Uh...Should You Be Shaving Your Face?

Serious question.

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Face shaving. The thing dudes have been doing forever. Except: The practice has apparently been used behind closed bathroom doors by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor (opens in new tab) and Marilyn Monroe to create a smoother, more glowing complexion. And with notable makeup artists now revealing their shaving habits (opens in new tab), we have to ask: Um, what? Is this something we should...actually consider?

We talked with Dr. Debbie Palmer (opens in new tab), board-certified dermatologist and co-founder and Medical Director of Dermatology Associates of New York, to get the scoop on everything you ever needed to know about putting a razor to your face.

"Women performing at-home face-shaving has been getting some recent attention, but it's something that has been done for years," says Dr. Palmer. "Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are even rumored to have done it. It's a less intense form of dermaplaning, a cosmetic procedure performed by an aesthetician, dermatologist, or cosmetic surgeon, in which an instrument similar to a scalpel is used to shave the face. The procedure exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells, and in the process also removes fine vellus hair. My patients feel it gives them a smoother finish for makeup."

"There is a myth that shaving facial hair will cause it to grow back coarser or darker. This myth is not correct. Your hair will grow back the same way."

Aside from less facial hair, Dr. Palmer says you'll see:

· Smoother, exfoliated facial skin
· Increased skin cell turnover
· Easier makeup application
· Increased skin penetration and effectiveness of facial rejuvenation skin care products

· not addressing a larger facial hair issue with your dermatologist, which could indicate a hormonal imbalance, according to Dr Palmer. (I.e. if you feel you have a change in facial hair, make sure to discuss it with your doctor.)
· folliculitis (where your hair follicles become inflamed)
· ingrown hairs

Wet your entire face first to soften the hairs, then apply a shaving cream or gel to minimize irritation. Use your razor in the direction of hair growth. Finish with a rinse and antioxidant moisturizer on your skin. "The shaving will allow for better penetration of your antioxidant and the antioxidant will help to minimize inflammation and irritation," Dr. Palmer says. She recommends Replere Protect & Rejuvenate Day Lotion (opens in new tab) to her patients. To avoid folliculitis, sanitize the razor in rubbing alcohol after each use.

And hey: Power to ya.

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.