If you believe recent press it appears face shaving is no longer a beauty habit reserved just for men. Latest reports in the media go as far as suggesting that shaving is not only an effective method for removing unwanted facial hair but can also increase smoothness of the skin, improve skin’s ability to absorb product and subsequently take years off our age. Slightly sceptical and with fears of 5 O’Clock shadow we decided to get to the bottom of this madness and call on some professional opinion on whether there can ever be a benefit to taking a razor to your face.
To say Rachel Cross , a hair removal expert with 22 years experience, is against the idea is a somewhat understatement. “Two things cause facial hair growth; hormones and stimulation of the blood supply. The friction created by shaving will eventually cause the hairs to grow thicker, stronger and spread more growth.” said Cross. Award winning cosmetic and skin doctor Dr Terry Loong agrees, “Shaving could cause razor burns, stubble, ingrown hairs and even infection if not done correctly and it can lead to scars and pigmentation.”
In terms of shaving functioning as a form of exfoliation or creating a more youthful appearance, the experts agree its not the solution we are looking for. "In my opinion I don't recommend women shave their faces to exfoliate their skin. There are many other safer ways to do it.” Long commented. Cross even goes as far to say, “The idea of shaving your face to aid product use is one of the worst pieces of advice I have heard in a long time and rest assured that any women who follows this advice will live to regret it.”
So, what is the best course of action for women suffering from unwanted facial hair? Long explains that, “Women who suffer from unwanted facial hair typically have relatively high testosterone, which is the male hormone.” To decrease levels of testosterone without visiting a doctor, Long recommends, “Reducing the amount sugar in your diet and avoiding heavy weight training or high intensity exercise - unless this exercise is coupled with relaxing techniques such as meditation or yoga.”
After focusing on internal prevention, both experts concur that aesthetic treatments are the best method in hair removal; Long advocates IPL or Laser whereas Cross favours Electrolysis. If you can’t afford the professional help Cross advises to “Trim or cut the hair rather than shave. As this will not stimulate stronger growth or produce more hair.”
So the jury is out, for younger looking skin stick to the tried and tested method of cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise and for unwanted facial hair the answer is anything but shaving...