Shaving isn’t just a fast, easy way to get rid of unwanted hair in less than 10 minutes. It also has a ton of other benefits, which is precisely why celebrity facialist Kate Somerville advises her long list of Hollywood client, like Jessica Alba, to shave not just their legs, but their faces, too.
“I hate to say this, but personally I get hairs above my upper lip, and have forever,” Somerville told the New York Times, confessing that she lathers up with her own brand of face wash once a week, and shaves her face with the men’s Gillette Mach3 razor. “Initially I did it because of the hair, but then I noticed that it was a great exfoliant and that my makeup went on a lot better.”
Although Somerville declined to admit who amongst her celebrity clients shaves her face, she recommends it widely, and says that many of her clients comply. She also heard from an aesthetician who worked with both Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor that the two late starlets used to shave their faces as well.
However, most women tend to avoid shaving their face out of fear that the method is counterintuitive, that they’ll wind up with a beard bigger than Joaquin Phoenix’s look from 2010.
This is an unnecessary worry.
“It is definitely a myth that shaving will make the hair coarser or darker,” Elizabeth K. Hale, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, told the New York Times.
Even more fascinating, women commonly shave their face in Japan, where the practice even has its own name: kao sori.
Andrea Bai McCann, who grew up watching her Japanese grandmother shave her face, shaves her own face about twice a month.
“I’m not like a bearded lady, but I’m very self-conscious about my sideburns,” McCann, who uploaded a face-shaving tutorial to YouTube, told the New York Times. “And I’m big into makeup and skin care, so why not have the smoothest canvas possible?”