Dear Megan,

What is “shaving your face”? I’ve seen a lot of posts about it recently online, but I can’t decide if it’s real or just a joke!

– Amana O.

Surprisingly, shaving your face is totally real.

And it’s recently gained a lot of popularity thanks to online beauty guru Huda Kattan.

Huda Kattan (of Huda Beauty) is one of the most influential beauty bloggers around. Not only does she have a line of faux lashes being carried in Sephora (and worn by a bevy of Hollywood’s hottest), she also boasts a large following of 14.3 MILLION on Instagram. And it is on Instagram where she shares some of her…er…unconventional #BeautyHacks. While I think Huda’s “tape contour” trick and her “cotton eyelash extensions” were a bit too much, a recent video she did caught my attention. Kattan demonstrates how she shaves her face. Yes. Her face.

Huda claims that stars like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor used this trick to maintain a youthful appearance and help with makeup application. She also claims that this technique has been popular in Asia for years. So should you pick up a razor and start shaving off those baby hairs? Let’s examine the evidence.

Who Should Consider Shaving Their Face?

Face shaving is very, very popular in Asia, but in the states we tend to think of waxing as a first resort, while eschewing the idea of shaving.

Those with darker hair are probably used to taking care of unwanted facial hair with bleaching or waxing. Those with lighter hair may or may not have taken the waxing plunge. In any case, everyone is a good candidate for face shaving. Here’s why:

What does Shaving my Face Help?

First, let’s start with what you can shave, before we hit they why. You could shave your:

– Eyebrows

– Lip

– Hair Line

– Side burns

– or your whole face (seriously)!

Shaving your eyebrows is akin to trimming, waxing and plucking combined. It allows you to get a precise shape.For your hair line and side burns, it’s about controlling your lines. For your lips and entire face, shaving helps you apply your makeup more smoothly and evenly, and makes for a better finish.

Many women (myself included) struggle with what’s lovingly referred to as a “foundation mustache.” This is where your foundation clings to the hairs above your upper lip, creating the appearance of a shadow. What’s the best way to get rid of an unwanted mustache? Shave it! And yes, I admit, I shave my upper lip hair. It’s embarrassing to own up to, but since we are on the subject I thought now is as good a time as any to own up to my darkest beauty secret.

The Method: Don’t Use Shaving Cream + a Razor!

Whenever I start to notice hairs, I take a razor (like this – which is really an eyebrow shaper) and shave them off. I use coconut or olive oil as “shaving cream” and off they come. Again, we are NOT using a regular razor and we are NOT putting shaving cream all over our faces! Use a small eyebrow shaper, like I linked to and also like Huda is showing in the picture above, and shave as needed, where needed, using proper moisturizer so you don’t get razor burns or bumps.

And.. tada! Bye bye foundation moustache. I haven’t had a problem with my foundation clinging to any hairs since!

But…won’t the Hair Grow Back Longer & Darker?!

No. No. No. No. No. This is a myth that has been perpetuated for years.

“It is definitely a myth that shaving will make the hair coarser or darker,” says Elizabeth K. Hale, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center.

Because your genes determine everything about your body’s characteristics, you can’t change them simply by shaving. If you are born with thin, blonde hair, no amount of shaving will alter that (source). So don’t believe the hype!

And I’ll admit, even though it’s a myth–and I knew it was a myth–I was still terrified to try it the first time. REALLY, seriously terrified. But you just gotta jump in feet first.

Does Shaving Your Face Help with Aging?

An article published in the Daily Mail boldly stated that the reason men age better than women is because they shave their faces. Shaving exfoliates dead skin cells, which allows your skin care products to penetrate better.

Sorry guys, I’m going to have to call bull on this one. Women, arguably, exfoliate their skin just as much, if not more, than men do. It’s a regular part of any woman’s routine! Not only that, but exfoliating products (my fav one coming up soon, by the way), are much more effective than razors. So if you want to start shaving in hopes of looking like you’re 21 when you’re 41- I’d say skip the razor and invest in a great exfoliator and retinol serum.

Final Thoughts: Shaving Your Face

So while I don’t think that shaving your face is 1) a proper exfoliation method or 2) will help make you look younger, I do think it helps with the application of makeup. And even though the hair on my face is blonde, I do get self conscious of it because in certain lights and at various angles it can be very visible. I’ve been shaving my face for over 6 months now and haven’t had any problems with the hair growing back thicker or darker.

At the end of the day, do what feels best for you!


Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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