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I’ve always felt I was a hairy person. I began shaving my legs in 7th grade, and it seemed I had darker and thicker hair than my friends and hair that grew back faster. In high school, I felt my arms were too hairy and regularly bleached them. In college, I became obsessed with what I felt was a mustache on my upper lip and would use depilatories, wax, and bleach on it. I tweezed and waxed my brows into tasteful arches and became quite expert with a razor. However, I never felt I had any issues with hairs anywhere else on my face… until I turned 40.
Those jokes about old ladies with chin hairs are legit. My friends and I can attest to the fact that the older we get the weirder our body hair. Strange 2” long wires poke out literally overnight and often in places where we busy rushed women don’t immediately see in those five minutes we have to get ready while trying to brush hair, change a diaper, drink coffee, apply mascara, and sign a permission slip.
One day a friend shared a video on her Facebook page of a woman who shaves her face. I didn’t like the video, and I didn’t like the woman’s premise that you should shave your face to be more attractive to men (some said she was trying to be funny but I didn't find it humorous). However, the woman used these facial razors called Tinkles and I was intrigued. On Amazon, they have a three-pack of these razors for less than $5 and free Prime shipping. I bought a pack and figured if they left me with a five o’clock shadow I’d just start waxing on the regular like I already did for my upper lip.
I’ve been using these razors ever since and I have to say they are a major game-changer.
The Tinkle razor doesn’t look like a standard razor. Available in pastel shades, the razor is on the end of a long handle similar to a brow brush. You hold it similar to a toothbrush and swipe down on the face in short strokes. I do it after cleansing. The first couple of times my face felt a bit raw after shaving, but now I don’t feel anything, but I still do it in the evening or on days I don’t wear makeup so my skin can breathe recover. I have read to do it on clean skin without moisturizer, but also to do with moisturizer which protects the skin. I have done both ways, the irritation level for me is the same; I prefer without moisturizer because that seems to gunk up the razor faster.
I always feared that hair would grow back dark and more obvious but that doesn’t happen. It does grow back in, but I hardly even notice it. The hair on my jawline and chin is far finer than an upper lip and when it comes back in it remains soft and light-colored. There’s no five o’clock shadow, I promise!
Many women shave their face claiming makeup lies better and it exfoliates the skin (a la dermaplaning) to have a smoother finish. I really haven’t experienced that. In fact, the first time I shaved I got a couple of breakouts, but I don’t experience that anymore.
I used to sit in front of a magnifying mirror plucking individual hairs with tweezers and it could take forever. Also, it’s not good for the ego or the soul to spend a long period of time in front of a magnifying mirror. I keep the Tinkle in my medicine cabinet in a cup with other tall slim things like eye cream, cuticle scissors, and a blackhead remover. I just pull it out and swipe swipe swipe lickedy split in the bathroom without needing to get super close and careful. And yes, you can use it in your nose if you wish without any pain or issues. Now that I started using the Tinkle, I don’t get my upper lip waxed at the salon. I save money by taking care of it at home.
Since writing this post in 2016, I have tried several other face shaving or dermaplaning products and shared them on the blog. I've raved about this one from Noxzema, and I've tried this one from Finishing Touch after many have raved about it. They are both great but honestly, the Tinkle razor is such a great pricepoint, doesn't require batteries, and I am less likely to miss spots in weird places. For me, I find I use it more often when the process is super simple. However, do what works best for you. I polled friends and fellow influencers and what I've used and below are the best choices for facial hair removal without wax or a depilatory:
Facial hair is a personal choice. Some wish to remove it, some do not. Some don’t have any, some do. There’s no right or wrong decision. But if you want a quick, cheap, and easy way to take care of facial hair, the Tinkle facial razor is a great choice. And if you try it and you decide you don’t like it, don’t fear you have to shave for the rest of your life. You can stop, and the hair will grow back just as it was previously.
This post was originally published in 2016 but updated with new information and to share that I still use these same razors several years later!
Akua Hinds says
I find that the Flawless facial hair remover is better than using a razor on my face. I purchased the Flawless from my local Walmart last month. Flawless feels very gentle while it’s buzzing the hair off my skin, it has a light that turns on when I turn the product on so that I can see the area I’m working on, and I like the shape of it as well. It looks like a lipstick when the cap is on it. Just a few circular motions on my face with the Flawless, and it works great. No need to use shaving creams/lotions, and it comes with a tiny brush to clean the inside and outside of the machine. Using a razor on my face used to leave razor bumps and used to scrape my skin. The Flawless is much better and feels much safer.
