Shaving his face is one of the most important steps in any guy’s morning routine. Trying gallantly to execute it perfectly every time may feel like walking a teetering tight rope, but it is of the utmost importance to any man’s outward appearance and comfort. Protecting your face from abrasions and irritation may catch you swaying towards the temptation to dip your toe into more expensive brands, but a lot of bank can be wasted on a shiny, razzle-dazzly brand.
To save money, you will find yourself teetering the other way towards using old, worn out razors a few too many times or turn to cheap brands of shaving foam that represent the generic bare minimum. But with choosing the cheaper route comes a whole new slough of new problems, including razor bumps, nicks, and today’s topic: razor burn.
Razor burn on the facial shaving area is the most common and represents an all-too-familiar plight that we’ve all been through at least once. We at the Boldnine team have put together a few tips and answers to the tricky question as to what causes razor burn. To help you fight razor burn, we’ve assembled a new arsenal of knowledge as well as remedies for razor burn, treatment for razor burn to help soothe irritated skin, and razor burn prevention for future relief.
What Really is this Pesky Razor Burn and What Causes Razor Burn?
It isn’t all too surprising that scraping knife-like metal blades across your skin can be irritating if not dangerous to your skin! No doubt endeavoring to slice down growing beard hairs as close and cleanly as possible without causing any harm to the skin itself is bound to be tricky.
In the midst of trying to mow down that which you want to get rid of on your face, it is easy to inadvertently scrape at that which your supposed to protect, thus resulting in rug-burn-like razor burn symptoms. Razor burn appears as red rash-colored irritation, itchiness, and rough texture. It can lead to bumps and swollen hair follicles that contribute to razor bumps, a.k.a ingrown hairs.
Because it causes itchiness, it can lead to worse irritation when the temptation to scratch is given in to. Burning sensation from the irritation gives it its name, but unseemly redness and dry skin flakes from scraped skin are also nothing to take lightly. They make a man feel a burning frustration as well as burning sensation on the face, no doubt. Not only that, but shaving overtop of yesterday’s razor burn can make it build on itself and become more irritated. It’s no good if a guy is forced to stop shaving for a while if it’s not the clean-cut style he is going for or if he doesn’t enjoy dealing with stubble for a while.
Signs of Razor Burn:
- Hot or burning sensation
- Rough skin
- Mild skin flaking beyond just dry skin
- Redness, particularly in the path you shaved in
- Razor bumps/resulting ingrown hairs
- Regretting your decision to shave that day and the products you used (just kidding..sorta)
The frustrating affliction of razor burn arises due to razor friction from inferior blades or a lack of protection from the blade. Blade mishaps and inferior shaving products are all that need to be corrected for razor burn prevention.
Razor blades and cheap products aren’t doing enough for your protection, akin to wearing plastic armor on a battle field. And after all, razor are basically tiny swords that your face has to fight to protect you from.
So what’s missing in your current products?
Dull blades don’t slice the hairs cleanly because they have rougher edges that aren’t sharpened into a perfect line. That means they are scratching with different pressure on different parts of your skin and causing scrapes like a kid gets on his elbow on the concrete paved playground. Dull blades force the wielder to press harder and go over the same place several times.
Not only dullness, but older, over-used blades can gather rust and become clogged with shaving cream and hair from previous shaves. Further rendering the blade useless are blade rust and dulled sharpness. Improper protection from the blades, pressing too hard while shaving and causing more friction, and anything else that can cause your razor and skin to clash are reasons for razor burn.
Not likely to get infected
Summary of the What Causes Razor Burn
- Dull blades
- Blade rust
- Clogged or old blades
- Pressing too hard
- Going over the same place multiple times
- Not enough slipperiness to let the blade glide well
- Not enough protection between blade and skin
- Not soothing skin afterwards
Let’s Get Down to Business: Treatment for Razor Burn
The upside to razor burn is that it is not a serious condition, it doesn’t involve infection like cuts or severe razor bumps can, and it can be relieved if you know what causes razor burn and if you know how to soothe it. Treatment for razor burn can even be done in a few days and soothing can help even faster.
When looking through treatment for razor burns and razor burn prevention techniques, it’s best to keep in mind your own personal needs and to always be willing to try small changes even if they seem like they won’t help instantaneously because often those small changes are the best type of razor burn prevention in the future and can yield great results without expensive treatment for razor burn options.
It’s always beneficial to have calming ingredients in anything you use on your face and pay attention to what your skin is feeling and needing, especially when it comes to something as potentially skin-damaging as scraping a razor across it. Treatment for razor burn can even be as simple as just to soothe the skin.
Aloe vera’s calming properties make it an ideal treatment for razor burn, one of the best things to try out on a new razor burn. Aloe vera is often used to treat burns, abrasions, and other mild ailments like sunburn. It brings fairly quick relief and can soothe irritated skin by being applied after shaving or after razor burn signs such as itchiness and redness occur.
Not only can it be used alone, it can also be a great ingredient to look for in your daily shaving creams or aftershave products because it can soothe while you shave and save you time applying it separately.
An example of combined aloe vera with shaving cream steps is Boldnine’s Shave While You Wash shaving cream and cleanser duo. It can help soothe razor burn and give relief to the redness and irritation because it contains calming ingredients like aloe vera.
2.Aftershave and Moisturizer
Aftershave is like the apology your skin needs after you’ve put it through a harsh battle with sharp objects, so don’t skip it. Relief and treatment for razor burn is exactly what you need after a thorough shave over the delicate skin of your face. When picking an aftershave, any other properties that soothe the skin are essential to helping soothe and smooth the skin properly.
