Word on the street is that there’s a new skincare technique in town that’s actually not so new at all. In fact, it’s been around since, well, forever. At least for men. Yup, we’re talking face shaving. While typically reserved for guys, lately it seems women have been jumping on the bandwagon for reasons that extend past quick and easy hair removal (although that’s a perk, too!). We decided to get to the bottom of this odd skincare obsession and why women are so gaga over it. We consulted with esthetician and skincare guru Mary Schook who gave us the skinny on why a razor could be your face’s new BFF.

Benefits of Face Shaving

Why People Love It

Exfoliation Benefits

“Face shaving is a form of physical or mechanical exfoliation,” says Schook. In fancy clinical terms, shaving is referred to as dermaplaning. This professional technique involves using a razor to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface.”Dermaplaning is the pro version, while shaving is the at-home version,” says Schook.

Anti-Aging Benefits

Regular face shaving will keep your skin immaculate and free of dead skin cells that can dull and age your complexion. “It’s one reason men’s faces age slower than women’s,” explains Schook. And, like any exfoliating treatment, shaving allows for topical skin care like moisturizers and serums to penetrate deeper into the skin. Try shaving before applying a facial mask or night cream, and see if your face doesn’t glow a little more than usual. That’s just some good ol’ exfoliation at work. Shaving also promotes faster cell turnover in the skin. Regular cell turnover plays a major part in youthful, healthy skin, so this is a good thing.

Should I Try It (and How Should I Do It?)

Yes … maybe. While face shaving is typically as safe as shaving your body, there are some things to consider. First of all, those with active acne should put down the razor. Sorry, but shaving’s not for you. “Don’t shave over breakouts,” says Schook. “Shaving over congested skin is a big problem.” Basically, you risk breaking the acneic skin with the razor, which can lead to scarring and irritation. Don’t worry, you can still exfoliate with the best of ’em. Try a chemical exfoliator like Kiehl’s Over-Night Biological Peel or Decleór Paris Phytopeel Natural Exfoliating Cream

OK, now let’s get down to business. Shaving should be done about once or twice a week or so. Make sure you use a shaver with a guard — Schook recommends a brow shaver. “Change the razors frequently,” says Schook. (Seeing that the razors will be traveling all over your face, you don’t want to risk spreading bacteria and other gross stuff.) In fact, Schook suggests using a new razor every time you shave. Shaving in the shower is best, as the steam helps soften the skin. And, always use a lotion or soap, as a dry shave can induce breakouts and irritation. For a smooth, close shave, hold the skin taut and use short, quick motions against the natural direction of the hair.

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Photo: thinkstock

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