The topic of facial hair — the unwanted kind — still isn’t talked about enough. When you received your first lesson on need-to-know beauty tips, covering everything from how to use a facial cleanser to where to apply blush, chances are no one told you that as you grow older, you might end up with a slight mustache or a few stray hairs on your chin.
Whether it’s genetics or simply aging that means those stray hairs pop up much more frequently, dealing with unwanted hair on the face is a really common experience. The good news is that there are a variety of means for removing facial hair — shaving, bleaching, waxing and threading are a few that come to mind. Keep reading as we share a how-to guide on facial hair removal equipped with eight options, ranging from quick and temporary fixes to how to remove facial hair permanently.
8 Ways to Remove Unwanted Facial Hair
Unwanted facial hair is a bummer but it’s also fairly easy to remove. Whether you want to make it a DIY process or head to a professional for expert help — or want something a little more permanent — you have options.
There’s a good chance your vanity is already home to a pair of tweezers. Whether you use them for plucking the odd eyebrow hair or holding false eyelashes, they’re a clear contender for removing unwanted facial hair. While they may not be the best pick if you have more than a handful of hairs to pluck, they’re ideal for quickly getting rid of stray hairs. Simply hold your skin taut and pull out the hairs in question — that’s all there is to it.
2. Eyebrow Razor
The razor you keep in your shower shouldn’t be repurposed for your facial hair. Despite that, it doesn't mean shaving isn’t a viable option for removing facial hair. While shaving your face is typically associated with guys, women can do it, too. To shave off unwanted facial hair, use the small razors meant specifically for cleaning up your eyebrows and removing peach fuzz.
While the results of shaving won’t be as long-lasting as tweezing, it’s a quick and painless process which has to count for something. You can even use an eyebrow razor to get rid of peach fuzz, also known as dermaplaning, for an extra step that can actually help your makeup look smoother.
3. Electric Facial Shaver
Similar to an eyebrow razor, electric facial shavers work wonders to remove unwanted hair, especially if you have more than a few stray hairs. These razors are typically battery-operated, gentle on your skin and small enough to remove hair only in the specific areas you choose. This is a great option for getting rid of that unwanted ‘stache or chin hairs. When using one, remember to read the instructions included with the device and take it slow.
Having unwanted hairs ripped out of your skin with hot wax isn’t exactly fun, but waxing can be done quickly, especially with a small area like the brows or upper lip, and the results last quite a while. If you think it may be worth giving a shot, book an appointment with a professional — don’t attempt to do it yourself. Applying hot wax to your face without any prior experience can very quickly become a disaster.
Keep in mind, waxing should be off the table if your skin care routine contains retinol. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), states that you should avoid using skin care products containing retinol two to five days prior to waxing your face because doing so may take some of your skin off with the wax. Since your skin could have a majorly bad reaction, play it safe and choose another hair removal option if you don’t want to cut out your holy grail product.
Threading has rapidly increased in popularity when it comes to eyebrow shaping and it’s for good reason. The steady rise can be credited to the fact that this removal method allows you to be ultra-precise with which hairs you’re removing and is safe for the skin, even if you use a product formulated with retinol. If waxing leaves you with red, irritated skin and breakouts, threading is a great alternative as the threads glide over the skin instead of sticking to it like wax.
Plus, this facial hair removal option isn’t solely reserved for touching up brows. You can have upper lip hair, chin hair and pretty much any other hairs on your face threaded.
6. Facial Epilator
A facial epilator is an electric hair remover that, like tweezers, uses forceps to pull out facial hair. It magnifies this effect by removing a number of hairs at once. It’s best for hair that’s on your cheeks and upper lip, as the eyebrow area tends to be more delicate.
Note however, that facial epilators aren’t quite the same as the epilator you would use on your underarms or legs. If you already have one of those, we wouldn’t recommend turning it into a multipurpose tool and using it on your face. Stick with facial hair removal methods that are specifically meant for your face as they’re going to be gentler than ones meant for the body.
7. Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a permanent hair removal method that’s becoming more and more popular. According to the Mayo Clinic, laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light to remove unwanted hair. The process delays hair growth for long periods of time, making it a great option for those who want a more long-term facial hair removal method. On the face, the most popular places for laser hair removal are the upper lip and chin.
Keep in mind that laser hair removal is no one-and-done process. If you want a long-term (or more or less permanent) solution, multiple sessions are required to keep the hair from growing back. This method is also the most costly way to remove unwanted facial hair, ranging from $300 to $2000 per session depending on the area of your body you want to remove hair from, where you go for removal (doctor versus medspa) and where you live.
If you don’t want to remove your facial hair, but want it to be less visible, bleaching is the option for you. Rather than deal with the potential pain of hair removal, you can bleach the hair along your upper lip or on your chin to make it less obvious. Of course, this method won’t work if you have a darker skin tone since the bleached hair will pop against your deep complexion.
Not all bleaching products are created equal and when you’re applying bleach to your face, you want to err on the side of caution. This means resisting the urge to pick up a box of bleach that’s meant for the hair on your head. Choose one that’s specifically formulated for facial hair because using one that’s intended for your mane could put you at a big risk for irritated skin.
How to Take Care Of Your Skin Before and After Facial Hair Removal
Your work isn’t done once the hair is gone. To see the best results with whichever facial hair removal option you choose, be sure to follow these simple prep and aftercare steps.
1. Cleanse Beforehand
Your skin should be completely clean before tweezing, shaving, bleaching, waxing or threading. That means no lingering face makeup should be on your skin. Use a gentle cream cleanser, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser to cleanse the skin of dirt and oils. It also removes all traces of makeup while gently exfoliating and removing skin impurities.
2. Moisturize Afterward
To soothe your skin after removing facial hair, apply a gentle moisturizer with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and ceramides as they help the skin to retain moisture and strengthen the skin barrier. Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream. This silky moisturizer includes both of the aforementioned ingredients to deeply moisturize with a fast-absorbing texture.
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Erik Dalzen, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Mirna Jose, Hair Assistant: Keila Rivera, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Model: Omega
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