How to Prevent Razor Burn? (Cause, Treatment, and Prevention)

Last Updated: 2021-06-19

by Jeel Patel

Is razor burn one of the reasons you don’t prefer a clean shave?

If so, you are not alone, most of the men are facing the same problem and are looking for a solution. But before finding one, you must know what triggers razor burn? (Hint- It can be a result of an incorrect way of using a razor) So that the next time you can avoid it from happening.

Since, we’re getting a number of requests from the men who’re seeking a solution; we’ve decided to address causes, treatments, and preventive measures.

From this blog, you will get a natural and budget-friendly solution on how to prevent a razor burn and how to get rid of razor burn? So, let’s start with the basic understanding of razor burn and then move towards its causes. 

What is Razor Burn? How Does it Look?

razor burn

The unpleasant experience that you might encounter post-shaving or after applying post-shaving products, which cause redness, burning sensation, or itching, is known as razor burn.

The inconvenience may trouble you from minutes to hours and sometimes weeks.  So diagnosing a cause and its solution is what we recommend.

What Causes Razor Burn?

how long does razor burn last

Improper Shaving Technique

It refers to the technique of shaving against the grain; though it can achieve a close shave but can also make your skin red, inflamed, and cause pain.  The technique of shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth results in unnecessary friction, causing skin irritation, tugging, and pulling.

Solution: Try shaving with the grain, which means gently glide your razor in the direction of hair growth.

Use of Dull Razor Blade

Shaving with a dull razor blade will result in a poor-quality shave.  And some men, in order to achieve a better shave, try to pass multiple strokes on the same spot, which causes irritation, redness, and rashes.  

The excessive abrasions treat your skin roughly, causing sores on the skin.  The quality of shave that a new and sharp blade would achieve in a single stroke will require multiple strokes with a dull blade.

Solution: For safety razor users, we recommend changing blades after 5 shaves.  Cartridge and disposable razors have blades and a lubricant strip that gets dull with time, which is an indication for changing blades.  

For instance, if the lubricant strip starts peeling off or gets light in color, it’s time to replace the razor head.  Besides, if you shave approximately 11 and 6 times with a cartridge and disposable, respectively, make sure you change the blade.

Use of Dirty Razor

We shave to maintain hygiene, but what happens if you shave with an unhygienic razor? Isn’t it ironic that to maintain hygiene, you shave with a dirty razor?  

Undeniably, razor blades make many tiny cuts on the skin, which leads to less pain unless loaded with harmful bad bacterias.  Now a dirty razor will become a bridge to transmit the bad bacteria to these cuts, causing severe irritation and sometimes infection.

Solution: Try rinsing off your razor under hot water after every stroke to remove stray hairs, dead skin cells,  and shaving cream accumulated on the blade. Also, we recommend sterilizing the razor under alcohol.  Dry it overnight and then store it.

Skin Type

Skin type refers to dry and sensitive skin.  We will discuss both skin types separately.

Firstly, the dry skin that is already struggling to retain moisture level will get irritated more if shaved with a razor as it will drag away all the moisture left on the skin.  It will make the skin reddish and inflamed.  

Secondly, sensitive skin is another cause of razor burn as it may trigger itching or redness, even if there is a change in the atmosphere of shaving gently with a razor.

Solution: In both cases, you must use naturally-made moisturizers and skincare products.

Lack in Cleansing

Undoubtedly, a close shave is only achievable if you shave hair follicles close to the skin.  But dirt and oil present on the face deters the razor performance, urging you to apply pressure onto your razor.  In such scenarios, the skin may get cut, resulting in dirt and oil irritating the wounds.

Solution: We suggest washing your face with beard shampoo or wash to remove all the dirt, grime, oil, and debris from the skin.  It will also prepare your skin for shaving.

Hair Texture

Do you know coarse or curly hair is also one of the reasons causing razor burn?

It happens because the curly hairs bend back towards the skin and penetrate the skin, causing ingrown hair.  Eventually, it irritates the skin, causing rash, inflammation, and itching.

