razor bumps and how to avoid them

How to Prevent Razor Bumps

Razor bumps, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, is a common skin condition that affects individuals who shave regularly. This condition occurs when hair is cut too short, causing it to curl back into the skin, leading to irritation and inflammation of the hair follicle. Razor bumps usually appear as small, red, raised bumps that can be itchy, painful, and unsightly. Although razor bumps can occur on any part of the body that is regularly shaved, they are most commonly seen on the face, neck, and bikini area. 

The Bottom Line

The only definitive way to avoid razor bumps is to stop shaving completely. Now that’s not helpful and is probably not the answer you were looking for. However, there are ways to help minimise the impact of these painful bumps.

Too Close Gromit!

Apart from the act of actually shaving, the primary cause of razor bumps is shaving too closely. Why? When you shave too closely, the cut hair shaft retracts back into the hair follicle, which is located under the skin surface.  As the hair re-grows, instead of growing back out of the skin surface, it can break into the wall of the hair follicle, enter the surrounding skin and result in inflammation and the painful tell tale red bumps. 

hair structure

Image attribution 

What can you do?

Choice of Razor

Modern multi-blade razors are designed to give you a super close shave. Therefore, these razors may not be the most suitable idea for someone who suffers from razor bumps and ingrown hairs. The pure nature of how a multi-blade razor works exacerbates the cause of razor bumps. They work by using multiple blades stacked on top of each other to cut hair closer to the skin. As the razor glides over the skin, the first blade pulls the hair up and away from the skin while the following blades cut the hair progressively closer. See the problem!

One solution to this would be to swap to a traditional safety razor sometimes known as a double edged (DE) razor. This has one single blade that you can easily change on a regular basis. This does mean that you won’t get as close a shave as you would with a mainstream cartridge razor. That said, DE razor devotees would debate this point. 

DE razor
Pure Shave DE razor


I have tried and tried with a DE razor but have not managed to master it. They take time and patience to master so you may need to persevere with one to get the technique right. 

Keep them sharp

Another cause of razor bumps is using a dull or old razor blade. When the blade is not sharp enough, it can tug at the hair, causing it to snap off at or below the surface of the skin, leading to ingrown hairs and inflammation. 

Make sure to use a good sharp blade and replace them regularly.

Other tips to consider in trying to minimise razor bumps

  1. Shave in the direction of growth to minimise skin irritation.
  2. Avoid shaving every day – the longer gap you can leave the better. 
  3. Do not be tempted to stretch your skin while shaving. 

How can Pure Shave help? 

One part of a shave that is sometimes overlooked is having an effective pre-shave regime in place. Taking some time to prepare can help prevent razor bumps. By using Pure Shave shaving cream as a pre-shave balm or warm water before you shave, you can improve the hydration of the hair shaft, causing it to swell, resulting in blunt edges after shaving reducing the chance of the hair shaft slipping below the skin. This, in turn, reduces the risk of ingrown hairs and razor bumps. 

You can use Pure Shave shaving cream as a pre-shave balm. Wash your face with warm water and then rub a few pumps of our shaving cream onto your stubble or area to be shaved and simply leave for 5-10 minutes. Then shave as normal.

Try a Pure Shave shaving cream Sample today!

Minimise skin irritation

One of the key ingredients in Pure Shave Shaving Cream is cetyl alcohol, which is used in some hair conditioners to improve the texture of hair. In this case, it helps soften the stubble, making it easier to cut. This means you need less pressure to cut the stubble and fewer passes of the razor to get a close shave. This all adds up to less skin irritation and therefore minimises the chance of razor bumps.


Another ket point of Pure Shave is its high moisturising properties. The inclusion of Sweet Almond and Coconut oils act as natural moisturisers that hydrate the skin, keeping it soft and supple, thus reducing the risk of razor bumps. Coconut oil has the added benefit of having natural antimicrobial properties that can help protect the skin from bacterial and fungal infections, important properties when combating skin conditions.

Find out more about the amazing properties of Sweet Almond Oil and Coconut Oil in our blog posts.

Top Tip 

Brushing the skin gently with an abrasive sponge or toothbrush to ‘release’ ingrown hairs can be an effective way to ease the situation.

In conclusion

By combining the use of Pure Shave Shaving Cream with some tweaks to your shaving regime and techniques, you can go a long way to prevent and alleviate the frustrating and painful problem of razor bumps. 

Pure Shave is included in the best shaving creams review in GQ Magazine click to read 

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