Photo Illustration by Elena Scotti/Fusion

A debate has been raging in British media: Should every woman shave her face like a dude?

That’s right. The latest trend, or at least the latest fodder for a trend debate, involves a woman taking a razor to her face – not to remove hair, but as a means of exfoliation and wrinkle reduction.

According to beauty experts who spoke to the Daily Mail (grab your grains of salt, everyone), shaving your face is a great way to remove dead skin cells. “It’s like a mild form of microdermabrasion," one dermatologist said, so it "encourages collagen production, which reduces wrinkles." After all, men shave and they have fewer wrinkles – so if women shave, should be about the same, right?

Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, Anita Bhagwandas, beauty and health editor for the British edition of Women's Health, has formally declared shenanigans on the whole thing. Not only do women do enough exfoliating as it is, she says, dudes have fewer wrinkles and more baby-like skin because that’s just how dude skin works: “Men have a higher density of collagen in their skin than women – which is why women age faster.” Besides, shaving “inflames” the skin and leaves it too sensitive.

But as it turns out, there might actually be something to this shaving thing. We spoke with Jessica Weiser, a board certified dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group in Manhattan, who told Fusion that technically, yes, shaving is a form of exfoliation. “When you cut off hair at the skin’s surface, you are removing dead skin,” she explained. “And in terms of collagen stimulation, there are ways to do so by superficially damaging the skin.” But she qualified: "I’m not sure you’re getting that much more from shaving than from other mild exfoliants.”


Weiser said she’ll probably wait for more scientific research before she starts prescribing razors. “Any time there’s a new trend, there’s a healthy dose of skepticism. We’ll want to try it and see what it does and see how much it changes things for us,” she said. “There are other tried-and-true regimens like exfoliating discs and other washes and products, so I wouldn’t recommend shaving as the the first option unless there is some major breakthrough.”