Shaving may be quicker and less painful than other hair removal methods, such as waxing, but it doesn’t come without its problems. Razor bumps and shaving rashes can be common occurrences if you don’t follow a good pre and post-shaving routine. So, whether you’re removing facial hair or shaving your legs, follow our top tips on how to stop razor bumps and burns for a smoother shaving session.
What causes razor bumps and rashes?
The terms razor rash and razor bumps are often used interchangeably, but they are, in fact, different (although both very irritating!)
Razor rash (also known as razor burn) can be caused by several factors, such as shaving dry skin or using a dull blade. It will result in your skin becoming itchy and red (on lighter skin tones) or brown (on deeper skin tones).
In comparison, razor bumps are caused by hair follicles curling back in on themselves and getting trapped under the skin causing small bumps that resemble pimples.
How to stop razor bumps
Although there is no fool-proof way to stop razor bumps completely, you can try following these five steps for a better shave:
- Cleanse and exfoliate the skin before shaving to remove dirt, oil and flaky skin.
- Ensure your skin is hydrated before shaving; this could be by soaking in a warm bath (any excuse for five more minutes of peace!) or by applying a shaving gel or lotion. Never shave directly onto dry skin as this may irritate delicate skin.
- Use a sharp razor blade every time. This will help prevent nicks, cuts, bumps and burns.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth to avoid irritation.
- Use an alcohol-free moisturiser on your skin post-shave to provide an extra layer of protection.
How to treat razor bumps if you already have them
If you’re reading this and you already have razor bumps, to help them heal, try placing a warm, damp towel to the irritated area for a few minutes to tempt the ingrown hair to break through the skin. Do not pick or poke at it; if it’s not ready to come out yet, then leave it.
How to remove the hair yourself
If the hot towel tip has done the trick (and you have been patient), you can try removing the ingrown hair yourself. You will know it’s ready if you can see the hair inside the bump.
- Start by disinfecting a pair of tweezers or giving them a thorough wash with hot water and soap.
- Then, apply a warm, damp towel to the affected area to soften the skin.
- Massage a physical scrub into the skin until the hair is completely visible.
- Use your tweezers to pluck it out as close to the root as you can.
- To prevent infections (or further irritation), treat the area with aftershave or alcohol-free toner.
- Once the hair has been removed, give the area some space to heal and refrain from shaving for a couple of days.
How to stop shaving rash
If you have ever hurriedly swept any old razor across your skin to remove hair without proper prep, then you’ll know that it can cause your skin to become inflamed and sore. To stop razor burn in the future, follow these steps and make way for a rash-free, smooth shaving experience.
- Wet or hydrate the skin before shaving with warm water or a shaving gel or lotion.
- Using a sharp blade and shave in small light strokes in the direction your hair grows.
- If you are using a new blade, don’t push it down on the skin too hard.
- Try not to go over the same area more than once and take your time.
- Apply a moisturising lotion to your skin after you have finished.
How to treat shaving rash
The simplest method to getting rid of shaving rash is to apply a cold, wet cloth to your skin to soothe the inflammation and then follow with a cooling ingredient, such as aloe vera. (And of course, remember the steps above to prevent it from happening again!)
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