Secrets out. I shave my face weekly and if my husband, Sir Charleslie, reads this he will finally understand why I have a razor in my tooth brush holder. Annnnd...that its not for a quick at the sink bikini line shave like I told him it was. Cause, if I'm honest, that area hasn't seen a razor in a hot minute. It's winter and just like people don't like to paint their toenails in the winter to give them a "break", I do the same for my bikini area. But that's for another day...
Yes, I shave my face and have been for years. I will get to my reasons as to why here in a few, but how I even came to include this in my skin care routine was by taking part in a guilty pleasure - I was watching some good ole classic reality TV. If you were an original Real Housewives of New Jersey fan, then you might remember the scene where Caroline Manzo was in her bathroom doing her nightly rituals while casually chatting in front of her husband and openly, like it was completely normal, shaving her face. Just recapping the day with her hubs and stroking up her bare faced skin with a mach 3 razor with no shaving cream. No biggie. Except, it became national headlines and people were totally freaking out. Not me though. At this point in my professional life, I had been working for a prestigious cosmetic brand for quite some time and this totally intrigued me. I am and forever will be all about some skin care treatments, products, methods, you name it.
Shortly after seeing this, I had my annual dermatologist appointment. Some of my concerns to discuss with my doctor was my sensitive and very reactive skin after a hair removal treatment for my lady stash. I can grow a mustache better than a hormonal boy in puberty and it's so annoying! Every time I would get my upper lip either waxed, threaded, Nair'd, or bleached, it would break out. It got to the point of not knowing which was worse - my dark whiskers or all the pustule bumps. Either way, it was so embarrassing and by the time the area would heal, it wasn't long in between before I'd have to do it all over again. I didn't have much time to enjoy not worrying and stressing over the thought of someone noticing my lady stash or using a shish ton of makeup to try to cover it up. And yes - I have tried every kind of organic, soothing, essential oil healing, clean kind of products out there.
So...back to my chat with my derm doctor - I shared this nightmare and she had the most simple response. "Oh...well then just shave it off." I immediately flashed to images of searching for the best face shaving cream to use. Should I try cream or a shave lotion? What about an electric razor? She could see my eyebrows take the shape of "what the hell, lady?" She again just matter of fact said, "seriously...just shave it. But not like how a man shaves." This began to ease me, and I shared with her about Caroline Manzo and she was like, "oh yeah! I saw that too, and yes kinda like her."
My doctor began to share the comparisons to male facial skin and female facial skin along with the differences of their facial hair. It's not the same. And for me who was experiencing the worst luck managing my upper lip, the simple, yet very effective solution to shave my face seemed like a win - which it has been and I've been doing it for years now with no issue. So I found it kinda funny that the ever popular dermaplaning has blown up and now all you see is women posting to the gram vids and pics of themselves shaving their faces. They do say there are differences between dermaplaning and shaving, but nonetheless, the hair removal seems to be the same and as effective.
So, what are the differences between dermaplaning and shaving?
TBH, there's more in common than different with these two methods. I would say the main difference is the tool itself. Dermaplaning uses a single sharp blade and is noted that this method/tool exfoliates the epidermis as well as the removal of the skin's vellus hair. Otherwise known as "peach fuzz". It is suggested to dermaplane on clean, dry skin. This I do as well with a more traditional razor. Some people consider dermaplaning as their main form of exfoliation as well. I personally do not, as I exfoliate my skin daily. That is what is best for my skin and gives me the best results from both my skincare and my makeup application. But, of course everyone is different.
Can I do this at home or do I need to visit a dermatologist or esthetician?
This answer is a matter of opinion. I personally was told by a dermatologist that I could easily do this myself at home. I had no problem with doing that and felt totally comfortable in doing so. If you don't and are unsure with how to do it or concerned with how your skin will respond and react, then definitely consult peeps within that field. If your current skincare routine and products do not currently involve exfoliation or promote cell turnover, then taking a blade to your face may cause some irritation. Both manual scrubs and/or serums that encourage exfoliation are traditionally released on a more gentle level and tends to take your face a little while to fully shed an entire layer of skin. So, don't be surprised if your skin does react to taking a straight blade to it because you are truly removing dead skin at a more rapid rate. Which is fine and safe to do, but some skin does not handle that as well. Think of it as you had never run a day in your life, or maybe you will hit the pavement here and there, but nothing on the regular, then you decided to enter into a marathon but don't train for it. What happens? Maybe nothing and your body handled it like a champ (not me, I'd pop a lung and die) or maybe you had to stop to walk a lot or quit all together. Your body needs time to build up a tolerance for such physical activity and your facial skin is no different.
Bottom line, use your judgment. If concerned, reach out to the professionals. What I don't think you should do is watch your latest Insta influencer on how to do it or a YouTube video. If you're concerned enough, there are great people who know what would be best for you, your skin and can properly guide you to achieve your best skin results.
Facial hair myths...
The texture and color of your hair on your entire body is the same even after you shave or remove it. Look at your legs, armpit, or bikini line hair - it's the same every time it grows back. It does not change and grow back thicker, darker, or fuller. That is a huge myth. You can not change the structure of your hair follicle by shaving the hair from which it grows from off. When you do, yes, the hair can seem thicker as it grows back in because it has a blunt edge to it. But once the hair has fully grown back, it will be the exact same.
Second, you cannot change the pigmentation of your facial skin. Now, your skin can appear brighter, which is why exfoliation is so loved, but not the actual pigment. However, what can adjust the skins pigmentation change is a blemish, such as an in-grown hair or breakout and sun exposure. But, not the actual process of shaving the hair. Wear SPF daily, for a million reasons with one being to prevent skin discoloration.
What can change in your skin or hair is a hormonal shift. But shaving your skin does not cause hormonal changes throughout your body. It's not that powerful.
As for me, I truly am grateful I introduced this to my skin routine years ago. It has honestly saved me and allowed me to be more confident. And as I shared above, I did initially consult my dermatologist on my concern and her suggestions for treatment did work for me. I also was confident in doing this method as I had been a trainer in the cosmetic industry at an executive level for nearly 15 years. I am also confident to know what I can try on my own and when I need to reach out to the experts. You do you!