Razor burns are mild irritation caused on the skin due to improper shaving. Razor burns are primordially caused by using blade that have gone blunt, or due to improper shaving techniques. They become visible on the skin after 2 to 4 minutes of shaving. While shaving if you don’t follow proper technique then the hair may be pushed back into the follicle which leads to ingrown hair that causes these burns.
Preventing razor burns is easy if you follow the standard technique, and keep your hurry aside while attempting to do so. They are caused as a result of shaving too close to the pores, shaving with a blunt blade, applying too much pressure while shaving, shaving too quickly or shaving in the wrong direction and improper lubrication. In severe cases these razor burns lead to razor bumps, so they need to be prevented. Here are few easy tips for preventing razor burns.
How to prevent razor burns:
- Clean your face properly using good quality scrubs. They help remove the dead skin and also bring out the ingrown hairs that can be a cause for razor burns
- Cleaning your face with products containing salicylic acid before shaving will also help in softening the skin and prevent the chances of razor burns
- Putting a warm cloth on your face will help soften the hair, which eventually makes shaving easy, and does not cause irritation of the skin, which is likely promote burns
- After scrubbing, wash your face with cold water; this will help you in hydrating the skin, which lowers the chances of getting burns. Shaving immediately after shower is the best practice, for at this time, your skin is optimally hydrated. But do remember that staying in the bath for a long time before shaving makes the skin shrivel, which cannot be shaved properly, and causes razor burns.
- Always shave in the direction which the hair grows or bends. This will help prevent razor burns and cuts, resulting in a clean and a convenient shave
- Do not apply extra pressure while shaving. Many a times we do this to get a clean shave, but it is likely to cause razor burns, so avoid doing it
- Apply good quality moisturizers while shaving. Moisturizers act like a barrier of thin-film between the razor and your skin, so you’re skin is protected, and there are less chances of things going wrong. Many people apply ordinary soap while shaving; you need to avoid this, as soap does not form the necessary amount of thick lather required for shaving, and hence can act as a constraint to a comfortable shaving experience.
- Do not make repeated strokes on the skin while shaving, this can cause irritation
- Using aloe vera based after-shower gel is very helpful and moisturizes the skin
- Do not use oil based moisturizers after shave. It is found that products containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid are very effective in opening the pores, moisturizing the skin properly and preventing infections
- Rinse the blade you after every stroke. If the blade is full of whiskers then the chances of going wrong and getting irritation increase. Rinsing the blade will also help you in getting a close shave. Use hot water to rinse the blade.
- Dip the blade in rubbing alcohol after you are completely done with the shaving, it helps the blades last longer
- Blunt blades, or old and worn out razors may cause razor burns. Use-and-throw blades are indeed effective, and one does not necessarily rely upon an expensive one to get a clean shave
If you follow the above tips you will be successful in preventing razor burns and any further injuries to your skin.
If the beard is shaved or hair is plucked while the hair is under growth, it may lead to razor or shave bumps. Razor bumps are common to appear on the face of men, where the chances increase with curly hair. They are uncomfortable, and spoil the facial tissues. You can follow simple precautionary steps before and after shaving, and prevent razor bumps.
How are razor bumps caused when you shave your hair, and a new hair grows, only to curl around and back into the pore, instead of growing straight. This causes inflammation on the skin that makes the skin red and itchy. Sometimes they can be confused with pimples. This condition results into razor bumps. When they are left untreated, or if no precautions are taken to reduce the infection then it leads to keloid scarring in that area. These keloids are firm rubbery nodules or shiny nodules. It is a type of disease that is very dangerous and looks weird.
How to prevent razor bumps
- Shaving in the opposite direction of the hair is a wrong practice as it promotes the growth of razor bumps on the skin. Shave in the direction in which the hair grows (downward, or sideways but tilted downwards)
- If you are shaving in the direction of the hair growth, and using a new razor every time but still experiencing the problem of razor bumps, then this can be probably because of the number of blades in your razor. Shaving with a razor that has more number of blades, maybe 4 or 5, is likely to cause these bumps. In such cases, try double or triple bladed razors.
- Variety of shaving products and kits are available in the market for preventing ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Buy these products and make sure that they contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid, as they help in opening up the pores of the skin, and subsequently reduce the risk of razor bumps.
- Clean shaving is very important to avoid razor bumps from occurring. Try automatic razors that work on electricity or electrolytic cells if you are unable to do a clean shave using the regular ones. Do not apply pressure or shave in the opposite direction just to get the desired smoothness.
The above tips and techniques will definitely help you prevent razor burns and bumps. Just for your information, I’ve been using the same blade since the past one year, and still haven’t suffered from burns or bumps. So, you can actually get a clean and a safe shave, even if you are using an old razor. You just need to take care, and avoid rushing through the task.