Last week, we revealed that women in Hollywood have a very well-kept anti-ageing secret: They shave their faces. Or at least they get their Hollywood skin gurus to do it for them. The treatment is called dermaplaning, and it goes a long way to explaining why A-list women have such incredibly smooth, clear and glowing complexions.
Now while the whole concept is pretty alien to us here in the UK (because face shaving is very much a boys-only endeavour for hair removal), over in Japan, women shave their faces at home as a part of their regular skincare routines. Instead of dermaplaning, they call it kao sori, and it's "as common as tweezing your brows," says Japanese skincare expert and DHC Skincare editor Cynthia Popper. Everyone in Japan does it, from teens to people over 50. "Facial straight razors are found at every drugstore, and kao sori salons are ubiquitous," she says.
Popper guarantees that British women could benefit from the anti-ageing wonders of face shaving at home, just like the boys do. Keep scrolling to learn how regular face shaving can keep your skin youthful for decades, and find out how to do it yourself!
1. It clears debris and makes way for new skin cells.
At-home dermaplaning is an effective way to exfoliate the skin, it clears away dead cells and encourages new ones. Afterwards, skin feels "smooth and soft," Popper says.
2. It prepares the skin for product application.
"Because the skin has been freshly and thoroughly exfoliated, product efficacy is improved," Popper says. So that makes post-shave a crucial moment to apply your hydrating serums and masks, as they will penetrate more deeply. "Ideal for a multistep J-beauty routine," Popper says.
3. It clears and brightens your complexion.
After dermaplaning, you should notice an instant brightening effect. "I have combination skin that can look a bit cruddy and congested if I don't exfoliate regularly," Popper says. "Kao sori is a fast, affordable reset."
4. It ensures your makeup looks super smooth.
"Like, unbelievably smooth," Popper says. "I love stick foundations and highlighters, and they glide on so evenly after kao sori. The difference is immediately noticeable."
Read on to learn how to start your own dermplaning routine!
Unlike men, you don't need to be shaving your face on the daily. Popper recommends every 10 to 14 days or two days before a special event. "Some models and beauty junkies only do it once every two to three months, but I'm pretty oily, and I really love having a smooth, fuzz-free face," she says.
When it comes to getting down to business, you need to proceed with caution. "Kao sori is no joke—it's a Japanese straight razor to the face," she warns. "When I started, I'd knick myself, especially around the mouth." So it's important to go super slowly, use clean razors and shave with the right products.
Start by removing your makeup completely, and for this step, Popper recommends DHC's cult classic.
Your skin needs to be as clean as possible, so we recommend a triple cleanse (you read that right). Use a micellar water; then follow with a hydrating, cleansing cream. Lather, but don't rinse—this is your "shaving cream."
Before you reach for the razors you usually use on your legs, stop. You need to use special facial razors that will look less intimidating gliding up and down your delicate skin. Popper recommends shaving with slow upward motions starting at the chin.
After each use, Popper recommends thoroughly cleaning your razors with face wash and placing them in a glass of alcohol for a few minutes to sterilise them.
You can now proceed with your usual skincare routine. If you want to take inspiration from a Japanese regimen, we recommend splashing the face with this seriously hydrating ginseng lotion.
Next, apply a potent serum, because you need to maximise on the skin clearing benefits of the dermaplaning. Right now, the active ingredients are going to drive down to exactly where they need to work most effectively. Customise your own serum the Japanese way with this smart kit from Skin Inc.
Would you shave your face in the name of ageless skin? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Opening Image: Banana Republic