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Does Removing* Facial Hair Cause Wrinkle?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

For some men, facial hair is a matter of pride. Many men proudly wear their beards, mustaches, sideburns, and much more. Facial hair styles for men change over the years, but more often than not, facial hair is a part of some trend. Women, however, look at facial hair quite differently when it is their own.

Typically, throughout much of history and in modern times, facial hair on women is considered unattractive and is avoided. Women have used many strategies to rid themselves of unwanted facial hair- from hot honey waxes in previous centuries to laser removal processes today. What side effects for facial hair removal have on women, though? Some have suggested that the price of being a beardless lady is being a wrinkly one.

The Process of Removing* Facial Hair

Removing* facial hair sounds unpleasant, doesn’t it? Unlike hair on the legs or in the armpits, it cannot be quickly and safely shaved off. For most women, the hair on the face, especially around the mouth, is too plentiful to pluck out with tweezers.

As a result of the sensitivity of the skin around the lips, many facial hair removal processes for women are a little bit complex. Common strategies include:

  • Having the skin around the lips waxed
  • Using at-home waxing kits
  • Applying adhesive strips that pull up the hairs en masse.
  • Products known as depilatories, which use chemicals to dissolve hair above the skin surface
  • At home light devices
  • Laser hair removal treatments

Each of these treatments has their pros and cons. Laser hair removal, for instance, can be costly but is known for being effective. Adhesive strips tend to be very affordable but must be used often because they do not remove* all the hair and do nothing to prevent new hair from growing back quickly.

What Causes Wrinkling?

Wrinkles are not directly related to hair or hair follicles. Instead, wrinkles are formed via two types of processes that are a natural part of aging. In one type of process, the skin neglects to hold onto as much moisture as it used to. This causes the skin not to fill out as much, which creates fine line wrinkling.

In the other type of wrinkling, the makeup of the skin, particularly the collagen and elastin, break down and deteriorate. Without these materials fortifying and supporting the skin, its structure is weakened. Rifts form, causing parts of the skin to become weak and to sag. This results in deep wrinkling.

Relating Wrinkling to Facial Hair Removal

The suspicion that facial hair removal is related to wrinkling is highly debated for a reason. By itself, the wrinkling process as a component of natural aging seems to have nothing to do with hair or hair removal. At the same time, many factors can increase*, enhance*, or accelerate the wrinkling process. Smoke, for instance, is bad for the skin, causing it to break down faster and more severely. Sunburns work in the same way, making wrinkles worse and often bringing them about earlier.

Since hair removal involves pulling something out of the skin and thus disrupting skin cells, it’s easy to see why some people believe that hair removal can contribute to wrinkling prematurely or severely. Fortunately, research into the matter does not generally support* this theory. Hair removal and wrinkling are only loosely related. Even then, the relationship depends on how hair removal is carried out. Some methods of facial hair removal are more likely to be related to wrinkling than others.

Wrinkle-Proof Hair Removal Strategies

As previously explained, wrinkles occur when the skin breaks down or when it cannot absorb moisture properly. Many factors can influence these processes. Depending on the type of facial hair removal strategy you use, you may contribute to these wrinkle-causing issues.

Check out the wrinkle risks of each common hair removal method:

1. Waxing

When waxing performed properly, a wax involves putting a warmed substance on the skin. The substance destroys hair and, once removed, leaves a smooth, hairless skin surface behind. This process is safe and relatively common. It is not associated with wrinkles when carried out correctly. However, if the wax is made too hot or composed of materials that damage skin cells, it can in a small measure advance the aging of the skin.

2. Adhesives

Basically strips of specialized tape, adhesives designed for facial hair removal pull hairs up out of the dermis. This can have certain risks, for instance, it can irritate sensitive skin. Dry skin may also react poorly to the process, causing acne. Some people also find adhesives painful. When it comes to wrinkling, adhesives are unlikely to have any effect unless used on dry or sensitive skin. The effect in such cases in minimal.

3. Depilatories

Composed of various chemicals, depilatories are available in creams and other liquid products. They are made to chemically dissolve hair. As a result of being dissolved, hair is no longer present or visible. The chemicals in depilatories are safe for the skin and are not believed to cause damage that may result in wrinkling.

However, be careful. Depilatories designed for use on the body should not be used on the face. The concentration of chemicals for the body is too strong and may result in cell damage.

4. Laser Treatment

A popular but more costly option for facial hair removal, laser treatment typically has long-lasting results. The system is very precise, and can be used to lighten dark-colored hairs or can beam light into hair follicles until the hairs die and fall out. Highly effective, this method of hair removal on the face is also very safe. Scientists do not find any correlation between laser hair removal and wrinkling.

Just to be sure, when using any strategy to remove* unwanted facial hair, follow up with anti-wrinkle creams like Suvoderm. These help to fight natural aging and will also nourish the skin after it is disrupted by hair removal.