If you have hair that you don’t want on your face, shaving it off shouldn’t be controversial; men have been shaving their faces since the invention of razors, after all! Shaving is simple, fast, and inexpensive. Women are perfectly open about shaving their legs, underarms, and bikini lines. Why shouldn’t women shave their faces?
Well… it depends.
Women tend to have more fragile skin than men; daily shaving could cause irritation, effectively negating the cosmetic benefits. Also, there is a risk of cutting the skin, which could lead to infection. Of course, everyone is different, and face shaving has been a weapon in some of the world’s most famous women’s beauty arsenals for centuries.
Seriously, both Queen Elizabeth I and Elizabeth Taylor reportedly shaved their faces. You don’t get much more glamorous than that!
Face shaving is a perfectly reasonable grooming technique if it solves more problems than it causes. If shaving your face rids you of unwanted hair, doesn’t cause irritation, and leaves you with smooth, glowing skin, then continue to shave without shame!
But first – what’s the big deal about face shaving?
Benefits of Face Shaving
Shaving – whether it is face shaving or shaving anywhere on the body – removes hair. There are two types of facial hair: vellus hair and terminal hair. Vellus hair is the very fine, soft, often translucent hair on the cheeks and forehead. Terminal hairs are the more coarser, thicker, and darker hairs associated with beards and eyebrows, as well as the hairs on the scalp.
Shaving the face not only removes hair growth by cutting it off near the root, but it also removes the top layer of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil. When the primary objective of face shaving is removing dead skin for a brighter, softer complexion, the process is called dermaplaning.
Dermaplaning is a type of exfoliation. While mechanical scrubbing with a washcloth or using an Alpha Hydroxy wash like SkinMedica Exfoliating Cleanser will remove dulling dead skin, dermaplaning literally cuts it away, along with vellus and terminal hairs. Because dermaplaning also removes hair, the skin appears considerably brighter and smoother than it does using other exfoliating methods. It also has the advantage of delivering instant results.
Many women enjoy the results of dermaplaning even if they don’t have obvious peach fuzz. Not only does it rejuvenate the complexion, but the newly smooth, hair-free surface of the skin can also be an excellent canvas for cosmetics and give you that “glass skin” appearance. It also helps your skin absorb skin care products more efficiently.
Best of all, dermaplaning stimulates collagen production and skin cell turnover, resulting in tighter, firmer skin. What’s not to love?
Drawbacks of Face Shaving
As previously stated, shaving is among the simplest and least expensive home skin care techniques available. However, people with the following skin conditions should never attempt facial shaving or at-home dermaplaning without having a consultation with a qualified dermatologist:
While vellus hairs can give the skin a dull appearance and even trap dead skin cells, they are beneficial for people with certain skin types. Vellus hairs hold secreted oil away from the face, where it is less likely to clog pores. Some people find that shaving the hairs away triggers acne, even when breakouts hadn’t previously been a problem.
Shaving the face can also lead to the following:
- Five o’clock shadow. Because shaving blunts the ends of terminal hairs, they can appear thicker and become more noticeable when they begin to grow back.
- Ingrown hairs. If you have coarse or extremely curly terminal hairs, you might be susceptible to ingrown hairs, which can be painful and unsightly.
- Skin damage. You may experience razor burns or facial cuts and nicks that become irritated or inflamed.
Are There Alternative Techniques?
Face shaving isn’t ideal for everyone (some men included). If you have sensitive skin, have thin or otherwise delicate skin, or struggle with razor burn, there are other highly effective solutions for skin brightening, exfoliation, and facial hair removal.
Laser Hair Removal
If your primary goal is getting rid of unwanted facial hair, then laser hair removal is your best option – particularly if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Laser hair removal involves using intensive laser energy to permanently halt the growth cycle of terminal hairs. This treatment causes no damage to the surrounding tissue, so there are no marks or scars.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is among the best rejuvenation options for people of all skin types. This highly effective technique uses laser energy to remove the uppermost layers of skin, which allows the newer skin cells to move up to the surface. Laser skin resurfacing boosts collagen production and skin cell turnover, making skin plumper and tighter. It can also even out skin pigmentation and lessen the appearance of acne scars.
A chemical peel is an intensive exfoliation procedure that uses a deep penetrating solution on the skin to facilitate skin cell turnover and reveal healthy skin cells underneath. Chemical peels are often used for people with darker skin tones or who have skin conditions that could be aggravated by the heat of a laser.
There are numerous highly effective procedures for removing facial hair and creating a brighter, fresher complexion. If you are not sure of the best technique for your skin, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at one of our offices nearest you today!