Shaving! It is the one thing men do on a daily basis with their daily grooming routine, and yes, shaving can also cause breakouts, ingrown hairs, razor bumps also known as folliculitis, and the worst is, shaving can also spread bacterial infection from existing acne, thus creating more of a problem when trying to achieve clear skin.
When shaving your face you can cut into a pimple, which forces white blood cells to come to the rescue increasing the inflammatory response in the skin, and a tiny little nick in a pimple can spread bacteria throughout your face, causing the breakout to spread further, thus creating more headache in order to get clear and stay clear.
A closer shave is better right? No, it turns out a close shave–especially when using a razor with multiple blades–will pull the hair up before cutting it and when that hair is released, it springs back underneath the surface, and while that equals a very close shave it actually causes ingrown hairs.
So close shave razors create potential for folliculitis, ingrown hairs or razor bumps post shave, which means that your close shave has consequences.
Let’s look at other options, here are the do's and don'ts so you know exactly how to handle this issue moving forward…
- Always soften whiskers pre-shave with lukewarm water of course, then, use a good foaming cleanserwithout any skin irritants I recommend Daily Hydrating Cleanser or Ultra Gentle Cleanser neither have any skin irritants, are gentle, and have foaming action to create a cushion and prevent the spread of bacteria, and will work just as well as shaving cream. Yay!
- Always shave the stubble s-l-o-w-l-y! Using short strokes and never overlapping (not going over the same area multiple times)!
- Always let the razor do the work! That’s right, no heavy handedness and pressing down on the razor, or scraping the skin, just let it do the job for you!
- Always use a single blade razorrather than amulti-blade razor.Examples are Bic Sensitive Skin Razor or Merkur Single Blade Razor or you can do your own research, but make sure your keywords contain words like single blade and safety in your search!
- Are You Electric? ALWAYSuse a sanitized non-rotary electric shaver, T-edger or clippers.
- Always use a post-shave moisturizer without pore clogging ingredients! This will create hydration and reduce irritation. Good examples would be:Oil-Free Moisture Balance,Hydra Balance Oil-Free Gel, or Clearderma all free of pore clogging agents! Excellent for post-shave!
- Always keep your blades sharp!But you already knew this right? Dull blades will irritate and cause nicks in your skin! O-u-c-h!
- Always change your blades out regularly to avoid bacteria and infection.Are you electric? Then replace your clipper or T-edger blades every 3-4 months.
Never do the following in order to avoid breakouts, folliculitis, inflammation, spreading bacteria or causing infection and scarring your skin!
- Never shave up or against the grain of the skin and NEVER shave over an area multiple times. Move the blade in a downward motion.
- Never use multiple blade razors as this is considered aclose shave razor and will cause ingrown hairs or folliculitis.
- Are you electric? Then NEVER use a rotary shaver this will cut hairs in all directions and will most definitely cause ingrowns!
- NEVER reuse disposable blades more than 2x’s!
- NEVER skip disinfecting your blades either! Soak your blades BEFORE shaving 2-3 minutes to ensure they are free from bacteria.
- NEVER forget to clean your razors, clippers, and/or T-edger blades!! Plus your accessories, too, before and after shaving! Sanitizing cleaners are available at all beauty supply stores. Going to a barber shop? Make sure they are cleaning and sanitizing as well!
- NEVER share your shaving implements with anyone!! As you know this is an invitation to spread all kinds of infectious bacteria–fungus, warts, staph–just to name a few!
- NEVER tweeze your ingrown hairs! Not only will they come back with a vengeance, but they get trapped under the skin, and will become ingrown again and again. Not worth it!
If you are not practicing these steps when shaving or do not have the right tools, then, start now and you will see an improvement in your skin immediately! As always, please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.
Wendy Malla, LE | Absolute Esthetics