If you shave, you burn. It doesn’t matter if you are a man who shaves his face or a woman who shaves her legs, at one point or another, you have felt the pain, seen the bumps and experienced the itch from your razor.
Fortunately, there are ways to not only prevent, but to also treat razor burn. There are natural and over-the-counter remedies available for when you see or feel the familiar signs of this condition, but also ways to prevent it. Here are the top ways to not only prevent it, but how to get rid of razor burn:
Preventing Razor Burn
Prevention is the first line of defense against razor burn, and if you can prevent it, you won’t have to treat it. Some people have very sensitive skin and are prone to razor burn, but as they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Here are some of the best ways to prevent razor burn:
Wash and Exfoliate the Skin
You can start to prevent razor burn anywhere on the body before the razor even touches your skin by washing and exfoliating the area you want to shave. This practice helps to remove the oil and dead skin that can clog your blade, as a dirty razor blade can cause a bad burn.
Dermatologists suggest using an exfoliant or pre-shave scrub that contains an alpha-hydroxy acid. These chemicals, such as glycolic acid, helps to remove the dead skin in a gentle way.
Use a New Blade Every Few Times You Shave
The odds that you are using a blade that is too old are high, as experts recommend that you switch out your razor every three to 10 times you use it. A dull razor is the number one culprit of causing razor burn, so if you switch out your blade before you shave, you greatly cut down on the chances you will develop razor burn. This is a good rule of thumb, whether you are using a cheap disposable or fancy razor. You can add more life to a razor, even a disposable one, by cleaning it after you shave.
Calm the Skin After Shaving
Another way to prevent razor burn is to calm the skin immediately after shaving. To do this, use products with aloe vera, and if you want an extra boost, choose an over-the-counter product that contains both aloe vera and glycerin. If seeking out a natural solution after shaving, consider marshmallow extract or coconut oil. Coconut oil is excellent at hydrating the skin, and it is a natural anti-inflammatory. You might also want to use baby oil or diaper rash cream, especially if you have young children and it is readily available. Just as it helps to ease your baby’s skin, it will also help to ease yours.
Lather the Skin…and Wait
Before you start shaving, you probably apply some type of shaving cream or lotion, but do you allow it to sit before you shave? Most people don’t, but you should allow it to sit for 1 to 2 minutes before you put the blade to your skin. If you want to get extra fancy, use a shave brush before you begin shaving. This will help to lift and soften the hair, and will help to spread the shaving cream over the skin. Shaving without a lather of some point is an almost guaranteed way to get razor burn.
Shave with the Grain
Though you will get a closer shave when you shave against the grain, you also have a higher chance of increasing the risk of irritation. When you shave against the grain, it cuts the hair below the skin’s surface, but when the hair grows back, it starts to curl back and then inward. This is how ingrown hairs occur, too, which is another issue that you probably don’t want to deal with. Keep in mind, especially on the face, that the hair may grow in different directions so you may require a mirror instead of shaving blindly.
Treating Razor Burn At Home
If you don’t take steps to prevent razor burn, you will have to deal with the irritation of the burn at some point or another. There are a number of remedies that you can utilize to treat it, however, and the more information about how to get rid of razor burn are listed below:
The best way to treat razor burn is to simply stop shaving. Since shaving over razor burn will irritate the skin even more, it is best if you can simply stop irritating it.
Use a Warm Compress
If the razor burn has already appeared, try placing a warm, wet compress on the area for relief. You can do this several times a day, and if you want to give an even bigger treatment boost, use salt water made with a teaspoon of salt with two cups of water.
Use an Over-the-Counter Antibiotic Cream
You want to make sure that the razor burn does not get an infection, you should also ensure that you are using an over-the-counter antibiotic cream, gel or wash for a couple of days. This is a preventative measure that can ease the pain and irritation before it gets too bad.
Clean the Burn Twice a Day
Keeping the burn clean will ensure that it heals quickly, so use antibacterial soap and water two times a day on the area. Use a clean towel and washcloth every time, and do not share them with others.
