6 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Excess Facial Hair
We all struggle with our own bespoke beauty issues, whether that's chronically smudged eyeliner, ineffective under-eye concealer, or persistently flat hair. But excess facial hair belongs to its own special realm of beauty concerns. It's not only bothersome and time-consuming to remove, but it can also truly affect a woman's confidence.
We're all familiar with the classic hair-removal methods—over-the-counter creams, waxing, and tweezing. Although these are popular options, they're not always beneficial to your skin (personally, the redness, sensitivity, and irritation that persists for days after waxing my overgrown eyebrows is unbelievable).
Not to mention these methods are so annoyingly temporary. Is there anything better out there? We posed this (rather urgent) question to a team of skincare and hair removal experts, and thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes. Keep reading to learn about six expert-approved methods for getting rid of unwanted facial hair!
Shiseido Facial Razors 3 Pack ($17)
Dermaplaning is a great option for removing unwanted hair while also providing the skin with a gentle exfoliation. There's even evidence that making it a habit can keep signs of ageing at bay. Allison Tray, the proprietress of Tres Belle Spa in Brooklyn, says that a professional dermaplaning session can yield results that last up to a month. An added bonus? Dermaplaning increases the efficacy of your skincare products.
"When the skin is exfoliated lightly from the treatment, products are able to penetrate deep into the dermis, therefore leaving skin bright and plump," she says. If you can't make it to a professional regularly, it's easy enough to DIY with these picks from Shiseido. Trace the razor gently and carefully around the eyebrow, chin, sideburns, and upper lip.
AZ Laser Clinic
According to Jane Scher, RN, an NYC-based aesthetic nurse and the CEO and co-founder of the American Plastic Surgery Center, laser hair removal is the "gold-standard" of hair removal methods. Thanks to modern technology, the process is almost painless and typically removes all hair in only two or three treatments.
But there's a catch. The lasers only pick up colour, so if you have light hair, the results won't be nearly as dramatic. As Garrett Gause MD, the Director of Medical Affairs at Ideal Image, explains, "Laser light works by targeting the pigment in the hair follicle, destroying the follicle which prevents the hair from returning. Our hair grows in stages and at any given time the hair follicle might be in a dormant or sleeping cycle. The laser will target the hair when it's in the growing phase so it takes several treatments to get the best results."
LumaRX Mini Hair Removal Device ($542)
Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, as it's referred to, is another hair removal method many recommend for its efficacy. According to dermatologist Tess Mauricio, MD, "IPL at-home hair removal provides the longest lasting results, as it works toward permanent hair reduction by stunning the active hair follicles, breaking the hair growth cycle, and preventing future hair growth. Shaving, waxing, and hair removal creams provide temporary removal, but do not prevent future growth, which is what you want to do."
It just so happens IPL can greatly improve other dermatological issues such as hyperpigmentation and sagging skin. Scher recommends IPL for peach fuzz or light hair that wouldn't respond well to laser hair removal. Her IPL device of choice is Lumecca. "It removes the light hair while also tightening the skin, closing the pores, evening skin tone, and building collagen," she says. "You only need about four treatments and your peach fuzz is gone."
Since laser hair removal is catered specifically to dark hair, Arash Akhavan, MD, the founder and owner of the Dermatology Laser Group in New York City, says electrolysis will better suit those of us with lightly pigmented hair (think blonde, grey, or white). He also points out that it can be a much less expensive option than laser hair removal if there are only a few bothersome hairs present.
Do keep in mind, though, that electrolysis isn't without some possible side effects. "Electrolysis is typically a more tedious option, and it carries a little bit more risk of causing skin discolouration around the hair follicles as a side effect," Akhavan says. Be sure to consult a certified and experienced professional in order to minimise possible side effects.
If your problem is less dark, coarse hair, and more an abundance of peach fuzz, board-certified NYC dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, recommends a topical prescription cream called Vaniqa. According to Jaliman, the formula contains eflornithine hydrochloride, which is very effective and safe. It's used twice a day to inhibit the rate and thickness of hair growth. It can be used alongside waxes and depilatories, though many find it works well enough on its own to go without. Jaliman cautions that results may not be immediate, as it usually takes 4 to 8 weeks to see results.
DERMAdoctor Gorilla Warfare Hair Minimizing Facial Moisturizer ($71)
Whatever hair removal method you use, try this hair minimising moisturizer to keep those smooth results around longer. Its gentle formula uses thirteen different botanicals to reduce the appearance of excess facial hair.