How to Remove Facial Hair at Home, According to the Pros

August 4, 2020

If you’ve ever peered into a magnifying mirror, you’ve probably noticed peach fuzz on places like your cheeks, jawline, or upper lip—and that’s completely normal. We’re mammals and all mammals have hair. For those who want to get rid of these strands, experts are sharing their tips on how to remove facial hair through all different methods.

“The upper lip and chin area are very common for most women to have hair growth, and many seek a means of hair removal,” says Gina Petak, education manager for European Wax Center, adding that light hair growth on the sides of the face is also common. To get rid of this fuzz and hair, you’ve got a long list of facial hair removal methods you could turn to, including tweezing to waxing, shaving, threading… and the list goes on. Keep scrolling for your ultimate guide.

How to remove facial hair

5. Depilatory cream

A depilatory cream can help to remove unwanted hair with a simple slather. “These are formulated to dissolve unwanted facial hair in as little as four minutes,” says Ismiel. If you choose the right one, she notes that it can effectively remove hair close to the root for smooth results that last longer than shaving. Lucy Chen, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Riverchase Dermatology in Miami, says that many formulations exist to treat different body areas. That said, if your skin tends to be reactive, both Tramaine and Dr. Chen recommend using a different method. “A depilatory is a chemical, and there are so many different factors that can affect its efficacy and your skin’s reaction,” says Tramaine. Dr. Chen recommends testing on a small patch of skin first since they can cause irritation. For best results, she suggests applying your cream after the shower when the skin is more hydrated. “Make sure to avoid using those products labeled for body hair on facial hair and vice versa, as the formulation can be stronger for body hair,” she says.

Best for: Fine hair types.

Pain level: Zero to one when you use it, but Tramaine says that this can reach a much higher number if your skin gets irritated. Note: these often have a strong smell.

After care: If irritation occurs, Dr. Chen recommends applying cortisone cream to combat inflammation.

6. Threading

Threading actually involves a cotton or polyester-based thread that rolls over unwanted hair to pluck it out. Tramaine points out that it’s a traditional hair removal method in many Middle Eastern countries. “Like tweezing or using an epilator, the thread wraps around the hair and pulls the shaft from the root,” she says. Typically, she’d recommend leaving this method to the professionals. “It can cause a lot of frustration trying to get that perfect angle,” she says. For your best results, make sure that skin is well moisturized so that the thread can glide smoothly across the skin.

Best for: Dark, thick, or coarse hair, says Tramaine, who notes that it’s also good for normal to oily skin types.

Pain level: Tramaine ranks threading at a one to six depending on your pain tolerance.

After care: Dr. Chen advises to avoid topical retinoids and acids a few days prior to and after threading to prevent excess irritation. Stick with gentle skin-care cleansers and moisturizers afterwards.

7. Topical prescription

There is one prescription-based option for removing facial hair: eflorinithine hydrochloride. “It’s the only prescription hair removal product that slows down and eliminates hair growth,” says Dr. Chen. “The medication works by affecting the stem cells in the hair bulb and stopping the hair growth.” It takes several months to work, and is typically used in between laser hair removal treatments to slow down hair re-growth.

Best for: Those who are not pregnant.

Pain level: “There may be some mild burning with topical application and the potential for acne,” says Dr. Chen.

After care: A gentle skin-care routine.

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