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If you have sensitive skin and shave, you have probably wondered at one time or another how to get rid of razor bumps, also called pseudofolliculitis barbae. Some people are more susceptible to developing razor bumps and burns, like those with coarse or curly hair. If you’re experiencing skin irritation or have pimples that appear after shaving for the first time, your first step should be to reach out to a dermatologist for diagnosis.
Other than having a genetic predisposition to razor bumps, there are other factors that make an outbreak more likely. If your hair shaft or follicle is dry, you’re more likely to pull and tug the hair during shaving. This pulling can break the hair under the skin, which can cause irritation and lead to razor bumps. Learn what you can do to prevent this condition, and what razor bump treatment you can try if it happens to you.
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Causes and symptoms of razor burn
These burning, red bumps occur as a result of skin irritation that can be caused by the use of a blunt razor, a harsh shaving product (or no shaving product at all) or a wrong shaving technique. The advice we give in this article is focused on avoiding and treating razor burn on the face since this problem affects mostly men. However, every treatment we describe can be applied to the armpits, bikini area and legs or any area of skin that is damaged by inappropriate shaving.
Razor burn is a type of skin inflammation and may be accompanied by pain and swelling. In order to diminish those symptoms, you can use a cold compress on the affected area. Take a few ice cubes and wrap them in a clean cloth, then press them gently against the recently shaved skin. This should give you an instant relief. Ice not only reduces the inflammation but also shrinks blood vessels and stimulates blood circulation. As a result, it boosts the regeneration of the damaged skin.
Make sure you don’t apply the ice cubes directly onto the skin as it may cause more damage.If you don’t have ice, simply wet a washcloth in cold water, squeeze it and put it on your face. The low temperature will have the same effect on your skin as the ice pack. Keep the washcloth on your face for 10-15 minutes. If you feel that in the meantime the washcloth gets warm, just rinse it in cold water once again and repeat the procedure.
Aloe vera is well known for its soothing properties and has been used in many skincare products for years. Applying aloe vera gel on the skin affected by razor burn will reduce the redness almost instantly and will give you a nice, cooling effect. If you have an aloe vera plant at home, you can break one or two leaves, squeeze the pulp out and apply it on the skin. Rinse it off after 30 minutes and finish the treatment off with some jojoba oil that will enhance the skin regeneration process.
Both glycolic and salicylic acids have antiseptic properties and the products based on them are recommended for men who shave daily. Applying salicylic or glycolic acid on a regular basis not only prevents the skin from infections but also strengthens the skin cells and makes the skin less prone to damage.
One of the most versatile home remedies for all kinds of skin problems is honey. It is used to fight bacterial and fungal infections, to smoothen and soften the skin as well as to rejuvenate epidermis. It can also bring a huge relief when you have a razor burn. All you need to do is apply a thin layer of honey on the affected skin, leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it off with lukewarm water. For best results, finish the treatment with an ice pack compress.
If possible, use organic honey in order to not put your vulnerable skin in contact with a product that may contain some harmful toxins.
Thanks to the fact that black tea contains tannic acid, it has anti-inflammatory properties and may soothe the skin and greatly help reduce the swelling and redness when you get a razor burn. The treatment is very simple. Just soak two or three teabags in warm water, cool them down and put on the area affected by the razor burn. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes and rinse the skin with cool water. For best results, chill the teabags in the fridge for 15 minutes before you put them on the skin. The lower temperature will additionally stimulate blood circulation, which is important for faster skin cells regeneration. You can repeat this treatment three or four times a day if necessary.
Soda, just like honey, has so many valuable properties that it can be used in the treatment of almost all skin conditions, from swelling to acne. No surprise that it’s recommended for those who want to reduce the symptoms of the razor burn. Mix two tablespoons of soda with a teaspoon of water and make a smooth paste. If needed, add a few more drops of water, but make sure that the paste is not too runny because it won’t stay on the skin. Apply the paste onto the affected skin with a cotton ball. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
2. Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows in your mind.
If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.
In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will drown yourself in negative energy and almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.
Not long ago, a reader (I’ll call her Kelly) has shared with me about how frustrated she felt and how unlucky she was. Kelly’s an aspiring entrepreneur. She had been trying to find investors to invest in her project. It hadn’t been going well as she was always rejected by the potential investors. And at her most stressful time, her boyfriend broke up with her. And the day after her breakup, she missed an important opportunity to meet an interested investor. She was about to give up because she felt that she’d not be lucky enough to build her business successfully.
