Let me start by saying that I’m not a beauty blogger, nor a dermatologist. I’m also not a proponent of the opinion that in order to be a ”real woman”, we shouldn’t have hair on our face (or body). If you decide to shave your face, do it for you. I hope my experience with shaving my face might be useful for you to decide whether you should also join the (what seems) secret cult of women who shave their face.
A few years ago I read an article about women shaving their face, also known as dermaplaning. I stopped reading halfway, I will never do this! I do not want to take the risk of hair coming back way darker or thicker. End of story. Fast forward a few years later, and you can find at least four little face razors in my bathroom.
Little did I know how amazing face shaving is! It is not only the best way to get rid of peach fuzz, to exfoliate the skin, but it’ll make your makeup look like a million bucks! It’s not something new though. A lot of celebrities shave their face or get it done at a salon. Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe shaved their face too. However, Cleopatra was the forerunner. It’s also a tradition in Indian and Japanese culture. In Japan it is very common and called kao sori.
We all have facial hair ok
Let’s be real, we women all have facial hair (even if you are super blond). The color might be different, but we all have hair on our face. Probably most noticeable on the upper lip and brows. But we also have peach fuzz on the cheeks that are clearly visible in sunlight or when we have been a bit too enthusiastic with our foundation. Besides plucking my brows every once in a while and removing upper lip hair, I would never think a face razor would come even close to my face. A lot of women might be (secretly) shaving their face, but not me! No thanks.
My routine for removing unwanted hair on the upper lip, was not something that took a lot of time, and also not something I had to do often. Nevertheless, I was fed up with it since it included some chemicals. I have peachy thin blond upper lip hair (I know TMI), that I would remove once or twice a month with a ”mild” cream. It’s a cream that chemically burns off the peach fuzz, also known as a hair removal cream.
It burns, smells unnatural and then there is always the risk of being 1 minute too late with removing the cream and risk a burn. I also used ”a scrubbing paper”. Although there are no chemicals used with that technique, the risk of scrubbing too long was easy, which means that I would be left with a heavily irritated upper lip. No matter the technique, these methods always made sure to leave a red and irritated skin for at least a few hours.
Heck yes! I was nervous to shave my face
I like to listen to podcasts and YouTube videos while I edit photos. At a given moment, a video by a big beauty blogger/influencer started, where she shared her favorites. A gorgeous woman with dark hair, and dark eyebrows. She was explaining why she swears by removing any upper lip hair with a little facial razor. That got my attention.
She also said she wasn’t comfortable with lasering her upper lip. Moreover, she explained that shaving her upper lip was actually improving her skin, since it works as a scrub too. That caught my attention again. The fact that she is shaving her face over a laser option because of the added benefits, made me very curious.
A few days later I came across a facial razor in a drugstore (I honestly wasn’t looking for it!) and I decided to give it a try although being very nervous about it. Initially, I started shaving my face (upper lip) because of the fuzzy hairs, but then I noticed that it was a great exfoliant. I moved to other parts of the face too. My face felt so smooth and my makeup looked so much better. All of that for just a few bucks….
Why don’t women share they are shaving their face?
After reading some articles on this topic it seems that many celebrity beauty estheticians with an impressive list of celebrity clients also use this technique. Have you ever seen a movie in the cinema with a really good close-up of a woman’s face? It’s so smooth, right? The use of the right makeup, light and editing will only get you that far. Their face is really that smooth. It has to be smooth for closeups and for makeup to sit well. Their skin is exfoliated and needs to be completely free from peach fuzzy hair. So yes, most celebrities and top models shave their face, either themselves or at a salon.
I can’t describe how much this has changed my beauty routine in a non-invasive and non-toxic way. These little razors are my best friend and I want all women, who like a good exfoliating technique, to know that this works like no other exfoliating scrub I have ever tried before.
Nevertheless, I had huge doubts as to whether I should share this article. It is not feminine to share. Or is it that a lot of women are doing this, but just don’t feel the need to share it? Is it because people might question how hairy a woman must be to shave her face? Or because it’s generally accepted that a razor only touches the face of a man?
It’s not like how men shave
It sounds so radical when you say you shave your face. As if we are using the same technique and razor like men do. In the same way. With the same results. And that’s simply just not true. A facial razor for women is small, elegant, subtle and it doesn’t involve a shaving foam. It also doesn’t mean to harshly shave your face like men do.
