Best Ways to Remove Facial Hair (Upper Lip + Chin)

I "mustache" you a question--what's the best way to remove facial hair?

Dark facial hair, particularly that of the upper lip and chin, can be very noticeable and make you self-conscious. Thanks to changes in hormones, hair can turn darker or turn coarser and appear out of nowhere. A couple of examples: I've seen it in aging and sometimes in pregnancy. No worries--there are many methods to remove that mustache.

Over the past 11 months, I took 7 of the most popular methods for removing facial hair and tested them out, carefully observing and recording each one. All of these can be done at home or you can choose a professional.

1--Tweezerman Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover
  • This contraption rips hair from the root with a twist of the wrist. There is also a new, more compact model that was just released.
  • PAIN: VERY painful--I cannot stand this thing. Tweezing is less painful that this.
  • PRICE: $20, but you can find versions for under a dollar on Ebay.
  • It works but I say skip this.
2--Facial Hair Removal Creams
  • Leave the cream or gel on for a set amount of time and then wipe off.
  • PAIN: None, but sometimes skin can get irritated. 
  • PRICE: $7-$25
  • If you've tried these before, you know how they work. Many of them still smell horrible, they can tingle and leave skin feeling a little numb. Since hair is dissolved at surface level, it doesn't last as long as if it's removed from the root. You'll have to use this twice a month usually.
3--Brow Razors
  • While these are normally used for shaping the brows, they work very well for the upper lip, chin, and other areas. 
  • PAIN: None, unless you use incorrectly
  • PRICE: $5-$15
  • I have tried every brand of these, and I prefer the ones from Sephora. While I do dermaplaning at home often (see dermaplaning post here), those razors are too large for my upper lip. 
  • This method is super fast. 
  • Only in extreme areas of growth would I recommend an actual full-sized razor. It's just not necessary.
  • I found this to be the most popular method. You can get this hot or cold. Cold can be wax you apply and peel away or wax already applied to strips.
  • PAIN: This depends on your pain level, but I always find it painful.
  • PRICE: $10+
  • There are so many different types of wax out there, and many of them give my skin reactions. I have seen blisters and all sorts of things.
  • Results last for a few weeks.
  • A natural approach to hair removal with sugar, lemon, and honey (usually). I have seen it removed with strips or by hand. Usually doesn't irritate the skin. Cold or warm.
  • PAIN: virtually none
  • PRICE: $10+
  • While this is not painful, it doesn't last nearly as long as waxing or threading.
  • This doesn't remove hair, but lightens it. I wanted to include it as an option.
  • PAIN: None, unless your skin reacts
  • PRICE: $6-$20
  • This two part system of cream and a powder accelerator. Mix, apply to skin, allow to set for a certain amount of time, and then remove.
  • I have had crazy reactions to this. I've had my hair turn orange (new trend? ;). I've had my skin react with white spots (another new trend? hehe). So many people like this method, but it's not for me.
  • While this can be done at home, I recommend having a trained threader do this.
  • PAIN: Since the upper lip hair is different from brow hair, I find threading on my upper lip to be much less painful than threading my brows. It's not painless, but for me, the discomfort is really minor, as opposed to waxing, which leaves my skin red and throbbing for a bit after.
  • PRICE: $10+
8--Laser Hair Removal and Electrolysis Removal
  • I tried laser hair removal using an at home system and had no results. My legs worked, but not my upper lip.
  • I have not tried electrolysis (a very fine needle + electrical current) and while it is pricey and painful, it does lead to permanent results.
My faves: brow razor for quick removal and threading for longer removal. Most people prefer waxing.

What's your favorite method?

Extra Elle:
  • Last night I got to attend a screening of the movie Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, starring Tina Fey. It takes place during the war, but is more like a black comedy, meaning it takes a tough subject and finds the humor. Is dramady a word? It's more like that. The humor is very dry and I found myself being the only one laughing at certain lines. I give it a B-.


  1. I do waxing... but I kinda want to try electrolysis now if it's permanent!

  2. I get my eye brows waxed and have for years (benefit brow bar is my favorite) but I'm looking to try european wax centers...they opened some new ones around me! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  3. The older I get, the more noticeable the little fine hair on my upper lips so I tweeze them with a tweezer. I guess I'm lucky that I am not hairy so there's very little to tweeze.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  4. I thankfully haven't had to do any facial hair removal before! I'm totally scared of it coming when I age or decided to have babies though! I'd probably try to brow razor first though!

  5. Ugh I've been noticing more and more unsightly hairs popping up around my chin and my lip. Waxing and tweezing hurt, and laser hair removal supposedly doesn't work well on facial hair since it's not coarse enough. Sometimes I love being a women, but this is one of those things that just sucks. Waxing it'll have to be :)
    Green Fashionista

  6. I am fortunate that I'm not too hairy, and hardly have to use tweezers, but I have heard a lot about Tweezerman. I sometimes get my eyebrows done by a lady who does Threading, she has been threading for a long time and it doesn't hurt me much anymore. Thanks for the tips! x

  7. Love the break down of all of these methods. Luckily I haven't had to deal with this issue too much, but I am sure as I get older I will need to rely on these more.
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  8. I haven't really ventured past tweezing my brows a little every few days. I have a high tolerance for pain as far as injuries go but a very low tolerance for beauty pain so I can't ever see myself doing anything that hurts. I am a whimp, what can I say. I appreciate all your hard work to find what works best!!!