Solution: Using a Glycolic acid-containing product, remove razor bumps.  Also, you may over the counter products designed for treating razor bumps.

So these are the causes of razor burn. Let’s now discuss the razor burn symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Razor Burn?

The razor burn symptoms are as follows:

  • Burning Sensation
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Skin Rashes
  • Irritates Patches
  • Chafed Skin

If you encounter any of these symptoms, it’s time to look out for treatment options.  Below is the information or an answer to the most asked question; how to treat razor burn?

How To Treat Razor Burn? (How To Get Rid Of Razor Burn?)

cure for razor burns

Razor burn naturally resolves with time.  Since the natural remedies for razor burn are time-consuming, you must look for several external treatments to relieve razor burn symptoms.  

It includes over the counter products and home remedies, which are as follows:

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a natural ingredient known for soothing and healing razor burn.  According to the study, Aloe vera contains effective enzymes that help to reduce inflammation.  It is derived from the Aloe vera plant and is mainly found in lotions, gels, and baby products.

Application:  It is much easier to apply Aloe vera than any other natural product.  Just peel off the outer layer of the Aloe vera plant, take out the pure aloe vera gel and apply to the affected area.

  1. Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

According to the research, Oatmeal bath is another razor burn remedy since it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are proven to heal the razor burn.  A regular or colloidal oatmeal bath is suggestible for quick relief against the razor burn on the pubic or bikini area.

Application: Mix colloidal oatmeal in lukewarm water and bath to get instant relief from razor burn.  You can also use a moisturizer to calm the redness and irritation.

  1. Baking Soda

A natural salt used for baking can even treat ailments, razor burns, and razor bumps.  It delivers a cooling sensation on the affected area and reduces pain.

Application: Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of water to make a thick paste.  Apply this paste on the razor burn using a cotton pad.  Leave until it dries, and then rinse it off.

  1. Carriers & Essential Oils

In our opinion, carrier oils are the best natural oils to soothe the burning sensation, itching, inflammation, and irritation.

Here is the list of oils you can apply to the razor burn area is:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the carrier oils known for promoting hair growth.  Besides, most South Indians even use it for cooking.  Apart from this, what made coconut oil to the list is its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is safe and effective against healing razor burns.

Application: Pour 2-3 drops of coconut oil and apply to the inflamed area.

Sweet Almond Oil

Another carrier oil derived from dried almond kernels is sweet almond oil.  The ability to soften and soothe the razor burn-affected area makes it a great moisturizer.

Application: Pour 2-3 drops of almond oil on the affected area.

Olive Oil

It contains vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids essential for the skin.  Also, it helps in hydrating the skin.

Application: Apply on the razor burn area to get instant relief, but do not get tempted and overuse it.  Leave it for a minute and rinse off.  You can even apply olive oil before shaving to minimize irritation.

Avocado Oil

Avocados are best when it comes to relieving burning sensation, redness, and hydrating the skin.  The anti-inflammatory properties present in this oil will cure razor burn.

Application: Apply twice a day on the razor burn area to soothe and get relief from redness, itching, and irritation.

Next are the essential oils on the list that are better off when diluted with carrier oils.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating wounds and burns.  You need a carrier oil to dilute this essential oil and carry it to the face.  It is advisable not to apply undiluted tea tree oil.

Application: Use 1-3 drops of tea tree oil along with carrier oils.  Also, you must do a skin test as sometimes diluted versions may also cause allergies.

  1. Cold & Warm Compress

A cold compress relaxes irritated skin and works amazingly well post-shaving, while a warm compress opens up skin pores and prepares your skin and hair for shaving.  It also reduces the chances of red bumps, which result from ingrown hairs.

How to Make a Cold Compress?: Wet the washcloth with cold water, squeeze it to remove excess water, and apply it to the skin for about half an hour.

  1. Astringent Liquids

Applying astringent liquids has been proven to be natural home remedies for razor burn.  Besides, it even reduces inflammation, tenderness, and redness of razor burns and razor bumps.