Cool the Burn Down
When most people think of burns, they think of heat, and the best way to deal with heat is to cool it down. Thus, a cold compress can be an excellent way to cool the razor burn down. The cold compress will instantly soothe the pain, it reduces inflammation and will help treat the redness and itching. You can use a cold compress from your first aid kit, or simply wrap a few ice cubes in a towel. Alternatively, soak a towel in cold water and place it directly on the burn.
Soothe the Burn with Aspirin
Just as aspirin can soothe a headache or body aches, it can also get rid of razor burn quite easily. Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory and it will reduce inflammation and redness. Instead of taking the aspirin orally, however, make an aspirin paste that you can apply topically. To create the paste, place two aspirins in a teaspoon of warm water. Allow it to sit until it turns into a paste, and then run the paste on the burn. Leave the paste on the skin for about 10 minutes, and then use lukewarm water to rinse the paste away. You can use this remedy twice a day, but those with sensitive skin should avoid this remedy.
Treating Razor Burn with Natural Remedies
In addition to these home remedies for treating razor burn, there are also a number of natural remedies that you can try. These remedies have not been tested by science, but it might be worth it to try them if you have any of these products available:
Take Out the Bite of a Burn with Apple Cider Vinegar
One natural remedy for razor burn is apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is known for its anti-inflammatory features, and this will help with both itching and inflammation. Since apple cider vinegar is acidic, it also helps to prevent the burn from becoming infected. To apply apple cider vinegar, take a cotton ball and dab it into the vinegar, and then apply it to the burn. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the vinegar with water. Allow the vinegar to dry, and then rinse the area with water. You can do this three to four times a day.
Sweeten Your Burn with Honey
Honey has been used for thousands of years for its antibacterial properties, and it is a sweet way to treat a razor burn. Honey keeps the skin moisturized, it can reduce swelling and keep inflammation under control. You can apply honey directly to the skin, allow it to dry, and then rinse it away with water. You can also mix a half teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of yogurt, and then apply it to the razor burn. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse with cool water.
Black Tea Can Beat the Burn, Too
If you drink black tea, you can also use the bags to treat the razor burn. Black tea contains tannic acid, which is a substance that is known to reduce inflammation and redness associated with razor burns. To use a tea bag to treat your razor burn, place a tea bag in warm water, or make yourself a cup of tea, and then allow the tea bag to cool. Rub the tea bag over the burn for two to three minutes, and then throw it away. You can repeat this several times a day.
Oatmeal Will Remove the Ouch
Many people use oatmeal as a natural way to reduce the pain of sunburn, and you can also use it to remove the pain from razor burn. To use oatmeal, mix an equal amount of plain yogurt and ground oatmeal with a small amount of honey. Apply this mixture to the burn and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse the mixture away with lukewarm water, and you can do this treatment once or twice a day.
Cool Off with Cucumber
You have probably heard the phrase “cool as a cucumber,” and cucumbers can certainly cool off a razor burn. Cucumbers have anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties, and since they contain both vitamins K and C, they can relieve itching and pain.
There are two ways you can use cucumber to treat a razor burn. First, you can slice a fresh cucumber and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Rub the slices on the burn for 10 minutes, and then repeat regularly until the skin heals. You can also puree a half of the cucumber and mix it with a quarter cup of milk. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator to cool off, and then apply it to the burn and leave it for about 10 minutes.
Baking Soda Soothes the Skin
Baking soda is an old-fashioned treatment for burns, and it works well for razor burn, too. Baking soda is an anti-inflammatory, it and helps to soothe the skin. It is also good for reducing redness and for relieving itchiness. To use baking soda, mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water and apply it on the skin. Leave the solution on for about five minutes, and then rinse it with cool water. Repeat this two or three times each day.
Tea Tree Oil Takes Away the Pain
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that many people use for pain relief. This substance is available in most health food stores, and it have antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A little bit of tea tree oil goes a long way, and you long need two to three drops of this oil in a tablespoon of olive oil. Apply this mixture to the burn and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing away.
Razor burn is a nasty effect of shaving, and no one who shaves is immune to it’s bite. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent razor burn, and if those don’t work, there are a number of things you can do at home to treat the pain, redness and inflammation associated with razor burn. There are both over-the-counter remedies and natural remedies to try, so you should easily be able to treat this annoying, and painful condition.