Growing hair anywhere on your body is a natural part of being a human. However, if you do choose—emphasis on choose—to remove unwanted hair on your face, you have every right to do so. In fact, there are painless products out there that are specifically designed to get rid of facial hair from the comfort of your home. Ahead, we spoke to dermatologists and experts about the very best facial hair removal devices and tools that get the job done. (A quick note before we jump in: Many of the devices on this list are best for temporary hair removal. For permanent hair removal, invest in an at-home laser hair removal device or treatment.)
But if you're not yet willing to make that investment and are looking for a temporary fix, then cancel that wax appointment, because we've got you covered. Whether you're looking for an at-home wax kit, dermaplaning device, epilator, razor, or hair trimmer, we've rounded up the products that actually work. Ahead, Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, Dara Levy, founder of DERMAFLASH, and Maria Desmarais, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Athena Club, answer all of your questions about what to look for in a hair removal device, how the most popular types of devices work, as well as all of the risks that come along with them—and how to use to use them safely.
Removing Hair on Your Face
There are three main types of ways to remove hair from your face. You can physically remove your hair using tools like tweezers or razors, remove them using a chemical process like a hair removal cream, or zap them away using laser hair removal devices, IPL-type tools, or epilators.
Levy explains that epilators work by pulling “hair out at the root, as do threading and waxing, which can be painful and cause inflammation.” Laser hair removal, on other hand, “works by damaging the hair follicle and preventing hair from growing back.” Levy notes that both of those “methods can cause irritation and are not appropriate for all skin types. For example, not all are safe or effective for women with deeper skin tones.”
Why Remove Facial Hair?
Again, there is no real reason why you have to to use a razor or any other kind of hair removal tool on your face. However, Levy says that “there are a variety of reasons why someone might want to use a facial hair removal device,” before pointing out that “many women are uncomfortable with the look of peach fuzz on their faces.” Peach fuzz, if you’re unfamiliar, can be caused when “powder and foundation can get “stuck” in the hair, causing makeup to look cakey and unnatural,” she says.
Does Facial Hair Removal Hurt?
Facial hair removal doesn't necessarily hurt—but it depends on the tool that you're using. Using tweezers to remove hair from your face, for instance, hurts less as you go but may take longer to remove all the hair from the desired area. When using an electronic hair removal device, Dr. Nazaarian says that “there is a mild heat and quick discomfort that follows each flash,” but that “it’s a very very mild pain that is incredibly tolerable.”
Types of Facial Hair Removal Tools
Depending on your comfort level and how long you want your results to last, there are five main types of facial hair removal devices and products for you to know about and choose from.
- Facial razors and tweezers
- Wax strips
- Hair removal creams
- Small handheld devices
- IPL devices
Ahead, experts break down how each technique works and recommend their favorite options that you can shop right now, from least high-tech to the most.
- Best Facial Razor: Tweezerman Facial Razor
- Best Small Facial Hair Removal Device or Trimmer: DERMAFLASH Luxe+
- Best Facial Wax Strip Set: Athena Club On The Spot Wax Strips for Face
- Best Facial Hair Removal Cream: Nair Hair Remover Moisturizing Face Cream With Sweet Almond Oil
Facial Razors and Tweezers
Facial razors and tweezers are usually the entry point for hair removal on the face. Tweezers are a great way to remove hair from around your eyebrow area, for instance, because you can remove one hair at a time without running a massive risk of over-plucking. Single-blade facial razors, on the other hand, are great for removing peach fuzz from around your chin, upper lip, or face.
This small handheld device from Tweezerman uses a set of coiled springs to gently and (almost) painlessly remove hair from just about anywhere on your face. You use it by rotating the desired hair in between the two coils and pulling gently as you go. Reviewers say that it’s best for areas on the face where clusters of hair grow, such as the chin or around the mouth, but is not as useful at removing specific hairs one by one.
Pros: Great for clusters of hair; Costs less than $100; Great for a quick fix; Great for travel.
Cons: Not great for single hairs; Has a learning curve to use.