Though it may seem unrelated, using great moisturizer like Energy On Your Face can help keep your skin moisture-packed and healthy so the razor can move slowly over it. Not only that, but calming moisturizer can help reduce dry flakiness and redness and act as a kind of soothing technique and help mild symptoms, a great treatment for razor burn.
The most important role of any shaving product is to protect the skin from the razor. Razor burn prevention is often better than trying to use treatment for razor burn on already-irritated skin because, well, why go through the irritation if you can prevent the burn from happening in the first place? Slick shaving cream ingredients that work between the razor and the skin to reduce friction are paramount and are often what is missing in many low-quality shaving foams and soaps that aren’t made to protect from razors.
Glycerin or glycerol allows the skin to help absorb its own moisture, making it a smart ingredient for shaving creams and a great idea for any man looking for razor burn prevention and ideas for the treatment for razor burn. It helps reduce friction and adds great texture properties to a lather, protecting from razor irritation and helping maintain smooth skin texture. It therefore helps in razor burn prevention by improving the texture of your shaving cream and making the skin slippery.
4. Products That Lift Hair Away from Skin
A great lather is extremely important to any shaving cream, let alone when it comes to something as specific as razor burn prevention. Why? Because the texture, consistency, thickness, bubble type, and ease of lathering can make the difference between a clogged razor with razor burned skin and a clean razor that lasts longer with unblemished skin.
Razor burn prevention for men’s facial area starts with the shaving cream’s ability to lift the hair to stand on end away from the skin. This means the razor has its best possible chance of grabbing onto each hair without any need for pressure of the razor against skin nor necessity of double swiping that can worsen razor burn likelihood. Products that lift the hair away from the skin are great razor burn prevention and are a great way to combat skin irritation.
5. Shave After or During Shower
Shaving while in the shower or shaving immediately after a shower can actually make a huge difference to razor burn occurrence. If you’re a guy who shaves before a shower or a while after your shower, then just try this tip once and you’ll see a huge difference. It seems so simple, but is often overlooked that during a shower, the pores open because of the warmth and steamy moisture.
Shaving at the beginning of the shower may seem like it doesn’t make much difference, but depending on your skin type, it can really leave your shave more dangerous. One idea is to put a mirror in your shower to help see what you’re doing so you can shave after several minutes of soaking, or you can shave right after your shower (don’t even wait a few minutes for your skin to dry up) to help the razor glide over your skin smoothly. It can help to soften the skin and soothe before the razor burn even occurs as well as helping the skin retain moisture if you use a great moisturizer after your shower and shave are complete.
6. New Razors
Dull blades, clogged razors, and rust that compromises the blades of your razors are the worst predictor of razor burn. They hugely raise the likelihood of getting razor burn because they create more three-dimensional bumps and dullness on the blade rather than allowing it to be a sharp, shiny new edge. Dull razors are more likely to get caught on skin and drag across it uncomfortably, even if you don’t feel any difference during the shave. It is important to use a disposable razor only a few times, even less than you may think is okay, just to be safe.
If you shave every day, razor burn can build up over several shaves, which is why you may not have noticed. New razors might make a huge difference immediately, but if you’re consistent in using new razors quite often (despite the cost), it will save you money over time because you won’t have to invest in more expensive treatment options for your razor burn.
7. Higher quality Razors
Higher quality razors are manufactured to be sharper and to have blades that last longer, don’t clog, and are overall safer for your skin. Disposable razors are often cheap plastic and manufactured to be as low of a price point possible, so they are very low quality. With razors, the more blades you have, the better to catch hairs while evenly gliding against the skin even in one single swipe.
It is so important to find the best type of razor that will fit your lifestyle needs and that your skin happens to like the most, even if it means invest more dollars in the short run that will eventually be paid back in reduced cuts and less changing of disposable razors. A more traditional style of safety razor, though not as common in recent years, can be more effective in many ways.
8. Shave Gently with Less Pressure
Contrary to that which is easily assumed, putting more pressure on the razor doesn’t achieve a closer shave, it achieves worsened razor burn. Treating the skin as gently as possible means using less pressure against the skin for smoother slicing of the hairs and less created friction against the path of the blade. Though it may seem counterintuitive, try to press very lightly and go over each place only once and twice for more difficult areas of the face that have tougher hair.
Not only for the prevention of razor burn, using light pressure on the razor blade can actually help get a closer shave because the razor is touching the hair and not shoved into your skin’s pliable texture. Lightly pressing and letting the blade smooth over well-prepared skin can keep your skin smooth and aid in the razor burn prevention.
9. Slow down while shaving (you can save time other ways)
Last but not least, and wonderfully yet another example of something to try that doesn’t cost a cent is, simply, shaving more slowly. It may take extra time and feel like you are wasting your time by shaving at the speed of a sloth, but in reality it is well worth taking those few extra seconds to look closely at what you’re doing, angle your razor perfectly, and let the blade catch the hairs instead of your skin in its nasty claws.
Shaving more slowly allows for friction to be relieved and since precision is key with shaving, leaning closer to your mirror and going slow and steady will always win the race. If you’re worried about adding time to a busy morning routine, you can save time through other methods such as combining steps. Shaving in the shower or using combine shaving products like a cleansing shaving cream duo can do wonders for your razor burn.
Katerina Tsatsomeros, PR manager