Shave Smarter: 9 Tips for Reducing Burn and Irritation

Written by WD Staff, Skin Care Specialists on December 18, 2014 5 Comments

shaving tips

Many people experience issues including nicks, cuts, razor burn, and skin irritation after shaving. It is interesting that shaving is the most utilized hair removal technique in the U.S., even though it can affect the skin so negatively. Women shave their legs an average of 12 times each month; and 75% of men shave their face every day (source).

One of the main reasons people experience negative issues with shaving is because they are not shaving properly. Follow these 9 simple shaving tips to dramatically reduce nicks and irritation:

1. Start With a Good Razor

Razors (and razor blades) are not one-size-fits-all. Experiment with razors of different kinds until you find the right razor for you. Try razors with pivoting heads, lubricated strips, multiple blades, and razors that incorporate vibration.

2. Avoid Dull Razors

Dull blades lead to cuts and nicks. Change your razor (or cartridge) regularly to make sure you’re always using a sharp blade. This means you’ll be spending more on your shave, but your skin will thank you.

3. Pre-Shave Exfoliation

Exfoliating your skin before shaving will help rid the area of dead skin cells that can both prevent close shaves and clog your razor blades (leading to nicks and cuts). Before lathering up, do some basic exfoliation. This is also a great way to allow the skin time to soften before meeting the razor.

4. Break Out the Baby Oil

Decrease razor burn with this one-two punch: use baby oil on the skin before applying your shaving cream. The oil will form a protective barrier while simultaneously working to sooth the skin. And because oil and water don’t mix, baby oil will work in the shower. No baby oil? Try coconut oil or hair conditioner, both are great substitutes.

5. Always Wet Shave

Never…. NEVER… shave dry skin. Shaving the skin in a dry state clogs the razor with dead skin and other debris; leading to nicks and cuts. Always wet the skin with warm water and allow time for the skin to soften.

6. Shave Correctly

For the best shave always go against the direction that your hair grows. When shaving your legs start at the ankles and shave upward. For your underarms you’ll have to shave in all different direction as hairs grow at different angles. For men this typically means shaving the face in an upward direction.

7. Use Aftershave / Moisturizer

Applying moisturizer, oil, or aftershave post shaving can have a significant positive effect. The act of shaving (which is a natural exfoliate) tends to dry out the skin. Applying a topical post shave lotion will provide moisture back to the skin.

8. Avoid Ingrown Hairs

Nobody likes ingrown hairs! Exfoliate the area daily to avoid developing ingrown hairs. Regular use of a glycolic acid cleaner can also minimize their development.

9. Consider Laser Hair Removal

The best way to prevent nicks, cuts, irritation, and ingrown hairs from shaving is to stop shaving. Laser hair removal eliminates unwanted hair without the unwanted effects of shaving. After a series of treatments you can be hair free. Learn more about laser hair removal by reading these frequently asked questions.

WD Staff

A united group of skin care specialists from Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Austin's leader in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Articles posted under WD staff are authored through combined contributions from our entire team, including Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Aestheticians, Physician Assistants, Aesthetic Nurses, and Patient Coordinators.

5 Responses to “Shave Smarter: 9 Tips for Reducing Burn and Irritation”

  1. Avatar Angela B. says:

    I was there about a year ago for a mole check and was told I am perfect for laser hair removal I jave light skin and dark hair on my chin and upper lip due to pics. Id like pricing information if possible. Thank you 🙂

  2. Avatar Steven says:

    Very cool piece, some great tips. Thanks for sharing

  3. Avatar Melinda says:

    Great tips! I find that men’s shavers work way better than women’s – they are also much less expensive! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Avatar Lei says:

    How much is laser hair removal typically? Just looking for legs

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Lei, we have many different packages and price options. We also have a current special as well. Please contact us at 512.328.3376 for pricing!

      Thanks again for reading our blog!

      –WD Staff

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