Dermaplaning Tools: Use of Surgical Blades and Scalpels in Hair Removal and Skin Exfoliation

14 Apr 2021

Dermaplaning is a non-invasive aesthetics treatment which uses a surgical blade or razor to carefully scrape the surface of the skin, removing unwanted hair 'peach fuzz' (referred to as vellus hair) from the epidermis.

In this article we discuss:

  • The use of surgical blades and handles as a dermaplaning tool.
  • The best and most popular blade shapes used by Aestheticians and Estheticians in clinic.
  • The increased accessibility of surgical blades and scalpels via online retailers such as Amazon.
  • Why the quality standards associated with surgical blade manufacturer can benefit those looking to use surgical blades as a dermaplaning tool.
  • Why safety is paramount when handling sharps and how this benefits users of Swann-Morton products.
  • What factors to look at in product reviews when considering which tool to purchase.

What is a Dermaplaning Tool?

A Dermaplaning tool is commonly used to remove facial hair from the skin in areas such as the upper lip, eyebrow, forehead, cheeks, and chin. The treatment is also used to:

  • Remove dead skin cells from the face and neck.
  • Treat the face and neck with light exfoliation.
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles due to ageing, stress, smoking, and other physical or environmental factors.
  • Diminish acne scars and visible pores, blotching, or other skin impurities.
  • Support professional-looking brow shaping.

Surgical Blades as a Dermaplaning Tool

Surgical blades are traditionally used by trained Aestheticians / Estheticians in professional environments and these user groups remain the most common buyers of Swann-Morton scalpels for Dermaplaning treatments.

Why surgical blades can be considered practical and safe for cosmetic procedures such as Dermaplaning:

  • Manufacturing and quality standards required for suppliers of surgical and operating room equipment are very high. This ensures consistency in blade edge.
  • Supplied in boxes (in our case 100), the combination of reusable scalpel handle and easy to replace blade makes surgical blades an economical option for Dermaplaning and similar cosmetic procedures.
  • Blades can be safely removed using complimentary blade removal devices which help to reduce the risks of sharps injury and ensures safe disposal.
  • Blades are supplied certified sterile with Swann-Morton owning its own on-site irradiation facility.

Commonly Used Surgical Blade Shapes For Dermaplaning

All surgical blade shapes worldwide are referenced using the same ID's by manufacturers to denote size and shape. The most popular shapes for Dermaplaning are the No. 10R and No.14 Surgical scalpel blades.

Surgical Blade 10R

Often known as the 'butter blade'. It's short and round, making it an ideal blade to treat small or rounded areas. Its benefits include:

  • Can access more restricted areas of the skin / face.
  • Rounded nose means less chance of accidental nicks of the skin.
  • Provides a consistent performance to the user.
  • Fits the popular Handle No. 3.
  • Comes in boxes of 100 and is supplied sterile.

Surgical Blade 14

Surgical scalpel blade 14 is used to treat the entire surface of the face. For maximum effect, you can use the 14 blade in tandem with the 10R, ensuring you cover both large and smaller areas. Its benefits include:

  • Better for larger areas due to blade size.
  • Fits the Handle No. 3.
  • Can be used as part of other procedures such as chemical peel, microdermabrasion or Fluorescent Pulsed Light procedures.
  • Supplied sterile in boxes of 100.

How Can Quality Be Identified?

When using surgical blades for cosmetic skin procedures such as Dermaplaning, the key aspects of blade quality must be considered.

Quality Control & Manufacturing Standards

Quality controlled manufacturing & inspection processes should be a consideration to maintain consistent blade quality. Quality control ensures:

  • High performance of the blade.
  • Consistent cutting edge amongst blade batches.
  • Consistent results for both clinician and client.

Swann-Morton No.3 and No.4 fitting surgical blades are manufactured in accordance with BS 2982 and BS EN 27740. Boxes are marked with lot number and expiry dates for traceability. All Sterile Product boxes are bar coded. Sterile blades are sterilised by Gamma radiation to a minimum dose of 25 kGy. Surgical Handles No.3 & No.4 fitting surgical handles are manufactured in accordance with BS 2982 and BS EN 27740. All other handles are manufactured to in-house standards. Boxes are marked with lot number and expiry dates for traceability.

Past User Reviews

When determining the quality of a desired dermaplaning tool, in general one should visit product pages and read *past customer reviews of both the original purchase and replacement blades. This is something that will identify issues with quality and may also help establish issues users have found with replacement blade fitment and safe handling.

*This of course applies to our own products!

Dermaplaning Tool Blade Replacement

We recommend:

  • Regular changing of the blade to ensure a sharp edge and a consistent performance.
  • You are familiar with best practices around safe handling and disposal of sharps (your blades).
  • You are satisfied with the safety information and blade handling options of your chosen dermaplaning tool. 

Swann-Morton Safety Support

By visiting Swann-Morton's help pages, you'll find all the guidance you need on how to attach and remove your Swann-Morton blade, and also how to safely dispose of it in a sharps disposal bin.

Our recommended safety products for use with surgical blades are as follows:

Single Use Blade Remover - Surgical blade remover for safe and effective blade removal and disposal - available sterile and non-sterile.

Blade Removal Unit - The blade remover unit (BRU) will hold up to 100 blades and is ideal for Dermaplaning (given the relatively high frequency of blade changes). 

You can also watch our safety videos here specifically:

  1. Best Practice Handling Surgical Blades
  2. Single Use Blade Remover

Scalpel Blade Handles - The Options

There are several options when it comes to purchasing a dermaplaning handle to complement your blade. Because Swann-Morton blade handles are supplied in stainless steel for extensive durability, there is no need to repurchase one each time you need a new blade.

Although the most popular handle for surgical blades (such as the aforementioned 10R & 14) is the No 3 Handle, you can also choose from the following, to suit your preference:

  1. Handle 3L - Longer version of the No. 3
  2. Handle 5B - Bulbous handle for larger hands
  3. Handle 7 - Slimline handle for extra touch and feel
  4. Handle 9 - Short and slim for close up work
  5. Handle B3 - Ergonomic design for maximum comfort

All handles listed are manufactured by Swann-Morton and are made from stainless steel.

Buying Swann-Morton Blades & Handles for Dermaplaning

The current purchasing prices for Swann-Morton surgical blades and handles used in Dermaplaning procedures can be sourced via our formal network of global distributors whose details are available at www.swann-morton.com .

This would include:

  1. Swann Morton 10R Sterile Stainless Steel Blades x 100
  2. Swann-Morton 14 Sterile Stainless Steel Blades x 100
  3. Swann-Morton No.3 Stainless Handles
  4. Swann-Morton Blade Removers
  5. Blade Remover Units.

Details of other accessories used within Dermaplaning such as Cotton Storage Bags, Product bundles and Dermaplaning Kits can also be found via a number of reputable online platforms plus your local spa or salon.

Further Help & Advice

If you would like more information on purchasing Swann-Morton branded products, please visit our distributor section to find your local stockist. For those wishing to buy online, please note that Swann-Morton Limited are not affiliated to any specific stockists. Please ensure you are buying genuine products and if you are in the United Kingdom that the delivery services provided are secure and fully compliant with regulations covering bladed products outlined in the Offensive Weapons Act of 2019.

Important Notice

Swann-Morton Limited is a manufacturer of surgical blades and scalpels which are for use by trained professionals and can cause injury if handled incorrectly. Nothing in this article or website should be seen as a promotion or recommendation for any specific cosmetic procedure.

Please ensure that all necessary professional advice is taken prior to any cosmetic treatment and any potential contraindications (conditions that could cause the withholding of treatment) are declared prior to treatment.