It’s downy and barely even pigmented, but peach fuzz — those fine little hairs on the chin — drives me crazy. Getting rid of it is tricky, because the usual hair-removal channels — both waxing and picking up a razor — seem too harsh. So I dermaplane at home.
Dermaplaning procedures typically happen in an office with an aesthetician or trained medical technician who passes a surgical blade across the skin, removing a few layers of dead cells. “It can remove about two to three weeks’ worth of skin,” says Dr. Michelle Henry of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York of the in-office treatment, which is supposed to be fairly intense. But, “the at-home versions are not as aggressive.”
So I use the Dermaflash, a gently vibrating device with a carefully guarded blade. To remove peach fuzz, technically called vellus hair, you hold your skin taut with one hand while gently passing the blade over your face in short vertical strokes with the other hand. It sounds intimidating, but that’s why the guard is there: You’d have to really try to cut yourself to do some damage. The hair comes off in little puffs, which is oddly satisfying. I work my way around my face in less than ten minutes, and there’s no pain at all. I’ve never even had any post-planing irritation or redness.
Like it sounds, dermaplaning is really a form of exfoliation. Among all the acne-treating, collagen-stimulating exfoliators, though, dermaplaning isn’t a star. But it is the only one with the welcome bonus of removing peach fuzz. Nonetheless, because of the combined removal of hair and dead skin, the glow is immediate. I follow up each dermaplaning session with an oil or antioxidant serum — “Just like with other forms of exfoliation, your products absorb better,” Henry says — and my skin is so smooth, my makeup looks almost airbrushed. Even better, I use less of it. The hairlessness lasts for about a week and a half. And no, the hair doesn’t grow back coarser or more abundant. “That’s a myth,” Henry says.
I use the Dermaflash every two weeks. The device comes with five single-use blade cartridges, which slide on and pop off easily. After that, the blade replacements run for $29 for four blades that get bundled with a prewash and post-exfoliation moisturizer.
Other Strat-approved peach-fuzz removers
Kathleen Hou, beauty editor at the Cut, recommends these petite Japanese razors for removing peach fuzz on the cheap. “They’re small enough to fit under your chin, with enough of an edge to remove peach fuzz, yet not so sharp that they’ll nick you. Japanese celebrity makeup artist Munemi Imai claims it’s been a long-held beauty secret in her country. ‘In Japan, we do shave our face,’ she says. ‘It brightens it up and makes it much easier to apply makeup.’”
In between waxes, Elizabeth Gumport uses this U-shaped metal coil to snag and dispel fine, hard-to-tweeze chin hairs. “The process is staggeringly straightforward: Simply bend the stainless-steel coil into an upside-down U shape and roll it along your face. If, like me, you derive a perverse pleasure from staring at the little hairs on used wax strips, the R.E.M Spring scratches a similar itch. It’s usually a fine harvest, and there are always more hairs caught in the spring than I expect.”
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