Razor burn is an all-too-common condition experienced when shaving. It lives up to its namesake by mimicking the visual symptoms of a burn, including skin redness, irritation and in some cases bleeding. While it typically doesn’t pose a risk of infection, it’s still an unsightly condition that most women want to avoid. So, what steps can you take to prevent razor burn when shaving?
To protect against razor burn, you must first understand what causes this condition. Basically, razor burn occurs when hair follicles are cut too short, causing them to grow sideways underneath the skin instead of outward. The follicles then become red and irritated, resulting in the condition most commonly known as razor burn. The key to preventing razor burn is to encourage your hair follicles to grow normally instead of sideways.
Shave During or After You Bathe
You can reduce your risk of razor burn by shaving either during or after you bathe. Some women prefer shaving before they bathe. While this may seem harmless enough, it increases the risk of razor burn by preventing their pores from opening it. If you shave either during or after you bathe, the warm water will encourage your pores to open while also allowing the hair follicles to grow normally.
Use Shaving Gel
Should you use shaving cream, gel or lotion? While all three products are viable solution for shaving, gel is typically the most effective at preventing razor burn. Shaving gel moisturizes the skin, allowing your razor to glide over it more easily and without causing irritation. You can also apply more shaving gel as needed. If your skin feels dry or otherwise susceptible to razor burn, add more shaving gel to smooth your skin.
Go with the Grain
When shaving, shave in the direction of the grain instead of against it. Shaving against the grain is a serious mistake that increases the risk of razor burn. This is because shaving against the grain cuts the hair follicles closer to the base, which in turn causes it to grow sideways. Shaving with the grain prevents this from happening while promoting healthier skin in the process.
Finally, try to get into the habit of moisturizing your skin with an after-shave lotion. After-shave lotion, as the name suggests, is designed to relieve skin irritation and redness causes by shaving. As a result, it’s also effective for protecting against razor burn.