Every time I shave any part of my body, I end up with razor burn a day or two later. It’s painful and it looks weird and I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. Please help! What can I do about razor burn??
Razor burn definitely has to be one of the worst things about shaving! Luckily, it doesn’t have to be – it’s actually fairly easy to prevent and/or treat razor burn. If you’re getting it all the time, it’s most likely because you’re making some sort of mistake while removing body hair. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen again, I reached out to an expert. I spoke with Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, a New York City based dermatologist and clinical instructor at New York University and Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, who also works with Schick. I’ll let her take it away with some truly awesome advice! Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin says:
“Tip #1: Prep the skin. Wet the skin and hair with warm water for two to three minutes and use gentle soap to soften the skin and hair as well as ensure that the skin is clean.
“Tip #2: Use the right tools. Use a sharp blade that is clean. I can’t stress enough the importance of using appropriate tools, whether it is for the bikini, legs, or underarms! One of my favorite razors is Schick Quattro YOU, which have a conditioning strip with a touch of aloe and four blades. I recommend light pressure when using a razor. Firm pressure can cause more trauma to the skin.
“Tip #3: Use a proper shave prep that is NOT soap. I always recommend using a shave gel like Skintimate when shaving in order to soften the hair and protect the skin from nicks. Do not use a soap or body wash in place of your shave gel/prep. Ingredients in soaps are designed to remove dirt and oil from the skin. Shaving creams consist of ingredients that are hydrating and slippery to decrease friction when shaving so the blade doesn’t have to work so hard. See the difference? From a practical standpoint, using a shave prep guides what areas of the leg you’ve shaved, ensuring that you are not missing certain areas like the knees or ankles. If you’re in a bind and prefer a one-step shave, opt for a Schick Intuition razor. It’s a two-in-one with a razor with a Skin Conditioning Solid built around the razor head to provide you with a two-step shave in one pass!
“Tip #4: Less passes is key. By using a sharp blade with preparation with a shave gel, one pass is possible to achieve proper hair removal so you’ll have less irritation, especially in sensitive areas like the bikini area and toes. The more passes, the more likely you can develop irritation, razor burn, or ingrown hairs. Since shaving can cause irritation on the skin with cuts, razor burn, and ingrown hairs, the use of a gentle moisturizing shave gel with shaving is important. I recommend that my patients look for ones without fragrances, alcohol, and other irritating ingredients. My go to recommendation is Skintimate Ultra Sensitive. It’s ideal for sensitive skin due to ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal, and other moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and aloe.
“Tip #5: Change your blades regularly. I typically do not give hard and fast rules on when to switch out your razor blade, but I do find many of my patients forget to change their blade. An easy way to remember to change the blade is to keep the refills nearby.
“Keep in mind that there is no set number of uses after which you need to change your blade. Women should be changing the blade if you see any signs of rusting, dulling, tugging the hair, or nicking the skin. There are multiple factors that can affect how frequently the blade needs to be changed, including how often a women shaves, how and where the razor is stored, and the care of the razor after shaving. The more frequently you shave, the faster the blade will dull, and therefore, the more often you’ll have to change your blade. Storing the razor in a wet, humid, dewy shower (instead of a dry environment) will cause the razor to dull more quickly and increase the risk of bacteria accumulation. Not rinsing out the razor after the use can cause the soap and shaving cream to dry in between the blades, further dulling the blades.
“Tip #6: Take care of your skin right after shaving. I cannot stress the importance of moisturizing the skin with shaving. Since shaving removes the film that protects the skin’s surface and, consequently, can remove the upper layer of the skin, which is called the stratum corneum, this can create micro-injuries or tiny micro-cuts to the skin. These micro-injuries can then consequently cause irritation, burning, redness, and dryness.”
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org