Last updated on November 29th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
Having a good clean shave has a lot of benefits.
It helps you with job interviews, close out deals and if you’re lucky, you might even score a date with that girl of your dreams, unless of course she prefers men with beards.
But when you use dull blades with improper technique, the results can be an itchy and terrible looking rash that can last from a few hours to a few days, it’s called a razor burn.
While nearly all men go through this, you don’t have to endure this very itchy ordeal if you know what to do to avoid it.
What you will learn here
- What is a razor burn
- How to prevent it
- How to treat the symptoms just in case you have one
What causes razor burn?
- Not properly prepping the area to be shaved
- Using dull blades
- Not properly cleaning blades = source of irritation causing bacteria
- Using the wrong type of shaving cream or aftershave
- Using the wrong shaving technique
How to treat razor burn?
Just in case you’re unfortunate enough to have razor burns or bumps don’t worry, here are some things you can do to treat it.
- Apply some witch hazel on the affected area. Witch hazel is an antiseptic that helps reduce inflammation and redness caused by razor bumps. Avoid witch hazel products with any alcohol content as these will dry the skin even more causing more irritation.
- For added moisture, apply aftershave balm on the razor burns or bumps to sooth that itchy feeling.
- Aloe Vera is nature’s default option when it comes to treating skin irritations like razor burns. If you don’t have any aloe vera plant at home, buy the aloe vera gel. Just make sure it does not have any artificial coloring or scents.
- If you don’t have any of the options above, try using a cold compress by soaking a towel in a bowl filled with water and ice then wrap it on the area affected area for a few minutes. This will help soothe that burning feeling and reduce inflammation.
- Avoid shaving for a few days to allow skin to heal. Shaving on irritated skin will only worsen the condition.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.
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.
Treating razor bumps
First things first, if you develop razor bumps or irritated skin after shaving, then don’t shave again for a few days. This should be obvious, but let your skin recover and a decent layer of stubble grow through before you shave again. To avoid further irritating your skin, don’t use products with alcohol but instead look for products that contain lidocaine or aloe vera. These ingredients work to prevent irritation and soothe the skin, and are found in many popular shaving balms. There are also many products available that specifically treat razor bumps and should be applied twice a day to be most effective.
Bump Patrol is one of the leading shaving brands in the drugstore market that is specifically geared toward men who struggle and are concerned with shaving irritation.
Regardless of your ethnicity if you struggle with razor burn, razor bumps, or ingrown hairs Bump Patrol will be you new best friend.
It does sting the first time you use it but you do get used to it after the 3rd or 4th use. Also, it does contain alcohol so you might want to stay on top of keeping your skin moisturized.