How to prevent razor burn? I have good news, you can beat it without tossing your blades and keeping the hair. Simply caring a little extra for your skin, you too, can have freedom from redness and itchiness. And let's not even talk about that awful sting.
Use a shaving oil
This is by far one of the easiest ways to prevent seeing red, and it only takes a couple drops underneath your shaving cream or gel. It creates a barrier on your skin so the razor glides instead of drags. A shaving oil (compare prices) also prevents ingrown hair and hydrates skin which gets extra bonus points from me.
Use an electric razor? Try Afta Pre Electric Shave Lotion by Mennen (compare prices). Even though it's an inexpensive drugstore product it gets rave reviews because it doesn't clog the razor or leave an oily feeling behind.
A quality razor with a pivoting head is a must
All blades are not created equal, just ask my assistant Nicole when she reviewed Bic Citron Pivot Razor. Don’t reach for the straight disposable ones which can create razor burn in a couple of swipes. My picks are Schick Quattro for Women (compare prices)and Gillette Fusion for Men (compare prices).
Change blade often
A fresh, quality blade is not the culprit behind your burn. But a cheap or dull blade will surely drag on your skin and scrape it instead of gliding with ease. Yes, you will spend a bit more more changing your blade more frequently, but I think it's worth it.
Opt for thick moisturizing shaving cream or gel
Shaving depletes moisture in itself, so you don't want to use something that is going to take more moisture. Choose products free of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These artificial ingredients both make great suds action but can irritate and dry skin out.
You also need a thick gel or cream to protect skin, so that the razor has enough gliding power. If it's too thin, you're more likely to scrape skin.
My picks are The Art of Shaving Creams for Men (compare prices) and Women (compare prices) not only because they're thick and give you a wonderful shave, but leave skin hydrated and soft. It's so moisturizing that after my husband tried the men's (read review), he looked like he had a facial.
Watch your technique
- Shave with grain of hair. You won't get the closest shave like when going against the grain, but that's a lot better than aggravating or creating more razor burn. You might not have to always shave this way, only until your skin has healed and you are taking other preventative steps. Better yet, if you can lay off shaving altogether for a couple days your skin will get a much-needed break and will mend itself much faster.
- Once, maybe twice. I know you want a close shave, but don't go over the same area too many times or you'll end up with aggravated skin.
- Take it easy. Your pressure needs to be firm enough to cut the hair, but don't press too hard or you'll definitely irritate skin.
Don't skimp on steps
- Shave in the shower. Let the warm water and steam can do its job softening hair and skin. Skin will be more pliable and give with the blade movements, avoiding scraping. If you're a man shaving at the sink, simply take a warm towel and place it over your face for a minute before shaving.
- Keep razor clog-free. Rinse blade thoroughly of hair between moving on to the next area. Otherwise you won't get a good shave the first swipe which will have you running the blade over the same section to get missed hair.
Avoid drying skin out
If you have razor burn, you need to baby and keep it hydrated and soft so it can heal. Hot water depletes moisture, so choose warm when bathing. Stay clear of using products that contain alcohol or that can dry out skin in that area like deodorant soaps or acne products. If the razor burn is in your underarms, make sure to choose a moisturizing deodorant. Try Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth (read review) that will help minimize hair so you can shave less.
I am definitely not talking about a product chock-full of alcohol that is made to fight bacteria, but takes loads of moisture along with it. Instead choose a quality product that is going to heal skin and fight razor burn like Organic Milk and Honey Aftershave Lotion (read review). And ladies, this step is for you too, not only the guys.