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How to shave with acne and avoid cutting yourself

Christina Ablahad

Posted by Christina A.



How to shave with acne and avoid cutting yourself

Acne. It’s a special kind of bad word. Nobody wants it. All of us have had to deal with it to some extent. When you’re a guy dealing with facial hair, it presents some unique problems. Shaving over acne is an awful experience you don’t need to try firsthand. You can trust everyone else when they warn you about it. But, if you’re determined to have a baby-smooth face despite your acne, you need to arm yourself with some survival tips. You’ll find plenty here.

Shaving tips

Shaving with acne can be frustrating. The raised skin adds a substantial challenge to the ordeal. It is easier to cut yourself on the raised bumps. That’s why you need some tips. If you try them all, you should find a way to manage your facial hair without butchering yourself. You might want to look into options for blackhead removal for men before you begin shaving. 

Get a good razor

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If you’re going to shave, you need a good razor. It needs to be clean and have a fresh, sharp blade. A dirty razor is going to cling to the bumps more and make it easier to cut yourself.

It’s also important to have the right kind of razor. Multiple blades are your enemy. It might add the number of strokes it takes to shave your face, but multiple blades are brutal to acne. They can also increase irritation which creates a feedback loop of acne misery. 

Even better, you could opt for an electric razor. It still needs to be clean, and you need to take care of the blades, but the risk goes way down when you stick with electric shaving.

Extra Lube

You should be shaving with a shaving kit for men and cream or gel anyways. Of course, you need to research to find one that doesn’t exacerbate your acne. When you lube up, you want to use a circular motion to get a full coating over the skin you’re about to shave; this will help the blade glide over the bumps without removing skin.

Shaving gels exist that help you combat acne. They can clean your pores and fight the bacteria that ultimately cause the condition. It’s worth experimenting to find one that makes a big difference.

man shaving in mirror

Minimize contact

It’s simple but effective. Only shave over acne if and when you have to. We’ll get into alternatives to shaving in a bit, but if you focus on trimming over the acne and shaving over clear skin, the risk goes down. It’s pretty obvious stuff. Similarly, you can try to shave less often to a similar effect.

Go with the grain

It might not seem like it, but a lot of the cuts on acne stem from the razor tugging on hair. If you minimize tugging, you reduce the risk of cutting your acne. The lube helps with this, but so does shaving with the grain. It makes the blade tug on the skin a lot less; this leads to fewer snags, and that reduces the risk of cuts when you have.

Finish with hydrating aftershave

Shaving is hard on the skin under the best circumstances. Adding acne to the equation makes things quite a bit rougher. A little skincare after you shave will help you heal from the process, and it will keep the shave from making your acne even worse. That’s a positive feedback loop that makes the next shave easier.

Dealing with cuts

No matter how careful you are, cuts sometimes happen. They happen to all of us, so these tips will help you deal with them.

Apply pressure

Nicks are unpleasant, but they usually aren’t serious wounds. If you apply a little pressure for 30 seconds or so, it’s usually enough to stop the bleeding. You can use a clean cloth, toilet paper, or anything else that is clean and handy to apply the pressure. Once the bleeding stops, you’re already off to a good start in caring for the cut.

Clean it

When you’re done bleeding, you need to disinfect the cut. You can use any type of alcohol-free disinfectant that is safe for skin. Cleaning is important because razor nicks can get infected. If you have doubts, you can Google some horror stories about people losing limbs and even dying from getting tiny shaving cuts infected. It’s truly disturbing.

Treat it

After it’s disinfected, you want to treat the skin to help it heal and minimize inflammation. Lip balm, vaseline, and similar hydrating products are great. Make sure whatever you use isn’t creating problems with acne. When you have such a thing, a small, one-time treatment to the cut area is usually enough.

Get alum block

There’s an easier way to do all of this. If you get some alum block, it will serve as all of the tools you need rolled into one. It’s a cleaning compress that you put on the cut. You can use it to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. It disinfects the wound while you do this, and it hydrates and protects the skin when you’re done. If you’re determined to shave your breakouts, it’s an invaluable investment.

Skip shaving altogether

man shaving with trimmer in a mirror


We’ve given you plenty of tips, but the very best way to avoid cutting yourself is to give up the razor. There are other ways to treat your face, and we’re going to cover them now.

Just trim

Giving up shaving doesn’t mean giving up grooming. You don’t have to run around looking like Robin Williams from the old Jumanji movie. What it means is trying better techniques and trimming is at the top of the list.

With a trimmer, you can still style your facial hair however you want. You can get the hair stubbly short, or you can leave it a little longer. You can have different lengths on different parts of your face to create a whole aesthetic. Trimmers are powerful tools, and when designed correctly, they won’t cut you — acne or no.

Trimming doesn’t have to be limited to your face, either. As you expand your male grooming talents, you’ll find that what you learn from trimming your face is useful all over your body.

Alternative hair removal

If you want a smooth face without touching a razor, there are a few things you can try. Technically you could wax or tweeze your beard, but we strongly recommend not doing that. Those methods would brutalize any face, but it’s even worse during an acne breakout.

There are hair removal topical treatments that are safe for your face. We can thank the ladies for this. They created the market, but we can take full advantage. When you’re looking for topical hair removal, do your homework. Your face is sensitive, and we’re contending with acne. Let’s avoid anything that’s going to harm your skin. Something that is rated as safe for your face is important.

We’re going to briefly touch on laser hair removal. Technically, it can sometimes remove facial hair, but it’s a bad option. Most facial hair is too tough and dark for laser treatments. Even when that’s not the case, laser removal can be permanent. Are you 100-percent sure you never want to grow a beard?

Instead of laser removal, you can look into clinical treatment. For people suffering from the most extensive acne, facial grooming is a real nightmare. Involve a dermatologist. They can help you find custom solutions, and they’ll work on the acne issue while you’re thinking of ways to keep your facial hair in check. When the problem is challenging enough, call in a pro.

That’s all we have for you today. You know better ways to shave with acne. You know how to treat the cuts when they inevitably occur. You also have some shaving alternatives that allow you to sidestep the problem completely. What you do from here is up to you, but we wish you great success.



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