You've been grooming yourself long enough that you don't need anyone to explain to you why it's essential. That's great! Unfortunately, none of your experience has helped you with one of the significant drawbacks to grooming: razor bumps. The red, patchy rash reaction to a razor is miserable, and it seems to plague you no matter how carefully you shave. If that sounds familiar, then the only thing holding you back is knowledge. We're going to drop a truckload on you so that you can defeat those bumps and groom with impunity.
What Causes Razor Bumps?
Knowing is still half the battle. How are you going to get rid of your bumps if you don't understand them? Razor bumps mainly come in two forms. The first is folliculitis. Shaving puts physical strain on the hair follicles, and they become inflamed. They can swell, turn red, burn, itch, and do all of that stuff you don't like. The key to this form of razor burn is inflammation. We'll be dealing with that in a minute.
The second form of razor burn is more commonly understood. Dermatologists call it pseudofolliculitis barbae. If you remember your Latin, this term suggests that something sharp is causing a condition that looks like folliculitis but isn't. This happens when you shave hair below the surface of the skin. As it grows, it pokes back through, and if the hair is at all sharp (which happens a lot from shaving), it will cause irritation and inflammation that looks just like cause number one. We'll be addressing both of these causes today.
Treating Those Bumps
Everyone will tell you that preventing razor bumps is better than treating them. That's all good and well (and we'll undoubtedly discuss prevention a little later), but it does no good to anyone who is already suffering. If your latest shave is driving you crazy, these tips will help. Most of them are just as useful for the ladies and the gents, although we'll have a few gender-specific treatments too.
Take Care of Your Skin
It's an obvious starting point, but it helps to know why taking care of your skin is useful for treating razor bumps. In general, there are two specific things you should do that are particularly helpful with razor burn. Those things are showering and moisturizing. Some of you combine that into one step. Others are more meticulous. Regardless, here's why these efforts are curing your bumps.
A warm shower is helpful in a few ways. First, the warm water helps relax the skin and open the pores. This makes it easier for the hair to break through the skin's surface without setting you on fire. While you're in the shower, you should exfoliate. This expands on opening pores and making it easy for hair to grow. That's a good thing.
Moisturizing is good for a couple of different reasons. First and foremost, it softens the skin, so the hair doesn't have to fight so hard. That reduces irritation. Secondly, moisturizing makes skin healthier and more resilient. Even when hair growth is annoying, moisturized skin will simply handle the discomfort better.
Keep it Clean
Showering is the first step in cleanliness, but you can go a little farther. If you're having a nasty case of razor remorse, topical antiseptics are worth considering. Don't just dump rubbing alcohol all over yourself. Instead, look for something gentle. The antiseptic won't actually cure the razor bumps, but it will protect you from skin infections that can exacerbate the problem pretty severely. If the redness seems extra bad, make sure you aren't suffering from multiple conditions at the same time and get that skin extra clean.
Pour Some Acid on It
No, we're not suggesting that you break into a chemistry lab and get the most potent stuff you can find. Razor bumps might drive you crazy, but you don't need to pull a Joker. Mild acids can do a lot to directly treat razor burn. Salicylic acid is mild and used in a lot of skincare products as an active exfoliator. The acid is doing a few things for you. First, it's helping you restore your acid mantle. This is the outermost protective barrier on your skin. It helps you prevent skin infections, and it enables you to maintain moisture levels. A healthy acid mantle protects hair follicles from common sources of irrigation, and that's good for dealing with razor bumps.
The second thing the acid will do is clear away dead skin cells. It clears the pores and makes hair growth easier. You might have noticed a theme in our remedies by now. Make it easier for the hair to grow and get rid of things that contribute to inflammation. It's pretty simple.
Of course, once you're inflamed, removing sources of that inflammation is only part of the solution. You also want to bring the inflammation down. For that, you have two options. You can stick with an oral treatment (Ibuprofen is pretty standard), or you can go topical. Hydrocortisone cream will probably give you some of the fastest, most immediate, and lasting relief of anything we mention. Choose wisely because plenty of creams might be scented or smell bad, but if you're suffering, this should be one of your go-to solutions.
Apply a Hot Compress
If you don't want to use medicine (or can't for some reason), a hot compress is a homeopathic solution. It does the same stuff as a warm shower, but it's a little more accessible. The heat will open the pores, soothe irritation and itching and probably make you moan a sigh of relief. Go ahead. We're not judging. If you have particularly persistent problems with razor burn, setting yourself up with mobile compresses might change your life.
Avoid Tight Clothes
This is overlooked a lot, but sometimes, your clothes are causing razor bumps. You might generally be ok, but when you stuff freshly shaved skin into something tight and unforgiving, you're creating a situation that breeds razor bumps. Obviously, tight clothes can irritate already-tender hair follicles. They can also literally make it harder for hair to grow. That's a twofer of failure. You might have shaved to be extra sexy for a hot date, but if you follow through on that with tight clothes, you're going to be in a situation where you don't want to take them off in front of somebody. Giving your skin a day before stuffing into something that exemplifies your figure can do your skin and hair follicles a lot of good.
A Final Tip for the Guys
There's a specific remedy that was designed for guys who groom. It's called Crop Reviver™ ball toner. It's a toner that helps restore pH balance, moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation. You can see why it's an all-in-one solution. The final ingredient in Crop Reviver is Aloe Vera. This is a natural anti-inflammatory, and it means this one solution is tackling the problem of razor bumps on every level. For the ladies, you're welcome to use Crop Reviver as well. It won't hurt you, but we did put a masculine scent on it. If that's not your speed, something with aloe is the final ingredient of your relief.
