How To Prevent Razor Burn

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Have you ever had those itchy red bumps after shaving? Frequent razor burn is uncomfortable, frustrating, and sometimes painful, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about the difference between razor burn and razor bumps.

Razor burn is skin irritation that develops right after shaving and is linked to:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Tenderness
  • Burning sensation
  • A red rash (fine red bumps)

If your face is tingling and you notice red blotches that look and feel like you got hit in the face with a bag of coins, it’s probably razor burn.

Razor bumps, on the other hand, are larger red bumps that are caused by ingrown hairs that curl back into your skin as they start to grow. Both razor burn and razor bumps lead to red, irritated skin, but razor bumps look like pimples. Razor bumps generally develop a day or two after shaving, while razor burn shows up right after you shave.

Although razor burn is temporary and typically goes away in a few days, there are simple strategies that can help prevent it from happening. Here are a few tips to avoid the suffering:

  1. Try to shave after getting out of the shower when your hair is the softest
  2. Gently moisture or lubricate your skin with a non-drying pre-shave oil, gel, or cream
  3. Shave in the direction that your hair grows
  4. Shave in a slow and steady manner
  5. Rinse excess cream and hair off of the blade after every stroke
  6. Do not press too heavily with the blade — use short, light strokes instead
  7. Use a post-shave serum to help lessen skin irritation
  8. Use a sharp, clean, high-quality razor blade that is free from debris like old hair or soap buildup
  9. Try to shave the area with as few strokes as possible (repeatedly shaving the same area — over-shaving — can quickly lead to razor burn)

These are some of the most common factors to pay attention to while shaving. But if you keep getting razor burn, your biggest problem might be a dirty razor blade.


Don’t Use Dirty Razors

Before you start shaving, your razor blade should be sharp, clean, and ready for duty. Any type of debris, like old hair, dried cream, or even dead skin cells, sets you up for failure. If you don’t want to look like you got into a fight with your razor and lost, make sure it’s not dirty before you shave.

Shaving body parts other than your face? Don’t shave your face with the same razor that’s been on a trip down south. It’s a direct path to unhealthy skin. Make sure your razor is fully cleaned and sanitized before changing locations — you’ll be glad you did.

Rust can also form on old razors. Your best bet is to change your razors frequently, preferably after 5 to 10 shaves. 


Get Rid of That Beard of Shame Quickly

If you follow these steps and you still experience minor rug burn or the beard of shame, here are a few tips that can help you address it quickly.

First, place a wet, cool compress on the irritated skin for 10, 15, or 20 minutes. Repeat this process as often as you like. Next, consider lightly coating your skin with natural oils or pure aloe vera to target burning, tenderness, and itching. These types of post-shave serums can even help your skin heal a little bit faster. 

Second, be sure to avoid shaving, scratching, or rubbing the inflamed area for 24-48 hours, or you'll really start to look like you got attacked by fire ants. Irritating the skin further can also worsen inflammation or cause an infection. Let your skin heal and then use a clean razor for your next shaving session.

Finally, don’t forget to clean your razor properly after each shave! Consider using a tool cleaner with antiseptics like alcohol and benzalkonium chloride to rid your razor of nasties that can irritate your skin.


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