Wait—Read This Before Shaving Your Face, Pls! (2024)

So you’re trying to figure out how to shave your face, eh? Maybe you’ve seen all of the IG and TikTok videos of people shaving off their peach fuzz to fix cakey foundation and soften their skin texture, or maybe you're working with PCOS or hirsutism and looking for some hair-removal options that won't, uh, burn your freakin' face off. Or maybe, you're just trying to figure out whether or not to spend the money on a professional dermaplaning treatment, instead of DIYing it at home.

Regardless of why you're lookin' into how to shave your face, you're in the right place. Because we chatted with the experts about all things face-shaving, peach fuzz, and more. Keep reading to find out everything you've ever wanted to know about getting super-smooth, hair-free skin (if, of course, that's your thing—body hair is normal and natural, so please do whatever the f*ck you want and ignore the rest).

Meet the experts:

Is shaving good for your face?

There's no good or bad when it comes to shaving your face (if you do it correctly, of course)—it's all personal preference. Is there a medical or skincare benefit to shaving your face at home? Nope! Unlike professional dermaplaning, which removes the top layer of your skin (along with your hair) for an added exfoliating effect, shaving just removes surface-level hair...and that's about it.

With face shaving, you use a (clean, new) razor to remove surface-layer peach fuzz, but with dermaplaning, a dermatologist or medical esthetician uses a surgical scalpel to carefully remove hair, peach fuzz, and even part of the stratum corneum (the top layer of your skin), says dermatologist Estee Williams, MD. Think of shaving as the cheaper, easier DIY hair removal option and dermaplaning as the more effective, professional version.

Wait—Read This Before Shaving Your Face, Pls! (1)

Is it OK to shave peach fuzz on your face?

Yes, it's totally fine to shave the peach fuzz (aka vellus hair) on your face, if it bothers you. Though your body hair—including your peach fuzz—serves the purpose of insulating and protecting your body, there's no real harm in (safely) removing yours, if you're not a fan of it. It all comes down to personal preference.

Will my hair grow back thicker after shaving?

No, your hair will not grow back thicker or darker after shaving it or dermaplaning it—this is one of the age-old myths that just won't freakin' die. “That myth exists because people mistake the wispy feeling of their unshaven facial hair with the slightly blunt feeling of their clean-shaven facial hair as it starts to grow back,” says dermatologist Dr. Schultz. “So it’s more about what you’re feeling and seeing, versus what is actually going on.”

What is the proper way to shave your face?

Put down your usual body razor or bikini trimmer and grab a clean, new face shaver—specifically, a razor that’s actually been designed for delicate peach fuzz—because the best way to shave your face is with a facial razor. Actually, while you’re at it, go ahead and grab a whole pack, because you’ll want to toss the blades after each use to be safe. The key to preventing ingrown hairs and razor burn is to use a sharp, sterile razor, so trying to get the most uses out of your blade is a definite no-go when shaving your face.

Everything you need to shave your face at home:

How to shave your face:

Shaving your face sounds straightforward enough...until you're standing in the mirror holding a razor and filled with nerves (hi, me). So here's a breakdown of how to shave your face in four easy steps. Gather all your supplies (shop our recs below), then follow along.

1. Cleanse. First, you want to make sure your face is totally clean and free of makeup or residue. so wash your face with a gentle cleanser or a simple face wash for sensitive skin to clear away any grime and soften your peach fuzz.

2. Apply a shave gel. Although some people swear by shaving clean, dry skin to exfoliate your face (which is totally fine, if that works for you), Dr. Schultz recommends using a shaving cream or a thin layer of your gentle face wash on damp skin to minimize friction and prevent irritation. So first, wet your entire face, then apply a thin layer of cream or gel all over the area you’re shaving.

3. Shave in short, light strokes. Tilt the razor and lightly place it against your skin (Dr. Shah recommends holding it at a 45- or 30-degree angle). Once you have the hang of how to hold it, use short, light strokes to shave the hair in the direction that it grows to avoid ingrowns. If you need, you can use the other hand to pull the skin taut and prevent the razor from skipping or tugging on the skin.

4. Rinse and moisturize. Splash a little water over your face to wash away any leftover fuzzies, then Dr. Shah says to follow up with a gentle, water-based moisturizer and avoid any products that contain any harsh actives, like retinol or glycolic acid, immediately afterward.

Need a visual? Check out...

Our favorite face-shaving tutorials:

Is face shaving safe?

Yes, face shaving is safe, depending on your skin type and your technique. Dr. Williams explains that shaving your face can cause irritation and should be avoided if you have sensitive skin or an active acne breakout—both of which can be made worse by the sharp blades. Otherwise, TikTok-famous dermatologist Muneeb Shah, DO, (and the creator of one of the videos that popped up in my feed and got me interested) says shaving your face is safe to try at home, as long as you practice safety measures.

For one, practice holding the razor and test it on another part of your body before trying it on your face to make sure you understand how to properly angle the shaver. It's also super important to use a clean razor every. single. time. because you could nick your skin and risk an infection if the blades are dirty. No good.

