Like mine, your mum probably told you to never let a razor near your face because you'd end up growing a moustache.
So why am I doing exactly that? I'm trying my hand at "dermaplaning" - a fancy word for shaving your face and a trend that's been booming on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok over the past couple of years.
It turns out female face shaving is nothing new. The practice originated centuries ago in Japan, where women used razors to scrape off dead skin cells and "peach fuzz" - the fine, soft, colourless hair on our faces also known as vellus hair.
This is meant to create a perfectly smooth canvas for your makeup. And if you have unwanted facial hair, it's a relatively painless way to get rid of it instead of waxing or threading.
A quick disclaimer: it goes without saying that hair on your face is perfectly natural and you shouldn't feel like you need to remove it for any reason. But, you know, I'm curious.
These days you can go to a salon for a professional dermaplaning treatment - with a medical-grade scalpel, yikes - but doing it yourself at home has become more popular, probably due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When we're stuck in our homes and can't go out to get our brows and nails done, we have to get creative.
Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth 1 and Elizabeth Taylor are all said to have been fans of the practice - Her Majesty went so far as to shave off her eyebrows. Needless to say, we won't be doing that. I have made a miraculous recovery from the comma-shaped over-plucked brows of my teens and I'm not about to let that go to waste.
But could shaving the rest of my face actually be worth doing? Or could DIY dermaplaning simply be the dumbest dermatological decision I've ever made?
What do the experts say?
Appearance medicine consultant and acne specialist Janine Heeps from Auckland clinic Laser Skin Technologies is trained in dermaplaning and says the treatment has become more sought after in recent years.
"We've definitely had more people inquiring about it recently, but it is one of the oldest beauty treatments in the world," says Heeps, who puts its popularity down to the influence of social media.
Dermaplaning increases cellular turnover, meaning that when you remove the dead skin cells, new ones replace them faster, leaving your skin cleaner and fresher.
"The older we get, the less often our skin renews itself. Dermaplaning can even help reduce the appearance of fine lines because it gets rid of the stuff sitting in those creases in our skin," Heeps explains.
The treatment is suitable for pretty much anyone unless they have an obvious skin condition like acne or dermatitis. And she confirms it won't make your hair grow back thicker.
"We all know that's not true, but when that hair first peeks out of the follicle after being shaved it can feel like that."
And Heeps says there's nothing wrong with doing it yourself at home, depending on the type of tool you're using and "how ambidextrous" you are. Aftercare is important - after dermaplaning, don't put anything on your face with highly active ingredients and use SPF, she advises.
Does it really work?
So I decide to purchase myself a facial razor and give it a go. I'm scared to try an electric one and they're also on the expensive side, so instead I stop by my trusty local Countdown for an MCo facial razor. I'm slightly (extremely) terrified that I will shave a chunk out of my face and end up walking around the house with scraps of tissue stuck to my cheek, but here goes.
I lock the bathroom door so my flatmates don't barge in and see me shaving over the sink. I use a moisturising cleanser first and then pull out the razor and start shaving where my hairline meets my cheekbone with short, swift strokes. It makes a very satisfying shhhh sound.
After going over the entire surface area of my face, it feels so smooth that when I apply moisturiser, it hardly has anything to cling to and feels like it's sliding right back off.
My skin is a little bit tingly but doesn't hurt. All that remains is hairless, baby-smooth skin. It's actually shining in the bathroom mirror. I look like a brand-new light bulb. My cheeks are as smooth as a peeled soft-boiled egg. I am a dolphin who has just broken the surface of the ocean. What a way to spend a Monday night, am I right?
The proof is in the pudding, the pudding in this instance being my face. And the next morning when I apply my makeup, my foundation does glide on more smoothly than usual. I am pleased.
The verdict? Shaving your face isn't as scary as it sounds, and could be a worthwhile addition to your skincare routine. Even when I cleanse and exfoliate my face to within an inch of its life, it can still feel like there's residual makeup clinging to my pores.
If taking up a razor every now and then helps get rid of that, then I'd say it's well worth it. Your fresh new skin cells will thank you.