It definitely wasn’t an easy time for her. She was stressful and tired. But it wasn’t bad luck that was playing the role.
Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything; sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.
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They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.
Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.
I explained to Kelly that to improve her fortune and have “good luck”, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to her; then try to focus on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.
Then Kelly tried to review her current situation objectively. She realized that she only needed a short break for herself — from work and her just broken-up relationship. She really needed some time to clear up her mind before moving on with her work and life. When she got her emotions settled down from her heartbreak, she started to work on improving her business’ selling points and looked for new investors that are more suitable.
A few months later, she told me that she finally found two investors who were really interested in her project and would like to work with her to grow the business. I was really glad that she could take back control of her destiny and achieved what she wanted.
Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?
How to Prevent Razor Bumps from Appearing?
And, while the abovementioned ways will help you remove razor bumps quickly, it’s better not to have one! If you pay some attention while shaving, you can prevent razor bumps from coming out. Some of such useful methods are as follows.
- Always make sure that you use a clean, quality-rich and corrosion-free razor for shaving your beard or any other part of your body. We don’t recommend multiple reuse of same razors.
- Use of shaving cream is much appreciated, because it can moisturize your skin. This way, you will be able to reduce the impact of the razor and thus get rid of razor bumps. You can, alternatively, go for cold water or Aloe Vera gel.
- Shaving in opposite direction can cause not only razor bumps but also other issues. So, unless you’re really comfortable and okay, don’t shave in the opposite direction. And, if you really want that fully-fledged shaving experience, make sure you use any of the remedies before razor bumps appear.
- This is something personal, but make sure which one among regular razors and electric shavers are comfortable for you. If one of them is causing less issues and no razor bumps, go for that.
- Last but not least, don’t go for razors that have multiple blades. While they may be really effective in giving you a quick and nice shave, side-effects aren’t really appreciated by anyone.
So, these are some easy ways to prevent the rise of razor bumps, apart from that of reducing the frequency of shaving sessions. And, if you have shaved your leg or bikini areas recently, make sure you leave cotton-based dress or any dress that allow air circulation. This contact with air will surely help you reduce bumps.
Treating Razor Burns
In case you do face razor burns, ensure that you use cotton fabric rather than synthetic fabric so that there wouldn’t be a lot of surface friction. You can also use a variety of masks that will help to minimize the razor burns’ impact.
1. Cucumber and Milk Mask
Make a cucumber and milk mask using 1/3 cup of milk and 1 cup of cold cucumber puree. Refrigerate and apply on the affected area frequently. Ensure that you keep the mixture in fridge when not using it. You can apply this mask two or three times a day to help soothe your skin.
2. Sour Cream
Who knew sour cream made for not just a nice dip. You can mix a few spoonful’s of sour cream along with 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoons if apple cider and refrigerate. You can apply this mix to the razor burn areas and it will produce instant relief.
3. Oatmeal Mix
You can make a paste out of equal amounts of oatmeal and yoghurt with a dash of honey. Using this paste on the affected areas will help soothe your skin and reduce redness and inflammation.
The final thing to keep in mind is that time is the best healer for broken heart and broken skin. In case you suffer razor burns, do not go back to shaving with a vengeance. Allow your skin to heal and get back to normal before you shave again.
- Men, the stubble look is in vogue off late any which ways.
- Women, use those leggings and sleeved t-shirts for a few days.
Razor is like that friend you cannot get on the wrong side of. All you need to do is find ways around her to make sure that you live to tale the tale of your voyage with the razor.
How to Shave Safely
Making your skin more comfortable involves two steps: shaving safely and treating any problems immediately. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your risk of suffering any irritation in the first place:
- Exfoliate. Without regular exfoliation, shaving can leave trapped hairs behind, causing red, temporarily inflamed bumps. You may be used to exfoliating your face, but not your legs or underarms. A day or two before shaving, try the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub mixed with water on your legs, and maybe a little under your arms as well, depending on how sensitive your skin is. It’s best not to exfoliate and shave the same day, however, because it's too much for skin to handle.
- Clean razor. A dirty or worn razor is one of the main culprits in causing razor burn. We all want to save money, but using a razor that’s worn out, old, or has been sitting around awhile is just asking for pain.