Some common astringent ingredients that may help are:

  • Witch Hazel
  • Glycerin
  • Rose Water
  • Glycolic Acid

The Tannin content present in the Witch Hazel makes it natural astringent, which soothes burns, treats skin irritation, relieves you from pain and discomfort.

How to Apply?: You can directly apply or add to a cold compress.

Avoid Touching Shaven Area

Another way of treating razor burn is by leaving the skin untouched so that it can heal on itself by reducing irritation, inflammation, and itching.

  1. Antibiotics

Generally, razor burns resolve on their own, but in the rarest situation, you may notice razor bumps as well.  These razor bumps are the result of infection, pain, and discomfort.  If the problem prolongs, you need antibiotics for treatment.

  1. Natural Creams & Lotions

Lastly, you can also add creams and lotions to treat razor burns.  Aftershave lotions and baby oil are the best for soothing irritated skin.

Other products are:

Allantoin

Allantoin is a natural moisturizer cream used to treat and prevent itchy, dry, and rough skin.  The presence of emollients moisturizes the skin and decreases itching and flaking.  The reason for skin becoming dry is the lack of water on the skin barrier.  That’s where emollients make the skin oily and traps the water in the skin.

How to Apply?: Apply the moisturizer directly to the razor burn area to cure the problem.

Hydrocortisone Cream

The use of hydrocortisone cream is prescribed when you want to treat redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort.  With the application on the skin, it activates natural substances present in the skin to quickly cure redness, swelling, and itching. 

Use hydrocortisone cream as prescribed or contact your dermatologists, generally once or twice every day.  Also, look out for any allergies or side effects and discontinue the use if it gets worsened.

Calendula Cream

The cream is obtained from Calendula flowers.  The main job of this topical solution is to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, and rashes.

How to Apply?: Apply an almond-size cream on the razor burn area twice a day.

So these are razor burn cures aka, reactive measures, which you may put into action once you experience the mentioned symptoms.  Now let’s look at proactive measures to prevent razor burns.

How to Prevent Razor Burn On Face?

how to stop razor burn

This section will be helpful to the ones who are kick-starting their shaving regimen and the one who wants their next shaving to be razor-burn free.

Here, you will find some tips and tricks that you can implement before shaving to keep the razor burns at bay.

Step 1: Soften Your Facial Hair

It is important to soften your hair before shaving to make it pliable and easier to shave.  You don’t want unnecessary tugging or pulling while shaving, and it is possible only if your hair is easier to shave.

To make it possible, we suggest you shave after taking a shower with hot water.  Or you can simply apply a damp, water towel on your hairy part to make them softer.

Tip: Hot water is better than cold water when it comes to softening hair follicles.

Step 2: Coat Your Facial Hair with Shave Cream

In our opinion, you must use a slick shave cream and offer a cushion so that your razor can easily glide without having to pass it multiple times on the same spot.  The key properties will also help you to create a good lather that will coat your facial hair and prepare them for shaving.

Tip: Applying quality shaving cream can prevent dry and sensitive skin and it will make the shaving experience better and easier.

Step 3: Shave with the Grain

It is the technique or method that most guys often neglect.  The reason is not offering a close shave, so some guys get tempted to shave against the grain.  As said earlier, though that technique offers a close and desirable shave, you must always start shaving with the grain only.

For instance, if your chin beard hair grows in a downward direction, then glide the razor in a downward direction.  On the other hand, if the hair grows in the upper direction below Adam’s apple, shave in an upward direction for that particular area.

Tip: Shaving with the grain will not only save you from razor burn but also enhance your experience.

Step 4: Rinse Your Razor After Every Single Stroke

Rinsing off the razor after every stroke can lower the chances of razor burn.  It is because the blade remains free from grime and dirt, which hinders shaving, requiring you to apply pressure on the razor.

Use hot water to rinse off the clogged blades to avoid unnecessary friction while shaving.

Tip: We recommend making a single stroke to shave as multiple strokes increase blade exposure to the skin.

