Updated: July 2017
I get this question a lot! Men have always been known for aging gracefully (and they don’t even appreciate it). Their secret? Shaving. Here are some myths and facts regarding shaving your face. You might find that you will want to do it…
Myth: Shaving your face makes your hair grow back darker and thicker. Just as with the rest of your body, hairs on your face will not grow back darker, thicker, or more numerous if you shave them.
Fact: Shaving coarse hair will create stubble. If you have a few coarser hairs sprinkled among the peach fuzz, pluck or wax them first to avoid any chance of (horrors) facial stubble. Female face shaving is a skin treatment, not a hair removal method.
Myth: Shaving roughens the skin. If you’re like most women, you’ll find your legs feel smoother than parts of your body that you don’t shave. Smooth, fine-textured skin is just a side effect for legs, but for your face, it’s a prime benefit of shaving.
Fact: Men look so young for their age in part because they shave their faces. Exfoliation speeds up skin cell turnover and reveals chubby young skin cells underneath the old gray ones. Women exfoliate with scrubs or cloths and men shave. As far as skin is concerned, it’s all exfoliation; skin doesn’t care if it’s taboo to shave.
Myth: Shaving gives you ingrown hairs. Fine hairs don’t have the tensile strength to grow into skin like coarser hair on the legs and at the bikini line, so shaving can’t cause ingrown facial hair. This is another reason to remove coarse hairs before shaving.
Fact: Makeup goes on more smoothly with a shaved face. If you want immaculate foundation coverage, shave your skin smooth. While female face shaving improves skin texture, taking off any fine hair down near your jawline is a nice fringe benefit. Powder that used to cling to facial fuzz now lies flat and smooth on your skin.
If you’re convinced, here’s a quick rundown on how to shave your face. If it makes you feel better, call it “razor exfoliation.”
Wash your face before shaving and let it dry thoroughly.
Use a special razor and throw away after 5 uses. You don’t want to use a dull blade.
Remove any coarse hair with tweezers (a good pair of tweezers is important).
Shave in the opposite direction of hair growth at a 45 degree angle using short, upward strokes.
Avoid acne, blemishes or any skin irritation.
Shaving is a form of exfoliation. Skip other forms of exfoliation a few days before and after.
Clean the blade with rubbing alcohol when finished.
Always use a razor dedicated to face shaving alone. Hair elsewhere is too coarse, and using the same razor everywhere leads to shaving cuts. Take care around your hairline and eyebrows. You want people to notice your glow, not your half an eyebrow. As long as you remove coarse hairs first, you can shave as often as you like (about every 3 weeks). It’s one of the kindest and least irritating skin treatments.