It’s actually dermaplaning
I’m not a dermatologist or beauty estheticians, but dermaplaning on Google is described as a simple and safe procedure for exfoliating the epidermis and ridding the skin of fine vellus hair (peach fuzz). It has been used for many years. How could I have missed this all these years of my adult life? Why do women not share this? Why is this a taboo?
I think the reason is because of the name we give it. We call it shaving, instead of dermaplaning. Face shaving is questionable, whereas dermaplaning is just an expensive treatment at a salon.
Dermaplaning is advocated for its efficacy in exfoliation (scraping away dead skin cells, pollution and small imperfections) rather than for hair removal. Whereas face shaving is only seen as a hair removal technique and it seems to stay a taboo because of that. Such a pity!
Is shaving good for a woman’s face?
Although I started out because I was fed up with the hair removal technique for my upper lip, I ended up loving it for a lot of other reasons.
Shaving your face will get rid of peach fuzz, hair and dead skin. The result is a super smooth baby face. But there is more. Whatever you put on your face after that, stays much better on your face. A smooth skin will not only make any makeup for example look amazing, but you will also need to use less makeup and the makeup stays put all day. I’m using mineral makeup and it looks so great now.
Unless your skin is not reacting well to this technique, I don’t see any downsides as to why this might be bad for my skin.
- removes hair (duh)
- it is cheap
- will leave the skin brighter, softer, and even-textured thanks to increased exfoliation and better product penetration
- very easy to do yourself, although you could go to a salon for a dermaplaning treatment
- a super quick method
- it is soooooo satisfying (this might be a personal one)
- the best way to get rid of dead skin, exfoliates the skin like nothing else
- leaves the skin smooth
- makeup looks so much better and stays put all day because you are applying makeup on the smoothest canvas possible. Foundation and powder will not look so powdery
- you can’t get the same results with laser hair removal, since fine vellus hair aka peach fuzz, resists laser hair removal because it lacks pigment
- on its own shaving is not anti-aging, but because the exfoliation makes all of your skincare products work better, allowing them to penetrate more deeply, you might start noticing an improvement
Does hair grow back thicker and darker after dermaplaning?
The million dollar question is if hair will grow back thicker and darker. It’s a very legit question, since that is what I was worried about too. But why would hair that you cut on the skin influence the way it grows back? Exactly, it can’t. I have been using this technique for a while now and started shaving more parts of my face without any change in how the hair grows or looks. Like, zero changes.
Face shaving (or dermaplaning how aestheticians like to refer to it), will not cause hair to grow back faster, thicker, or darker. A razor cuts away facial hair from the surface of the skin, not the root. So it is not interfering with the hair growth. If hair would grow back thicker and darker, I can imagine a lot of people would shave off the hair on their head…
It is a myth that shaving the face will make the hair grow back coarser or darker. It will grow back at the same rate and texture as before you shaved. Shaving does not change the number of hair follicles in the skin or the rate of hair growth.
Dermaplaning targets the ‘peach fuzz’, technically known as vellus hair and is distinctly different from the dark, thick hair, which grows on our heads, underarms and legs. Another important point to make is that vellus hair doesn’t tend to grow back stubbly.
In fact, long term hair removal can end up reducing hair growth due to “repeated trauma.”
What is the best razor for shaving your face?
There are a lot of different advices on what type of razor to use. I know some women use a Gillette, but I have no experience with that. I only use eyebrow razors and Twinkle face razors ,and both are doing a great job. Although I have to say the Twinkle is my favorite, because of the shape, length and razor.
How often should I shave my face?
The first few weeks I was so hooked I used it almost every day. The instant smooth face and dead skin literally seeing on the razor with just a simple short stroke on the skin, is such a great feeling.
It soon became a part of my routine. These days I will only use my face razor once a week on the upper lip and once a month on other parts and it takes me about 2 minutes. I feel my face is smooth much longer, the longer I do this. And it feels soooo good!! No burning, gone with any fuzzy hairs and a skin so smooth!
I start with my upper lip, the cheeks, the jaw line, a little bit above the eyebrows, and my favorite part…the nose. It helped so much with blackheads. I (still) avoid certain areas. Although some women go really all the way I for example avoid the eye area, upper cheeks, forehead and hair line.
