Shaving is rough on your skin. Think about it — you’re literally scraping a blade over sensitive skin. To make matters worse, many of us are scraping this blade when we’re still half asleep or in a hurry to get out the door.
But shaving doesn’t have to wreck your skin. With these shaving tips for men, you can make razor burn disappear and walk out the door with a smooth, clean, shaven face (without even adding time to your morning routine).
Shaving 101: Start With the Right Tools
1. Shave Cream
Prep your face with a shave cream that has good lubrication. This helps your razor glide smoothly across your skin.
2. Sharp Razor
Use a sharp razor to cut the hair cleanly. If you use a blade over and over again, it gets dull. And dull blades hurt your skin. If shaving becomes uncomfortable, it’s time to switch to a new, sharp blade.
3. Clean Razor
A dirty razor opens your skin to infection. Plus, dirt can make the razor seem duller than it is. So clean your razor regularly and replace it when necessary.
How to Prevent Razor Bumps
If you have the right tools but still see those unsightly red bumps after shaving, there’s an easy fix. Those bumps are just infected hair follicles. They’re hard to treat but easy to prevent with Benzoyl Peroxide.
We recommend using a Benzoyl Peroxide wash as you shave. The wash kills the bacteria on the skin, and the pores stay clean.
How to Get the Closest Shave
To get the closest shave, shave against the grain of hair growth.
This can be difficult to master, and not everyone’s skin cooperates. For some, it opens their pores, making them more susceptible to razor bumps.
But, if your skin allows, use a good lubricating shave cream and shave in the opposite direction of hair growth to get that ultra close shave.
Apply a cream after you shave, not a traditional alcohol-based product. Alcohol dries out the skin. Plus, the fragrances these products contain irritate the skin.
Instead, use a product like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream that’s formulated specifically for dry skin. It seals the skin and protects it throughout the day, whereas a traditional aftershave just strips your skin of any moisture it has left.
How to Shave Without Razor Burn
Using a cream after a shave also prevents razor burn. As you shave, you take off the top layer of skin. That thin layer of dead skin cells (called the stratum corneum) acts like a barrier that prevents your skin from losing too much moisture. When you remove that, you can end up with irritated, red skin.
Creams add back the moisture you just stripped. You didn’t mean to remove the barrier your skin formed to protect itself, but you need to replace it so the skin can heal. And as an added perk, you avoid razor burn.
Wet Vs. Dry Shaving
Wet shaving may take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it. Wetting the skin creates a lubricated environment that’s more comfortable for you and much better for your skin.
When you shave without those lubricants, you remove more of the top layer of skin and create further irritation. So use water and lubricants to help your razor glide smoother and your skin look healthier throughout the day.
Shaving doesn’t have to leave your skin red and irritated. With the right tools and some purposeful products, you can start each day with a close shave without ever seeing bumps or a burn.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.