  9. Such a great post! Being blonde I have never (yet) had to worry about this but my mom has super dark hair and has always! I'll have to show her this post :)

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  10. This was really interesting I have not tried all of these but now I no what works best x

    Zoe Mountford x

  11. I do the waxing of my brows when I get my hair done because I have CRAZZYYYY brows. but since hitting 40, I'm getting those weird hairs on my chin (WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?!?) & I really want that brow trimmer now for that - I dont want to pluck because I have that thing, that I KNOW is not true, but afraid if I pull, it'll come in thicker - haha... so a good just trimming tool is perfect for what I need.

  12. I just use the tweezer. I have been wanting to try the razors but can't bring myself to do it.


  13. .. oh & I thought that Tweezerman thing was some sort of knubchuk karate instrument!

  14. I happen to love brow razors to get the job done. I use ones from Ebay. The brand is Tinkle. You can get 3 or them for under $4 and prime them! Score! They are a little large for my lip area, but I have managed to get the hair just find with a bit of twisting and turning.

    1. I have talked about that brand before and even mentioned them in this post. I don't like them because they are too big for my upper lip area. Glad they work for you!!

  15. This is a really informative post. I have tried bleaching, hair removal like nair, and now do waxing.Like you said bleaching only dyes the hair which stopped working for me after a while. With Nair, the hair grew back too fast! I have been waxing for 7 years and get it done monthly. Its STILL painful but works the best for me. I'm afraid to wax myself so I go to a salon. I wish I could do electrolysis but I have had consultations and they can't guarantee it will work since alot of the hair is blonde.

  16. I love the brow razors and have been using them for years. Great post.

  17. haha while i don't have a mustache, i totally shave my face every couple days. and girl - it's the best! just a reg bic razor and just get all that baby hair off, i swear everything is smoother :) good post!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  18. I recently shaved my face for the first time. I got so bad break outs from it! I got now the tinkle razors but I find they are not sharp enough. Not sure I will do this again lol. Some of these methods sound painful! Kisses, Sissi www.beauty4free2u.com

  19. I like the brow razors for my brows, but the ones I have are too big for my upper lip so I get that waxed. Great post!

  20. Such a fun topic, Right? I have a similar one to #1 and YES it hurts. I hate it, but have been using it. I LOVE getting my eyebrows threaded and have a place by my house that's only $4, but I hate having to grow them out so now I am plucking again.

    I too have done laser hair removal and I agree, it didn't last :(

  21. For my brows I have only done threading and waxing and prefer threading as it seems to be cheaper, lasts the same length, sameish amount of pain, and my skin isn't all red for an hour after. I want to try laser hair removal on my legs but I don't think it'd work for my blonde hair!


  22. I would like to try threading on my brows eventually! I usually just use the tweezers on them, since I don't have a lot of grow in anymore!


    1. thanks, but this wasn't about brows--it was about upper lip and chin hair. i love the results from threading on my brows.

  23. Ugh...facial hair...why?!? #1 looks wayyy too painful, no thank you!! I haven't tried waxing and my pain tolerance is no bueno...so I stick with razors and tweezing. How fun...LOL!

  24. I haven't had to deal with hair on my upper lip too much yet, but I'll definitely keep these in mind when I need to! I've had great success with threading my eyebrows, so I'm sure it would be just as good on my upper lip!

  25. I'm intrigued with how the threading works. My favorite hair removal is waxing but I don't do it at home....I don't trust myself or those products enough for that...a professional can do it.

  26. I've been looking forward to seeing that Tina Fey movie. Glad to hear you liked it! I wax but I go to the salon. I haven't tried any at home removals. Thanks for sharing these!

    Doused In Pink

  27. This was an interesting post to read! These are great tips for facial hair removal.

  28. I love the results I get with waxing, but I hate how it hurts...

  29. I want to see that movie! Awesome you were able to go to an early screening.

  30. Bright oranges mustaches, a new trend, definitely!

  31. #1 looks like a torture device! This is such a good post! Luckily I don't have many issues, but I'll be keeping this in mind if that changes!

  32. You say this on every post. It makes me think you don't read my post at all.

  33. I've tried an at home laser hair removal system too, and it didn't work for me either. My mom got one, and I tried it. Glad I didn't buy it! I'm lucky that I don't have too many facial hair issues. If I do get a (literal) wild hair, I just take the tweezers to it.

  34. I've never heard of a brow razor and I think I should look into it since I"m often to lazy to go get waxed as often as I should. I did threading last month since waxing irritates my skin and it hurt so bad!!! I agree that its slightly less painful on the upper lip than on the brows, but holy painful. I basically had tears coming out of my eyes the entire time.

  35. Such a fun topic, Right? I have a similar one to #1 and YES it hurts. I hate it, but have been using it. I LOVE getting my eyebrows threaded and have a place by my house that's only $4, but I hate having to grow them out so now I am plucking again

  36. Oh, the joys of mustaches! I prefer waxing but will tweeze if I need something immediate.

  37. Thank you for this post as the upper lip and chin area are problem (hairy) areas for me. I usually try a good tweezer (there is one from Avon that they actually discontinued but I bought several of those when I found out) and they have worked the best for me. They costed about ten bucks and it is seriously the best tweezer I have tried that works for me. Or every now and then I use waxing. I have tried hair removal creams but they don't do much for me, they don't last long and I agree they smell awful. I am really interested to try the sugar method though. Can you tell me how that sugar substance is prepared at home? Does it have to be brown sugar, does it have to be warm? I am really interested, so please let me know.

    P.S. Thanks for the Tina Fey movie tip. Maybe I will skip it till it comes out on DVD.

  38. It's true that dark facial hair, particularly that of the upper lip and chin, can be very noticeable and make you self-conscious. Thanks to changes in hormones, hair can turn darker or turn coarser and appear out of nowhere. Very informative post.


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