Get rid of razor bumps

There is nothing quite as frustrating as cleaning up with a close shave, only to suffer from razor burn–a common skin irritation that occurs after shaving. Razor burn can appear on any part of your body–from your face, to your armpits, to your bikini line. But, there are ways to combat this unsightly and uncomfortable condition. By following the steps below, you can minimise the effects of razor burn and shaving-related skin irritation.

Use fresh razors

Razors that have been used many times become dull and grow bacteria–two problems that significantly worsen razor burn. Use new razors every two weeks or five uses, and clean your razor well after every use.

Go in the right direction

Shave with the grain of the hair in short, deliberate strokes. Shaving against the grain increases the odds of ingrown hairs, irritation, and inflamed skin. Long strokes often cause one to press down too hard on the skin, increasing razor contact and making razor burn more likely.

Shave at night

Shaving your hair in the morning typically precedes the application of some product - for example, deodorant after shaving your armpits. Additionally, throughout the day you are likely to sweat and come into contact with bacteria and and toxins from the air. The combination of all these things with your freshly shaved face greatly increases the likelihood of razor burn. Prevent this by simply shaving at night before heading to bed, where you will be less likely to dirty the area.

Shave in the shower

Even when you dampen your skin prior to shaving, your hair doesn’t have enough time to soften and become easier to shave. Take a hot shower and shave after a few minutes; the heat and moisture will soften your hairs and make them easier to remove. Don’t want too long though, as waiting ten minutes or longer will swell up your skin and leave you with a bit of stubble after you’ve cooled down and dried off.

Clean your razor regularly

If you shave without rinsing your blade, you might be increasing your chances for razor burn. Buildup of hair and product in the blades of your razor forces you to push down with more pressure on subsequent swipes, making it more likely that you’ll irritate or cut the skin. Thoroughly rinse your razor after every pass you take on your skin to remove all hair and buildup between the blades.

Splash your skin with cold water

After every finished shave, splash your skin with cold water to close up the pores. This will constrict the skin and help to close any small cuts or ingrown hairs that are forming.

Dip the blade in rubbing alcohol after the final rinse

Blades last much longer than most people think. The apparent dulling of the blade is due to the formation of microscopic “teeth” on the edge, made up of mineral crystals from the water. These drag against the skin, causing the blade to grab and producing cuts and much of the razor burn. The alcohol will displace the water and the minerals within it, and evaporate without leaving residue. Store the razor with the blade edges upward.

Use a face wash

Even if you aren’t shaving your face, using a face wash containing salicylic acid will help to kill bacteria and reduce the likelihood of razor burn. Rub the area you are going to shave with a gentle face wash and rinse off prior to shaving.

Use shaving gel

Never dry-shave with just water, and avoid using a shaving cream that can clog pores. Instead, apply a coat of shaving gel to the area you will shave, and rinse your razor after every swipe. The gel will protect your skin from the blades without clogging pores.

Check for allergens

Look through all the products you apply to your skin to see what they are made of. There might be something in the ingredients list that you are allergic to, and therefore are reacting to with a rash. Cut out all your skin products for a few days after shaving, and slowly incorporate them back in one at a time to find out which one is the culprit.

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