Maybe I should backtrack, though? You see, I've never been an especially hairy girl. I am fair skinned and was totally blonde until my late twenties (when a move to Alaska, and away from the sun, stripped me of my golden locks … lame). I've known women who have battled with face and body hair their entire life (I have a beautiful Armenian friend who would literally cut me if she ever knew I was complaining about my own facial hair situation). But that's not me.
Sure, I've always had the basic peach fuzz to deal with. And I've been waxing my own upper lip since I was about 18, because … that's what you're supposed to do, right? But it's never been one of my big beauty concerns.
I am faced with the very real possibility that my hottest days are behind me. And I've gotta tell you, that makes me sad.
I can't believe I'm about to admit this, but entering my 30s has done some really crappy things to me. I inexplicably put on 10 pounds no amount of running seems capable of ridding me of. My skin suddenly started breaking out like never before. And my facial hair … grew.
Now, I've never been pregnant like Adele, but I do have Stage IV endometriosis and all the hormone ups and downs that go along with that. So there is a totally logical explanation for what's been going on, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant—especially when my doctor haphazardly throws in, "Well, you are getting older," as part of the overall explanation.
Here I am, almost 33 and a single mom to a toddler, faced with the very real possibility that my hottest days are behind me. And I've gotta tell you, that makes me sad.
So … I have been running a lot. And eating right. And seriously upping my skincare regime.
But shaving my face has made the biggest difference of all.
I realize admitting this publicly means I will probably never get a date again. But at this point, I am so ecstatic about the results, I kind of feel like women everywhere should know about this. Because for real, I know you're all doing something about your facial hair … and this is better than whatever that is.
(Side note, if you are one of those women who just says "Eff it," and gives zero fucks, I applaud you. But if you are one of those women shaking her head right now and saying, "Nope, I have no facial hair." Well … you're a liar. And I hate you.)
I suppose I should start with how this all came about though, right?
Well it started with a whisker. This darker, courser, longer hair that was suddenly poking out the bottom of my chin. I found it, I plucked it, and then I tried not to cry.
Until I found another. And another.
Four, people. I have four whiskers that now need to be consistently plucked from my face.
Then, it advanced to this stage of me realizing that the "standard" peach fuzz I had on my chin seemed to be getting more … robust. It was no longer something I could just overlook as normal. It was actually becoming something I was a bit self-conscious about.
But what could I do? I broke out every time I waxed my upper lip as it was—so I couldn't do that to my whole face. And anytime I had ever tried Nair, the results had been ... rashy.
All my life, I've heard that women should not shave their faces.
I almost felt resigned to the fact that I was now just becoming the hairy girl. There didn't seem to be any good options.
Until one night, while doing research for a work project, I came across an article that promised little known celeb beauty tips. And when I opened it, the very first one purported that both Elizabeth Taylor and Cleopatra were big fans of dermaplaning, or face shaving.
Now, for the record, the overall goal of dermaplaning is not hair removal—it's exfoliation. But no one denies that hair removal is one of the positive benefits.
Reading about this sent me down the Internet rabbit hole. Because all my life, I've heard that women should not shave their faces—that doing so will cause their hair to grow back darker and coarser. This is like, common knowledge … right?
My research led me to the realization that this is a lie women have been telling each other for ages. Shaving will most certainly not make hair grow back any differently than how it grew before you shaved.
Which convinced me to dig a little deeper, until I landed upon two YouTube videos featuring Michelle Money talking about how and why she shaves her face.
You remember Michelle Money, right? The drop dead gorgeous woman from "The Bachelor" TV franchise?
She shaves her face. And she's pretty darn open about it.
So, following Michelle's tips, I went out and got myself a Tinkle razor. Then I waited until my kid was in bed, took a deep breath, and placed the blade against my skin.
Because that's the thing about dermaplaning. You're supposed to do it dry. Here's how:
1. You get a special face razor. Michelle recommends the Tinkle brand, but there are other eyebrow shaping razors you can probably get at your local drugstore.
2. You make sure your face is clean, but then you shave it dry. No moisture, no lotion, no water on the blade—dry.
3. You put the blade to your face at a 45 degree angle, and you "brush" it along the skin in short strokes as you pull the skin taut. I would never be able to describe this correctly so check out Michelle's video!
4. You watch in amazement as not only peach fuzz, but also dead skin, fluff away from your face.
That's it. The whole thing takes about 5 minutes. Total. Michelle talks about doing it a few times a week, but I've found I could probably go two weeks in between sessions, based purely on hair growth. I've been doing it once a week for the last month, though, because I love the way my skin looks after.
That's right. My skin really does look smoother, younger and healthier now that I'm dermaplaning on the regular. Which I have to believe has just as much (perhaps more) to do with the regular exfoliation as it does with the hair removal. And while I'm not personally all that big on makeup, I've also been told that for those who are, your makeup goes on smoother and blends more naturally when you are regularly dermaplaning.
I'm totally sold. And completely convinced that all women should be doing this. My skin hasn't broken out once, like it does with waxing, and there is no razor burn or unwanted side effects to worry about. There's just smooth, healthy, soft and hairless skin.
It's time, ladies. Throw away your waxing kits and trash your hair bleach and depilatories. All you need is a little razor and the guts to try something new.
I promise, you won't be sad you did.
I mean, I may be … because now the world knows I shave my face. But you should be good.