Having a good, clean shave enhances your appearance, but using dull blades results in itchy and terrible rashes called Pseudofolliculitis barbae, or razor burn. Most men have had their share of struggles with this condition, but there are ways to avoid it.
Studies proved that razor burn affects more than 60 percent of African-American men. A razor burn is a consequence of shaving with a dull razor that leaves an itchy and uncomfortable rash on the neck and face that can last for days at an end.
Tired of having to wrestle with razor burns? Then check out these time-honored and clinically-proven tips.
Following the right procedure when shaving is crucial. The first step is to wash your face with hot water and soap thoroughly. The soap helps remove excess oil and dead cells that could clog the blade.
Choose the right soap that has the right PH so that your face does not dry up after washing. A hot shower is preferable, since the steam hydrates and softens hair follicles, which simplifies the whole process. Specialists recommend applying hair conditioner to the beard to soften it.
A good shaving cream protects your skin from direct contact with the razor by providing enough moisture and lubrication. It helps the blade slide over the skin and prevents irritation caused by direct contact of the blade with your skin.
Glycerin creams are the best shaving choice since they provide enough moisture and lubrication, apart from preventing your skin to go dry during shaving. Celebrities including Nick Cannon and Channing Tatum have followed this advice, and the results speak out for themselves.
Using blunt blades causes skin irritation. So always change your blades when you experience tugging or discomfort. Try a razor that has an indicator strip which will fade color when the blade can no longer provide an optimal shave. Always remember to have enough blades.
Finding the best electric shaver for soft hair is not expensive but is crucial to preventing razor burns. Changing your blades after every three to five shaves prevents skin irritation. Regular rinsing of the blade throughout the shaving process prevents a buildup on the cartridge and edge of the blade, resulting in a better glide and increased comfort.
You should dry the blades using a dry towel because this ensures they remain sharp and long-lasting. To disinfect the blades and prevent a build-up of bacteria, apply alcohol. To remove skin gunk and excess shaving cream, rinse the brush well then hang it on a holder to dry.
Cartridge razors are fixed and cannot be adjusted, and the angle of the blade in a cartridge razor may not meet everybody’s needs.
The design of multi-bladed razors can cause ingrown hair, and to avoid this it is advisable to use safety razors because their method of cutting hair in phases eliminates the chances of irritation since your skin does not get into contact with several blades simultaneously.
Shave with light and gentle strokes. Begin cutting in the direction of the hair growth then towards the opposite direction for an even closer shave.
Shaving leaves your skin exposed to bacteria, so you need a layer of protection from infection and irritation. For this to work well, you need an aftershave balm or moisturizer which will replenish the lost moisture and soothe the skin for some relief.
You should at all costs avoid alcohol-based aftershaves since they dry the skin instead of moisturizing it. A good shaving soap offers adequate post-shave protection even without an aftershave.
It works like a shaving cream by moisturizing and lubricating the skin, and this protects the skin even from the sharpest blades. You should clean, hydrate, shave and maintain your beards to avoid razor bumps.
In case you are affected by razor burn or bumps, use a cold dressing – soak a towel in a bowl full of water and ice and wrap it around the affected area for a few minutes. This soothes the burning feeling and reduces inflammation.
You can also apply some antiseptic on the affected area to reduce the swelling and redness caused by razor bumps. For this case, you can use witch hazel. However, you should avoid using alcohol-based witch hazel containing because it will dry your skin.
Doctors recommend using hydrocortisone solutions for treating severe Pseudofolliculitis barbae. Aloe Vera is also a good option for treating skin irritations, and in situations where you don’t have the actual plant, buy a bottle of Aloe Vera gel.
Another option is to apply an aftershave on the burns to sooth the itchy feeling. In this case, avoid shaving for a few days to allow the skin to heal because shaving, while your skin is still sore, can worsen the razor burns, so give your skin time to heal.
Razor burns can cause you a lot of discomfort. So, in order to prevent them, prepare well for the shave by washing with hot water and mild soap, then use the right shaving cream. Also, ensure you use sharp blades, and after shaving, apply an aftershave.
This post is a guest post by Alex Moore. Alex Moore is a blogger and men’s grooming columnist. With a writing career that spans over five years, Alex has had the privilege of collaborating with various online publications on topics such as lifestyle and personal development. More than often, Alex describes himself as being a patient father and a cat lover.