Shaving is an essential part of every man’s grooming routine. While shaving can make any man look and feel fresh, shaving incorrectly can result in razor bumps, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae.
Razor bumps are small, irritated, red bumps that develop on the skin after a shave. Also referred to as ingrown hairs, these bumps very closely resemble acne.
The production of razor bumps starts with hair growth. Hair grows through our hair follicles, which are tunnel-shaped structures located on the outer layer of the skin. Once the hair reaches the epidermis, you have the option to keep it or remove it.
The only way to remove hair and ensure that it does not grow back is to damage the follicles. If you choose to shave the hair, it will eventually grow back. When it regrows, there is a possibility that rather than growing out of the follicle, it will grow back into the skin, thus the name ingrown hairs.
Today, we will be discussing how to prevent and get rid of razor bumps.
Preventing Razor Bumps
Making a few adjustments to your shaving routine can help you to avoid razor bumps entirely, or reduce your chance of razor bumps.
The first step that you can take is to gently exfoliate the area that you intend to shave. Before applying your razor to your skin, we recommend chemically exfoliating. Chemical exfoliants are acids that react with the skin to break down and remove the build-up of dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt from pores, revealing regenerated skin.
It is sometimes recommended that you try exfoliating to treat a cluster of razor bumps. Using chemical exfoliation or mechanical exfoliation, which is when you manually exfoliate your skin with a tool like a brush, sponge, or glove, can help to free the trapped ingrown hairs.
Tea tree oil or salicylic and glycolic acid can be particularly useful for removing the layer that covers the ingrown hairs. These acids are also known to quicken cell turnover by increasing the rate at which you shed dead skin cells. This can be useful for not only reducing the appearance of razor bumps, but also with healing once they are gone.
Washing the area that you intend to shave with a wet washcloth and a chemical exfoliant that contains a prescription retinol or glycolic or salicylic acid will prevent build-up from clogging the hair follicles, trapping in the hair, and causing it to reenter the skin.
Choose Tools Wisely
The next step is to consider the tool that you are using. The most important thing is that the razor you are using is not dull..
Dull razors will typically require you to shave over a single area more than once, putting you at risk of cuts, irritation, infection, and, of course, razor burn.
In addition to making sure that your razor is sharp, it is also recommended that you use a razor with no more than two blades with one blade acting as a blunt. Remember to replace your razor blade after every five to seven uses.
Rinse With Warm Water
Now that we have chosen the best razor for our skin, the next step is to wet the area that you are about to shave with warm water. Soaking the hair will minimize the chances of the shaved hair having sharp edges and growing back into the skin instead of out of it. For this reason we recommend taking great precautions if you choose to shave dry hair.
Apply Shaving Cream
Next we can apply our shaving cream. The better the quality of the product, the better the results that you are likely to get. For your convenience, we recommend The Resetter. This water-based product doubles as a facial cleanser and shaving gel.
The Resetter also uses all-natural ingredients like coconut oil and rosehip oil to provide you with a safe, refreshing cleanse and shave that leaves you feeling smooth and hydrated.
Let the shaving gel soak for a few minutes and then begin to shave. As you apply your razor, allow your skin to sit naturally to prevent the tips of the remaining hair from shrinking into your skin.
It is safest to shave in the natural direction of hair growth but you can increase the safety of shaving in both directions by shaving with the grain, giving the area a moment to soften up and hydrate, and then shaving in the opposite direction to prevent further irritation.
Also be sure to rinse your razor between every stroke of your blade. A razor clogged with hairs will make the blade less efficient and more likely to cause razor bumps, especially if you have sensitive skin.
After finishing your shave, the next step is to moisturize your skin. It is important to apply moisturizer to reinforce the skin’s protective barrier and avoid irritation. We recommend treating your freshly shaven skin with MadeMan’s The Refresher.
The Refresher is a water-based moisturizer that uses all-natural ingredients like castor oil and eucalyptus oil to fast-track long-term skin enhancement. The product is made to rejuvenate and restore the skin’s natural balance so that it is softer and smoother.
After applying your moisturizer, your skin should be all set until the next time you shave.
Treating Razor Bumps
When it comes to treating razor bumps, one of the most important steps is to keep your skin clean. Cleanse any areas afflicted with razor bumps at least twice a day to maintain control over bacteria and to keep the epidermis clear and fresh.
You can also apply anti-razor bump cream to help with healing and to prevent any further growth. There are several over-the-counter products made specifically for treating razor burns and bumps but antibacterial creams like over the counter hydrocortisone cream have proven to be just as effective.
As your skin heals, it is necessary to give it room to breathe. If your razor bumps have developed anywhere on your body, wear looser clothing if possible. It is best to avoid tight clothing that will trap in bacteria gathered throughout the day and further clog your irritated skin.
Visit Your Dermatologist
If you would like to avoid the chances of the hair regrowing into your skin or accidentally giving yourself a scar, you can leave the removal process to the professionals. A dermatologist may be able to treat the razor bump for you or give you professional advice on how to treat it yourself.
For more permanent results, you can inquire about laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is a treatment performed with the intent of permanently removing hair from your body.
Prior to receiving the treatment, the targeted area will be cleansed and, in certain instances, a numbing gel will be applied. You and the physician will wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes as you undergo the procedure. Your skin will be held taut as it is treated with the laser.
The treatment works in two ways. First, the laser removes the existing hair by vaporizing it. Secondly, the laser prevents the hair from growing back in the future by damaging the hair follicle.
Treatment results will vary from person to person but permanently removing hair can take on average anywhere from two to six sessions. If the hair regrows, it is typically less, thinner, and lighter.
Let It Heal With Time
All in all, the best medicine for razor bumps is time. We strongly encourage you not to shave over irritated areas of skin. However if you do decide to shave, use warm water to soften the hair and loosen the hair follicles and be sure to shave in the direction that your hair is growing.
MadeMan is always encouraging men to integrate effective but simple skin care tips into their daily lives. Preventing and treating razor bumps is a great example of how effective leading this sort of lifestyle can be.
With just a little self-discipline and the application of good shaving habits, you can completely reinvent how you feel about removing your hair.
Skin is sensitive and irritation can not be avoided 100% of the time. Still, making responsible decisions to prevent these irritations from being self-inflicted is 100% possible.
Razor bumps are annoying and unattractive and often feel unavoidable. The reality is that we are often the culprit behind these pesky spots. We recommend applying our shaving tips to see how it improves your results.
If you do develop razor bumps, you have several options for treating them. Whether you decide to use antibacterial cream, visit with a professional, or just give your bumps the time and space they need to heal, the important thing is that you are being proactive about the situation.
Not everyone can be a Made Man, only those that are up for the challenge.