Should Women Be Shaving Their Faces?

It’s been a part of Japanese skincare routines for years and years but us Aussie women have been slower to make shaving our faces a part of our everyday regimen. While beauty bloggers and Instagram stars have been showing off the benefits online, there’s still a lot of confusion around whether or not it’s beneficial.

I was first introduced to the idea when I read about an exfoliating treatment called dermaplaning. Despite its fancy name, dermaplaning simply involves an aesthetician using a scalpel like blade to remove a very very fine layer of dead skin from your face. The exfoliating effect is similar to microdermabrasion however with dermaplaning, you get the benefit of removing the fine vellus hair or ‘peach fuzz’ that’s common on the lower cheeks.

While using a razor to shave your face at home is a much more simplified and less intense version of dermaplaning, the concept is the same.

The uncertainty around how the hair grows back is undoubtedly the biggest factor to sway women away from trying shaving their face. It’s natural to expect your facial hair to grow back thicker and darker just like when we shave our legs however it doesn’t grow back thicker at all.

What shaving your face does do however, is leave you feeling smooth, allows skincare to soak in deeper and can prevent clogged pores thanks to the removal of dead skin cells and hairs that cling onto excess sebum. Many will argue it’s a more effective physical exfoliating method than your usual scrub as it is smoother and more methodical whereas scrubs can end up just moving dead skin around.

Just like any type of exfoliation your skin will be brighter and over time pigmentation, fine lines, acne and blackheads will be reduced.

Here’s what you should know before shaving your face…

Face shaving is suitable for all skin types. Whether you have dry, oily, normal, suffer from pigmentation or are seeing the first signs of ageing, shaving can work for you. The only time it’s not recommended is for those with inflamed acne.

There’s no down time so you can do your skincare or makeup routine straight away. Having a freshly shaved face may actually help to make your skincare products more effective and you’ll find your makeup sits a lot smoother.

Always cleanse your face first. If you begin shaving with makeup on you’ll end up just scraping your foundation of with little else. You also need to remember that you’re removing a fine layer of skin leaving your fresh layer more sensitive and susceptive to outside influence just like when you use a chemical exfoliator.

You should be using a facial razor. These are simple, single blade razors that have no kinds of lubricants or soap strips attached. They give you the most control possible while shaving your face and help you get hard to reach places. Just be careful as they don’t have the usual protective cases that regular razors do.

Keep your razor clean and replace it every few uses. Just like makeup brushes or other beauty tools, anything that’s touching your face needs to be kept clean and hygienic to prevent infection or unnecessary damage to your skin.

Use gentle upward strokes holding your skin taught as you shave. Just like your legs or underarms, you need to shave against the natural grain of your hair growth to get the closest and most effective shave.

Don’t forget to use SPF. Your new skin can easily be sun damaged so be sure to be extra diligent about sun care and protect your face to prevent premature ageing, sunburn and pigmentation.

You will get stubble. But don’t worry, no-one notices it but you. It’s easy to mistake the slightly rough feeling of freshly growing hair as the hair coming back thicker, but as it grows it quickly returns to soft and mostly invisible fluff.

You can experience ingrown hairs. Anytime you shave hair anywhere on your body you increase your chances of ingrown hairs. Gently chemically exfoliating as your hairs grow back is one of the most effective ways to prevent it.

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