The idea of kao sori (meaning face shaving in Japanese) may be intimidating at first but once you get to know more about this beauty routine, you’ll find that it isn’t all that bizarre. Kao sori has become a commonplace practice in Japan and is said to be a “long-held secret”. Although we don’t know exactly for how long, it seems it gained popularity in 2004. Kao sori was already very popular and many beauty salons were offering professional face shaving services (done by professional female barbers) by that time.
But even before that, the late Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were said to have shaved their faces as part of their prep. Now, the practice has gained popularity in the mainstream through a method called “dermaplaning” — instead of using an ordinary razor, a professional aesthetician will use a special scalpel-like tool to scrape away facial hair. Some swear by face shaving, while others are wary about it. So should you try kao sori? Here’s what you need to know before you do.
Benefits of kao sori
Face shaving can be a tedious task and you may wonder if it’s even worth the effort. To help you decide, here are some benefits of kao sori.
Immediate aesthetic benefits
Just like when you shave your legs, kao sori will give you immediate aesthetic benefits. Your facial skin will feel instantly smoother and softer. Your complexion will also look a little brighter especially if you have a darker-toned peach fuzz. If you’re self-conscious about your facial hair, shaving can also boost your self-image and improve mental health.
Shaving your face also gives your skin a gentle exfoliation. It will effectively remove any superficial gunk, dead skin cells, and excess sebum. Another benefit is that, unlike using rough exfoliators or harsh chemical exfoliators, shaving facial hair has no downtime and the results are instant.
While there are some personal reports about how shaving your face can be an effective anti-ageing method, there’s still little to no conclusive evidence on this. However, regular exfoliation does help skin cells renew so this may be an effect of exfoliation and not solely a benefit of face shaving.
Deeper penetration of skincare and smooth makeup application
Because shaving your face is an effective way to exfoliate, any skincare immediately applied after will be absorbed well and consequently work better. Kao sori also provides a perfect, smooth canvas for makeup application. Liquid foundation and other cream cosmetics, most especially, may be able to glide more smoothly and adhere better to the skin than before.