As odd as it sounds, a lot of women swear by shaving their face using facial razors or facial trimmers to get rid of fine facial hair. Ladies in Japan have been doing it since way back in the 16th century, but it has only recently been getting some heavy buzz in the U.S. Even though it goes against everything your mother told you (i.e. if you shave that hair it will just grow in thicker and darker), a lot of beauty insiders are jumping on this trend and finding there are a lot of benefits to doing it.
Let’s face it, facial hair can be embarrassing and tends to get worse as women age. There are a number of ways to get rid of it, but most of them are either expensive, painful, involve harsh chemical and are generally a big hassle. While the idea may just seem wrong, remember that some spas in North America offer a very expensive procedure called Dermaplaning, which is basically using a razor to get rid of dead skin on your face that can cost anywhere from $75 to $150 per session. So if you think about it, maybe the idea isn’t so out there after all.
Before you jump in start shaving your face, hold on a second. There are a few things you need to know. First and foremost, you need to get the right kind of trimmer or razor, so put down that Mach 3 or your husbands nose ear and face trimmer. Those aren’t what you should be using, just don’t even try them- trimming women’s facial hair is a totally different process.
Why shave your face?
Let’s start at the beginning, why would you want to do this? Rumor has it even such beauties as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe may have shaved their faces. If you have struggled with facial hair in your life then skip to the next section. You already know why you should shave your face. If you are still on the fence these are the major reported benefits of shaving your face:
It makes you look younger. Who doesn’t want to look younger, (excluding those who are younger than 18 who, of course, want to look older). If you shave your face using a facial razor it will exfoliate your skin making it look brighter and smoother. One of the reasons that men seem to not age in their face as quickly as women, is that they are constantly shaving off the dead skin. It is generally accepted that exfoliating does help keep your skin looking younger and helps to get rid of dead skin, so this is another method of doing that.
It makes your makeup go on smoother. The smoother your skin, the better your makeup will look. If you are a real makeup aficionado, you will love how much easier and better your skin looks if you remove the peach fuzz that sometimes interferes with makeup application.
You don’t have to worry about facial hair and be embarrassed by it. To me, this would be the main reason that you are going to want to consider shaving your face. Being a woman and having excessive facial hair sucks, you are constantly worrying about being in certain lighting (hello bright sunlight) and wondering just how obvious your mustache may be to other people. Most other ways to get rid of facial hair are painful or expensive, and this solution is neither of those things.
How do they work?
If you are interested in shaving the hair off your face, there are two ways to go. You can use a manual facial razor that looks kind of like a mini scalpel. These are popular in Japan and are what Japanese women have been using for years to get rid of unwanted hair.
The other way you can go is to use an electric razor for women, sometimes called an electric trimmer. These are cool little gadgets that are about the size of a large pen that have a tip that kind of looks like a tiny comb. These have been gaining in popularity in recent years.
If you use the facial razor some experts recommend wetting your entire face first to soften the hairs, and then applying a sensitive, fragrance-free moisturizing cream or gel shaving cream all over your face, to help keep your skin from getting irritated. While others recommend using it on clean, dry skin. Do a patch test to see what works best for you. Move the razor at a 45 degree angle down your face in the direction your hairs grow. You use short downward strokes and you should pull your skin taut. It may take a few tries to get the angle right. When you have finished shaving, rinse and moisturize your face and wash the razor.
If you use an electric facial trimmer you also go over the hair with the trimmer in the direction the hair grows. You don’t need to moisturize or clean your face afterwards. You should clean the brush of the trimmer.
What are some potential problems with women shaving their face?
For some women shaving their face will work wonderfully and be one of the best ‘secrets’ that they have found. While for other women, particularly those who have sensitive skin or are unable to wax their face, there is some risk to having a break out or a reaction. If you are going to go ahead and shave your face, do a patch test beforehand just to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to it. Make sure you don’t do anything after you shave that may cause sweating and also don’t put makeup or really heavy lotion on the skin that has been shaved for a little bit. Otherwise you might risk clogging your pores or getting bacteria in them which could result in a breakout.
Shaving any part of your body can cause ingrown hairs, especially if you have medium to darker skin, however with this type dermaplaning you are generally just shaving off the peach fuzz type hair so you are unlikely to get ingrown hairs, but there is a small possibility.
It is also not generally advised for people who have serious acne to use facial razors, as it may make the acne worse.
