For a select few, the daily shave is a pleasurable experience. For most of us, it’s simply a part of the morning routine. I personally wish I was in the “pleasurable” group, but I’m a bit ambivalent to the individual nuances of my daily shave. Worse still is the group of shavers who consistently struggle with the difficulties of the regular, daily shave.
Perhaps the greatest struggle which occurs for those on the frustrated side of the spectrum are the recurring instances of razor bumps or razor burn.
Those pesky critters not only ruin the shaving experience, but they can create a physical blight on an otherwise handsome man-face.
Razor bumps occur when hair follicles–which have been cut at or below the skin’s surface–grow out and back into the skin. These ingrown hairs can be more than a recurring nuisance with their ghastly red bumps.
The most common cause of such razor bumps are genetics. Individuals with naturally curly hair are much more prone to razor bumps and razor burn. The second most common cause is the use of improper shaving hardware and software.
While you can’t control genetics, you can certainly make changes to your routine on “how” you shave to ensure you are doing everything to avoid the bumps in the first place. Here are a list of home remedies for clearing up your razor bumps.
Single Blade Razor
Multiple blade cartridge razors may be the direct cause of your razor bumps. Their very operational design increases the probability of razor burn. The first blade pulls the hair follicle away from the skin and the next blade chops the hair off. The more blades in the cartridge, the more this simple process is repeated. This “pull and chop” technique increases the probability of your hairs being cut-off below the surface of the skin, increasing the likelihood of in-grown hairs.
The first step in your home remedy for avoiding razor burn is to ditch your expensive disposable cartridge razor for something more rudimentary.
Soak a quality cotton towel or terry cloth in hot water and press it against your face. This simple process will open up the pores in your face.
Open pores will give your hair follicles more room to grow outward instead of inward. Your hair needs more room to breathe. A daily hot towel compress can help facilitate this need.
As a natural antiseptic, witch hazel can help to reduce inflammation of the skin.
Witch hazel should be applied directly to razor bumps. It can be used at any time, pre or post shave or at any time of the day to help reduce inflamed skin in the area of your razor burn.
Aloe Vera can come in a gel or the natural plant version can be helpful in reducing skin irritation brought on by razor burn.
The plant version is likely best as many gels include artificial fragrances and colors that can cause further irritation. However, there are brands that exclude artificial colors and added scents.
If you happen to have an Aloe Vera plant in your home, remove a leaf and squeeze it until it produces a gel-like liquid. Squeeze and apply directly to the affected area.
Aloe Vera is a long-standing remedy for irritated skin and can work well in combating the effects of your razor bumps.
Hydrocortisone cream is a cortico-steroid that helps to greatly reduce inflammation in the skin. Similar to witch hazel, cortisone cream includes ant-inflammatory properties for relief of the symptoms of razor bumps and razor burn. However, the steroids can work better and more quickly than simply using witch hazel.
The tannic acid contained in typical white tea can help reduce inflammation in the skin. Simply wet a bag of white tea and place it on the affected area of the skin.
Tea Tree Oil
As a natural essential oil, tea tree oil is a strong anti-bacterial tool for helping to reduce the irritation, particularly when infection has occurred. However, the naturally strong nature of the tea tree oil is likely too concentrated. Add water to the tea tree oil before applying to the skin. If not, the oil may actually burn your skin.
A component of your skin’s irritation as it relates to razor burn is due to the bacteria makings its home in the in-grown hair follicles. The acidic properties of lemon juice can help to reduce the bacterial infection incident to your razor burn. Apply lemon juice to the razor bumps to help reduce redness and prevent further infection.
Your best bet at tackling the problem of recurring razor burn/bumps is to change the way you shave, including the tools you use in your daily routine. If prevention does not work, some of these home remedies for combating the razor bumps should prove helpful.
What home remedies have you implemented to prevent and remedy your razor bumps?