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How to Prevent Razor Burn

Taking the Sting Out of Shaving

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How to Prevent Razor Burn
Abel Mitja Varela/E+/Getty Images

Ouch. We've all had to suffer with razor burn at one time or another. Razor burn is a fairly common skin condition that occurs after shaving when the skin becomes inflamed, red, and irritated. It can be painful, unsightly, and especially bothersome for those with sensitive skin. With the right precautions, however, it can be avoided. Here's how to prevent razor burn.

First, it is important to use the proper shaving technique. For additional protection, follow my five tips for preventing razor burn.

  1. Exfoliate. Before shaving (after a shower, of course), scrub your face with a facial scrub or loofa to remove dead skin and bring out ingrown hairs.

  2. Lubricate. Use a good shaving cream instead of a soap or foam. Look for a cream rich in glycerin and coconut oil and free of alcohol. Avoid products with menthol, which can numb the skin and make it hard to determine if you're experiencing razor drag. For those with especially sensitive skin, a pre-shave oil can work to further reduce razor drag.

  3. Stay Sharp. Always use sharp blades. A dull blade is one of the leading causes of razor burn. To make sure you've always got the sharpest blades possible, replace the cartridge every five to seven days. To preserve the blade, dip your razor in alcohol after the final rinse. Rinse your blade often using cool water to remove shaving cream, oils, and whiskers.

  4. Go Lightly. Shave with the grain to decrease the odds of irritation and inflamed skin. When shaving, avoid pressing down too hard on the blade and shave using short strokes. Avoid passing the blade over the same area more than once as each pass shaves off a small layer of skin.

  5. Soften Up. Moisturize using a good aftershave balm or lotion to keep the skin soft. Look for a balm that contains aloe, shea butter, and glycerin. I also enjoy products that contain lavender oil as this essential oil has a great fragrance and properties that promote healing of the skin.

Follow the tips above, as well as my shaving advice and you'll be burn free in no time.

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