What you don’t have to worry about is your hair growing back thicker if you shave it, this is a myth that has been debunked but for some reason will not go away.
What are the Best Facial Razors for Women?
Facial razors are pretty cool little tools, they resemble a small scalpel and are easy to use and maneuver. There are many different brands on the market with very similar designs. The one major difference in designs that you will notice is the blade is foldable on the slightly more expensive models and not foldable on cheaper brands. Generally they have a sharp, notched edge, and they’re meant to be used dry, without a shaving cream, although some experts do recommend moisturizing or using a type of shaving cream. You may want to test out both ways to see which works best for your skin type. FYI -when it is done in salons in Japan they use a moisturizer.
Here are some of the best facial razors to check out:
Tinkle Eyebrow Razor
The Tinkle is your best bet if you are just starting out. It is the most highly recommended by people in the know, it is inexpensive and easy to get (on Amazon).They come in packs of threes and cost somewhere around $5 for the pack. The handle is plastic and the blade has a stainless steel safety cover to stop the razor from cutting too deep. It doesn’t hurt to use, although it does take a little bit of playing around to find the best angle to cut the hair. You will know it when you find it. Available through Amazon
Feather Flamingo Facial Touch-up Razor
The Flamingo is very similar to the Tinkle, it features a safety guard on the razor to prevent rashes and scrapes. It is made in Japan where most of these razors are being imported from. The handle is plastic, and the blade is platinum-hardened. You can use it for your eyebrows, neck or your face. It also comes in a pack of three and is priced around $8. They fold over, making them convenient for travel or to put in a put in a purse and not have to worry about keeping on the covers that come on other razors. Reviewers love that they are very sharp, the blade is nice and long and they are able to maintain their sharpness over long periods of time. Available on Amazon.com.
The Brow Shaper by Lilibeth of New York
This brand is sold on the Home Shopping Network and tends to be mentioned by beauty insiders as one of the top products to use. They are quite a bit more expensive than their competitors at around $20 for a set of two. They do have the design feature that let the blade fold over, which keeps the edge safe. Customers who have very sensitive skin have found that this product works very well, causing no redness or rashes (but if you do get this shaver make sure you do a patch test, just to be sure).
Other Similar Products:
A lot of the other razors on the market have almost identical designs. Here are some of other brands to keep an eye out for and where to get them.
- FT Shiseido Eyebrow Razor
- Noxema Eyebrow Shaper (Walgreens, drugstore.com)
- Touch N Brow Razor (Sally Beauty)
What is the Best Electric Razor for Women’s Fine Facial Hair?
Facial trimmers only trim the fine facial hair really short, but unlike the facial razors mentioned above, trimmers don’t remove the hair completely. They are inexpensive, very easy to use and you can get them at most drug stores and major retailers. Despite being relatively new products, they are wildly popular and you can expect to see more companies producing them in the future. Here are a couple of the bestselling brands and models.
Panasonic Pivoting Facial Trimmer
These are great little tools to help keep facial hair under control. They have a micro-fine blade that you run along your face and it trims the fine hair with no discomfort or pain at all. You can also use it on your eyebrows. It runs on batteries (1 “AAA” battery) and is quite small so you can easily take it anywhere. Customers love it because it doesn’t hurt, it is precise, and doesn’t irritate. It is marketed as being good on course hair, but many customers find it doesn’t work well for that purpose, but does work well on peach fuzz type hair.
Available from Amazon
Philips Precision Perfect Trimmer
This Philips model is the same kind of idea as the Panasonic listed above. It has an adjustable comb, a precision trimming head, and a cleaning brush. It is also battery operated and super easy to use. It is small, around the size of a big pen and is surprisingly fun to use. If you find that it doesn’t work for you it has a full 2-year warranty and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Available from Amazon
If you are a woman who has struggled with facial hair you may want to consider shaving your face, it is an inexpensive, easy, and pain free way to help get rid of embarrassing facial hair. It won’t make the hair grow in thicker, but it will help get rid of, not only the hair, but dead skin as well, leaving your skin looking brighter and smoother. If you have sensitive skin that is prone to rashes or breaking out, you should definitely do a patch test in a smaller less noticeable area to ensure that using a skin razor is the right solution for you. If you are a little unsure about using the razor, instead try an electric facial trimmer as it only trims the hair and doesn’t cut it at the roots, so it is less likely that you will have a reaction to it.