You can use this stainless steel single-blade facial razor from Tweezerman by swiping it gently downwards with light pressure, against the grain of your hair. This set comes with three additional replacement blades plus a safety cap. For the best, most sanitary, results, you should swap out your blades every two months. “I love this facial razor. It’s sharp but not so sharp that I cut myself,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “It's sturdy, easy to clean, and easy to use.”
Pros: Costs less than $100; Great for large sections of hair; Great for a quick fix.
Cons: Need to swap out the razors every few months for the best results; Hair grows back quickly after use.
Just like the ones you sometimes use to wax your legs, smaller facial wax strips remove facial hair with one easy (albeit painful) tug. Waxing removes hair at the root, and some strips promise results that can last weeks. (For in-depth information on how to use wax strips on other parts of your body, check out Marie Claire’s guide.)
This set of facial waxing strips from shaving and bodycare brand Athena Club is designed to “make home waxing comfortable, quick and painless by removing hair from the root with a vegan formula made of shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil,” says Maria Desmarais, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Athena Club. The set includes 20 wax strip sets, six post-wax wipes, and a calming serum, and promises a mess-free application and a finished result that promises results for up to 28 days. The brand also sells larger-format wax strips for your body, too, in case you need to remove hair from your legs or underarms.
Pros: Good for sensitive skin; Contains a calming serum; Long-lasting results; Great for short hair.
Cons: Can cause redness after use.
Users love this affordable pack of 24 small wax strips from Nads for waxing their eyebrows and upper lip areas easily and at home. One glowing reviewer even said they’re “very easy and effective even at removing the shortest hairs.” They’re also made from a cruelty-free formula that’s also free of phthalates and parabens. However, some users say that they don’t remove all of your hair in one go, and that they need to use tweezers in some cases to remove whatever’s left behind.
Pros: Great for short hair; Costs less than $100; Long-lasting results.
Cons: Doesn't remove all of the hair in one pass; Can cause redness after use.
Hair Removal Creams
If you've ever used hair removal creams to remove the hair from your bikini line or on your legs, you probably have a general understanding of how they work. Essentially, they're thick creams that are applied in one smooth layer, left on for a few minutes, and then removed with warm water. Unlike the creams that you may use on your legs, facial hair removal creams are better suited for sensitive skin and generally cause less irritation. Plus, the two best hair removal creams below from Nair and Sally Hansen are designed with a fainter scent.
Formulated with Vitamin E and collagen, this hair removal cream (or should we say creme) from Sally Hansen can be used all over the face without lasting irritation—even on sensitive skin. Reviewers note that you should leave it on for the full eight minutes listed in the directions for the best results, but that it doesn’t smell as strongly as other similar products. Some reviewers do note that it doesn’t remove thicker, coarser hair on the first use.
Pros: Has a fainter smell compared to other similar products; Designed for sensitive skin; Costs less than $100; Great for large areas; Great for peach fuzz.
Cons: Reviewers said that it's not great for removing thick hair.
If you’re looking for results in less than 10 minutes, this product is for you. Some reviewers note that results on finer hair come after only five minutes. One reviewer went so far as to say that the process was “quick, painless, and leaves skin smooth and hairless” after one use. One con of the product, however, is that the smell is strong. Others note that it does cause some irritation, but that it dies down after roughly 10 minutes.
Pros: Costs less than $100; Great for peach fuzz.
Cons: Has a strong smell; Can cause slight irritation.
Small Handheld Devices and Trimmers
These top-of-the-line devices are made to be easy and convenient to use, no matter where you are. From an electric razor disguised to look like a lipstick in your handbag to a device from Dermaflash which uses sonic vibrations to smooth away hair and dead skin cells, these tools are the way to go if you’re looking for something slightly more high-tech than a razor or a pair of tweezers.
“Dermaflash Luxe+ uses 14,000 sonic vibrations per minute to exfoliate dead skin cells and remove every trace of peach fuzz, while also boosting microcirculation and stimulating cellular turnover,” says Levy. “You’re not just removing hair when you Flash—you’re giving your skin a safe, gentle, professional-grade exfoliating treatment that provides instant results that actually build on themselves over time.” The tool is backed by clinical results that prove that hair won’t grow back faster or thicker as you use.
