What is a shaving rash?
A shaving rash is a skin irritation that occurs after shaving, usually appearing after a few minutes. Often called razor burn, this is not the same as razor bumps which are caused by ingrown hairs.
What causes a Shaving Rash?
There are a number of causes of shaving rash:
- Dry shaving
- Pressing too hard
- Using a dull blade
- Shaving against the direction of your hair
- Using a razor that’s clogged with hair soap or cream,
- Shaving an area too many times or too quickly
- Using shaving products that irritate your skin
How to Prevent Shaving Rash
Regularly exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells. An exfoliating cloth or mitt to scrub away the dead skin can be used. Alternatively, use a shaving brush to apply your soap or cream.
Make sure you have a sharp razor blade. A dull blade will result in more tugging and pulling.
Always use a shaving cream or soap. The lather produced helps your razor glide across your face. When the hair is hydrated it swells and softens allowing your razor to glide through the hair more easily. The result of this is less tugging and pulling of the hair and less scraping which leads to less irritation.
For more information on shaving creams check out our guide on What shaving cream should I buy?
Be careful of your shaving technique. Always shave in the direction of your hair. Use light short strokes. Take care not to go over the same area too many times.
Make sure you rinse your razor regularly to avoid it getting clogged.
After shaving, rinse your skin with cold water or apply a cold washcloth to close pores.
If you have cut or nicked the skin whilst shaving use a styptic pen or alum block to treat the bleeding. These are an astringent which helps stop the bleeding and contain an antiseptic to soothe the skin.
Consider using an aftershave balm. This is a hydrating cream or gel that helps to soothe inflamed skin and speed up the recovery process after shaving
Soothing a Shaving Rash
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to soothe the itch is to apply a cool washcloth to the affected area for 10-15 minutes
You could try aloe or avocado oil applied directly to the skin to cool the affected area
Alternatively, you could use an aftershave balm, lotion or other moisturizer. Avoid products that contain alcohol because they can further irritate, the skin
The Groomed Man recommendations:
Merkur 33C Double Edge Safety Razor.
A short-handled safety razor with a knurled handle making a firm grip.
Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving cream.
A luxury shaving cream that creates a uniquely smooth and creamy lather that not only protects the skin but also moisturises to help give a better shave. Available in a range of fragrances.
Simpsons post-shave balm.
This balm has been designed to help restore your skin’s natural moisture balance after shaving. It also helps to soothe the skin which helps to prevent irritated skin and razor burn. Available in sandalwood, bay rum, and lime