Body hair is predictable. It grows back from a shave or a wax at a steady pace, making itself known day by day. You likely never look down at your
pubic hair and think, Where did this all suddenly come from?!
Facial hair is not like that; it's a sneaky motherfucker. All looks fine in the
magnifying mirror at night, then you wake up in the morning with a black chin hair that's long enough to curl. Only you don't notice it until you're in a board meeting or on a date, because that's how the cruel universe operates.
But you don't have to wish you had prepared for that out-of-nowhere mustache that pops up on your honeymoon; you can actually
be ready with tools small enough to fit into the tiniest clutch. Or, if you're more ambitious, you can get yourself on a regular schedule of lasering, dermaplaning, or depilating — without ever stepping foot in a salon or spa. Because sometimes you don't want someone picking away at your face with thread for every sidewalk passerby to see.
Ahead, eight options for getting rid of your peach fuzz, mustache, chin hairs, even the spiky things sticking out of your nostrils — only if you want to.
Tweezing Tweezing isn't the most time-efficient or painless method of facial hair removal out there, but it is the most precise and cost-effective. If you only invest in one pair (and at under $5, it's not really an investment), go for slanted tweezers, which can grab multiple brow (or chin or lip) hairs at once, as well as single, hard-to-get hairs if you use just the pointed tip to grasp. For the thinnest, shortest hairs, however, you're going to want to have the needle nose variety on hand. Sally Hansen Mighty Mini Slant Tip Travel Tweezer, $3.99, available at Target.
Depilating Depilatory creams, like Nair, have been around forever, but the days of chemical scents and red, irritated skin post-treatment are in the past. (Here is where we say that you should still do a patch test first to play it safe.) This duo — designed for cheeks and the upper lip, not brows — includes a skin guarding balm and a hair removal cream. Massage in a light layer of balm as protection, then put a thick layer of the depilatory on top for six to eight minutes. Gently wipe it off with a tissue and rinse. The downside? Because you're dissolving hair from the surface, not removing it at the root, you'll need more frequent touch-ups than you would with a wax. Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo in Medium to Coarse, $24.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Dermaplaning Dermaplaning is basically a fancy way of saying shaving your face with a super sharp blade to remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells, and while it's typically done by an aesthetician or dermatologist, there are a bunch of new products hitting the market that make attempting it at home easy. And though a razor to the face sounds a bit scary at first, aesthetician Mary Schook assures that "dermaplaning is very gentle when done correctly. It doesn’t cause inflammation or disrupt the delicate pH balance of the skin the way that microdermabrasion and peels can." This kit includes a cleanser to prep with (though your regular one will work just fine, so long as it's not exfoliating), a sonic vibration device with a small blade to painlessly shave off hair and dull cells, and a calming moisturizer to finish with. Use it once a week, and make sure to switch out the blade each time. Dermaflash Facial Exfoliating Device, $189, available at Sephora.
Waxing If you're comfortable with waxing techniques (smooth the strip down in the direction of hair growth, then pull it off in the opposite direction) and confident your skin isn't overly sensitive or reactive, then there's no need to run to the salon every time you notice your mustache starting to form. Keep this little tin of 12 strips and hydrocortisone cream in your bag — especially when you travel to hotels with horrible mirrors — for lip waxes on the go. (Ed. note: They're the perfect size for sideburns, too, if that's your thing.) No Mo-Stache Portable Hair Removal Kit, $18, available at Sephora.
Lasering Lasers work by "zapping" hair follicles with light and heat, which, over time, damages them to the point that they can no longer grow hair. And if you want to target your unwanted chin hairs, you're going to need a more precise laser device than the one you're using on your legs (though most body lasers do come with a facial attachment). This one is portable, comes with three treatment levels, and is designed to be used once every two weeks in order to see results around the three-month mark (doing it more often won't speed things up, since your hair grows in cycles). The major downside? It doesn't work on dark skin tones or blond, gray, or red hairs. Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision, $299, available at Sephora.
Shaving Esthetician Renée Rouleau is an advocate of good old-fashioned shaving. "For a light exfoliation and some facial hair removal, take advantage of the small disposable facial razors available at beauty stores and drugstores. The highest quality blades are sold to trained professionals only, but the blades available to non-professionals are great for at-home use because they're not as sharp; plus, they have protective plastic bands on them, which allows for hair to be removed without the risk of cutting the skin," she says. Just make sure you're not shaving against the grain or on dry skin; use a light shaving cream, oil, or lotion for a smooth, non-irritating glide. Sephora Collection Level Setter Razors, $8, available at Sephora.
Coil Epilating This isn't the most intuitive tool initially, but once you get the hang of it, it's as effective as threading, and less painful. Place the flat side of the coil against your skin, then twist the knobs (they're above the pink handles) in the direction of the arrows printed on them to pull out the hair. We find it works best on the upper lip and chin, or wherever there is more of a curve. Tweezerman Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover, $20, available at Ulta Beauty.
Trimming Did you think we forgot about nose hair? We'd never. For the toughest spot of all — the nostril — you want this slim trimmer. It sounds more ferocious than it actually is; in reality, it's idiot-proof — just move it around up there and it'll cut the hairs, but never your skin, and neatly collect them in a chamber you can empty out after. Panasonic Facial Hair Trimmer, $37.49, available at CVS.
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