Pros: Comes in several colors; Clinically-proven to prevent hair from growing back faster; Doesn't hurt to use; Cordless design; Compact size.
Cons: Costs more than $100; You need to change out the blade for the most sanitary use.
This Instant Hair Remover
This tiny-but-mighty battery-operated and cordless device from Finishing Touch has a built-in light to give you the best accuracy during use. It was specially designed for use on the face, so it’s made to be virtually painless as you use it and is great for all skin types. Plus, it’s compact enough to travel with or keep in your purse for on-the-go removal. Reviewers note that it’s not powerful enough for thick facial hair, so those areas may require a second pass.
Pros: Costs less than $100; Cordless design; Great for travel; Compact size.
Cons: Thicker hair requires more than one pass.
IPL devices use light to detect and remove pigment from the skin. With this in mind, IPL’s technology can struggle to detect very light (think: red, very light blonde, or gray) hair. Additionally, IPL devices aren’t always suitable for dark or deep skin tones.
Before we break down the products themselves, it’s important to understand the terminology. Many of these devices use flashes of light to remove hair, as Levy explained above, But, how many flashes are actually necessary? “For just facial hair removal, the average amount of 300+ is more than enough,” says Dr. Nazarian. “For full body, 900,000+ is typically more than sufficient, but many devices offer this high number of flashes to ensure you feel confident about never running out.”
Ahead, Dr. Nazarian recommends two of her favorite devices.
This new at-home IPL device from Braun comes recommended by Dr. Nazarian, who says that it “adapts to your skin tone to minimize risk of burning and has a great gliding feature for quicker treatment.” It has three sensitivity levels and the built-in sensor automatically adapts to your specific skin tone to give you the best results with the least amount of pain, and uses 125 flashes per minute. You get five caps in the set: a standard cap, a wide cap for larger coverage areas, and two precision caps, plus it’s great to use all over your body.
Pros: Dermatologist-recommended; Has three sensitivity levels; Can be used all over the body; Can cover large areas; Can cover small areas.
Cons: Costs over $100; Not suitable for blonde, gray, and red hair; Not suitable for deep skin tones.
“This home IPL is easy to use, quick, and comes with a smaller precision head to treat smaller areas like the upper lip,” says Dr. Nazarian. It has 10 power levels for use all over the body, three different removal modes, and a dedicated precision head for hard-to-reach places. Plus, the built-in sensor matches with your skin to set a pain-free intensity level. It works on most hair colors excluding red, grey, and very light blonde, and the brand notes that it’s not suitable for deep skin tones.
Pros: Dermatologist-recommended; Has 10 power levels; Can be used all over the body;
Cons: Costs over $100; Not suitable for blonde, gray, and red hair; Not suitable for deep skin tones.
What Should You Do Before Using a Hair Removal Device?
Just like with any specialized beauty tool, pre-care is the key to making sure that you get the best results out of your hair removal device. “It’s important that the area is cleansed with a non-drying, unscented cleanser and shaven, before each treatment,” says Dr. Nazarian, citing the Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar as a favorite.
She also makes sure to say that your “hair should not protrude onto the skin, and just as importantly, you should avoid treating tanned or darker skinned areas which would increase risk of burning.”
What Should You Do After Facial Hair Removal?
Once your hair has been removed, your skin can often become dry or irritated. Dr. Nazarian recommends applying products like “A calming moisturizer and barrier repair ointments” after you’re finished, or using a “topical with glycerin or allantoin,” before following with a “thin layer of Vaseline healing ointment” for extra protection. If you’re someone who regularly struggles with or are prone to razor burn, Dr. Nazarian says that a “topical hydrocortisone cream can be helpful to calm irritation and can be applied for two-to-three days following the treatment.”
Meet The Experts
Maria Desmarais is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Athena Club. Prior to co-founding the company in 2018, she worked for management and strategy consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, where she served as a Business Analyst. After spending two years in the corporate world, she left to follow her dream of transforming the personal care industry and created Athena Club, the first modern CPG company which offers consumers a way to get better quality self-care essentials more conveniently.
Maria earned her B.A in Political Science from Columbia University. Since launching Athena Club, she has received a number of accolades including being named a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient in retail and E-Commerce (2019).