As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). Reviewed is a series where we report on some of the best products we've tried. Whether it's a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you'll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!
If you told me a few years ago I'd take up "shaving my face" as part of my job description—I'd think you were crazy. Now, I know otherwise. As someone who's tried cannabis-infused serum, a facial inside a bubble of pure air, and blind dating with zero makeup on, I know better than to proclaim I'll "never" do something in the name of journalism.
Enter the Tinkle Eyebrow Shaper $4). Only, I used it to shave my face instead of trim my brows. Hear me out.
"Kao sori (Japanese for face shaving) is a popular skincare custom in Japan," says Cynthia Popper, editor at Japanese skincare brand DHC. "Women take tiny straight razors and shave the peach fuzz off of their faces for smooth, fuzz-free complexions and to maximize penetration of their multiproduct skincare routines."
As someone who has a multi-product skincare routine of her own, I was immediately intrigued. I'd had dermaplaning done during various facial treatments over the years, but never as a consistent skincare technique I could do at home. Deven, our beauty director and long-time devotee of kao sori, convinced me of its place in my beauty arsenal: "A while back, esthetician Kerry Benjamin disclosed to me that she shaves her face," she told me. "Every few weeks, she grabs an eyebrow shaver and glides it down her entire face. Benjamin assured me it was an excellent form of exfoliation and that my skin would feel baby-soft after. She was right. I went to the beauty supply store, picked up a three-pack of eyebrow shapers, and never looked back. I now shave my face about every three weeks, or whenever I feel like it needs it.”
Before purchasing my own razor, I read up on the effects it would have on my skin. The technique boasts smoother, softer, cleaner skin as the blade clears debris and makes way for new skin cells. Plus, it prepares your skin for product application, so efficacy is improved. So post-shave it's crucial to apply a super-hydrating serum or mask, as they will penetrate more deeply. "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." After reading all about it, I was sold.
I picked up a set of three razors on Amazon and anxiously awaited their arrival. Once I ripped open the package, I made a beeline to the bathroom with my cleanser and serum in tow. With clean, dry skin I began moving the blade in downward motion carefully across my face (watch the full tutorial here).
Once I finished, I couldn't believe how baby-soft my face felt. I immediately applied a few coats of serum, first a milky calming formula followed by a hydrating hyaluronic acid one. I couldn't stop touching my face—the texture was incredible. My skin was bright, soft, and without any peach fuzz. Another amazing result? The technique allows for an unbelievably smooth makeup application.
Next up: It's true—this is the only sheet mask I'll ever use.