The final word

As is the case with most beauty treatments that have plenty of room for error, leave the face shaving to the pros for the best, safest, and most noticeable results. But if you can’t justify spending up to $250 on a dermaplaning treatment and want to try it yourself to remove annoying hairs and help your products better penetrate, just promise you’ll *at least* use a clean razor and follow the steps above. Cool? Cool.

Wait—Read This Before Shaving Your Face, Pls! (8)

Chloe Metzger

Deputy Beauty Director

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in Allure, Health, Fitness, Marie Claire, StyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.

Wait—Read This Before Shaving Your Face, Pls! (9)

Brooke Shunatona

Brooke Shunatona is a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com.

Wait—Read This Before Shaving Your Face, Pls! (2024)


What should I do before shaving my face? ›

Make sure to wash your wash thoroughly before shaving. Apply a thick layer of moisturiser/ aloe vera gel/any facial oil in order to make the razor glide smoothly. Stretch your skin tightly upwards in one hand, and in the other hand start shaving with a small stroke.

What is best to shave your face with? ›

Use a straight edge, single-blade razor designed specifically for women's facial shaving. These products are sometimes referred to as eyebrow shaving razors or dermaplaning tools. To avoid nicking or irritating your skin, never use a dull razor. When shaving, hold the skin taut with one hand.

What is the correct direction to shave your face? ›

Tips for men: how to shave
  1. Wet your skin and hair to soften it. ...
  2. Apply a foaming shaving cream. ...
  3. Let the cream sit for two to three minutes. ...
  4. Shave in the direction that your hair grows. ...
  5. Rinse after each swipe of the razor. ...
  6. After shaving, rinse your face with cold water to reduce inflammation.
Feb 13, 2018

Should I shave my face dry or wet? ›

For the least chance of irritation and closeness, a wet shave is normally superior but dry shaving can save on time and lets you shave in either direction. If you regularly notice red and irritated patches after shaving, choosing the best shaver for sensitive skin is vital.

What should I do before and after shaving my face? ›

  1. Always hydrate your face before shaving. This will reduce friction and prevent skin irritation.
  2. Always shave your face in the same direction of hair growth to keep the irritation at a minimum.
  3. Always use a wet cloth to clean your face gently. This will keep your hair soft.
  4. Always rinse the razor after each stroke.
Aug 29, 2022

Should I oil my face before shaving? ›

"By first applying an emollient-rich facial oil, you add a layer of protection to the skin barrier and increase the glide of your blade — comparable to using a shaving cream," explains dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, MD, FAAD.

What gives you the smoothest shave? ›

Use shaving cream, not soap

That means it could dry your skin out, leading to flaky skin. Not the vibe you're going for. Instead, use a foam or gel formulated specifically for shaving. Or you can try hair conditioner or body oil.

Do dermatologists recommend face shaving? ›

How often should one shave their face at home? AHD Team: At Alamo Heights Dermatology, we don't advise women to shave their face with a razor. If they're interested in hair removal that is not laser or Dermaplaning, we would suggest one of the wands you can find over the counter for more effective and safe results.

Is it OK to remove peach fuzz from face? ›

Is It Okay to Remove Peach Fuzz on Your Face? According to the Cleveland Clinic, peach fuzz, also known as vellus hair, grows all over the body to protect the skin and regulate body heat. If you don't like the way vellus hair looks, you can remove it.

How do I get the closest shave on my face? ›

It is not advised to go against the 'grain' or the growth pattern of your beard. So go with the grain in parallel strokes, and if you need to get closer try a diagonal stroke. Once you've finished shaving, hydrate and soothe your skin with a post shave balm.

How do you shave your face and make it smooth? ›

We recommend that you shave immediately after showering, or even in the shower. Hydrating softens your hair, allowing the razor to glide more easily. Use a face scrub or wash to remove oil, dirt, and dead skin, preparing your skin for a comfortable shave.

Does a shaved face look better? ›

Some reap the benefits of shaving every day: it makes them look fresher, neater and more professional. Others gain confidence by letting their facial hair transform their looks adding sophistication, charm and creativity to their grooming routine.

What are the disadvantages of shaving your face? ›

Irritation and Redness: Shaving can cause temporary redness and irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin. Risk of Ingrown Hairs: Shaving may lead to ingrown hairs, which can be painful and unsightly.

How can I remove facial hair permanently? ›

Electrolysis can permanently remove unwanted hair. Once your hair is gone, you won't need maintenance treatments. It works on all hair types, including light-colored hairs, which lasers cannot remove.

How do you permanently remove peach fuzz? ›

Laser Hair Removal or Electrolysis

Laser hair removal, which heats up the hair follicles to discourage hair growth and electrolysis, which destroys hair follicles permanently, can be done by a professional over several sessions to remove unwanted facial hair.

Should I wash my face before I shave? ›

2. Cleanse Your Face. You should wash your face both before and after shaving. Washing before shaving helps to soften wiry hairs, making them easier to shave, while washing your face with warm water after shaving cleans the skin of excess hair and product.

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