treatments can fade discoloration and stubborn acne scarring, says Franco. โ€œDermaplaning removes excess hair, sebum, oil, and dirt, giving skin a deeper clean while also helping the skin to re-lay new collagen and even out old scars,โ€ she explains, noting that oilplaning offers the same effects.

Finally, it gets rid of the dead skin cells that block the active ingredients in your routine from fully penetrating your skin, which means regular oilplaning sessions will help all of your products work to their peak potential.

helps your skin-care actives absorb more deeply into the skin (so they can work to their full potential!) โ€œPlus, it will make makeup look flawless,โ€ says Franco.

What oils work best for oilplaning

The best oils for oilplaning are going to be the ones that 1) don’t clog your pores and cause breakouts and 2) don’t leave a greasy residue on your skin. With that in mind, Franco recommends staying away from mineral, baby, olive, and coconut oils, as well as anything with fragrance.

Dr. Mraz likes squalene oils, which are non-comedogenic while also being nourishing and hydrating to the skin (this one from Biossance is a great pick). Meanwhile, Franco’s a fan of oilplaning with naturally derived botanical oils, likeย The Outsets Ultra Light Moisture Boosting Oil ($44) or Biographyโ€™s Calm Face Oil ($112).

How to oilplane

1. Prep your skin

Before you try oilplaning out for yourself, it’s important to start with a clean slate.ย  โ€œMy recommendations are to double-cleanse the face to make sure youโ€™re starting with a clean canvas, and then after applying a small amount of oil to your skin, clean your hands so you have a secure grip on the razor,โ€ says Dr. Mraz. Both experts warn not to overdo it on the oil as just a tiny amount (a drop or two) will get the job done without creating a surface that is too slippery, which can lead to cuts.

2. Shave the skin in sections, using downward strokes

Then, she suggests starting the shaving process with your cheeks and jawline, holding the razor at a 45-degree angle and working in downward strokes (and don’t forget to wipe off the razor blade when the dirt and hair from your face start to build up on it). You can position the blade at the same angle on your lip, chin, neck, and forehead, but be sure to use shorter strokes in these smaller, more delicate spots.

Franco adds that you should never oilplane your nose, and should be very careful around the eyes, lips, and brows, as you don’t want to accidentally shave off an eyebrow or part of your hairline (yikes).

With all of that in mind, she strongly recommends working with a professional (those blades can be tricky!)โ€”or at least being very careful when oilplaning at home. “I suggest getting a lighted magnifying mirror and staying away from medical-grade dermaplaning tools, as they can be too aggressive,” she says (she’s a fan ofย thisย toolย here). โ€œAlso pay attention to how the vellus hair [AKA peach fuzz] grows. If it grows downwards or outwards, then shave in the direction of the hairโ€”not against itโ€”to keep irritation of the hair follicle at bay.โ€

3. Practice proper aftercare

First things first: Either toss your razor in the trash or (if it’s reusable) thoroughly clean it with an alcohol pad after every use to avoid future breakouts and infections.

โ€œAfter you finish up, itโ€™s actually a great time to chemically exfoliate, as the product will penetrate well and prevent breakouts,” says Franco, who recommends Skinbetter Science AlphaRet Peel Pads ($115) for this part of the process. “[Aside from that], avoid any irritating actives or makeup for the following twelve hours.” She’s a fan of oilplaning at night so you don’t have to apply SPF on top of your freshly-shaven skin, and suggests finishing everything off with a good post-treatment barrier cream.

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