Unwanted facial hair can lead to low self-esteem and a negative self-image. One study shows that 80 percent of women surveyed would give up their favorite indulgence, whether it’s chocolate, wine, or even sex, for 30 days if it meant never having to worry about unwanted facial hair again. Shaving may seem like the easiest way to deal with facial hair. After all, that’s what countless men do to keep their faces baby soft. But shaving doesn’t remove the hair at the root, which means it’ll grow back fast. Shaving can also cause razor burn and razor bumps. Luckily, there are several options when it comes to removing unwanted facial hair, so you can choose the one that’s right for you and your skin.
Depilatories are creams that are formulated to remove hair. They contain ingredients that are highly alkaline to break down the hair follicle, allowing it to be easily rubbed off. Be sure to find a depilatory formulated for use on the face. Hair removal creams can be harsh, potentially causing irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Like shaving, the results can last up to a couple of days.
Waxing is a very popular hair removal method. Using a resin wax, hair is removed by the root. Warm wax on a cloth strip is applied to the skin where the unwanted hair is located. Once the wax cools and hardens, the cloth strip is quickly pulled from the skin, pulling out all of the hairs at once. Waxing only works on hairs above a certain length, typically 1/4 inch. Waxing may cause redness and irritation, especially if you’re already using powerful exfoliators on the same skin. You can have facial hair removed by an aesthetician at a salon or spa, or you can get an at-home waxing kit and do it yourself.
Sugaring is similar to waxing. Sugaring can be used as a paste or gel and can be purchased pre-made or made at home. Homemade sugaring gel or paste is made by heating water, sugar and lemon juice to the hard ball stage. Sugaring gel, like wax, is applied with cloth strips. Sugaring paste is applied as a stand-alone hair removal product. Both methods remove hair by the root, providing longer results than shaving. Sugaring is gentler on the skin than waxing, and many consider it to be less painful. Sugaring paste can work on hairs as short as 1/16 inch.
Threading is an ancient hair removal technique that uses a piece of string instead of chemicals or other products. A cotton thread is pulled along the unwanted hair with a twisting motion, trapping the individual hairs in the thread and pulling them out. Hair is removed by the root, giving results for up to 6 weeks. There is no minimum hair length for threading; if you can feel the hair, it can be removed by threading. Threading has less contact with the skin than other hair removal methods, making it the favored choice for those with sensitive skin.
Whichever hair removal method you use, for best results follow with an antibacterial or antimicrobial lotion.