Whether you have razor bumps, folliculitis, or full-on acne, shaving can be painful. There’s nothing trickier than running a razor over acne-inflicted skin. Read on here to learn how to deal with the problem of shaving an imperfect skin wreaked with razor bumps and acne.
How To Shave If You Have Acne?
1. Preparation – Cleanse and Soften Your Skin: Preparing the face for shaving is an important step but with acne it requires all the more extra care. Prep steps include: (i) hydrating the skin and hair; (ii) softening skin and hair for the shave; and (iii) cleansing dirt and especially reducing the amount and spread of bacteria on the skin.
The best shaving prep is to begin with a warm shower to soften your hair follicles. If you don’t have time to shower, use a gentle cleanser to clear off bacteria and debris. Then place a towel soaked in warm (not hot!) water onto your face for a minute. But don’t scrub (scrubbing can make acne worse)! The purpose is to soften not exfoliate. If you’re in hurry and don’t have time to shower, a warm washcloth has the same heating effect on your skin.
Tip: As a general rule squeezing a pimple isn’t recommended. But if you have a whitehead that’s almost ready and you’re probably going to do it anyway while shaving, it’s better to pop it correctly before cleansing to get rid of the contents. The razor in any case is going to break it and introducing bacteria onto itself and then other areas of the skin. Here is a dermatologist recommended correct procedure to pop a pimple.
2. Use Shaving Oil: Apply pre-shave oil just before you apply shaving cream. It will not only soften your hair, but allow your razor glide smoothly also over your acne prone skin, thereby minimizing the chances of irritation, nicks, or cuts. Use your shaving oil thriftily — 5 to 6 drops are all you require for a full beard. Massage in the oil gently against the way the hair grows. This is the only time going against the grain is OK. You should do it with care, so take your time! Choose oil having natural ingredients like jojoba, argan, or tea tree.
Tip: Just make sure to use shaving oil that specifically states that it’s noncomedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores.
3. Use An Alcohol-Free Shaving Cream: Make sure to use a shaving cream, which is neither alcohol based, nor contain any other drying ingredient. The foamy type lathers we saw our daddies use aren’t going to work well for the skin with acne. Instead go for shaving creams that don’t contain a lot of synthetic ingredients and use natural oils or emollients. I suggest using “brushless”(lather them in with clean fingers) instead of using a shaving brush, as there is always the possibility that bacteria might get picked up by the brush hair and spread around. You will need to use more of the product than you would if a brush was used but it is a safer method.
Tip: Thinner, less dense shaving lathers help the razor glide over the skin while reducing the possibility of clogged pores and aggravated skin.
4. Look Out For The Right Razor And Shave With The Grain: Those who have acne on their faces should avoid using the modern, multi-blade cartridge razors. Multi-blade razors lift and cut, making them a bad idea for anyone with acne. The more blades a razor has, the more likely those blades will irritate the skin, break pimple heads, and spread bacteria. If you shave with a manual razor you should use a cartridge with a single blade.
Although, single-blade razors aren’t as widely available but are a better solution for skin having pimples. Or you may consider using an electric razor. You may not get the closest shave in the world, but a shave that is not particularly close may be a reasonable trade-off for less “trauma.”
5. How To Use Razor?: Make sure to shave in the direction your hair grows. This is an absolute must! A lot of times guys in order to get a closer shave do it by going against the grain. But, this is something not recommended even for perfect skin. Going against the grain enhances the chances of nicks and opening breakouts. Shaving with the grain ensures that you’re not upsetting the hair follicles, which can result into clogged pores and more breakouts.
(i) Avoid passing the razor over pimples if possible. Shaving over pimples can break whiteheads making the bacteria spread and invade freshly shaved skin.
(ii) Avoid putting too much pressure on the razor as that may cause problems too. Simply use a light touch on the razor.
- After The Shave:
(i) Keep It Clean: After you’re done shaving, rinse the razor head in rubbing alcohol, and before the next one, too. You may feel this like an extra step, but it makes sure that you start each shave with a clean, bacteria-free razor.
(ii) Rinse And Hydrate: After shaving it’s important to wash off all the shave oil and shaving lather residue from the skin. This is to ensure that the residue doesn’t linger and clog pores. Rinse thoroughly with lots of warm water. Usually, water is enough. Some guys like to soak cotton round with an astringent like Witch Hazel and wipe down the area. Then follow up with a cool water rinse. Some also prefer going “old school” by using an alum block, which they just glide all over the shaved skin after the final rinse. It may sting a little as it is mildly antiseptic. Wait a minute or so, then rinse once again.
Note: Those with too much of acne may apply a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid gel to face as a toner. But be careful that you only use a mild version.
Finally, follow up your with a soothing moisturizer to calm and hydrate skin. Choose a lotion with SPF so as to protect your perfectly groomed face from the harsh sunrays!
Useful Related Post: How To Avoid Razor Bumps?
Do you have any shaving tip to share with others who are suffering with acne? Please give it under the comment section below.