I was so nervous the first few times, but there is no reason to be scared. I know it looks weird and it maybe even more weird to talk about it, but I honestly think this is such a great, cheap and effective way to improve the condition of my skin.
How to shave the face?
Although, it’s not difficult to shave the face, it is important to follow some basic tips in order to avoid skin irritation, razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Before I start I make sure my skin is clean and dry. So make sure your face is free from makeup, oils and creams.
It is not recommendable to shave your face if you have acne, cuts or rashes on your face, which can cause further irritation and infection.
I don’t use a shaving foam. It’s a totally different way of shaving than you might think. It’s not the way men shave their face. I use a straight razor for the face, that is small and easy to target specific areas in the face.
You can use the same razor for about 4-5 times, but I disinfect the razor each use with rubbing alcohol and can as such use the same razor for up to 10 times.
With gentle downwards short strikes I will treat each part of the face. After each and every strike you will see dead skin cells and any peach fuzz you might have on the razor. So it’s tempting to go over the same area again and again, which I sometimes do. But try to don’t go crazy over each area. A few times is enough.
It’s also important to slightly pull the skin upwards so that the skin is taught. Make short, steady downwards strokes with the blade at a 45-degree angle (in order not to cut yourself). Be very light handed. You really don’t need to use a lot of pressure.
I read that with a dermaplaning treatment at a salon, they perform the treatment with upward strokes. I do downwards strokes on my face and a combination of upwards and downwards stroked on my upper lip. You can experiment which technique works better for you. Downwards strokes is what most women do and it ensures a safe way to do this at home without cutting yourself or creating ingrown hairs.
Afterwards I make sure to hydrate the skin, just like I would after any other exfoliation. My skin reacts very well to this method. I have zero skin irritation and see no reason to use an oil or cream to shave the face. I apply my favorite cream afterwards, Skinfood by Weleda followed by a sunscreen.
Can I shave my face with a leg razor?
It’s important to use a dedicated small razor for your face. I’ve tried a few brands that are all very inexpensive for a set of 3. The Tinkle razor is my favorite because of the position of the blade. But other face razors worked just as good. Tinkle has a steel razor cover, which is meant to protect delicate skin. It is a small angled razor so you can reach all the contours of the face.
I would not recommend to use the face razor for the rest of your body. You will notice when the razor becomes blunt. It will feel less comfortable and pull at little hairs and peach fuzz. It will also most likely cause razor bumps and irritation.
A few final tips on how to do dermaplaning at home aka shave aka exfoliate at home
- If you have any doubts how your skin will react or if you have a sensitive skin, try a patch test. You can shave a small area on the side of your face (sideburns) and see if it creates any ingrown hairs or irritations. After a few days of testing, you’ll know if you can continue and how your skin reacts.
- Be careful how you place the razor when you are near your brows for the obvious reason of not wanting to shave parts of your brow.
- If you have difficulties mastering the stroke technique, there are plenty of YouTube videos on the topic to help you out.
- Especially, the first time it’s important to take your time. It took me about 15 minutes the first time and I’m down to 2 minutes.
- You can try to shave with an oil if you are prone to skin irritation and itchiness. This will create a buffer between the skin and the razor and it will help with redness. Do NOT shave on wet skin though.
- Do not go against the way the hair grows, unless you are sure your skin can handle it. It can cause irritation, redness and ingrown hairs later on. So go with the hair follicle and hold your razor at about a 45-degree angle to your face, razor pointing down.
- Just like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to shave your whole face. I don’t see the need to shave the hairline or the forehead. Start with just a few areas. I do recommend the nose though for those blackheads.
- Don’t shave your face when you are burned, have an active breakout, a wound or any other skin irritations.
You don’t have to do it every week. You can do this before an event or when you would like your foundation to look absolutely perfect. Whatever your reason is, the immediate effect of shaving the face is that is simply looks better. I’m personally a fan of this method as it makes my skin more smooth and let the cream I apply daily work better.
But, if you have very minimal hair and you have a great way to exfoliate your skin, this is not something you need to do.
This is what worked for me and I love to share my personal non-toxic beauty experiences with you. If you are nervous to try this at home, look for a salon that offers dermaplaning treatments, which is the same with just a more fancy name than face shaving. If you got any questions, let me know in the comments or let’s connect on Instagram or Facebook.
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