Facial Fuzz Busters

Facial Fuzz Busters

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Talk about a hairy situation: a recent poll conducted by Kelton Research shows that about 18 million American women are more stressed out by removing facial hair than their finances. The same study shows that an incredible 80 percent of women would be willing to give up their favorite things—including sex for 30 days and…gaspchocolate!—if it means they won’t have to deal with an unwelcome mustache ever again.Although factors beyond our control like genetics and hormones play a big role in how much facial hair we have, the good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to remove facial hair right at home.Why skip the salon? Getting rid of unwanted hair at home is not only cost-effective, but there’s also the privacy factor, notes Polly Blitzer, beauty expert and founder of BeautyBlitz.com.

“When you DIY, you can do the deed without anyone knowing your business, and you have complete control over the end result,” Blitzer says. Mona A. Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of the department of dermatology at Yale’s School of Medicine, says another benefit is having to worry less about germ transfers.“We often see bacterial, fungal or viral infections when instruments were not cleaned properly at a salon or spa,” she says. Shudder.

MORE: Body Hair Removal Tips, from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen

Here, we explain the lowdown home fuzzbusting.

WaxingPros: A quick way to remove facial hair and re-growth doesn’t come back for weeks.

Cons: If done improperly with too-hot wax, the treatment may burn your skin. Waxing can also lead to redness and tiny post-waxing bumps, aka. irritant folliculitis, an irritation of the tiny hair follicles on the skin.

How to: For waxing, technique is essential (just ask Mr. Miyagi). Make sure you hold the skin taut with one hand as you pull the wax strip to remove the hair with the other. If the skin isn’t held correctly, it could lead to bruising, explains Sandra Lakatos, skincare manager at Oasis Day Spa in Manattan. Another mistake often made? Slathering on the wax in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Instead, you should apply the wax following the direction of the hair growth and then pull off the wax strip in the opposite direction, advises Lakatos.“That way, you are ensuring optimal removal and preventing hairs from breaking with the pull,” she says.

What to look out for: If you have sensitive skin, you may be prone to post-waxing breakouts. To prevent this, Dr. Gohara recommends applying a fine film of talc powder to the area before hair removal and cortisone cream after, which works as an anti-inflammatory and eases redness. Most kits also come with soothing oils, like azulene oil, to apply immediately after.If you use prescription retinoids (like Differen or Renova) or OTC retinol, waxing can rip your skin right off. Don’t use any products with retinoids for at least 10 days before you wax.Post-waxing, avoid irritating products for at least a day, such as exfoliants, retinol or benzoyl peroxide. “Let your skin regroup before you restart your regular skincare regimen,” says Dr. Gohara.

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