Hi Alison, thanks for this post. I use Tinkle razors after seeing your post in 2016. I find Vaseline makes the razor glide better and I just wipe the razor after every stroke. Now I’m older my facial hair doesnt grow as quickly so I only have to do it every two or three weeks. I love them. Cheap, easy to use, last ages. I think the original pack came from Hong Kong! How good to know they are on Amazon. Thank you.
Allie, what is the name of your lipcolor in this video? Love it!
I’ve had the opposite experience–as I’ve aged I have less hair on my legs, face and arms, though fortunately my head hair doesn’t seem to be thinning. I did try shaving my fine facial hair a few years ago and it did not work well for me–the fine “peach fuzz” grew back in a way that was very noticeable and it’s taken a long time–close to three years–for those fine hairs to settle down to their former invisibility. I also have a fine scar on my upper lip from an attempt to shave the little bit of coarser hair there. I do much better with the Finishing Touch! I only use it to remove the coarser hairs on my upper lip though–I have shied away from face shaving since my unfortunate experience. Which is not to say that the tinkle razors won’t work for you! If shaving had looked better on me, I would have kept doing it. But the weirdness of the regrowth and my inability not to cut myself, causing scars, let me to give it up. I still have a bunch of those unused razors, too.
I use the Tinkle type and they are great. I got a good deal on amazon for a multi pack. I have also decided to carry tweezers with me in my purse. I inevitably see a hair on my chin or neck when I get in the car. The natural light is better I guess.
I am surprised no one has mentioned the devices that look like electric razors but have rotating discs that pluck out hairs and peach fuzz from a small area at a time. Mine is made by Remington. I’ve seen others advertised. Yes, there’s some pain, but it is bearable, and the results last for several days because regrowth is slower. You don’t have to zero in on single hairs—just pass the device over the skin and watch it catch everything. Rinse and repeat as desired.
Sorry—I didn’t mean “rinse” literally. Works best on dry skin.
I spend so long plucking, it’s boring & frustrating. But I’m worried about ending up with ingrown hairs with shaving, which causes worse looking marks on your face. Has this been a problem for anyone else?
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
I haven’t had any but I look forward to others’ feedback!
Shannon Bell says
I have PCOS which is why I started shaving my face in my 30s. I have gotten ingrown hairs but I have actual whiskers and they are mostly caused when I’m trying to get out a hair with tweezers ineptly. To avoid ingrown hairs while shaving, only shave in the direction of the hair growth not against and keep up with your usual chemical exfoliation routine, AHAs and BHAs will help soften the skin enough for the hair to come out cleanly. BHAs also reduce inflammation to prevent the ugly red mark from an ingrown hair.
I found the same video your friend linked to a year or so ago when I went to get color matched for a foundation & the makeup artist did a double take at what I thought was the fine fluff on my face. When I got home I realized I was kidding myself at just how fine the “fluff” was & now use these blades at least weekly. I find using them around my lip & chin line can lead to ingrown hairs so I use depilatory cream on those areas, but it works great on the cheeks/side burn area. I also use it between my eyebrows. It really does help my make up sit better & I am a lot less self conscious.
Sara OSS says
Oh man. Think this would work around eyebrows? Not so much for shaping but for keeping the peach fuzz above/between them in check? It would be most excellent if this could cut down on the frequency of waxing visits.
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
They are sold as eyebrow razors, I haven’t tried them up there but I know people use it for that!
Shannon Bell says
There are smaller razors that are about half the blade length of the Tinkle razors posted above that are used for around eyebrows. Make sure your practiced with using the razor before you go to town on an area where you want to keep hair! Small short strokes, and make sure you’re well rested.
Nihongo Dame Desu says
Uggh. Just yesterday when I was waxing my lip–as if having dark fur above my mouth now that I’m 40 isn’t bad enough–I found a GRAY LIP HAIR!!! I use wax strips on my lip and weird little spring device that I bought in Japan for the light fuzz on the rest of my face. It doesn’t remove all the hair, but it gets some of it so that I look less fuzzy when wearing make up. I find these razors intriguing, but scary. Given the scars I have on my Achilles from leg-shaving, I don’t think I trust myself with sharp things around my face.
They are a lot less sharp than a normal shaving razor. The trick is lots of little short strokes holding the blade at about a 45 degree angle.
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
I have a scar on my face from one time when I tried to snip a lip hair with cuticle scissors. I’m famous for being a klutz and getting cut from anything, especially a razor. Last night, no lie, I cut my hand on my BATHTUB. Who does that? But these razors? No issue. Like the commenter below stated, these aren’t as sharp and they’re covered with this serrated edge so you can’t really nick yourself, and you do short strokes not long glides. You know it’s at the right angle when you hear the shaving sound, but never nicks!
