Nothing ruins a good shave like the itchy, irritated, bumpy rash that too often follows – we’ve all been there. But while some of the causes of razor burn are down to user error, more often than not it’s actually the razor and the skincare products you’re using that are creating the issue.
If you’re someone who regularly experiences razor rash, or who gets it at the most inopportune times, understanding what causes that irritation is half the battle. The good news is, by understanding the cause, you can safeguard your skin from future damage. There are two main categories of razor rash, the type that happens straight after a shave, and the type that is more delayed in appearing.
Immediate Razor Burn
Does your skin get irritated straight after shaving? The main causes of immediate razor burn are technique, friction and sensitivity.
Shaving too quickly can exacerbate both friction and sensitive skin, so taking your time is key. It’s also recommended not to shave too frequently, which can be easier said than done. However, using a good quality razor and shaving cream will result in a smoother shave, allowing you to shave more often, with less irritation.
Nothing brings on shaving rash quite like a dull blade. To avoid friction while shaving, replace your blade after 5-7 uses and forget single-use blades altogether. A good quality shaving cream will further reduce friction.
If you have naturally sensitive skin, shaving can cause no end of issues. To best protect your skin, we recommend using shaving cream instead of soap as this will reduce drying. Also, follow the steps listed above to reduce any additional friction.
Post-Shave Razor Bumps
If you tend to find that a shaving rash appears a while after you’ve shaved, this is most likely caused by hair regrowth. As your hair grows, it can irritate and block the skin around the follicle, forcing the hair to grow under the skin’s surface. These ingrown hairs can result in itchy, painful red bumps.
You are more susceptible to ingrown hairs if your skin is dry, which is why we recommend exfoliating your skin before shaving to ensure there’s no buildup of dead skin cells.
It’s also worth using a hydrating shaving cream and following with an alcohol-free moisturiser if you have particularly dry skin. Look for products which contain aloe vera or shea butter for deep-hydration. Beware, some moisturisers can clog hair follicles, creating further ingrown hairs, so choose your products wisely.
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