As young men and women learn how to shave, legs or face, they soon discover that to avoid razor burn is a laudable goal. A little practice can help get you accustomed to the right pressure needed so you aren’t cutting yourself and causing more razor burn. Yet there are additional steps to avoid razor burn that will still help you get a close, clean shave, without itch or irritation.
Choice of razor is important. Most self-styled “experts” on this subject suggest a sharp single blade. Essentially, the greater number of blades, the more likely you are to get razor burn. Disposable razors with a single edge are probably best. Each time you use the razor it becomes less sharp, and is more likely to cause both cuts and razor burn. Women can probably get two to three uses out of a disposable razor and men may get four to five uses.
Many people shave in the shower, which is a great choice. Wait for a few minutes in the shower before you start shaving. If you don’t use the shower for shaving, using hot, wet washcloths on the area for about 30 seconds. This softens the hair, meaning it will be easier to cut, and will help you avoid razor burn. For ladies who don’t like to shave in the shower, shaving while bathing is a terrific choice. Allowing the legs to soak for a few minutes prior to shaving can really help minimize skin irritation.
Use some type of soap, gel or shaving cream to avoid razor burn. This can really help since the razor more easily glides across the face or legs. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid most gels and creams, and no one should use deodorant soap since it can naturally irritate freshly exfoliated skin. Any lubrication of the skin is going to help avoid razor burn, but many suggest that shaving gels tend to be most effective. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
Go over the skin once with the razor, with minimal pressure. Sometimes you may need to touch up just a bit in an area or two, but try for one pass only, since more shaving of an area means more skin irritation. Avoid areas of the skin that are cut, have a rash, or have a pimple, as these will only get more irritated if you shave them.
Use a cold water rinse after shaving to help close the pores, and apply simple moisturizer. If you want to use an astringent, pure witch hazel tends to be the best choice. Don’t use products containing alcohol since these can dry the skin and make it difficult to avoid razor burn. The best choice to avoid razor burn is aloe vera gel, applied about 15-30 minutes after shaving.
Men may want to use an electric razor, which tends to minimize razor burn, though the shave is not so close. Women can use waxing, or laser hair removal to reduce the number of times they need to shave. Further, in many countries, women do not shave their legs, and in the US, there are a few women who also make this choice. This is an entirely optional choice, but it is true that folks may think you a little odd if you don’t shave regularly, at least in the US.