Is it good for your face to occasionally not shave?

Like most men, I shave every day. Well, almost every day :smiley:

But I wonder, is it actually good for your face to occasionally not shave for a day or so, or is the reverse true?

My WAG is that, for most men, there is an optimum time to shave – typically about two days into a beard’s growth. Before that, the hairs are relatively short, but tough. After that, the hairs are relatively “light-weight” (less tough), but long. Since either increased length or increased toughness will necessitate a more aggressive, lengthy shaving experience, the best way to minimize the negative effects on the face are to always shave around this optimum time.

When I first started shaving my head, I tried skipping a day to give my scalp a rest. The only effects were negative.

I’d like to keep this GQ, please. I’m looking for a factual answer, not people’s experiences.

Apologies, didn’t realize this was GQ. You might find your answer at Badger and Blade.

In the past I’ve tried to find scientific shaving info and have been disappointed. Closest I’ve gotten was a dermatology journal article, but I didn’t want to pay to read it.

I can’t see how daily shaving could be a good thing vs not shaving now and again.

I know you’re after a GQ answer but what defines “good”?

If you phrased the question “Is scraping the top layers of skin on your face off with an abrasive blade better than not scraping the top layers of skin off?” then it’s an obvious yes.

It might be the case that the overall routine of shaving - which usually involves warm water and moisturiser has benefits which offset the damage caused by shaving (removing dead layers of skin too), but that could be achieved by exfoliation and not shaving.

I saw a dermatologist who insisted that it’s best to *never *shave (he had a beard).

But I think the question is going to come down to individual experiences. Just like some men struggle with razor burn and others do not, some men get barber’s itch and others do not, and some get ingrown hairs and some do not. It just seems to me that “right” frequency of shaving is the frequency which gives you the best results; there isn’t a per-ordained frequency that gives superior results to most men.

For example, Wallenstein just commented that he cannot understand how daily shaving would be good (and I know men who are the same way), but I can tell you that if I go two days without shaving, I will invariably get one or two rather painful ingrown whiskers (and there are certainly quite a few men who are in my same boat).

I think the GQ answer must be, it’s better for some men to shave every day, and others find it is better not to shave every day. Perhaps there is some science to determining which skin types do better with more or less frequent shaving.

There isn’t going to be a GQ answer, because every face is different and goes through different things each day. The OP also didn’t define “good.” So this really belongs in IMHO.

If you’re prone to cut yourself shaving, then it’s good for your face to at least occasionally not shave. If you never cut yourself shaving, then there’s no benefit for your face to not shave, although it wouldn’t be harmful to your face to occasionally not shave either.

The less you shave, the better for your skin. The technology has not progressed beyond scraping your face with a sharp rock. The sharp rock just comes in a fancier package these days.

That said, if you do it all the time and don’t notice any problems, then by all means keep at it. But most guys I know get dry irritated skin and the occasional nick even in the best of cases.

Use a moisturizer, not alcohol based aftershave. You can minimize the damage, but shaving is not “good” for you by any means. It just may not be that bad, depending on the person.

I’m trying to wrap my head around how bad it could possibly be for your health. Would not shaving add ten years to your life? Reduce your cholesterol? Cure infertility problems? Aside from some slight irritation, I don’t see it making much difference other than cosmetic.

This question points to something that’s a pet peave of mine - questions of whether xyz (food, usually) is good for you. (Not that the above poster was actually asking this specific question. But it’s related.) The only way to answer that question is to determine if the “you” in question is lacking such a component to a deleterious degree. If it is, then it can be considered “good for you.” Othewise, for the most part, if it’s not poison, it’s not good for you or bad for you - it’s food, fer chrise sake. We appear, as a society, to be weighing ever single little event, behavior, gram of food, etc. to determine if it will be good for us, bad for us, etc. I’m guessing that obsessing over these details will eventually be BAD for us. Ahhh, don’t get me started.
(rant temporarily suspended) xo,