10 Tips to Prevent Shaving Rash, Razor Burn & Skin Irritation After Shaving
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
The process of gliding a sharp blade across the skin is a delicate one. You wouldn’t be alone if you often experience razor rash, razor bumps, or ingrown hairs after shaving. Shaving rash can be quite painful, and it certainly takes away from the appeal of having smooth, hairless skin.
To help prevent that damage to your skin, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for preventing shaving rash and irritation, so that your next shave can be a smooth one.
1. Don’t Shave Irritated Skin
First thing first, if your skin is already irritated, shaving it is the worst thing you can do. Your skin is already raw, inflamed, and possibly a little bumpy. Shaving again will only make the irritation worse, so wait until your skin calms down completely before attempting it again.
2. Keep Your Skin Moisturised
Moisturising keeps your skin smooth, strong, and resistant to shaving irritation, so make it a part of your daily skincare routine. It’ll help existing inflammation calm down, and could help prevent future issues.
If you shave your face, our Man Moisturiser will protect your skin with its sensitive skin-friendly formula. For the body, our Honey Body Butter is rich and sumptuous, with a good dose of mango butter which has anti-inflammatory effects, to better protect from irritation!
For maximum hydration, try to apply your moisturisers while your skin is still damp after a shower or bath.
3. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin build-up. It helps prevent irritation from shaving by making the skin smoother, which prevents unneeded friction from your razor blade. It also helps prevent ingrown hairs and bumps by keeping your pores clear from congestion.
For best results, exfoliate at least once or twice a week with a gentle scrub like our Honey & Sugar Face Scrub. Brown sugar is a soft and gentle exfoliant, and honey will help to keep the skin hydrated.
4. Don’t Forget Shaving Cream or Soap
If your shaving routine doesn’t include some sort of slip-enhancing aid like a shaving cream or soap, it’s very important that you add one. The job of shaving cream is to soften hair and act as a cushioning layer that allows the blade to move more smoothly over the skin.
In particular, we recommend traditional, soap-based shaving aids that can be used with a shaving brush to create a fluffy lather.
5. Use a Sharp Blade
Using a dull blade is one of the most irritating things you can do to your skin. Instead of cutting the hair, a dull blade will pull on it and drag over the skin, increasing your risk of shaving rash. So always make sure to use a sharp razor! If you notice any dragging or resistance when you shave, it’s time to replace your razor blade.
6. Shave With the Grain
Another great way to prevent shaving rash is by shaving with the direction of hair growth rather than against it. When you shave against the direction of hair growth, the hair gets lifted upwards in a way that pulls on the hair follicle. It tends to be especially irritating if you’re shaving longer growth.
On the other hand, when you shave with the direction of hair growth, the hair gets cut with minimal pulling on the follicle, which is much kinder to the skin. Unfortunately, it also results in a shave that’s not as close.
If you absolutely cannot compromise on the closeness of your shave, you can make multiple passes. Shave with the grain first, and follow it up with a shave against the grain.
7. Use an Aftershave Balm
Once you’ve finished shaving and rinsed away the shaving cream, apply a soothing, moisturising post-shave product like our Beeswax Aftershave Balm. An aftershave balm will soothe the skin and create a protective layer to prevent moisture loss. If you’re sensitive to scented products, you can try our Fragrance-Free Beeswax Balm instead.
If you’re a fan of liquid aftershaves that smell great, they’re not totally off-limits. Don’t splash them on without applying a healthy layer of balm first, though, and even consider using them like a cologne.
8. Try a Pre-Shave Oil
Sometimes, a layer of lathered-up shaving cream doesn't provide enough cushioning on its own. If you feel like you need extra lubrication, try applying a thin layer of oil to your skin before adding your shaving soap.
Any kind of oil can work as a decent pre-shave, including our Organic Jojoba Cleansing Oil. Made with organic jojoba and castor oils, it can act as a secondary cushion to make sure that your razor can glide with less friction.
9. Shave With Cool Water
While a bit of hot water will help to soften your facial hair, it’ll also increase your chances of shaving rash. Hot water can be very damaging to the skin barrier and may increase your skin’s inflammatory response.
Cold water shaving, on the other hand, may actually help constrict the blood vessels, which temporarily tightens the skin and contributes to a smoother, more gentle shave.
This method doesn’t work for everyone, so we recommend experimenting to find the water temperature that works best for you. For example, you can pre-soften your hair with a warm shower and then follow it up with a cold water shave, or you can shave with warm water and then finish things off with a refreshing cold splash before applying your aftershave balm.
10. Consider a Different Razor
The type of razor you use can have a huge impact on your shaving experience. A poorly made disposable razor without a moisturising strip is the worst of the bunch, but even cartridge razors can be quite harsh because of their multiple blades.
If you prefer using a regular manual razor, consider making the switch to a safety razor. This type of traditional razor is more gentle on the skin.
When you shave, only one side of the blade comes in contact with the skin, so there’s less drag and friction that can lead to irritation. Safety razor blades are also much more affordable, so you won’t be tempted to keep shaving with a dull blade.
Another option is to make the switch to an electric shaver. Electric shavers don’t shave as closely as manual ones, but that’s why they’re a more gentle option. If you don’t mind a bit of a 5 o’clock shadow, it can be a very easy way of protecting the skin. For the best results, we recommend looking for a waterproof model designed to work with shaving cream.
We hope there’s something here that helped you—thank you for visiting!
This blog was written by guest author Matthew Burke, from Rough and Tumble Gentleman. For more great content on shaving, beard maintenance, or general grooming please visit: roughandtumblegentleman.com