beauty

Peach fuzz: Everyone has it, but here's what to do if you want to get rid of it.

You know the tiny hairs chilling on your upper lip/chin/entire face? It's called 'peach fuzz' (sounds so cute, right?!), and while you may think you're the only one sporting a lil fluff, it's actually way more common than you might think.

According to a 2006 British study, it was found that women spend 104 minutes per week managing their facial hair. 67 per cent of the women in the study said they continually check their facial hair in mirrors, and 76 per cent said they continually check by touching it.

Before we get into what you can do if you really want to get rid of it, here's a bit of a background on what peach fuzz actually is and what causes it.

Peach fuzz. What is it?

Well, the Oxford Dictionary describes peach fuzz as, "the down on the chin of an adolescent boy whose beard has not yet developed" - but it sounds like this hasn't been updated since the '50s, so we asked a couple of experts for their definition, instead.

Cosmetic physician Dr Sean Arendse from Flawless Rejuvenation explains, "Peach fuzz is a term used for vellus hair. Vellus hair is a very fine hair that is typically lighter in colour and can be found on the face, neck and other areas of the body."

"Like peaches, it has a soft feel and can generally only be seen up-close," said skin practitioner Sarah Hudson from Skin By Sarah Hudson. Yep, you're probably the only one who notices it! 

"Unfortunately, women perceive this fine downy hair as noticeable especially when we catch a glimpse in the rear-view mirror! Many women are embarrassed, as they think they are the only ones that suffer with it."

Listen to Mamamia's podcast for your face, You Beauty, where Kelly and Leigh share the best ways to remove facial hair. Post continues below. 

But all women have some kind of facial hair - we just have different amounts or thickness! "Naturally we all have some facial hair and that is completely normal," said Dr Arendse.

What causes it?

"Vellus hair can occur for a number of reasons. The blonder the hair on your head, the more susceptible you are to vellus hair on your face," said Hudson. However, if you feel like you have more hair on your face than usual, it could come down to a few different things. "It also occurs when our hormones change. This may be post-pregnancy, pre-menopause or post-menopause," explains Hudson. "It may also occur post-chemotherapy treatment, which can be really confronting."

So, what's the best way to get rid of peach fuzz?

Before you go nuts with a razor and mow off everything on your cute face, it's worth knowing what works and what doesn't work when it comes to minimising facial hair. The fact that vellus hair is difficult to detect in the first place (as mentioned, it's shorter, softer and often lighter in colour), means that it's equally tricky to remove. Our advice? Only opt for removal if it's really pissing you off. We also recommend having a chat to a qualified skincare specialist where possible - 'cause this is your face we’re talking about and peach fuzz is bitchy and fickle.

Okay! Let's start on what works, shall we?

Dermaplaning.

Heard of it before? It's kinda like shaving your face, but not. Dermaplaning is a micro-blading treatment that exfoliates and removes hair from your face. "This clinical procedure is totally safe and effective," said Hudson. "Utilising a single-use only surgical blade, it removes the outer layers of the epidermis along with the vellus hair. One of the benefits is that it will improve the absorption of your at-home skincare program!" Win-win!

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If you're stuck in isolation (hey, Melbourne), you'll be pleased to know that if you can't get to a skin clinic, you can give it a whirl at home. There's now a whole range of at-home face-defuzzing tools on the market (like Revlon's Face Defuzzer or the MCoBeauty Super Smooth Facial and Brow Razor) that'll do the trick. "Your skin will be left smoother, glowing and more even," said Hudson. This treatment is perfect before an event for a flawless make-up application or as a regular exfoliating treatment.

And if you're scared you're going to end up with a five o'clock shadow, don't worry - dermaplaning doesn't make your hair grow back thicker or darker. We promise. 

"Many clients worry about this," said Dr Arendse. "Vellus hair or peach fuzz is naturally a finer and lighter hair, so it will grow back much finer than other facial or body hair. It will also be lighter than other facial or body hair despite removing it."

Just a heads up, though - if you have super sensitive skin or have a hormonal imbalance leading to excessive hair growth, this treatment may not be right for you. So, it could be worth checking in with a dermatologist or skin specialist before going gung-ho with a defuzzer tool.

Watch: Here are six facts about body hair that will surprise you. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

Threading.

Y'all know what this one is all about, right? An all-over facial threading treatment is the bomb, and can nix peach fuzz in next to no time - but be up for a little eye-watering action, because it gets REAL. 

"Threading is a technique that has been used for centuries, for women and men with heritage. It's a very successful solution, however it may leave the skin a little irritated post-treatment," said Hudson. 

Electrolysis.

If your peach fuzz is on the thicker side, electrolysis might be a better option for you - it's the only kind of permanent hair removal method getting around and works wonders on all skin types. If you haven't heard of electrolysis before, it's basically a process involving a fine needle-like device that works to destroy hair follicles by using an electric current.

"Suited to all skin colours, electrolysis can be very effective - especially for the white terminal hairs that occur on the chin," said Hudson.

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Hair removal creams.

Okay guys, listen up. This one works, but you need to proceed with caution because it can make your skin freak out. While it is a quick and painless solution, Hudson said it can lead to skin sensitivity and chronic skin dryness if not applied correctly. Eek! No good. 

"Personally, I am not a fan due to the skin sensitivity and disruption of the acid mantle they cause on the skin," adds Hudson. If you still want to give it a crack (rebel!), just make sure you choose something of the sensitive facial variety and hit up a gentle moisturiser afterwards to calm things (your skin) down.

Waxing.

Again, this one works, but it isn't really recommended. Waxing is a pretty aggressive hair removal solution for the face, and Hudson said it can cause a few different skin issues that don't sound fun. "I have seen terrible red veins (telangiectasia) as a result from facial waxing. Ripping, tugging and in-grown hairs can be a result of full-face waxing."

What kind of treatments don't work?

Now you know what works (yay!), here's what doesn't:

Laser.

Laser isn't a winner for peach fuzz, friends. This is because lasers seek out dark hair, so they're best used on more pigmented strands. "Peach fuzz doesn't typically respond well to laser treatment due to the lighter colour or lack of pigment of the hair," explains Dr Arendse.

Plucking.

"One of the worse things you can do," reveals Hudson. "It may stimulate the blood supply to the follicles, resulting in thicker stronger hairs. I have also noticed an increase of ingrown hairs when women use this method." So, yeah - plucking is a hard no!

Feature image: Getty

Do you have any tips for removing facial hair? Share with us in the comment section below.

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