Nothing ruins a refreshing shave more than the red, bumpy irritated skin that often follows. Get rid of it and prevent it from happening again with our tips below!
For those of us who shave our beards regularly, we know there’s nothing like the feeling of perfectly smooth skin after a clean shave. Soft to the touch and radiating a healthy glow, we can all picture and feel this perfect post-shave experience in our minds. Unfortunately, however, our fantasies of an even, calm, hair-free face are often dashed by the arrival of the dreaded enemy – razor bumps. These pesky red, uncomfortable bumps can ruin more than your look, they can hurt physically as well as hurt your confidence.
But fear not – you don’t have to live this bumpy life forever. With the right shaving techniques, products and after-care steps, you can reduce razor bumps and prevent them from returning.
WHAT ARE RAZOR BUMPS?
Typically, the red bumps that appear after shaving are due to ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are hairs that curl in on themselves before growing out of the skin, essentially getting trapped in the follicle. This is what causes the bump and irritation.
RAZOR BUMPS VS RAZOR BURN
While razor bumps are caused by ingrown hairs, razor burn can come from a number of issues related to irritation caused while shaving. If hair is pulled to aggressively (which is usually the case if your razor is dull) or skin is scraped by too much pressure from the blade, a rash-like reaction can appear mere moments after you’ve completed your shave.
HOW TO PREVENT & TREAT RAZOR BUMPS AND BURN
Make sure you cleanse your face and take a nice hot shower before shaving. This opens up pores and softens the skin and hair, making it easier to remove smoothly.
Using the right razor for your skin type, hair type and goals is essential. If you are someone with sensitive skin prone to razor burn, a single-blade straight razor may be the gentlest option for you. If you have thicker, coarser hair prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps, a high-quality and smooth electric clipper might be right. While you may not get as close a shave as using a razor, cutting the hair less short will help minimize the chance of ingrowns.
Always make sure your shaving tools are completely clean, fresh and sharp. Shaving exfoliates skin, removes dead skin cells and opens pores so if there is bacteria on your razor, this could be easily absorbed by your pores causing inflammation.
It is also important to have the right shaving gel. One that is free of alcohol and dyes will help minimize irritation, and a clear formula helps you see where you’re gliding the razor and ensure you’re not over-shaving any areas which can cause a reaction.
If possible, shave in the direction of the grain of hair. Again, this may result in a slightly less close shave but that could make all the difference in your tackling post-shave irritation.
After shave, after shave, after shave! It is imperative that you refresh, hydrate and soothe skin immediately after shaving. Since shaving removes the first layer of skin (whether you’re using a regular razor or an electric one) and leaves pores open, it is very easy for bacteria to enter it when you are done. A well-formulated after shave will soothe, tone and hydrate skin to stop irritation in its tracks.
THE FINAL CUT
Getting rid of and preventing razor bumps comes down to the right preparation, tools, techniques and after care. Taking all of these steps will not only help make your cleanly shaven skin smooth and free of irritation, it will also make your overall shaving experience more enjoyable and luxurious.
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