Step 5: Moisturize Your Skin Post-shaving

Most guys focus on adding products for the pre-shaving routine but compromise or overlook the post-shaving regimen.  That’s what gives birth to razor burn.  Applying aftershave lotion or gel containing moisturizing properties is a must to prevent razor burn and repair the skin barrier.  It will soothe not only skin irritation but also avoid razor burn.

Tip: Do not apply moisturizer of aftershave balm, lotion, or gel that contains alcohol as it can irritate the skin, causing itching and razor burn.

Now that you know what razor burn is, how to treat, and prevent them, let’s clear up the most confusing thing; razor burn and razor bump.

Difference Between Razor Burns and Razor Bumps

Having razor bumps and calling them razor burn is often seen in men and the reason being the unawareness of both complications.

It is fine until you start using the same medication for the same.  To make things clear for you, here is all about razor bumps.

Razor bumps are technically known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, are small red bumps, which result from ingrown hairs.  Most dry skin men or curly hair men suffer through razor bumps.  According to the study, African-American guys have curly hair and are prone to pseudofolliculitis barbae, razor bumps, or ingrown hairs.

It happens when the curly shaved hair grows back into the skin instead of straight out of the follicle.  These bumps are normal and often get resolved on their own unless they are filled with pus.  Another reason could be when the hair is cut too close to the skin.

In some cases, the follicles become infected, which gives birth to the condition called folliculitis.

Some common symptoms of Razor Bumps (Pseudofolliculitis Barbae) are:

  • Red acne-like bumps
  • Itching
  • Darkening the skin
  • Tenderness
  • Pustules
  • Rash
  • Irritation

Treatment for Razor Bumps (Ingrown hair):

  • Use of Glycolic Acid
  • Use of Salicylic Acid
  • Use of Scrub
  • Brush the Skin
  • Dab the Skin with Warm Washcloth

With this, we end our article.  We hope you are now prepared to deal with razor burns.  Also, you might have a few questions, so let’s answer them as well.  

FAQs:

1. How to avoid razor burn?

Avoiding razor burn is quite easy if you strictly follow the best practices given in the prevention section of this article. You will need to add a few products to your shaving routine, which will uplift your shave experiences.

2. How to shave and not get razor burn?

By regularly exfoliating your skin and using quality shaving cream for shaving are some of the ways to help prevent razor burns. Other possible things to consider are avoiding taut skin when shaving and not passing the razor multiple times. Implementing these techniques may help you keep the razor burn at bay even after shaving.

3. How to treat razor bumps? What to put on razor burn?

The treatments may vary as there are over-the-counter products and natural home remedies as well for curing razor bumps. You may go through the article to know more about them.

4. How long does razor burn last?

There is no right time for the razor burn to last. Some men suffer from the pain for a few hours, while some men experience it for several days. We can only recommend that until it completely cures, avoiding using a razor for shaving. The sharp razor blade may worsen the situation than doing good.

5. Do razor burn itches?

Itching is one of the symptoms of razor burn that you may experience after shaving. The unbearable itching may irritate your skin, urging you to scratch it.

6. What to put on a razor burn?

There are many creams, lotions, and gels to put on the razor to get relief, which includes Aloe vera, Coconut Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel, Cold Compress, Baking Soda paste.

7. What does razor burn look like?

Razor burns are a red rash that you may experience after shaving. Touching the area may irritate your skin and feel like a burning sensation. There is no fixed area for having razor burn. It can vary from underarms to bikini area and facial hair to pubic area.

Conclusion

Razor burn treats on its own if they are not severe, but when it requires treatments, you need to use things mentioned in this article.  The article also consists of things to do to prevent razor burn from happening, which will help the newbies to start their shaving journey with no pain.  Lastly, the difference between razor burn and razor bump will let you know the difference between both the complications.

We hope you now know how to prevent a razor burn.  If you have other solutions that we’ve missed mentioning in the article, do share on our email id.  Also, you can share suggestions, questions, and feedback related to the article.

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