Any man or woman who has shaved before will be familiar with razor burn. It can be a real pain, appearing anywhere on the body after shaving like your face, legs, underarms or bikini areas. Razor burn can show itself in a number of ways on the skin including burning sensations, itchiness, red bumps or tenderness but luckily it isn’t permanent and can heal itself in just a few days. Despite razor burn not lasting for too long, it can cause severe irritation and hassle for a good few days and even escalate into more serious issues if you don’t look after your skin correctly. People with more sensitive skin are naturally more prone to irritation from shaving but once you’ve had razor burn, it’s far more likely for your skin to become prone to it as you regularly shave over the same areas. When considering how to get rid of razor burn, it’s best to start by learning what causes it and how to avoid this, as well as becoming knowledgeable on the types of products you can use to soothe your skin.
What is razor burn and why does it happen?
Razor burn can occur as a result of your shaving technique or the products you use in the process. Shaving without the right shaving cream or soap to lubricate your skin is a common culprit, as well as shaving in a hurry or in the wrong direction. Overall, it is usually caused by a lack of preparation or aftercare and a poorly executed shaving routine. It’s difficult to avoid razor burn completely - we’re all guilty of shaving in a rush or running out of shaving cream - so understanding how to soothe your burn is also key.
How to stop razor burn from occurring:
Prioritise your pre-shave rituals.
Don’t fall into the habit of being lazy and deciding to skip the exfoliation step - one wrong shave can cause recurring razor burn and shaving bumps that can be a nightmare to get rid of long term. Use a good quality skin exfoliator to get rid of any dead skin cells and make sure your razor can get close to the skin without pulling on your hair follicles.
Never dry shave.
Dry shaving is one of the major causes of razor burn on the face and body - use of a quality shaving soap or cream is crucial.
With the right razor and blades, you shouldn’t need to press down or pull on your skin to cut through the hairs. Don’t be rough or heavy-handed with your razor as this doesn’t necessarily mean you will achieve a closer shave, and you will only irritate your skin. Use a light pressure and small strokes to cut hairs close to the skin without dragging your skin around.
Rinse your blade.
Be sure to rinse your blade as often as necessary while shaving to prevent it from becoming clogged.
Replace your blades.
Don’t settle for old, blunt or rusty razor blades or you’re setting yourself up for a skin disaster. Give your skin the shaving experience it deserves by using new or well looked after blades for every shave if you want to avoid burns or rashes occurring.
Try different methods.
If you are fed up of getting razor burn and feel like you’re getting it every time you shave, you could consider alternative hair removal options. Try switching up the type of razor you use first, and as a last resort, you could consider epilators, hair removal cream or waxing - all methods that can be done either yourself at home or by a professional.
Give your skin a break.
Finally, don’t shave too often. You should try to only shave when you feel it’s necessary, rather than daily simply out of habit. For example, if you have a meeting at work or a special event coming up, try to give your skin a break for a couple of days before shaving just prior to the event for clean and smooth-looking skin. If possible, aim to leave at least a few days between each shave to give your skin time to recover. Unfortunately, this won’t be possible for those with thicker hair growth.
How long does razor burn last?
Fortunately, razor burn only usually lasts for a few days at a time, though the irritation can be soothed more quickly by using a variety of home remedies or specially designed products for post-shave troubles. It’s important to remember not to irritate any areas of razor burn further by reshaving before it has had time to calm down or heal.
How to soothe razor burn:
Aloe vera is widely used for treating and alleviating the symptoms of sunburn but it can work wonders for razor burn too. Look for moisturisers including aloe vera, or apply it in the form of gel, oil, or lotion directly to the affected areas for instant cooling relief.
Oils can be used to fix almost any problem and razor burn is no exception. Coconut oil, tea tree oil and avocado oil all have inflammatory and calming properties that your skin will love.
Moisturising should be a part of everyone’s daily routine, but it’s especially important to keep areas with razor burn clean and moisturised. Always check the ingredients and try to avoid any moisturisers that contain alcohol or harsh chemicals that could potentially aggravate your skin further.
It may seem simple, but placing a flannel or towel soaked in cold water on the burnt area can work wonders for soothing troubled skin and reducing redness.
Medical lotions or antibiotics
Sometimes, razor burn can worsen over time or take longer to heal than normal. In this case, there are a number of over the counter lotions like hydrocortisone cream that can help reduce severe inflammation. Should your razor burn start to become painful or look infected, it’s best to visit your GP where targeted creams or antibiotics may be prescribed.
Need a product to help soothe your razor burn?
The English Shaving Company stock a huge range of products to help men and women shave safely and smoothly, minimising the occurrence of problems like razor burn and shaving rash. If you’re in need of a product to help soothe your skin post-shave, browse the products on our site or get in touch for advice on the best product to suit your skin type.