The very thought of razor burn is enough to send shivers through the toughest of guys.
And when you consider how painful razor burn can be, it's no wonder that many men choose to let their beards run free.
It's worth keeping in mind that shaving doesn't only involve your hair but the skin beneath. And even though shaving is an excellent form of exfoliation, overdoing it can lead to tender skin and razor burn.
This article looks at razor burn in detail and examines how you can stop razor burns for good.
What is razor burn?
Razor burn is a widespread skin irritation caused by shaving the skin. It typically appears as red areas on the skin and can be classified as a form of irritant contact dermatitis (which is a fancy way of saying skin rash). The symptoms of razor burn include redness, stinging, itching, and burning.
You can experience razor burn symptoms anywhere you shave, such as your face, neck, chest, and well, anywhere…
Razor burn is slightly different from razor bumps, although the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Razor bumps are ingrown hairs caused by hair removal, with the hair curling downwards into the skin as it grows back.
Both razor burns and razor bumps can result in red and irritated skin, but razor burns are characterized by red streaks or blotches across the skin.
How long can razor burn last?
Razor burn is a temporary condition that will dissipate on its own over a few days. While some symptoms can vanish overnight, it may take between two and four days for all symptoms to heal completely.
Conditioning your skin with a cleanser and pre-shave solution, moisturizing post-shave, and using a cold compress can help symptoms to improve faster.
What causes razor burn?
Razor burn occurs due to many reasons. Although advertisers would lead you to believe that razor burn is caused by a specific type of razor or shaving lubricant, this is not the case.
The following have been shown to cause razor burn:
- Using an old razor
- Using a razor that's either blunt or clogged with hair, soap, or shaving cream
- Shaving without using a lubricant, such as shaving cream or shaving gel
- Shaving too quickly (you need to slow down fellas)
- Shaving against the direction of your hair
- Shaving a single area too many times
- Using shaving products that irritate your skin, such as products containing alcohol
Just like any other tool, your razor must be maintained and replaced as needed. There's no point using lubricants and shaving with the grain if you're rocking a blunt or clogged razor. That's a one-way ticket to razor burn!
Why do I get razor burn so easily?
Sometimes it's the texture of your hair that's causing razor burn and irritation. In many other cases, razor burn is a direct result of poor shaving techniques.
Here are some of the reasons that you may be experiencing razor burn:
Facial hair texture can cause razor burns
If you're blessed with curly or coarse hair, this could be one reason you get razor burn so easily. Rather than growing outward like straight hair, curly hair can loop back and grow inside the skin.
This causes ingrown hairs to form, which explains all the bumps that you may experience after shaving.
If you have curly hair, it's even more important to prioritize a pre-shaving solution. Start by applying a hot washcloth to your face for a few minutes, followed by a pre-shave solution.
And don't forget to apply a high-quality natural men's shaving cream after you use the solution. If you're still suffering from the burn, you may want to consider switching to an electric razor.
Dull razors can cause razor burns, nicks, and cuts
Let's be honest: Dull razors are a waste of your time. Using a dull razor means more strokes, which adds excessive stress to your skin. These extra strokes cause micro-abrasions in your skin, which can become irritated and infected.
The result is razor burn.
Ensure that you regularly change your razor blade and try to avoid those cheap and nasty razors. If you must use one of those dollar store disposable razors, don't use it more than once.
Shaving dirty skin leads to razor burn
Your skin is a playground for all the dirt, oil, and grime that you've accumulated throughout the day. This build-up can cause unnecessary friction, making it harder for your razor to glide across your mug.
If you don't wash your face before you shave, you even run the risk of having your skin become infected.
We can't emphasize this strongly enough: Always wash your face before you shave and NEVER attempt to shave on dry skin!
Don't shave against the grain
Shaving against the grain causes significant friction with each stroke of your razor. This can lead to irritated skin and razor burn (not to mention your face feeling like it's on fire).
This can easily be prevented by slowing down your shave and gently shaving in the same direction that your hair grows.
Dry skin leads to a painful, irritating shave
Razors and dry skin don't mix. Shaving over dry skin tends to exacerbate the dryness symptoms that you may be dealing with. This can leave you with a red-colored patch of skin that's not only uncomfortable; it's also ugly!
Make sure that you always apply a natural face moisturizer for men to your skin after shaving. This will help to prevent inflamed skin and the symptoms of shaving rash.
How to stop razor burns
The following remedies for razor burns will help you to stop razor burns and achieve the closest shave possible:
Step 1: Take a hot shower
Before you go running a razor across your face, always take a hot shower to prep the skin. Warm water works by softening your hair and skin, and reduces tension as your razor blade cuts through your mane.
Step 2: Lather up
For the best shave, start by using a pre-shave solution, such as a high-quality pre-shave oil. Follow this by massaging men's shaving cream or shaving gel into your face and neck in a circular motion. Then let it sit for a minute or two. This helps to lift and soften your facial hair.
Step 3: Begin with the thinnest hairs
The thickest hairs need the longest amount of time to soften up with the shaving lubricant. Start with the sides of your beard before moving to your neck and chin. Your mustache should always be the last place you shave.
Step 4: Ease up on the pressure
To get a close shave, remember that you don't have to push too hard. If you apply too much pressure, this will only increase skin irritation and the likelihood of razor burn.
Step 5: Rinse and repeat
Wash your razor under warm water every one-to-two strokes. This will help to clear away stubble and lubricant that can block the blade and cause nicks to your skin. Don't tap the razor to shake off the lubricant, as this action can damage your blade.
Step 6: Apply cold water to your skin
Just as you relaxed the hairs before your shave, you need to close everything back up once you're done. To do this, splash some cold water across your face to remove debris and close the pores.
Finish with a natural aftershave balm for men
The last step may be the most important. Help protect your skin with a natural aftershave balm. Look for coconut oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera, which help protect the skin from bacteria getting into cuts.
And because there is no alcohol in these products, they also work to retain the skin's moisture while preventing razor burn and ingrown hairs. They're the ideal finish for an irritation-free shave.
What is the best aftershave balm?
Geared toward hydration and refreshment for your skin, VITAMAN Natural Men's Aftershave Balm is perfect for high-performing guys who want to look and feel their best.
Made with 100% natural ingredients for men's skin like White Tea Leaf, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Chamomile Flower, and Lavender Oil, VITAMAN After Shave Balm will leave your skin clean, fresh, and invigorated.
VITAMAN Natural Men's Aftershave Balm prevents razor burn, along with ingrown hairs, nicks, cuts, and post-shave irritation.
If you're ready to say goodbye to razor burn, it's time you gave the flick to alcohol-based aftershave lotions.
Choose the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the best aftershave balm for men and enjoy the confidence of amazing skin - every time you shave!