I’ve been shaving my face for years and definitely plan to order these tinkle razors! (Although, what a revolting name)
Shannon Bell says
You’ll also find these razors in any Asian store with the imported beauty items. I started shaving my face after learning about it from an older Japanese friend.
Shannon Bell says
If you don’t use lotion with the razor, putting loose translucent powder on your face helps it glide as well.
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
Thanks for the tip!
Jane Jestson says
I developed dark, thick hair on my chin in my late teens. It was awful. Sometimes too much to pluck. I swear I had more hairs per square inch than my husband. I had a few patches the about the size of a quarter and many outliers. A few on my neck as well. Nothing on the upper lip surprisingly. I did electrolysis and lasers when i could afford it. What a difference! That was such a wise investment and I have never regretted it. I also had pale skin which made the red marks and plucking even harder to hide.
I do have a little peach fuzz on my cheeks which I may shave. I am interested to see how it works with my makeup and skin care products. Thanks for the idea.
Queen Lucia says
Great topic! I started shaving about two months ago as well (that must be when that video started making the rounds) and it’s totally fine, quick and easy. I have a lot of peach fuzz and a few dark wiry hairs on my face. My dermatologist told me that laser removal only works on the dark ones, so I decided not to go that route for just a few, and started shaving. If you choose to remove facial hair, shaving is a good way to go. – Queen Lucia
Pam S. says
How do these little hairs grow so quickly?! Every now and then I discover a very fine, white hair on my neck that’s, I swear, 5 inches long. Then I wonder, “how long has that been there?!” Aging is so weird sometimes.
This is a difficult and sensitive subject. “Women aren’t supposed to have body hair, especially not on their faces.” Or so we have always been told. I was hairy as a kid even before puberty and it has only gotten worse with time. I find talking about it very embarrassing and would feel much more comfortable talking frankly about almost any other subject.
I think we tend to forget that our ancestors, both male and female, were entirely covered with hair and that we are, after all, mammals. Look at our closest living relative, chimps. They are not exactly smooth skinned. So it isn’t so surprising that we have vestiges of an earlier time in our history.
Right? I was thinking about this earlier today. We are pushed to have the texture of dolphins – shiny, taut, hairless. But we are mammals!
When it happened to me, at first, it wasn’t enough to worry about. A few years later, there were some hairs that were much darker, longer, and stiff. I got electrolysis. It was an investment, and one I would absolutely do again! I guess people get laser treatments now, but I don’t know about near my eyes. Honestly, over the years, I’m pretty sure it saved me money. I know it saved me a huge amount of time.
It hurts as much as plucking, and each hair it hurts twice as long as plucking. So instead of “wince” it’s “wince, wince.” But you never have to deal with that hair again. Ever. Even in the nursing home. I work with older people, and the hair will still bother you when you aren’t able to do anything about it yourself.
While I was at it, I had my eyebrows done. It’s amazing how much can be done in a half hour, and so so so worth it, especially now, years later.
This is so true! Both my mother and mother-in-law informed me that when they get old and unable to do this grooming activity they want someone to tend to their facial hair. NO ONE wants their Grandchildren to come see them and discover that Granny has a mustash or chin hairs.
When I was a little girl, my sweet Granny made me promise, PROMISE, that I would always tell her if I saw her face was hairy, and when she was too old to take care of herself, that I would pluck any chin hairs I saw when I came to see her. Even, she said, if she was too lost to do it herself. We are both very fair blondes, so seeing these things are a challenge! And the peach fuzz….
Kathy Frazier says
I, too, use the Tinkle razor and it works great! I noticed after the age of 50 (I’m 55 now), that the blond hair on my face became a bit longer and way more noticeable. However, I wasn’t brave enough to try shaving until I saw a video about it (sounds like I saw the same obnoxious one you did!). I’ve been shaving now (about once a week) for 3 months. My skin is smoother and makeup lies better on my skin. I also feel as if my skin care products are able to work better – better absorption without all that hair in the way. Yes, I’ll be shaving from now on!
Was just thinking this week that perhaps my least favorite part of being over 40 is the chin hair! I may try this – thanks for the review.
While sometimes I feel cursed by the beauty fairy (cellulite, age spots galore) at least she skipped giving me facial hair. But many friends were “blessed” with it so I understand your pain … and joy at having found an easy solution.
Agree with you on this 100%. I have found I use less foundation. I was inspired to try this after you or another blogger linked to an article about a professional makeup artist who shaved her face. Around the same time, I saw a blond stranger in her late 30s in full sunlight – I could see very long peach fuzz on her cheeks and neck. That’s the thing about this kind of hair – you are not as likely to notice most of it, but go in the sun and you can look like you have a beard! I’d like to avoid the bearded lady look, which in my opinion can be aging.