Woman Are Asking: Should I Shave My Face?
Should you add facial shaving to your skincare and anti-aging regimen?
Let’s start by debunking a misconception that’s been around for years. “It is definitely a myth that shaving will make your hair grow back coarser or darker,” Elizabeth K. Hale, clinical associate professor of dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, told the nytimes.com.
Albeit a well-kept secret, even women, long considered icons of beauty, are said to have shaved their faces, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Cleopatra. Among today’s celebrities who regularly shave are Jessica Alba, Debra Messing and facialist-to-the-stars, Kate Somerville, who is in her 40s and has sworn by her once-a-week shaving routine since her 20s.
While it still may not be luncheon topic conversation, a recent poll taken by today.com asked “would you feel comfortable shaving your face?” Of the 23,833 survey respondents, 46 percent said “of course, I already do.” Thirty-four percent said “can’t knock it until you try it, and only 20 percent said they would never shave their face.
It’s important to note that shaving at home is not the same as professional dermaplaning, which uses a specialized scalpel to mechanically remove the superficial layer of dead skin cells. Dermaplaning is an in-office procedure that’s more about exfoliation than shaving, though it does remove facial and vellus hair.
Why Are Women Shaving Their Faces?
The obvious reason is hair removal, whether it’s blond peach fuzz or course darker hair. But as part of a skin care and anti-aging regimen, shaving does exfoliate your skin and can stimulate collagen production, according to Shaving Your Face is the Secret to Younger-Looking Skin at byrdie.com. The exfoliation benefits of shaving may also allow for deeper anti-aging product penetration and smoother makeup application.
How To Shave Your Face
How difficult could it be? Men do it all the time. But, recommendations on shaving techniques and frequency for women differ. Some women suggest using a man’s single-blade safety razor and olive oil to moisten the skin. Others use a man’s multi-blade with shaving gel, while a number of women are using an eyebrow razor on dry skin. If you’re new to face shaving, it’s best to check with a dermatologist or esthetician to discuss which shaving-style is best suited to your skin care needs.
In the meantime, to get you started, here’s a how-to video by model and stylist Michelle Money of Bachelor Paradise fame. In “OMG Michelle Money Shaves Her Face: The Money Look,” Money shaves her dry face of fine vellus hair, commonly called peach fuzz, which resists laser hair removal because it lacks pigment. She uses a single-blade disposable razor with a memorable name, Tinkle. For more tips, check out Menopause Mondays: Shaving My Furry Face at beautyreflections.com and This Is Why Women Should Start Shaving Their Faces at buzzfeed.com.
Five Things To Remember About Facial Shaving
With more and more women admitting to shaving their faces, there’s no shortage of advice from skin care experts. A few consistent pieces of advice:
- Never use the same razor you use on your legs, says facialist Cecilia Wong in com. Doing so can spread bacteria and lead to potential infection.
- For sanitary purposes, make sure to wash your razor every time you use it and dip it in 90 percent rubbing alcohol after each use, says What Every Woman Needs To Know Before Shaving Her Face.
- You’ll be more prone to ingrown hairs. Yes, shaving your face can have skin-smoothing benefits. But the friction and micro-damage it imparts on the skin can cause pesky ingrown hairs says com. Shaving in the same direction in which the hair grows helps prevent irritation. Also washing gentlywith a washcloth can help keep ingrowns at bay. Don’t use in-grown products meant for the bikini line on your face.
- Moisturize after home shaving to help keep your skin from getting too dry.
- Don’t incorporate a man’s aftershave into your routine. Because the product has alcohol in it, the formula can be too drying. Men typically use alcohol for sanitizing or disinfecting, but for women, it’s important to keep the pH of your skin balanced so you avoid breakouts, advises com.
The moral of the story? There’s no shame in the female face-shaving game – just make sure you’re doing it correctly.