How to deal with razor burn

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

cleaning razorRazor burn refers to the small bumps and rash that can be caused by shaving. Closely shaven hairs have a sharp edge which can cause inflammation and swelling of the skin – this reaction is similar to that of having a splinter. Razor burn can also be caused by ingrown hairs, especially on people with curly hair. The effects of razor burn are often worse for men than women as men shave almost daily and can’t simply cover up any unsightly lumps and bumps!

The most common causes of razor burn include:

not using a decent lubricant (in other words, shaving gel or cream)

putting too much pressure on the razor as you shave

shaving against the direction your hair grows in

using a dirty or blunt razor

Before shaving

Before you start shaving, make sure you exfoliate – this will not only remove dead skin but will also bring out ingrown hairs. Your face is also softer just after taking a shower and this is the best time to shave. If you can possibly help it, try not to shave early in the morning as your face can swell during sleep. Make sure you also buy new razor blades often as blunt, dirty and rusty blades aggravate razor burn. Apply a shaving cream, gel or oil liberally before shaving and avoid using ordinary soap as it can dry out your skin. We love Gillette’s Extra-Comfort shaving gel for a comfortable, close shave.

During shaving

There are some tips and tricks you can follow during shaving to avoid razor burn. Shave with the grain of the hair in short strokes and don’t press too hard on the skin. Always rinse your razor between each stroke and use hot water as this makes the skin immediately relax and so your shave will be smoother. Avoid products that are scented if you have sensitive skin; you could try Neutrogena’s Sensitive Skin shave cream.

After shaving

Always clean your razor blades after use to prevent rust and the build-up of mineral crystals and bacteria (all just waiting to pounce on an open cut on your face and breed in there!) on the blade. If your blade doesn’t have a moisturising strip you can rub your razor in alcohol to do the trick. Always wash your face and apply a moisturiser after shaving to keep the skin soft and clean. Aftershaves that contain glycerine, aloe and shea butter are great and help with the healing of the skin. We love Justine’s Soothing Moisture Balm SPF15.

You can also try tea tree oil which is a natural antiseptic – although it might sting sensitive skins a bit so always follow up with a soothing aloe vera-based cream. Witch hazel is also great (it also makes a brilliant and very budget-friendly toner for your face).

Written by

Janine Mare has a bachelor’s degree in acting and scriptwriting. She's passionate about media and film and manages talent agency Triple Threat. She also loves applying make-up and uses it to pass the time in traffic.

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  1. foreverGLAM

    Will pass this on to my brothers.

    2 years ago •

  1. Blazezn

    Gonna try this out, alreay use tee tree oil though….

    2 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    Sending this article straight to my hubby. He gets some bad burns sometimes.

    2 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    Thanks for the tips. though not a shaving fan but will keep in mind for emergencies.

    2 years ago •

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