- Use warm water. Shaving after a shower or while in the bath is best, as the warm water softens the hair and opens up the pores.
- Wash first. Dirty skin with built-up oils creates a rough shaving surface, meaning you’ll be more likely to suffer rashes later. Wash skin completely first. Try our Rosemary Peppermint Body Wash for a stimulating clean.
- Lubricate. Shaving creams and gels help create a layer between the razor and the skin, reducing the risk of burning as well as your chances of nicking yourself.
- Shave slowly. Trying to go too fast is another major reason why we suffer from razor burns. Go slowly, using long, even strokes. Rinse the razor in hot water between each stroke.
- Don’t push too hard. Go as lightly as you can and still get the hairs. Pushing too hard takes some skin along with the hairs, which can lead to later irritation and itching.
- Rinse thoroughly. Once you’re done, rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Apply aloe. Applying an aloe after-sun gel or other aloe-based lotion after shaving can help skin feel cool and comfortable, and may help keep it happy later. You may also try our Radiant Skin Silk Body Lotion, which has calming calendula, chamomile, and sunflower oil.
How to Treat Razor Burn
Sometimes, even if you do everything right, you may suffer from razor burn afterwards. Here are some tips to help make your skin more comfortable.
- Aloe. It’s cooling. Try a lotion with as much aloe as possible.
- Aspirin paste. Mix 2 uncoated aspirins with 1 teaspoon of warm water and make a fine paste, then apply to skin for 10-15 minutes.
- Apple cider vinegar. Simply apply to the skin and let it absorb.
- Oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is very soothing to skin. Grind up real oatmeal and mix it into your bath, then soak for 20 minutes.
- Tea tree oil. This will not only soothe, but will help fight against rashes from shaving. Mix with water and spray or rub on skin.
- Calendula cream. It’s naturally soothing and also provides cleansing protection.
- Green tea. Make a cup of green tea, cool it in the refrigerator, then apply to skin with a soft cloth. It helps ease and calm.
- Fresh avocado. It’s so cooling! Pull it out of the refrigerator and smooth it over the razor burned area. It will also help moisturize.
- Witch hazel. This extract is soothing and will help protect and cleanse.
- Almond oil. It’s soothing and super moisturizing.
- Strawberries and sour cream. Mash up some strawberries, which can reduce the swelling and redness attributed to razor burn, into some sour cream, which is cooling, and apply to the skin for 10-15 minutes.
- Shave less often. If you’re prone to razor burn or razor bumps, cut back on your frequency of shaving.
- Coconut oil. It’s very moisturizing, and can help calm skin. Try our Coconut Body Oil.
How to Treat Razor Bumps
As soon as you feel that irritation on your shaved area, razor burn, and razor bumps might be headed your way. It is crucial that you take action soon to reduce the number, size, severity and duration of those pesky bumps. Here are a few things you can do right away:
Ways To Treat Razor Bumps
- Cold Compress: If you feel that irritation coming on, you can wet a washcloth with cold water and apply it directly to the affected area that you shaved. The cooling action will help reduce the swelling and irritation of the skin and prevent pores from closing up and blocking the hairs off from freedom. It also feels pretty good, too!
- Pat Dry The Skin: If you step out of the shower after shaving and see the redness starting, you have to dry the skin quickly, but don’t just attack it with your towel. Gently and slowly pat dry your skin with as soft a towel as you can muster. Rub drying vigorously will further irritate the skin and cause the swelling that leads to bumps. Getting your skin dry the right way helps get you ready for the next step.
- Moisturize ASAP: This is pretty good advice for shaving in general. You should always moisturize sensitive areas immediately after shaving. Use a skin moisturizer that has glycerin or emollients, a special kind of moisturizer. Keeping your skin fresh and moist will make sure razor burn and bumps stay at a minimum.
- Aftershave: Guys may know about this one already, but it’s not just for them. Ladies can take advantage just as well as the fellas; it’s not gender specific! Aftershave is designed specifically to prevent and treat both razor burn and razor bumps immediately after shaving. It may sting a bit and make you smell like a hunk, but that’s a small price to pay to cut down on unsightly bumps and burns.
- Baby Powder: If you don’t mind the smell, or if you’re looking for a suitable alternative to aftershave (guys) – baby powder is an acceptable substitute. It will dry out your skin and prevent that dreaded irritation that leads to so many problems. It may not be as effective as an aftershave for some, but it feels and smells great.