Shaving doesn’t need to be a bumpy ride. Red, itchy razor bumps are not the accessory you want to wear with your favorite dress or bathing suit.
And yet for some of us, they seem like an inevitable part of shaving, especially around the sensitive bikini line.
The good news is that with a little extra care and some smart shaving tips, you can reduce or even avoid razor bumps altogether.
First, let’s take a look at what causes this uncomfortable condition. Later we’ll give you a step by step shaving guide to keeping your skin looking smooth, supple and ready to show off and avoid razor bumps.
Razor Bumps vs Razor Burn
Razor bumps are caused by shaved hair that curls back into the skin instead of growing straight out of the hair follicle. People with thick, curly hair are especially susceptible to getting them.
But these uncomfortable bumps can happen to anyone, especially in areas where the hair tends to be more course, like the bikini line
Razor burn, on the other hand, is redness or swelling that’s caused by the blade scraping across your skin.
Although they are different conditions, the trick to avoiding both razor bumps and razor burn is proper shaving. Dull blades, dry skin, bacteria and improper technique are usually the culprits.
Taking a little extra time with your shaving routine can go a long way in helping you avoid both of these irritations.
Here’s a step by step guide to keeping your skin smooth and healthy and avoiding razor bumps in the future.
Step By Step Shaving Guide to Prevent Razor Bumps
Shaving is often something we rush through so we can get on with the rest of our day. But if you really want to prevent skin irritation, it’s important to take a little extra care.
How you treat your skin before, during and after you shave are all key to keeping it smooth and healthy.
Here’s the step by step breakdown:
Gently Exfoliate the Skin
Razor bumps are often caused by shaving over unexfoliated skin. You’ll want to slough off the dead cells using a loofah or a gentle scrub. Just be sure not to rub too vigorously. You don’t want to irritate your skin before you start shaving.
Prepare the Skin with Warm Water and Soap
Warm water and steam help to open hair follicles and soften the hair shaft. That’s why shaving in the shower is the best way to go. You can also opt for a bath. Either way, what you want to avoid is using a razor on cold, dry skin.
Make Sure your Razor is Clean and Sharp
Dull or old razors are major no-no’s when it comes to shaving. Too many passes over the same area with a dull razor can irritate the skin. Old blades can also be full of bacteria. Something you definitely want to avoid!
Using a razor with 4 or more blades is also important because it means fewer strokes over the skin. You’ll want to replace your razor if you feel like the hair is getting caught. This varies from person to person, but you’ll probably want to replace your blades or razor after 5 to 10 uses.
Another tip: Disinfecting your razor with alcohol and storing it outside of the shower to dry will help prevent nasty bacteria from building up.
Use Shaving Gel or Cream
Using gel or cream will keep the skin lubricated, smooth the shaving process and lessen the chances of getting razor bumps. Try to avoid products with alcohol as they can be drying to the skin.
Other chemicals you may want to avoid include sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals and mineral oil. A word to the wise, always check the label!
Fortunately, many organic skincare lines offer natural shaving gels and creams. Not only will they prevent irritation, but they’ll actually help to nourish your skin.
For an economical and natural way to shave, you can even go with coconut oil!
As with any products you use on your skin, be sure to test it on a small patch first.
Shave in the Direction of the Hair Growth
Going against the grain can irritate your skin and give you those nasty bumps we’re trying to avoid. So make sure you always shave in the direction the hair is growing.
Shave Less Often
Another way to keep your skin healthy is to avoid shaving every day. Obviously, the less you shave the less chance there is of skin irritation. So try to keep it to every other day or less if possible.
What you do after your shave is just as important as prepping and shaving properly.
Be sure not to skip this step!
First, experts recommend a quick splash with cold water to calm skin and close pores.
Next, you’ll want to apply your post-shave products. These come into two varieties: tonics and creams.
Tonics are antiseptic and antibacterial for any cuts or scrapes you may have. Creams are for moisturizing and soothing the skin.
The All-Natural Post-Shave Tonic from Crux Supply Company cleans and soothes the skin with natural witch hazel. It’s also scented with rosewood and bergamot which means it smells great.
If you don’t feel the need for a tonic, you can go straight to moisturizing. Again, going organic to avoid harsh chemicals is good for your skin and good for the planet.
While shaving can seem like a bit of a hassle, doing it properly is important for your skin. That means taking a little extra time, using the right tools and investing in healthy products. Choosing gels and creams that you love can also make shaving seem less like a job and more like pampering.
So indulge, ladies!
It will help keep the bumps away. And it will keep your skin looking healthy, beautiful and always bikini ready!