Would You Shave Your Face?

We all know the perils of unwanted body hair, and the lengths we go to get rid of it. From lasering, waxing, shaving and threading, we’ll go through pain, redness and our wallets to keep ourselves stubble-free – from feet to face. But, there could be an entirely different reason to take up face shaving. And, it has little to do with ridding yourself of excess hair. 

BEAUTICATE LOVES THIS STUNNING SHOT OF SARA SAMPAIO TAKEN BY  ALVARO BEAMUD CORTES

BEAUTICATE LOVES THIS STUNNING SHOT OF SARA SAMPAIO TAKEN BY  ALVARO BEAMUD CORTES

There has been a little hushed conversation milling around: women are shaving their face as part of their beauty routine. Before you gasp in horror at the idea (it grows back with vengeance, right?), it is actually a long-standing ritual that has boasted many a beauty benefit. With some of the most iconic beauties (Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe) having openly admitted to taking to their face with a razor, we decided to investigate this resurged trend. 


Not a strange as you might think… 

The facial shaver has long been considered a male pastime (somewhere between the shaving gel and the eau de cologne). Most women, however, have at least a layer of fine hair across their face. While shaving obviously removes this soft layer of hair - and for those of us with darker hair, shaving can be a quickie-fix removal - it also acts as a means of exfoliation, removing the top layer of skin. This process creates smoother skin and a healthy glow – it would seem Liz Taylor was certainly onto a good thing. 

 

Don’t worry, you won’t get a stubble beard… 

The idea that hair will grow back quicker, thicker or darker after shaving is just a myth. Shaving only removes hair at the skin’s surface, and has no way of altering the natural growth cycle.  When we shave our body hair, it is cut at a blunt angle, rather than its natural tapered tip, causing the illusion of thickness. The hair on our face, on the other hand, is known as vellus hair – a soft ‘fuzz’, unlike the thicker hair on our legs and arms – and will grow back exactly the same way. 

 

The Benefits...

Much like the more intense cosmetic procedure, dermaplaning – the removal of the vellus hair by a dermatologist – this at-home version works as an exfoliant. While other facial exfoliations (beaded cleansers, facial scrubs) can dry out and irritate some skin types, shaving removes the dead skin cells without scrubbing the sensitive facial skin. So, this results in smoother skin, greater skin-cell renewal (for youthful skin) and a base ready for ease of makeup application without the abrasive side-effects. 

U.S facialist extraordinaire Kate Somerville confessed to the New York Times that she started facial shaving as a means of dealing with those pesky upper lip hairs. “Initially I did it because of the hair, but then I noticed that it was a great exfoliant and that my makeup went on a lot better.” Wrapped with the results, she admits to pushing the method onto a few of her celebrity clientele, although refuses to divulge who…

 

Now, let’s get shaving… 

So, if you want to give it a try, it’s not a simple matter of grabbing the nearest Venus and getting busy. Facial shaving is best done carefully and with a sharp men’s facial razor (they are more suited to and contoured for sensitive skin on the face). Lather up with an alcohol and soap free cream or gel, and gently shave in the direction of growth. Gently pat dry with a clean cloth or towel. 

Moisturising after is a must to ensure your skin doesn't dry out, just be sure to use products that won't irritate or sting (specifically formulated post-shave balms and creams are best). We would also recommend not shaving below the jaw or above the cheekbone as there is less hair in those areas; there's little benefit and more risk of nicking skin unnecessarily. How often you shave will depend on the hair’s growth cycle, so really listen to your skin's needs if facial shaving becomes your new favourite beauty step. 

 

You'll need...

 

Would you try shaving your face? Have you already? What’s the verdict?

 
Story by Emily Algar