Can Plucking Your Eyebrows Cause Premature Ageing?

All that tugging and pulling can't be good

Since the ‘90s, many of us have taken to tweezing our own eyebrows.

And although we no longer aim for the thinnest face framers ever, we still turn to plucking for a quick tidy up every now and then.

But have you ever thought about the effect this hair pulling could be having on the skin?

The skin surrounding our eyes is known to be substantially thinner than the rest of our face, which is why it’s often one of the first places to show the signs of ageing.

It’s also why many skincare experts recommend using specifically formulated eye creams, and to apply them with the ring finger only, to avoid dragging and unnecessary pressure.

So if using a more dominant finger for cream application is detrimental, the skin pulling that occurs when tweezing surely can’t be doing us any favours in the skin sagging department.

While there’s no direct evidence between plucking and loss of skin elasticity, Dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald does believe that the hair follicles on the brow contribute to thicker and dense quality skin, adding to the appearance of a prominent and defined brow.

“Chronic plucking and loss of hair will therefore cause thinner skin with a more aged appearance,” she told Marie Claire.

“The eye area is very prone to sagging but this is mostly due to the loss of bones and fat pads around the orbit,” she explains. “As a result the skin does not have adequate support and sags.”

Still, if you’d rather not take your chances when it comes to plucking and potential crow’s feet, your tweezer technique may need monitoring.

Hannah Mutze, National Brow Artist and Beauty Expert, says to always “use your non-tweezing hand to support the skin surrounding the area, by gently pulling tight.” 

“Try to avoid pulling the skin downwards, instead lifting up and out towards the temple,” she advises. “This makes it easy to grip each hair and allows for swift removal without tugging.”

She also says it’s important to “always remove hairs in the same direction they grow.” 

And if you ask us, a good quality pair of tweezers like Tweezerman Slant Tweezer ($37, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Tweezer ($51, never goes astray.

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