A clean shave looks neat and fresh, and lots of guys love the stubble-free smoothness. But when razor bumps (some call it razor burn) make a mess of it all, that 5 o’clock shadow suddenly seems a lot sexier.
Guys with beards may be onto something, since they don’t have to deal with the pimple-like protrusions that turn a perfectly fine face into Freddy Krueger’s. And when the issue creeps down the neck, wearing a scarf in summer is not a practical solution. Waxing or laser hair removal isn’t your jam, so stick to shaving, but be smarter.
What to do? You want to shave but fear the flare-up. You’ve tried every razor brand out there and even resorted to home remedies. Still, you look just as bad as those celebs who do Proactiv ads, and your problem isn’t even acne. At least with zits, there’s a Bieber-approved cure.
WHY DO PEOPLE GET RAZOR BUMPS ANYWAY?
Healthline attributes the problem to ingrown hairs: “Razor bumps are most likely caused by friction from the razor and ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are caused when hair grows into your skin instead of out.” Simple enough, but how can you shave without causing friction? And it’s not like you can convince a hair follicle to be more extroverted.
Some people see the bumps near-instantly post-shaving, while others start to notice the telltale signs as the stubble starts to work its way out. Most dudes shave regularly, and at some point, the process led to less-than red carpet-ready results. Since most men don’t have personal groomers to make sure people never see anything but perfection, everyone else is left to shave solo. Armed with only their old man’s tips on how to shave, it’s no surprise that so many guys get razor bumps.
AVOIDING THE AGONY
The best way to deal with razor bumps is to never get them in the first place. You don’t want to go into the next big meeting or date with skin that looks like it belongs on one of those viral pimple-popping YouTube videos.
Healthline has some simple tips to consider:
- Shave slower, it isn’t a race
- Shave less frequently, if possible
- Making sure the skin is moist before shaving (use warm water)
- Avoid using old razors
- Go with the grain of your stubble.
- Use products (like shaving cream and aftershave) that don’t irritate or aggravate your skin
- Keep your face clean before, during, and after shaving.
If you can, visit the barber shop for an old-fashioned shave when you have the time. They always get it right and you’ll be beaming after.
TOO LATE, YOU'VE ALREADY GOT 'EM
Razor bumps or burns aren’t a life sentence. But it takes some TLC to tend to the affected area, and it may take time.
Basically, you need to get those ingrown hairs to emerge, so they no longer clog things up to cause swelling, redness, and skin irritation.
Medical News Today has some smart skin-savers that actually work:
- Using a warm washcloth will soften up your facial hair and let the hair ease its way out.
- Use tweezers to remove those that spring up.
- Try steaming too, as that humidity helps.
- You can also try brushing the dead skin with a special brush made for your skin. This helps unclog pores that may be filled with dry skin and other gunk. Do not use a hair brush or toothbrush. Not only is that gross, but it probably won’t work as well.
- Skin scrubs work in the same fashion, and they’ll leave your skin baby soft as an added bonus.
- Go gentle if you have sensitive skin.
- If your case is out of control, a dermatologist may advise you to go for something like a salicylic or glycolic acid lotion, which helps with exfoliating.
THE NEW YOU
You can be the razor bump-free fella you always knew you could be—it just means giving your mug a little more attention.
Celebs aren’t the only ones who can get a close shave without the worry. With a few skin care changes you can be bump free without any expensive gadgets or skin care products. Instead of looking for ways to cover up those bumps, you’ll be looking for ways to show off that mug.