You're equipped to handle razor burn when it happens. Good. Now, let's learn some ways to prevent the problem in the first place. You can enjoy a hot compress without torturing your skin first. That's a valuable life lesson. So, these are the tips that will allow you to control your body hair without turning into a red, bumpy monster.
Oh, it's that easy, is it? Well, yes. It is. You can do a multitude of things yo improve your shaving performance, and all of them are designed to reduce irritation on the hair follicles and avoid sharpening those little hairs, so they don't turn into barbae.
The first one is self-explanatory. Don't shave so closely. Yeah, yeah, you want a perfectly smooth shave. We get it. But if that shave is leading to razor bumps, how much smoothness and sexiness are you really getting? You can still have a nice shave, but when you leave the hair above the surface of the skin, you're not irritating those follicles. And, your hair won't be poking you because it doesn't have to break back through the surface. In fact, an excellent trimmer might be a better tool for you than your razor. It's something to think about.
If you absolutely must shave, then do it well. Go with the grain (see the discussion we just had about the trade-off of a perfectly smooth shave). Make sure you don't skimp on shaving lubrication. In fact, if you have lube with aloe in it, it can treat the irritation even as it happens. Lastly, keep your blades sharp and clean. Nothing is going to set your skin ablaze faster than a dull, poorly maintained razor.
Try Alternative Hair Removal
Let's clarify something about shaving. You don't have to do it across your whole body. That's true for men and women. There may be a stigma about body hair, but let's rise above that. As long as you're grooming deliberately and keeping things clean, there are parts of your body that don't need to be bare. For the areas that do merit perfectly smooth skin, ditch the razor. There are other ways to achieve your goals.
Naturally, this brings us to waxing. It can be unpleasant at the moment, but it lasts a lot longer than shaving. It actually irritates the hair follicles less than shaving (sometimes by putting them into shock). Best of all, it prevents the creation of sharp hair. When waxed hair does eventually regrow, it's usually soft and without inflammation. You can also wax a few days before the hot date without having to worry about stubble, so this one is a winner on multiple fronts.
Of course, not every hair job requires something as thorough as waxing. For lighter hair, plucking is essentially the same thing. Feel free to employ the technique as you see fit.
Depilatories are another way to get rid of hair without sharpening it. They can burn, so be careful about which parts of the body get this treatment (never the butt!!!!!). But, when it's safe, hair removal cream is an easy way to defeat razor bumps.
And then there's laser removal. Not everyone can use it in every place, and it definitely costs more than the other methods, but the idea of permanently getting rid of the hair you hate is enticing. You should see if this is a viable solution for you. Hair that doesn't grow can't cause razor bumps.
Take Care of Your Skin
Your final method of prevention is pretty much identical to a lot of the treatments we recommended. When you take care of your skin, you prevent inflammation just as readily as you treat it. Exfoliate regularly. Use soaps and products that help you maintain a healthy skin pH. Shower regularly. Moisturize. Exfoliate again. You get the idea. All of this work makes your skin and hair follicles healthier, and you'll be at lower risk for razor bumps.
For the guys, we have another unique product we want to mention. Crop Preserver™ ball deodorant is a maintenance formula that helps with moisture, pH, and the rest. Best of all, it comes in the form of a ball deodorant. It'll protect the boys from smelling their worst while it takes good care of your skin. For the ladies, you're once again welcome to try it. If you don't want to smell like an alluring man, you can look for deodorants that are designed for . . . feminine use.
Male Grooming Is the Key to Happiness
Let's put all of this into practice. When you have a healthy grooming routine, you get all of life's benefits of being adequately groomed, and you get to skip the razor burn. We've included the ladies so far, but let's be honest for a minute. Most of the advice we're about to give to men who groom is stolen knowledge. We learned a lot from the female pioneers of body grooming. Maybe there's something in here for you, but more likely, you'll be ready to add to our suggestions in the comments. We welcome it.
Trimming Is Step One
For body grooming, trimming is the safest first step. You can attack any hair you don't like with The Lawn Mower™ 4.0 trimmer. It's designed for safe grooming, and it will leave hair just above the surface of your skin (at the shortest setting). This is a razor-burn-free way to make sure you're as sexy as can be.
You get bonus points when you use a Magic Mat™ shaving mat with The Lawn Mower 4.0 trimmer. The mat will catch your hair clippings, so you don't leave a mess.
Showers Come After Shaving
You want to exfoliate the skin immediately after grooming. It should be clear as to why. When you add Crop Cleanser™ hair and body wash to your shower, you're helping avoid and treating razor burn all at the same time. It's an all-in-one formula that cleans you, helps your pH, moisturize, and does all of the good stuff you need. The real lesson here is that showering after grooming is the key.
Keep Taking Care of Your Skin
A shower should follow any grooming, the application of skincare products should follow that shower. For guys, that's mostly Crop Preserver and Crop Reviver. But, there's an important thing a lot of you oafs will get wrong. Skincare happens every day, whether you groom or not. Once it's a habit, razor burn will be a problem of the past. There's an additional tool we haven't mentioned yet: Crop Mop™ wipes. This is a friendly little wipe. It's sized to fit in your wallet, and it's designed to be a little pick-me-up while you're on the go. The wipe has our unique formulas, so if you're having a particularly rough ball day, you can sneak into the bathroom, give yourself a little wipe, and return to your day feeling refreshed.
There it is. You have been granted the secret knowledge capable of defeating razor bumps forever. There's a final truth we haven't mentioned yet. Everyone is different. Some of you will get bumps no matter how hard you try. It's just how your body responds to shaving. It's ok to ditch the razor. We talked about those alternative methods for a reason.
With all of that said, you're all set. Enjoy your life free of the scourge of razor bumps, and be sure to check back in with MANSCAPED.COM to keep up with all of the latest in men's grooming.