DermaFile: An Overview for Aestheticians


In our great field of aesthetics, it is often important to adapt and refine the products and modalities we use within our practices to meet the needs and expectations from our clients. Now more than ever, our atmosphere encourages non-invasive or gentler options to address specific skin conditions, such as reducing fine lines and wrinkles and minimizing the appearance of sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and acne scarring.

One such non-invasive option is a DermaFile treatment.

How Does It Work?

DermaFiles have fast become a popular alternative to traditional microdermabrasion. These handheld resurfacing tools use finely crushed diamonds to micro-polish the skin and remove the top layer of dead skin cells. A DermaFile can be moved over the skin with several passes to ensure dead skin cells are removed evenly. You can even focus on a particular area that has a higher concentration of pigmentation irregularities or noticeable surface aging.

DermaFiles offer a more controlled, mechanical exfoliation option for aestheticians that might be short on space for microdermabrasion equipment, newly licensed aestheticians not yet experienced or comfortable with microdermabrasion, or aestheticians desiring an even more holisitic approach in mechanical exfoliation options for their clients. It's a great tool and with regular monthly treatments can help build collagen and thicken the stratum corneum.

Unlike a microdermabrasion procedure (that uses coarse materials likened to a "sand blasting" effect on the skin), a DermaFiletreatment gently and carefully removes the outermost layer of skin, posing less risk for temporary damage, such as bruising due to too high of a vacuum setting or potential surface scratches or tears due to faulty tips or improper application. Since all the power and control is literally in your hands, it's far less abrasive. There are also different grits available from fine to coarse, making it a suitable treatment for sensitive skin.Immediately after a treatment skin feels soft and velvety smooth, revealing a new youthful glow! Who doesn't want that?

How Long Does It Take?

The entire DermaFile process takes no more than 15-20 minutes to perform and can be a great enhancement and easy up-sell to an enzyme exfoliation facial or light AHA peel. One of my most popular services is enhancing fruit enzyme exfoliation under steam with the added benefit of the DermaFile. It's the perfect complement to enhance exfoliation benefits while smoothing and rejuvenating the complexion. Using before a light AHA peel further enhances the results of the peel.

It is recommended that clients discontinue Retin-A and any AHA/BHA products 5 days before and for 3 days after. While the process is gentle, it is still effectively enhancing exfoliation!

With its vast versatility in treating a variety of skin types and conditions, DermaFiles can be a great complement to your services. There are no known side effects and no prolonged downtime after the treatment. Clients may experience slightly heightened skin sensitivity for 24-48 hours afterwards, which is perfectly normal. As with any skincare service, a broad spectrum sunscreen is recommended.

DermaFiles are extremely easy to take care of and with proper care will easily last a year or more. To sanitize and store your DermaFiles, it's recommended to use a hospital grade enzymatic cleanser for cleaning surgical tools. I use an ultrasonic cleaning device with my enzymatic detergent. Once it has run through the cycle, rinse, and then soak in a hospital grade disinfectant (Barbicide) for 10-15 minutes. Be sure not to soak your DermaFiles past the recommended 15 minutes as it could potentially loosen the diamonds on the file. Dry and store in a clean labeled, closed container.

Bio: Augusta is a holistically focused, ingredients-minded esthetician based in Long Beach, California specializing in the importance balance of helping clients achieve optimal skin health and wellness of spirit.  To learn more about Augusta, visit her website HERE