So, is face shaving okay now? Here’s what the skin experts have to say

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Face shaving for women has long been a hotly debated topic. Is it safe to do so? What are the side effects? What does tracking look like, and more importantly, is it even necessary? Experts say that your facial hair fades after a while, either through sun exposure, various creams, or discoloration. Thus, it appears lighter, golden and blends with your skin. But for Instagram and TikTok skincare enthusiasts, face shaving has found new ground to be relevant. It gives your skin a radiant look (thanks to the exfoliating action) and a softer feel.

The cosmetic-looking coils often point to hair and grime coming off the razor pen, and it’s incredibly satisfying (a little gross!) to watch. That said, how safe and effective is face shaving? We asked a few experts to comment on the same, and here’s what they had to say.

How effective is face shaving?

“Of course you can shave your face, but it can’t become a habit. Similar to exfoliation, doing it too often or too harshly can damage the skin,” said Dr. Rashmi Shetty, famous dermatologist and founder of Ra Skin and Aesthetics Clinic in Mumbai. “It’s definitely a better alternative to waxing because there’s no external application of heat, pulling your skin in the wrong direction. But it’s not an alternative to permanent hair removal. PHR is much more advanced and effective for facial and body hair,” she explained.

If this is the real scoop of face shaving when it comes to hair removal, why is it suddenly so popular? “Many women shave their face to remove facial hair, excess oily debris and dead skin on the skin. It mimics exfoliation and makes the skin look brighter,” Dr. Mrunal Shah Modi, Director – Shine Skin, Hair & Laser Clinic – Mumbai. She also reiterated Dr. Rashmi’s view on the effectiveness of face shaving. She said: “When it comes to being a hair remover, you’re going to have to do it quite often. The hair on your face will come back much faster than tweezing, waxing or permanent hair removal. It is temporary in nature and should be treated as a quick fix.

Will your hair grow back thicker?

So your facial hair will definitely grow back faster after shaving, but will it get thicker? The consensus seems to be that women who shave their faces will end up with a beard by the time they hit their 30s. But Dr. Mrunal busted this myth saying, “After shaving, the new hair growth looks sharp and like a beard because the hair is cut and the shaft starts to grow, but that doesn’t make it thicker. Hair feel returns to normal after growing out a bit; shaving also has no impact on hair color.

Dr. Rashmi pointed out that “if you are dealing with very thick, terminal, male-like hair on your face, simply shaving will not help. You should meet with your dermatologist to have it checked to understand the underlying cause and get it treated accordingly.

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How do you shave your face?

Now that you have some clarity on shaving your face, you may be wondering how to do it safely. The type of facial razor that’s right for you depends on how close you want the shave to be. There are a variety of shapes, sizes and blades available in the market. Just be sure to choose one from a reputable manufacturer, as there is a lot of science behind the creation of blades. You need to make sure the edges are coated, sharp and angled to give you a close shave.

When it comes to prep. Experts recommend shaving only on a well-hydrated face. Wash your skin with lukewarm water and a pH-balanced cleanser. Prep it with moisturizer or face oil so the blade glides smoothly. Always shave in the direction of the hair growth and be sure to keep your skin slightly taut to avoid catching the edge on the hair.

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What does tracking look like?

After shaving your face, it’s all about letting your skin rest and relax for a while. Follow your shaving routine with a mild moisturizer; avoid harsh ingredients like AHAs, BHAs, and retinol for a day or two. Don’t put on makeup immediately after shaving, as it may clog your pores. If irritation occurs, you can use an antibiotic cream to calm your skin.

What precautions should be taken with shaving the face?

Dr Mrunal warned: “People with sensitive skin should avoid shaving as it can lead to rashes. If you have active boils and pimples on your face, shaving can become painful and increase your risk of infection. If not done properly, you might even experience growth and irritation. Make sure you don’t do it in multiple directions and contour your acne if you absolutely want to.

Dr Rashmi cautioned people with dry skin, in particular: “Dehydrated, dry and sensitive skin should avoid shaving the face. You don’t want to further damage the top layer of skin. You can, however, wait until your skin is healthy again and then give it a try.

As for how often you can shave your face, that’s entirely up to you and your time limits. It is safe to do this every 2-3 days if you want a super smooth and clear skin look. You can even do it every 3-5 days as a grooming maintenance. It won’t harm your skin as long as it’s done gently and followed by aftercare.

Pictures: Instagram

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