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The myths and facts about women shaving their faces

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

It's actually a good idea to shave your face if you're a woman

Ladies, I'm about to reveal a long hidden beauty secret — shaving your face is not weird. It actually makes your skin look better. I didn't believe it either at first, but according to expert beauticians and dermatologists, shaving the fuzzy hairs on your face can drastically improve your complexion.

Kate Somerville, facial specialist to the stars swears by it and admits to it having been part of her weekly beauty routine since her 20s. At first, she did it to rid herself of unwanted hair, especially on her upper lip, but after a while, she started to notice her skin looking much smoother.

Doctors stand behind women shaving their faces too, especially if they have sensitive skin and don't handle waxing well. Dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank, director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, says it's the perfect cheap, pain-free method of hair removal. Still dubious about the whole idea? Here are some common myths about shaving your face and some expert-backed facts to help you get over your fears and grab that shaving cream.

Myth: My hair will grow back darker and thicker

Not true at all. NYC dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, host of DermTV.com and creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz, told Cosmo, "That myth exists because people mistake the wispy feeling of their unshaven facial hair with the slightly blunt feeling they experience as their hair starts to grow back in as 'thicker,' and the new, not-yet-sun-bleached hair as 'darker.'"

Fact: Facialists and dermatologists have been shaving clients for years

However, they call it "dermaplaning" to through you off, but it's essentially the closest shave you can get. Even beauty icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor use to have their faces shaved. Specialists use a super sharp, single-blade instrument akin to a scalpel, which helps cut down on ingrown hairs.

Myth: Laser hair removal is the best way to remove all facial hair

Actually, lasers miss the soft, pigment-less hair commonly called "peach fuzz" that covers everyone's face. You can get rid of this by shaving with a single blade razor on your dry face. Michelle Money from The Bachelor even made a YouTube video of the process.

Fact: Facial hair grows back at the same rate whether you wax or shave

According to Dr. Bank, only laser hair removal, which takes out the hair follicle at the root, makes hair grow back slower.

MoreEverything you need to know about laser hair removal

Myth: The direction you shave in doesn't matter

Shaving down, or in the direction of the hair growth is the best way to minimize irritation. You can shave up to get the closest shave, but do it infrequently and gently.

Fact: Using your tongue does actually help you get a closer shave

So when guys do it, they aren't just making funny faces! It helps you get the hard to reach places around your mouth.

Myth: Soap and shaving cream work the same

Shaving cream reduces irritation and allows for a cleaner shave, according to dermatologists like Dr. Bank.

Fact: Shaving exfoliates your face as well as removes hair

Every time you shave, you're removing skin cells, so over time, your skin will feel softer, and look healthier and younger. Dr Shultz says, "Shaving is actually a form of physical exfoliation. While chemical exfoliation is far superior to physical exfoliation, all forms of exfoliation — when performed regularly — improve the quality of your skin. That’s one of the reasons why men’s skin often looks better than women's skin at comparable ages."

Helpful hint: Shaving in the shower or in a steamy bathroom, helps reduce irritation and facilitate extra exfoliation. Here's Dr. Schultz's shower shaving tip: "At the beginning of the shower, use a cleanser on the areas that you‘re going to shave; the cleanser will strip the oils off the hairs so those hairs can be penetrated by and softened by the moisture in the shower."

And make sure to moisturize when you're done!

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