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What Is a Face Buffer?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 21, 2024
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A face buffer is a personal-care tool that can be used to either exfoliate the skin or remove facial hair. In some cases, an exfoliating face buffer is simply a sponge or cloth with an abrasive surface, while in other cases it may be a mechanical device equipped with either a rotating brush or a vibrating, abrasive pad to encourage deeper exfoliation. A hair-removal face buffer buffs away facial hair but does not remove it from the follicle. Both types of buffers are available for use on the face as well as the rest of the body.

Many people find that the appearance of their skin improves with regular exfoliation. This is because dead skin cells can dull the surface of the skin. In addition, dead skin cells can also clog pores, which can contribute to acne. Use of an exfoliating face buffer is one way to remove these cells, although consumers also have the option of using a chemical exfoliant, such as a lotion or cream that contains alpha or beta hydroxy acids. In their simplest form, facial buffers are simply sponges, pads, or washcloths that can abrasively clean the skin. Body buffers, which work similarly to their facial counterparts, may be constructed from more abrasive materials, as body skin is typically less sensitive than facial skin.

Face buffers can be used to remove facial hair on a very temporary basis. These buffers typically use a very fine adhesive sandpaper attached to a finger tool and then rubbed on the areas of the face where the user has facial hair. The buffer does not pull the hair out, as waxing or tweezing does, but the friction causes the hair to disintegrate. Although this process is typically less painful then waxing or tweezing, hair regrowth happens quickly, so the process will have to be repeated frequently.

Consumers can find both face and body buffers at supermarkets, drugstores, and specialty beauty supply retailers. It is generally important for those who use these products to do so with care, as improper use of either mechanical or non-mechanical exfoliating devices may irritate skin. Individuals who find that their use of a face buffer causes redness, stinging, or swelling should stop using the product immediately and consult with a doctor if their discomfort or irritation does not improve. These individuals may also want to ask their doctor for advice on how to more safely and gently remove hair or exfoliate their skin.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By Spotiche5 — On Dec 02, 2014

@talentryto- If you don't want to use a mechanical face buffer, a loofah sponge is a good alternative. It is natural and effective, and won't irritate your skin as long as you don't push too hard on it when you exfoliate your face.

By Raynbow — On Dec 01, 2014

@talentryto- You should try using a coarse wash cloth and a liquid exfoliating cream on your face. This is an easy way to gently exfoliate your skin.

Wet the wash cloth and put the cream on it. Rub it over your face in gentle, circular motions to exfoliate your skin without irritating it. Follow up by rinsing your face thoroughly with warm water, and you should be able to get the results you want without the need for a mechanical face buffer.

By Talentryto — On Nov 30, 2014

I have tried using a mechanical face buffer, but it irritated my sensitive skin. What is the best type of buffer to use to exfoliate facial skin for a person who is prone to skin irritation?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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