Lighten your facial hair at home without harming your delicate skin.

The Safest Way to Lighten Facial Hair

by Mimi Abney

Ah, the embarrassing hair above your upper lip. Unlike the hair under your arms or on your legs, you can’t hide facial hair with a great pair of pants or a chic long-sleeved blouse. If you choose to avoid removing this unsightly hair via depilatories or waxing, you may want to use a safe, ouch-free and skin-friendly method to bleach the fine strands without damaging your skin. If you're looking for a do-it-yourself hair-lightening method, you can minimize the hair’s appearance on your face easily and safely at home.

Pull the hair on your head away from the face. If your hair is long, secure it into a ponytail with an elastic. If your hair is medium length or short, wrap your hair into a towel or use a headband to move hair away from your forehead.

Wash your face with a cleanser formulated for your skin type. Douse a cotton ball with toner. Swipe the toner-soaked cotton ball across your face to close pores and repair the skin’s surface. Dab your face with a clean facial tissue to remove any toner or soapy residue.

Apply a gentle barrier cream to the skin above your upper lip to protect your skin from the harsh chemicals of the hair remover. To limit skin contact it is best to use a light cream on your skin instead of a heavy greasy cream or thick petroleum jelly. A grease-based product may create an impenetrable barrier that prevents the hair from lightening.

Mix the bleaching cream in a small plastic bowl according to the manufacturer’s directions. Using the very small brush or wooden spatula found in the bleaching kit, smooth the product across all the hairs on your upper lip line. Make sure to cover the hair with the bleach evenly -- and do not smooth the product on your lips! If irritation occurs after a few minutes of contact with your skin, wipe off the hair-lightening product immediately and apply a soothing, cream-based moisturizing product.

Remove the bleach after five to seven minutes with a facial tissue. To prevent your hair from turning orange -- or to prevent the burning or scarring of your skin -- rinse your face with an old, clean rag or towel dipped in warm water.

Apply a cream-based moisturizing product to the skin above your upper lip after you have removed the hair-lightening product.

Items you will need

  • At-home facial-hair lightening kit
  • Hair elastic
  • Headband
  • Towels
  • Facial cleanser
  • Cotton balls
  • Toner
  • Facial tissues
  • Barrier cream
  • Small plastic bowl
  • Old towel
  • Creamy moisturizing skin product


  • If the upper-lip hair is not light enough, wait a day or two before re-bleaching the area.


  • Do not apply the bleach over abrasions, warts, moles, or irritated or inflamed skin.
  • For a 24-hour period after bleaching, avoid ultra-violet light and perfumed makeup and body products.
  • The first time you use a specific at-home bleaching product, perform a patch test on your arm to test for allergies. Wait 24 hours to determine if there is a skin reaction before using the product.


About the Author

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images