Natural Relief for Razor Burn -- 8 Do's and Don'ts
Razor burn. It can sound fairly minor – until you get it. Fortunately doctors and skincare specialists are learning a lot about why it happens and how to tackle it. A growing number of these experts agree that natural razor burn relief strategies are the best way to go!
What is razor burn?
It’s an uncomfortable skin condition that you get after shaving. It occurs in both men and women but is considered primarily a male skincare problem.
Facial shaving and razor burn are a demonic duo for a lot guys. That makes sense because the simple act of shaving puts daily stress on your skin. Razor burn (along with bumps, ingrown hairs, and obvious inflammation) are just outward signs of the trauma that your skin goes through every time a razor blade cuts across the beard.
Why does shaving cause razor burn?
To answer, it helps if you know a little about the physical make-up of your facial skin. It has a bricks and mortar structure. The bricks are dried out, dead skin cells ready to shed. The mortar – the glue that holds the bricks together – is made up of lipids (fats and oils). Those fatty lipid cells do two important things. First, they help keep essential moisture in the skin. Second, they block environmental contaminants from invading the tissue below.
Those lipids are damaged when you shave. Without the protective barrier they provide, moisture easily escapes the underlying tissue, leaving your skin dehydrated. And outside irritants penetrate the deep tissue, causing irritation and inflammation.
Symptoms of razor burn include burning, itching, stringing and redness. For some men the irritation lasts a few hours. For others it can last for days, resembling a red rash or scratches. Worst-case scenario, it can grow into infected breakout or blisters.
No wonder the search for natural razor burn relief has become such a hot topic in men’s healthcare.
Can you prevent razor burn?
Sure! Best prevention: don’t shave. But let’s face it, most men aren’t willing to go that natural. Despite the new full-beard fashion, the research clearly shows that most men shave. And they shave daily.
So let’s get real and cover 8 shaving do’s and don’ts that will help you prevent razor burn.
Here’s what you SHOULD do.
#1: Exfoliate your face before you shave. No need for deep exfoliation. In fact, that can be too harsh if you shave daily. Instead, before you shave, use a cleanser that contains corn cob meal or rice bran. It will help remove the excess dead skin cells that can keep facial hairs embedded.
# 2: Then rinse well with warm water. This will soften your hair so the razor can pick it up easily. The biggest increase in skin hydration occurs after water has been left on your skin for about 2 minutes. So try doing this right before your shave.
#3: Apply a pre-shaving product before your shaving cream. This tip remains a well-kept secret for natural razor burn relief. Just apply a layer of any all-natural moisturizer (or even a vitamin rich facial cleanser) before your shaving gel. It will soften and lift your facial hair while also protecting your skin from the razor.
#4: After shaving, always finish with a cold water rinse to reduce inflammation, redness, and itching. The cold water will also ensure that your skin pores tighten up, which will help lock in essential moisture.
Here’s what you SHOULDN’T do.
#5: Avoid harsh shaving creams. A natural cream will feel better at the time. Plus, it will moisturize your skin and help compensate for shaving’s drying effect. Look for a product that contains at least a few of the following: wheat germ, yeast extract, vitamin E, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, evening primrose oil, green tea, chamomile, aloe vera, and comfrey.
#6: Never use a razor blade more than 7 times. Residual water on the blade breeds irritating rust and bacteria, so change blades often. This habit alone will contribute to major natural razor burn relief.
#7: Don’t use multiple-blade razors. It’s true that they give you a closer shave, but they also increase razor burn in men with sensitive skin.
#8: Never shave against the grain. If you run the blade against the direction that your facial grows, it will definitely cause irritation. And although shaving with the grain won’t give you as close a shave, it’s won’t leave you with as much unsightly red rash, either. If your beard is very heavy or coarse, you can consider shaving against the grain, but only after first shaving with the grain. And after the first pass, be sure to re-apply all necessary shaving creams and gels.
Natural Treatments for Razor Burn
If despite your best efforts, you sometimes experience itchy or painful after-shave irritation, try these natural razor burn relief remedies:
Aloe Vera is a centuries-old remedy for burns, including razor burn. If you can, use the actual plant. Snap off a leaf, squeeze out some clear gel, spread it over the affected areas, and let it soak in. You can even leave it on overnight for soothing relief and overall hydration.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It will soothe redness and itching. Using cotton balls, apply it directly onto irritated areas. (If you especially sensitive skin, mix equal amounts of water and vinegar before applying.)
Black Tea Bags contain tannic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties. Soak the bags in hot water, squeeze them out, and refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Then apply them directly onto your inflamed skin for 10-15 minutes. The cooling effect will additionally reduce redness and itching.
Coconut Oil will both soothe your razor burn and hydrate your razor-related dry skin. Melt the oil if it’s solid and let it cool completely. Then apply a thin layer onto the affected skin. You can rinse after 20 minutes or, even better, use as an overnight moisturizing mask.
La Vie en C Facial Cleanser and Serum contain relatively high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants. That means the products will soothe your razor burn, help heal your skin, and offer deep hydration (leaving you more protected from future irritation). These chemical-free blends never burn or irritate sensitive skin.