Being cooped up at home during quarantine for the past year has forced many of us to ditch our typical beauty routines and embrace our natural beauty instead. But as the vaccines roll out and the summertime approaches, many of us are ready to get back at it. If you’ve got beach days on your mind and are worried about those dreaded bumps that get left behind after shaving, here’s how to avoid razor bumps this summer and keep your skin looking flawless.
What Causes Razor Bumps?
When you shave often, the hair develops a stronger, thicker and sharper edge. This can force the hair to grow back beneath the skin, leading to ingrown hairs. Red and itchy razor bumps can develop as a result of these pesky ingrowns, causing inflammation and irritation. In addition to razor bumps, razor burn can occur too. Though it appears similar, razor burn develops when the top layer of the skin is removed during shaving (usually from a dull blade). When this happens, bacteria can form, causing those smaller red bumps to form.
How to Avoid Razor Burn:
Allow Your Skin and Hair to Soften with Warm Water Before Shaving
Prior to shaving, let your skin and hair soak in warm water. So when you hop in the shower, leave the shaving for last so your skin has time to warm up and soften that outer layer which will reduce the appearance of razor bumps.
Exfoliate Your Skin
If you are shaving your legs and bikini line, make sure to take some time to prep your skin beforehand. Dead skin cells develop on the surface of the skin which contributes to razor bumps and razor burn. Use a wet cloth or exfoliating glove to gently remove that layer of dead skin, using a circular motion as you go. This will lift any hairs that are slightly below the skin and allow the razor to get as close of a shave as possible.
Use a Clean and Sharp Razor
To minimize irritation and bumps when shaving, always use a clean and sharp razor. If you’ve been using the same old dull razor for the past month, it will increase your chances of getting ingrown hairs and will leave your skin feeling rough. Instead, opt for a razor that has multiple blades that will give a closer cut shave while using less pressure. And the rule of thumb is to change your razor blade every five to seven shaves on average, so make sure to keep tabs on when it’s time to swap it out.
Use the Right Shaving Cream
Shaving cream might seem unnecessary, but it’s another crucial step for keeping your skin bump-free. If you’re using a bar of soap or nothing at all, this can dry out your skin and cause the razor to shred the skin. To prevent this, use an emollient or gel-based shaving cream. This will soften both the hair and skin while giving the razor enough lubrication to glide easily along the skin’s surface without shredding it. Make sure you’re applying enough for your razor to move with minimal resistance but avoid lathering on too much so you can see where you are shaving.
Pay Attention to How You Shave
If you’re prone to bumps, it’s worth paying attention to your shaving technique. If you have a tendency to shave quickly while moving the razor in multiple directions, you’re doing more harm than good. This will encourage more ingrown hairs and bumps. Instead, shave in one direction, going with the direction of hair growth. Also, if you’re using a razor head that has four or five blades, only glide your razor along the skin once or twice. Using the razor multiple times on the same spot can be too harsh on the skin, especially around those delicate regions.
Hydrate Your Skin
Hydrating your skin is essential after shaving. Always use a moisturizer that is fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and try to stick with one that has natural skin-soothing ingredients like aloe.
Want to Avoid the Hassle of Shaving and Razor Bumps Entirely?
Skip Shaving and Get Laser Hair Removal Instead
As you can see, it takes a lot to really minimize the irritation, rash and razor bumps that commonly form after shaving. If you’re tired of fighting with your skin, skip the hassle of shaving and get laser hair removal instead.
In as little as six treatments, you can rid your skin of unwanted hair. At The Ottawa Skin Clinic, we use advanced Alma Lasers which effectively and gently target the hair follicles, reducing hair growth by up to 90%. This advanced laser technology is safe to use on all skin types and is virtually painless. It can even target those stubborn and delicate areas around the bikini line.
Contact The Ottawa Skin Clinic today to book an appointment or to learn more!