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While facial hair is natural in males and females, some people prefer to remove some or all of it. There is a range of options to remove facial hair at home, including over-the-counter creams and with tools such as razors, tweezers, and epilators.
The skin on the face is more sensitive than skin elsewhere on the body. When removing facial hair, be sure to look after the skin by cleansing and moisturizing afterward.
Read on for six simple ways to remove facial hair at home plus some other, more permanent methods to consider.
The benefit of shaving is that it is easy to do, pain-free, and affordable. Although effective at removing hair, the results are short-lived.
Shaving does not remove hair at the root, but at the same level as the skin, so it will grow back more quickly. People can expect hair to grow back within a day or two.
People can shave areas of their face with a razor, using either a dry shave or a wet shave.
A dry shave uses an electric razor, so people will not need to use water or shaving foam. To dry shave:
- Wash the face to remove dirt and oils, and then dry with a clean towel.
- Keep the skin taut by pulling it firmly to create a smooth surface to shave on.
- Run the razor slowly over the area in the direction of the hair growth.
- Keep the blade at right angles to get the best contact between the skin and razor.
- Depending on the razor, move the blade using circular or straight motions.
To wet shave, people can use a disposable or long-life razor with either soap and water or shaving cream:
- Wash the face with warm water to soften the skin and remove dirt and oils.
- Apply soap and water or shaving cream.
- Hold the skin taut and shave in the same direction the hair grows.
- Rinse the blade in between each stroke.
- After finishing, wash the face with cool water and pat dry.
If there are any moles or spots on the face, take care to avoid these or shave very lightly over them.
After shaving, rinse the face and apply a moisturizer to rehydrate the skin. Clean the razor and store it in a dry place. When using a disposable razor, replace after 5–7 shaves.
When shaving a small area of the face, try using a small razor specifically designed for the face. Online stores offer a range of facial razors with plenty of customer reviews to help choose the right one.
People can use tweezers to pull the hair out from the root. Tweezing removes one hair at a time, so it can be more time consuming and is best for small areas of hair removal, such as around the eyebrows.
Tweezing can be temporarily painful and cause slight redness, but these sensations should quickly fade.
To remove facial hair using tweezers:
- Wash the area of skin with warm water, and then pat dry.
- Pull the area of skin taut and grip the hair with the tweezers.
- Firmly and quickly pull in the direction of hair growth.
After tweezing, rinse the area with cold water or an astringent solution to prevent skin irritation.
Waxing removes hair from the root by applying melted wax to the skin. When people let the wax cool and then rip it away from the skin, it takes the hair with it.
People can use waxing as a way of removing facial hair, although they should take care to avoid delicate areas such as the nose and ears and any areas of sensitive or irritated skin.
People should not wax on any areas of skin that have:
People should also avoid waxing if they have:
Waxing is an effective way of removing hair, and the effects can last for several weeks. It can be more painful than other methods as it removes hair from the root.
If people want to wax facial hair at home:
- Avoid using any retinoid products 2–5 days before waxing the face as this can cause the skin to come away with the hair.
- Wash and dry the face before waxing.
- Test the wax on the inside of the wrist to check the temperature. It should feel warm with no pain or burning sensation.
- Apply the wax in the same direction of the hair growth.
- Press the strip of cloth, provided with the pack, firmly on top of the wax and leave for 2–3 seconds, or as long as the instructions state.
- Hold the skin taut and quickly pull the cloth strip away, pulling in the opposite direction to that in which the hair grows.
- To ease any pain that accompanies waxing, apply a cold compress to their face afterward.
People should stop waxing if they notice any swelling or redness and see their doctor or dermatologist if this lasts for more than a few days.
If people are unsure about waxing at home, they can talk to a dermatologist for more information.
An epilator is an electrical device that removes hair from the root using rotating tweezers that pull the hair upwards. A small epilator may be best for use on the face or smaller areas of hair.
People can try this method by following the instructions of the epilator they are using. The instructions may include these steps:
- Exfoliate the skin before epilating.
- Hold the device at a right angle to the skin surface.
- Move the epilator slowly over the area of hair.
People may find epilating painful as it pulls hair up from the roots. This means that it also provides longer lasting results.
People can find epilators in drug stores or choose between types of epilator online.
People can use a depilatory cream to remove facial hair. Depilatory creams remove the hair by dissolving the structure of the hair. People can then just wipe the hair away from the skin.
Some people may experience irritation or an allergic reaction to these types of creams, so they should carry out a patch test on a small area of skin before applying to their face. Avoid using this cream around the eyes or eyebrows.
People should not use depilatory creams on any area of skin that is:
- particularly sensitive
- irritated or burnt
- broken or chapped
People should carefully follow instructions for the depilatory product they are using and stop if they notice any irritation.
Drug stores and online stores sell depilatory cream suitable for the face.
If an individual finds other methods of hair removal are not effective for them, they may consider using a topical prescription cream, such as Vaniqa.
People should test any creams on a small patch of skin before applying to their face, as these products may irritate. If an individual notices a reaction to the product, they should stop using the cream and talk to their doctor if the irritation does not pass.
Like other home methods, topical creams have temporary results, and the effects may last for 1 to 2 weeks. Some of these creams can contain strong chemicals, and people should talk to their doctor about any side effects.
Laser hair removal is a long-term but not a permanent method for hair removal. If a person wants to remove their facial hair permanently, they can try electrolysis.
Electrolysis destroys the growth of the hair at the base of the hair follicle, which means the hair is unable to grow back.
Electrolysis is a permanent option for removing hair, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognize it as a method of permanent hair removal. Electrolysis is safe to use on the face.
During electrolysis, an electrologist will insert a sterile needle into the hair follicle. A small amount of electrical current then passes through and destroys the cells that stimulate hair growth. People will need repeat treatments to complete the electrolysis process.
There are many ways to remove hair from their face, and people can choose whichever method they feel best works for them and their skin.
If unsure about carrying out any methods of hair removal at home, talk to a dermatologist or other cosmetic professional. Discuss any medical conditions that may affect the safety of hair removal before treatment.
People can consult a dermatologist about permanent solutions, such as electrolysis.
If females notice any unusual changes to the hair growth on their face, they should see their doctor, as it may signal an underlying health condition.