Credit: Anna Buckley

Women have facial hair.

Crazy concept, I know. Whether the hair is transparent or proudly running rampant, every lady has a little bit of fuzz on their face. However, until recently, talking about female facial hair (and its maintenance) has been considered taboo, even though it requires some TLC, same as guys’.

I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a hairy person, but the hair I do have can be very black, thick, and coarse (as opposed to the thin, fine hair that grows out of my scalp)—this goes for my arms, legs, torso, and of course, my face. In high school, I noticed hair growing in places where I didn’t want it to be, so I started to incorporate a hair removal regimen into my normal beauty routine: I shaved my arms and legs at least twice a week, and for my face, I shaved my mustache and unibrow whenever I saw them growing in. However, I’m a clumsy person, so I was always reluctant to shave the peach fuzz on my cheeks in fear of slipping and leaving a gash on my face.

A beauty YouTuber helped set the guidelines for how I shave now.

My mind was changed in college, when one of my favorite beauty YouTubers, Melissa Alatorre, published a video about tips for shaving your face (this is an updated video; the original one was posted years ago). After reading the comments on the video, I realized that so many women had the same struggles that I did, and I felt encouraged to give shaving my face a try.

I followed Melissa’s tutorial to a T, though I’ve never been a fan of the single-blade eyebrow razors that she recommends in the video (they always irritate my face and don’t seem to do much for hair removal). Instead, I picked up a pack of disposable double-bladed razors and carefully ran one over my face with the help of some coconut oil.

Credit: Kristin Corpuz

I was amazed at how much dark, fuzzy hair came off my face, and after wiping down my skin with some micellar water, I immediately noticed a difference in how smooth and even my face looked. My surprise continued when I applied makeup the following morning; my products sat on my face beautifully and my normally-textured skin looked baby’s-bottom-smooth. Since then, I’ve been shaving my face once a week, and even as my beauty and skin care routines have evolved, the face shaving has stayed.

Credit: Kristin Corpuz

I typically shave my face once a week, and only do it after I’ve already cleansed. Now, I’m a little more bougie and use the Oui Shave Single Blade Razor and Neroli Shave Oil ($95), but coconut oil and a drugstore disposable razor still work when I’m in a pinch or traveling and forget to bring my normal supplies. I love that the single blade on the razor gives a very gentle shave, and also prevents ingrown hairs (with this razor, the less pressure, the better the shave). After I’m done shaving, I use Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ($8.99) and a cotton pad to gently remove any stray hairs and excess oil.

Credit: Kristin Corpuz

Immediately after, I only use gentle moisturizers and serums that have a low acid content. My current favorite serum is the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum ($95), which I follow up with Farmacy’s Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer ($45). The Tatcha serum helps boost glow and doesn’t irritate your skin, even after it has been exfoliated, and the honey in the moisturizer helps soothe the skin and combat redness.

My biggest tips are to take your time, and to always shave with the grain, not against. I’ve picked up some new habits and tricks along the way, thanks to the skin therapists at Heyday, who often offer dermaplaning as a service for their clients.

The skin therapists at Heyday have given me some tips to help shave at home.

I never exfoliate pre- or post-shaving. Skin therapist Joanne D. says, “Shaving [is] a form of exfoliation, so cut back on other forms of exfoliation in the areas you shave,” She continues, “Do not shave over active blemishes; this can cause a deepening of the acneic infection and scarring.”

I am also more conscious about my current skin condition when I shave, because skin therapist Stephanie B. says, “If you have active acne, a cold sore, severe rosacea, or a sunburn then [face shaving] isn’t for you right now.”

Even though face shaving can seem scary at first, I think that the benefits outweigh the risks. Since incorporating shaving into my skin care routine, I’ve gotten many compliments on my skin and feel more confident in how my makeup sits on my face. I have a feeling that, even as my skin care routine constantly changes, I’ll be shaving my face for the foreseeable future.