If you’ve been shaving long enough, then you’ve experienced razor bumps and burn. Whether it’s bad shaving technique, a low-quality razor, or ingrown hairs causing skin irritation, there are many ways to get rid of razor burn.
If you hate that sore, burning sensation on your skin right after you shave, here are some tips to prevent, treat, and get rid of razor burn fast.
What Is Razor Burn?
Razor burn is a skin irritation that can occur when shaving. Typically, it develops a few minutes after you finish shaving and is characterized by a red, spotty rash and itching discomfort over the freshly shaved skin.
For those with curly hair, razor bumps can also be an issue. These look like pimples and can be extremely itchy and occur when the hair grows in on itself instead of up through the skin.
Thankfully, razor rash and razor bumps go away over time, but if you struggle with them make sure to follow these steps so they don’t ruin your shave any longer.
How To Prevent Razor Burn
Soften Your Beard
One of the best ways to prevent razor burn is to start with a soft beard and open pores. Because of this, the best time to shave is after a hot shower. The steam will soften your hair and skin and leave it in a prime condition for irritation-free shaving.
For particularly coarse hair, use a beard cleanser in the shower to clean and soften the hair even further.
Use A Safety Razor
While there are thousands of razors on the market, it’s hard to go past the classic safety razor. Having five blades and a swiveling head might make for fun packaging, but multiple blades can actually irritate the skin unnecessarily.
If you can get a clean shave with a modern razor, keep using it. But for those that can’t, shaving with a safety razor can drastically reduce skin irritation. According to MensHairstylesToday.com, the best razors for a close shave are often safety or double-edged straight razors from the top brands in the industry. Try Merkur and Parker for a quality blade and build without overpaying.
Dead skin cells can clog your pores and increase your chances of ingrown hairs so it’s vital that you exfoliate before shaving. Exfoliating can also extract potential ingrown hairs which will lead to a closer and smoother shave.
For best results, incorporate exfoliating into your weekly skincare routine and not just whenever you need to shave.
Use A Sharp Razor
To get a clean shave it’s vital that your razor has sharp blades. In the same way that cutting with a dull knife tears and pulls instead of slicing, a dull razor will do the same to your skin leaving it inflamed and irritated and drastically increasing your chances for razor rash.
One of the benefits to shaving with a safety razor is that it’s easy to change the blades as they dull, and replacement blades are inexpensive (especially when compared to modern razor cartridges).
Use A Badger Brush
Badger brushes may seem superfluous to your daily shave, but they can make a world of difference if you experience razor burn or bumps.
Using a brush to lather your beard helps distribute the shaving cream evenly under each whisker, guaranteeing you a smoother shave.
Clean The Blade With Alcohol
Bacteria forms on your razor in between uses and is a key factor in skin irritation after shaving. To ensure your blades are safe for use, wipe the blade with rubbing alcohol before shaving.
Shave With The Grain
We’ve all been taught to shave in the opposite direction of our hairs growth. While this will give you a smooth shave in very little time, it’s more irritating to your skin than shaving with the grain.
You’ll need to make several passes to get a clean shave, but because it’s gentle on your skin this won’t pose any issues. Just lather up and go again and you’ll have a clean shave without the irritation.
Use Light, Short Strokes
Using too much pressure when shaving can be detrimental to your skin’s health and drastically increase your chances of razor burn. It’s almost instinctive to press harder with the razor in an attempt to cut the hair closer to your skin, but it’s not necessary for a smooth finish.
The weight of the razor alone is enough to cut the hair, so use short, controlled strokes and try not to press down to avoid razor burn.
Clean The Blade After Every Stroke
With each stroke, your razor blade collects whiskers, skin cells, and shaving cream. This clogs the blade and makes it difficult to get a clean cut, meaning you’ll likely be making multiple passes over the same spot and pressing harder to get the hair.
Rinse Your Face With Cold Water
In the same way a hot shower opens your pores, cold water does the opposite. After shaving, use a cold washcloth or run your face under cold water to close your pores and reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs.
After, pat your face dry with a clean towel. Don’t rub because you can irritate your freshly shaved skin further.
Apply A Balm Or Moisturizer
Regardless of how careful you were while shaving, your skin can still break out without aftercare. Some people find aftershave too irritating, so a soothing balm or moisturizer is a safe bet for sensitive skin. Apply a small amount of product to the shaved area to hydrate your skin.
Apply A Cream For Razor Bumps
If you’re prone to getting razor bumps, there are products specifically formulated to prevent their formation.
By applying a specialized product after your shave, you’re further guaranteeing a smooth, blemish-free finish.
Dry Your Blades And Brush
The final step to ensuring a clean and easy shave is to dry your razor and brush. Drying your razor with a cloth or towel will prevent it from rusting over or becoming dull prematurely, and cleaning and hanging your badger brush to dry will stop bacteria from growing between the bristles. By doing this you’ll be starting off on the right foot the next time you shave.