Know Thy Enemy
So what is razor burn, exactly? Razor burn is skin irritation caused by shaving, resulting in a rash. This rash is often itchy, red and can even sting. During shaving, skin is dislodged and hair follicles are pulled by the blade. It’s almost like you’re causing mini traumas on your face, and you see the effects shortly after shaving. Having sensitive skin can make you more prone to getting it. Razor burn isn’t the same thing as razor bumps. Razor bumps are inflamed hair follicles caused by hairs growing back into the skin, and can take a few days to show up. Many of the tips on how to prevent razor burn also apply to razor bumps.
Wash Your Face
Super simple. Either in the shower or using a washcloth, make sure that your mug is immaculate. Dirt, oil and other impurities are just waiting to ruin your shave. Their presence on your skin can hamper your razor as it glides down your face, reducing the smoothness of your strokes and causing more irritation. Face filth also increases the chance of your skin getting infected. Don’t skip out on this important step. If you want prevent razor burn, wash your face!
Wait, didn’t we just wash our face to get rid of oil? Yes, but that’s the bad kind of oil. Pre-shave oil is the good kind, helping to prevent razor burn by softening facial hair and lubricating the skin. Softer facial hair is easier to cut through, meaning your razor is less likely to pull and irritate it. Lubricated skin means the blade glides over it, greatly reducing irritation. Definitely add this underrated product to your shaving arsenal.
Use Shaving Soap And A Shaving Brush
As we mentioned earlier, people with sensitive skin are more likely to develop razor burn. Aerosol shaving creams can contribute to this irritation with their coloring dyes and chemical fragrances. Shaving soap, on the other hand, is far milder, (and, in our opinion, a much more masculine way to lather up). Some, like Omega Shave Soap, are scented naturally, giving your lather a pleasant aroma without added irritation. Shaving brushes raise facial hair, allowing your razor to easily slice through. Remember, pulling hair is one of the causes razor burn. If you want to prevent razor burn, make it easier for the blade to cut so it doesn’t end up tugging on stubble.
There are many reasons to use a safety razor, but one of the biggest ones is that it prevents razor burn. There are two major ways that safety razors do this. Firstly, the single blade only passes across the skin once, meaning that there are fewer sharp edges connecting with your face. Cartridge razors have multiple blades, meaning that your skin being scraped five ways to Sunday. Secondly, safety razors are all about cutting, not pulling. Cartridge razor blades alternate between pulling hairs up and cutting, meaning they’re more likely to aggravate the hair follicle and cause irritation.
A sharp blade will cut easily through facial hair, a dull blade will pull it and contribute to razor burn. A safety razor blade should be changed around every six shaves, depending on the coarseness of your facial hair.
This is a very easy way to help prevent razor burn. Rinse off your razor often while shaving so each pass can be smooth and less irritating. Make sure to clean it after every session as well to prevent germ buildup. There’s no point in washing your face if you’re just going to use a dirty razor! Check out our article How To Clean Your Safety Razor
Even with all the preparation, using the right tools and techniques, at the end of the day shaving means taking a blade to your face. Even if you’ve done everything above, you want to give your skin every opportunity to not break out in razor burn. Aftershave does this in two ways. Firstly, it acts as an antiseptic, killing any germs that may have made it onto your face during shaving. These germs can contribute to post-shave irritation. Aftershave, especially the lotion versions, also soothes and moisturizes shaven skin, counteracting any irritation that may have occurred.
So there you have it, our tips on how to prevent razor burn. With minimal effort, your morning shave doesn’t have to end in an itchy, inflamed disaster. To make sure you have the right tools for an irritation-free shave, head on over to our store.