If you’re above the age of say, 15, it’s entirely probable that shaving is a part of your life. But whether you’re shaving your face or your legs, you’ve probably had to deal with razor burn at some point in your life.
Razor burn is the irritation of the skin caused by hasty or improper shaving technique, or poor choice of razor. It generally presents itself as a red, itchy rash, sometimes accompanied by red spots called ‘razor bumps’. For some people it’s a minor inconvenience, but for others it’s a day ruiner.
If you’re one of the many who is frequently affected by razor burn, it’s worth considering the following tips.
- Keep your skin in good condition – moisturising and washing your skin often will make shaving much less of a problem, and will reduce the risk of razor burn. Stay away from anything with alcohol in it, as this will dry out your skin.
- Make sure you’re doing a proper pre-shave prep – making sure that your skin and hair are properly treated and moisturised prior to shaving is crucial to avoiding razor burn. Try to shave after a shower, that way the hair you’re shaving will have absorbed a lot of moisture and become much easier to cut. Try not to shave dry or without any moisturiser/shave cream, as this will definitely increase the risk of razor burn.
- Make sure you’re using the right type of razor – buying the most expensive, fancy looking razor you can find is an attractive option for some; however it’s not always the right one. Popular razors made by Gillette and Schick can have upwards of three blades, some even having 12! That amount of blades is obvious and blatant overkill; however for individuals with sensitive skin even three blades could be too many. A great solution is downgrading to a single blade safety razor, which are generally much milder and great for razor burn-prone individuals. Whichever razor you use, it’s very important to make sure that you’re using a sharp one; a dull razor will cause some serious trauma to your skin, and making shaving an unpleasant experience.
- Use your razor properly – there are a few hard and fast rules for razor use to avoid irritation. Try to avoid going over the same spot more than once, as this is a major contributing factor to razor burn. Also try shaving with the grain, or in the same direction that the hair grows in. You may get a closer shave going against the grain, but you increase the risk of ingrown hairs by doing so.
- Take care of your skin post-shave – after shaving, rinse the skin with cold water, as this will close the pores, significantly reducing the chances of infection or ingrown hairs.
If you’re already suffering from razor burn, it’s a good idea to not shave for a few days. Shaving over existing razor burns won’t help it go away, and might even make it worse. Once your skin has recovered, keep the above tips in mind to avoid razor burn in the future.