Vellus hair, which is endearingly known as peach fuzz, is the short, fine, lightly pigmented hair that can appear on the face, neck, and other areas of the body. While it's often barely noticeable, many people have their own reasons for wanting to rid themselves of it. As you may know, peach fuzz is a tough thing to remove permanently, but there are a few things you can do to temporarily eliminate its appearance. Luckily, we have the skinny on which treatments work and which ones don't.
What doesn't work
- Laser removal: Since peach fuzz is light in colour, explains dermatologist Dr. Ellen Gendler, it's difficult to remove it with a laser. The reason is that lasers seek out dark hair, so they're best used on more pigmented strands.
- Electrolysis: Electrolysis is a process where an electric current is sent through a fine, needle-like device to destroy hair follicles. While the results are permanent, it "doesn't work very well on fine hairs, because it's too difficult to get into each follicle," says Dr. Gendler.
What works (but proceed with caution)
- Depilatories: Depilatories use a chemical process to help dissolve hair above the skin and slightly under the pore. While Dr. Gendler notes their effectiveness, she also acknowledges that some people can experience irritation from using them. Try Veet 2 Step Facial Hair Cream (£5).
- Waxing: Although waxing does indeed work, Dr. Gendler isn't quick to recommend it. "I'm not a huge fan of waxing, because it definitely is irritating," she clarifies. Also, if you're using tretinoin, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid, then waxing can cause the skin to flare up.
What does work
- Deplaning: You might be thinking, "So you're telling me that just by exiting a plane, my peach fuzz problems are solved?" Not quite. (But there's something to be said for homonyms and bad jokes.) Deplaning in cosmetic terms involves the use of a scalpel — which is essentially like a razor — that's finely brushed on the skin to cut away hair. Says Dr. Gendler, "It's a really nice method of giving a nice, polished look to the face and removing hair at the same time." You can get a similar effect at home using a small, safe razor designed to tidy up your brows, but go very gently and beware if you have sensitive skin.
– Additional reporting by Gemma Cartwright