Hair Removal Cream After Shaving for Mens
Gill Jamieson, 60 (pictured), has been shaving her face for 40 years and says she keeps it a secret as she doesn't like to tell people
According to beauty enthusiasts — or pretty much any woman you care to ask — Angela has committed a cardinal sin.
After all, if shaving your legs encourages hair to grow back thicker, darker and stronger, then, for a woman, face-shaving would appear to invite disaster.
Nevertheless, Angela, 46, from Essex, has been shaving her face three times a week for the past eight years and couldn’t be happier with the results.
And she’s not alone; dermatologists also endorse the idea and, astonishing as it may sound, a host of products have been rushed out to cater for the trend of women shaving their faces.
‘It’s cheap, takes seconds and doesn’t irritate my skin, unlike laser or waxing, ’ says Angela. ‘The claim that facial hair grows back thicker and darker is a myth. It’s been the best thing I could have started doing.’ What’s more surprising is that far from causing ingrowing hairs, nasty grow-back or red raw patches, Angela is adamant that regular shaving has improved her complexion.
‘Make-up goes on more evenly and easily, products absorb better and my skin is in great condition. It’s the smoothest and brightest it’s been in years, ’ she says.
Hormonal imbalances and conditions such as polycystic ovary can increase facial hair growth and many women have increased facial hair after the menopause (picture posed by model)
Women have facial hair, just like men, albeit usually finer, light-coloured downy strands known as vellus hair.
Some are lucky and this fine hair is barely noticeable or virtually non-existent, but others may have naturally furrier faces and, according to the NHS, up to three-quarters of women have increased facial hair as they get older, especially after the menopause. Hormonal imbalances and conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome can also stimulate increased facial hair growth, though much of it can be down to the lottery of your genes.
As well as slicing off this fine hair, shaving removes the top layer of dead skin cells, so it is exfoliating.
Dr Michael Prager, an aesthetic clinician who has a practice in London, says: ‘From an anti-ageing point of view, home shaving has some effect. ‘It’s like a mild form of microdermabrasion, so encourages collagen production, which reduces wrinkles. Whenever there’s trauma to the skin, collagen is stimulated to help cell renewal.’
Renee Daly, 52 (pictured), is new to shaving and uses a micro razor by Lilibeth of New York to remove the hair around her cheeks, top lip and lower jaw area
What’s more, Dr Prager also rubbishes the idea the hair will grow back thicker.
‘The notion that shaving influences regrowth is wrong, ’ he says.
‘Cutting off hair above the root won’t cause any feedback to the follicle, which is the live part that produces the hair and sits below the skin.
‘People might think hair looks thicker because it comes out at a different angle or blunt, rather than tapered to a natural point, but it won’t be changed on a cellular level.’ Dermatologist Dr Neal Schultz even claims shaving is why men are said to age better than women.
‘Most men shave their faces — and thereby exfoliate two-thirds of their face — regularly for years, ’ he says.
Renee (pictured) says she has shaved a couple of times over the last few months since a friend confided in her that she did it too
‘That’s the reason that by their 30s and 40s, men’s skin often looks better than women’s skin.’
Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Cleopatra were all said to shave their faces and it’s now big business as new shaving products aimed at women become available.
Delicate micro razors resembling small, thin scalpels are sold in spas and online boutiques.
QVC has all but sold out of them and Chinese brand Tinkle has just launched a UK website to deal with demand, where they sell a pack of three for £2.99. Amazon stocks similar designs with rave reviews. Users say they were ‘apprehensive’ about using it until it ‘turned out to be a very useful tool indeed’.
In 2013, 3.5 million British women bought a Gillette Venus razor
Still don’t believe me? Have a look on YouTube where thousands of women are uploading videos to show how effective they’ve found shaving their face.
It helps that many skin clinics offer a similar service. Dermaplaning — also known as blading — is an almost identical treatment but is carried out by a professional and can cost £350.
It’s billed as ‘manual exfoliation’ to remove rough, dead or damaged cells and hair for healthier, smoother skin, without damaging capillaries, which aggressive exfoliators can.
Angela has her shaving technique down to a tee. ‘I take my time because if I rush I might pull a hair sideways, which causes an ingrowing hair, ’ she says.
‘The razor stays at a 45-degree angle to my skin and I have to use a lighter touch than with shaving my legs. My skin feels as smooth as a baby’s bottom afterwards and I’ve never had a rash, though the hair does grow back quickly.’
Renee uses a micro razor by Lilibeth of New York (pictured), Renee says i'ts like a 'small eyebrow comb with sharp blades'
Shaving wasn’t something Angela rushed into. ‘I tried every facial hair removal method possible beforehand but nothing worked, ’ she says.
‘Waxing and threading were excruciating; electrolysis was time-consuming and expensive; my hair is too fair for laser to be effective; and everything else caused redness so I couldn’t go out straight afterwards.’
Despite the fineness of her light auburn hair, she’s insistent if she didn’t shave it would be a huge blow to her self-confidence.
The razor stays at a 45-degree angle to my skin and I have to use a lighter touch than with shaving my legs. My skin feels as smooth as a baby’s bottom afterwards and I’ve never had a rash, though the hair does grow back quickly.
‘I have quite a bit of hair on my top lip, chin and around my throat. Even though it’s fine, the hair is really obvious in some lights and foundation clings to it.
‘It makes me self-conscious, and I used to feel depressed about it. I fully realise that shaving is not the done thing, but it solves a problem.’
If Angela’s partner, Peter, 41, a solicitor, knows about her beauty regime, he’s keeping quiet.
‘We’ve never spoken about it, ’ says Angela ‘But I’m sure he knows I shave my face. Luckily, he’s wise enough to know not to comment. He gets up earlier than me so never catches me at it. I’d never lie about shaving, but I suppose it’s not something most women would want to broadcast.’ Gill Jamieson, 60, from Hove would agree with that — even though she has been face-shaving for 40 years.
‘It’s a bit of a secret. I don’t like to tell people but I shave my top lip and chin every two days, ’ she says.
‘You can see a real difference afterwards: my skin looks smooth, clean and fresh.’
Unlike Angela, she usually dry shaves using Remington’s wet and dry razor that’s designed for legs and arms.
Gill, an inspector for the entertainment industry, has dark hair and Spanish blood on her father’s side, and worries that the hair on her face is visible.