Should Women Shave Their Faces?

You maybe don’t need the shaving cream. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Got a little peach fuzz along your cheekbones? Stray strands along your hairline? According to makeup artist Huda Kattan, women can simply shave their faces for smooth, flawless, makeup-ready skin. (?!)

Yup! In a recent YouTube video, the Dubai-area cosmetic guru swears she’s a razor devotee — along with the likes of beauty icons Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. 

Kattan suggests carefully shaving any unwanted hair with a dry face and straight-blade razor (that you don’t share with others). “It’s not as crazy as people think it is,” she insists. Eh. Since we were still slightly skeptical, we decided to double-check with a couple of skin experts.

It’s actually a solid tip, says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Many people feel that men age better than women because they shave their faces,” he tells Yahoo Beauty. “The regular skin exfoliation that occurs along with hair removal improves skin radiance.”

So, OK, but we still have a couple of fears. What about skin irritation? (We’ve shaved our legs for years. We know!) Zeichner says you can lightly shave in the direction of hair growth, and there should be very minimal irritation of the skin. “Be sure to prep the skin with shaving gel, just as you would when shaving your legs,” he says. “After shaving, apply postshave moisturizer to improve skin hydration and minimize the risk of skin irritation.”

But will that peach fuzz we lop off grow back thicker? “That’s actually a myth,” Zeichner says. “The hair that grows back does so with a blunt edge, but the diameter of the hair is no thicker than it would be before it was shaved.” Phew.

In case you were wondering if celebrity makeup artists are shaving the faces of their female clients, we asked one. Marni Burton says she does have a razor stashed in her cosmetic kit right now. “ A long, flat razor,” she says. “Not the kind of razor a guy shaves his face with, [or] we shave our legs with. Flat razors also are precise and, for a woman, makes you feel better about [the process]. I have used it on clients, for sure.” A razor for baby hair also works, and you can find an assortment on Amazon.

In case you’re still on the fence, Burton really does sing its praises. “Makeup does look better [after shaving],” she says. “Close-up pictures look better. It helps with acne. Your skin feels cleaner, like after using the best exfoliator.” 

So choose a flat straight-edge razor to gently buff away hair, if you please. When people ask how you got your skin so flawlessly smooth, feel free to confess — or just smile knowingly.

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