There’s always a new skincare trend around the corner – 12-step Korean skin care, snail masks, various sheet masks, etc. – and in recent years, the trend of using facial razors to remove facial hair, a.k.a. face shaving has been picking up. As with many skincare trends, this one reportedly stems from Asia (specifically Japan) before making its way around the globe, especially after Michelle Money from The Bachelor released a video about shaving her face.
Essentially, facial shaving is a form of dermaplaning, which is a treatment that targets the removal of dead skin and vellus hair (colloquially referred to as peach fuzz) with the use of a sharp blade.
In this article, you can learn about what the advantages and disadvantages of face shaving for women are, what the difference between dermaplaning and facial shaving is, and exactly how to go about removing facial hair, plus shaping eyebrows.
In this article:
- Benefits Women Shaving Face
- Side Effects of Face Shaving for Women
- Face Shaving Vs. Dermaplaning
- How to Shave Your Face
- How to Shave Eyebrows Correctly
Benefits for Women Shaving Face
Talk of women shaving their faces has been picking up on the Internet since 2011 when the trend – kao sori – began to spread in Japan, with salons offering treatments and specific products to fill the market gap – facial razors for women. Even Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor shaved their faces for a smoother look!
Today, facial shaving has become prevalent enough for a plethora of beauty vloggers to release how-to videos, as well as many “I Tried Shaving My Face” articles permeating beauty content from leading platforms, like Huda Beauty, Refinery29, Elle, and Cosmopolitan, to name a few.
But what is the point of facial shaving and what benefits does it have?
- Exfoliation: The process helps soften and smoothen the texture of the skin by removing fine hairs and dead skin.
- Better Product Application: With the dead skin and unwanted hairs no longer a barrier, makeup products like foundation and concealer will apply much more smoothly and evenly.
- Gentler on the Skin: In comparison to other facial hair removing methods like waxing and tweezing, using facial razors is less time-consuming and doesn’t irritate the skin as much, especially as waxing ends to rip the top layer of the skin as well sometimes.
- Better Results: Once the dead skin cells are removed, your skincare products (serums, moisturizers, etc.) will do a better job of penetrating the skin.
- Brighter Skin: Once the peach fuzz is removed, the skin’s natural tone stands out more clearly.
- Prevents Acne: As dead skin build-up can clog pores and hair follicles, its removal can prevent breakouts.
Side Effects of Face Shaving for Women
Does shaving your face have any side effects? We explain!
- Over-Exfoliation: If you’re someone who’s already making use of face scrubs, chemical peels, washcloths, and facial brushes on the regular, adding face shaving to your regimen holds a risk of increasing your skin’s sensitivity and weakening it. Plus, it’ll introduce or increase skin redness, dryness, and inflammation.
- Sensitive Skin: For those with hypersensitive skin (rosacea, keratosis pilaris, and the like), shaving the face can do more damage than good.
- Acne: Anyone with active breakouts risks further infection, as they might unknowingly spread bacteria even if they shave around the zits.
- Ingrown Hairs: As with shaving any other body part, shaving the face also presents the risk of ingrown hair.
- Cuts and Nicks: Likewise, shaving the face also presents the risk of wounding yourself, and you might feel awkward, covering facial cuts.
Face Shaving Vs. Dermaplaning
Earlier, we mentioned that facial shaving is a type of dermaplaning. There’s some debate about this, as some consider it to be a different method entirely. However, it’s worth noting that the facial razors listed above are far more equipped to shave hairs and dermaplane to an extent.
What happens is that the razor does provide some exfoliation as it removes dead skin cells during shaving, but booking a dermaplaning session (by a licensed professional!) will be far more effective, as their use of almost surgical scalpels does a better job of removing the maximum amount of dirt and dead skin.
At-home treatments with a facial razor yield results as well, though, so don’t feel as if you have to shell out a few hundred dollars for a professional session.
How to Shave Your Face?
Before we head into the steps of shaving your face, let’s dispel one common misconception off the bat – shaving your face doesn’t lead to facial hair growing back thicker or coarser or longer. It’s been long disproven, which allowed for this trend to take off in the first place.
Now, when it comes to shaving your face, here are the steps to follow to avoid skin irritation as well as razor burns and bumps. Please note that depending on your hair growth, shaving every week or other week works.
If it’s your first time shaving your face, do a patch test on any small area, and note your skin’s reaction over the next few days to avoid any mishaps.
- Sanitize the Razor
Dip or wipe down your facial razor with rubbing alcohol as a preventative measure.
- Clean the Face
Just as you’ve cleaned the razor, your face should also be clean. Dermatologists recommend using a sulfate-free cleanser.
- Open up the Pores
Either shave in the shower or hold a warm, damp towel against your face for a bit to open up your pores for easier shaving.
- Prep the Face
For many facial razors, dry shaving works well. However, if your skin is sensitive or you’d prefer working against a coat, rosehip oil is a popular option. Again, if you haven’t used rosehip oil before, do a patch test first!
- Master the Technique
Hold the facial razor at a 45-degree angle, pull your skin taut, and move downward in short and steady strokes (avoid distractions). Avoid areas with active acne.
Afterward, sanitize your razor, moisturize your face with an alcohol-free lotion or a hyaluronic serum or mask, apply sunblock (at least SPF 30), and avoid any form of makeup for at least a day, as your skin will be vulnerable. Do not exfoliate either or use any strong topicals until the next day.
How to Shave Eyebrows Correctly
For those looking for a way outside of eyebrow threading and tweezing to shape their brows, shaving and trimming achieve the same results, minus the pain of ripping the hairs from the follicles. In addition, you can create an eyebrow slit using a brow razor.
Follow these steps to achieve your desired eyebrow shape:
- Open up the Pores: Get a warm shower beforehand or hold a warm towel against the eyebrows to open up the pores and ease the entire process.
- Moisturize: Apply a moisturizer around the eyebrows, above the eyelids, and between the eyebrows as a means of protection.
- Brush: Use a spoolie or eyebrow comb and brush the hairs up.
- Stencil: Draw in your desired eyebrow shape using an eyebrow stencil.
- Trim: Using the trimmer (or eyebrow scissors), snip the excess outside the stencil.
- Shave: Use the eyebrow razor to shave horizontally between the brows in short strokes.
- Wipe off!
- Shorten the Blade: Attach the precision cover to the blade.
- Shave the Strays: Working along the length of your brow, shave across the top, and then the bottom, getting rid of the stray hairs.
- Measure: Check your eyebrows against each other for symmetry.
- Wipe off!
- Apply a brow gel.
Photos via @bambivstheworld, @favybrand, Instagram