With spring fast approaching and beach days on the brain, your legs are about to make more frequent appearances. And with them come razors to help prep those gorgeous gams for shorter hemlines. Unfortunately, razors aren’t always kind on your legs. They can bring along that old and familiar foe: razor burn.
If you're struggling with the redness, bumps, and irritation of razor burn, you're not alone. For a more comfortable post-shave experience this year, check out these key causes of razor burn, and top tips to help you avoid it.
Do you like to use a particular razor or razor blade? Pick up a few of them! Make sure there’s always a fresh razor on hand rather than hanging onto just one beloved razor. One of the main causes of razor burn happens to be a dull razor, particularly if there’s soap residue built up between the blades. While there’s no standard rule of thumb for when to replace an old razor, consider 10 shaves the absolute maximum and replace it earlier if any signs of irritation occur. To prevent soap build-up, rinse the razor blade well with hot water after every shave.
How the area is cared for before shaving can make the difference between razor burn and the perfect shave. A necessary step for glowing skin, exfoliation should also be a regular part of any shaving routine. Exfoliating will get rid of any dirt, oil, and dead skin cells for a clean, smooth surface for shaving. Opt for an exfoliating body scrub that contains cocoa butter or a moisturizing oil to prevent irritation.
Shaving with plain old bar soap or water alone may save some cents, but it won’t save your skin. Friction between the razor and skin can cause irritation, leading to razor burn post-shower. Shaving cream helps to soften hair while moisturizing skin for less friction, a cleaner shave, and no irritation. For those more susceptible to razor burn, opt for added protection with a men’s shaving cream for sensitive skin. For an all-natural, skin-slickening shaving oil, try a DIY coconut oil shaving cream with peppermint essential oil for a calming, cooling sensation post-shave.
It might seem logical to go against the direction of hair growth to get a closer shave. While it may be true, this technique causes increased irritation to the skin, leading to razor burn. As well, it can also bring about hair growth changes, increasing the risk of ingrown hairs. Don’t take the chance for just a slightly smoother shave. Instead, shave all areas just once in the direction of hair growth for smooth skin, without the grief of redness and irritation.
Stop shaving during your morning shower or after soaking in the tub! Ten minutes of soaking in hot water might help you melt the stress away, but it will also cause your legs to swell — making it more difficult to achieve a comfortable close shave, and more likely to end up with razor burn. Similarly, legs tend to swell overnight; while it might seem more efficient to shave during a morning shower, it’s more likely to lead to more frequent shaving sessions than a close and comfortable shave. For best results without risking razor burn, try shaving only during showers, preferably in the evenings, and at the beginning of the shower. To minimize irritation, don’t linger in the shower too long after shaving, and rinse the area with cold water if possible.
Even if you’ve followed all of these tricks, your efforts can always be foiled by a lack of aftercare. Avoid tight-fitting, restrictive clothing post-shave; jeans or tights with skin-tight fit can cause major irritation. Instead, opt for looser-fitting clothing and soft, natural fabrics like silk or cotton for at least a couple hours after using the razor. As well, exfoliate and moisturize regularly between shaves for smoother skin and to prevent ingrown hairs. If razor burn persists, calm skin with aloe vera or coconut oil, and avoid shaving until the irritation subsides. Proper care of skin post-shave will ensure better results with each new shave.
For those who might agree this is all good advice but simply can’t be bothered with adding even more steps to an already exhausting routine, why not stop shaving altogether? While shaving may be one of the cheapest hair removal solutions per removal session, intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser hair removal can actually be a more affordable option over time due its permanent reduction of hair growth. That means the razor, daily shaving sessions, and even that old foe razor burn become things of the past!
To learn more about the benefits of IPL hair removal, or to discover whether laser hair removal treatments are right for you, contact a certified treatment provider today.