How To Prevent Razor Burn

by Brett on July 16, 2009 · 63 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Shaving

razorburn

There’s nothing like a good clean shave to start your day off right. A well-shaved face leaves a good impression with potential clients and lady friends. Unfortunately, legions of men are walking around right now with a nasty side effect of improper shaving: razor burn. We’ve all had it at one time or another- that horrible itchy feeling that pops up a few hours after you shave. Razor burn not only ruins a good shave, it just looks bad. But with the proper attack plan, razor burn and razor bumps can be prevented. Here’s yours:

What is Razor Burn?

razorburn

Razor Burn: It Ain’t Pretty

Razor burn is an irritating rash that sometimes appears after shaving. In its most mild form, razor burn will be slightly itchy and create a noticeable red rash on your face and neck. In severe cases, razor burn can also produce “razor bumps.” Razor bumps are created by ingrown hairs. They look like pimples and they can itch like a mother. Ingrown hairs, and consequently razor bumps, are particularly problematic for African-American men because of their curlier beards.

razorbumps

Razor Bumps

How to Prevent Razor Burn

Soften the beard. A nice soft beard can be removed far more easily than one that feels like a brillo pad. Thus, the best time to shave is after you take a shower. The hot steam will soften up your beard, leaving it in primo condition for shaving. If you want to get your beard really soft, take some hair conditioner and rub it on your beard while you’re  in the shower. Leave it on for the duration of the shower and rinse when you’ve finished bathing. Your beard will be as soft as a baby’s bottom.

Exfoliate. Exfoliating isn’t just for your girlfriend. Use a facial scrub or your wife’s poofy loofa thingy to remove dead skin cells and bring potential ingrown hairs out of hiding. I don’t know if it’s manly, but I’m a fan of St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub. It’s inexpensive and really makes your skin feel nice.

Use a badger brush. When you lather up your beard, use an old school badger brush. Using a brush to lather up helps get the shaving cream up under each whisker which results in better, smoother shaves.

Use a safety razor. Some people swear by the five blade razors that are out on the market today. If you can get a good clean shave with those, then keep using them. But if you feel like every shave leaves you with irritation and razor burn, consider shaving with a safety razor. For many men, the multiple blades of today’s modern razors irritate the skin more than needed. It’s overkill. Shaving with a safety razor will eliminate skin irritation and give your face a clean, healthy look because you’re just using one blade instead of several that chew up your face while cutting your whiskers.

Shave with the grain. In an attempt to get that smooth as a baby’s behind touch, many men shave against the grain. While shaving against the grain can get you that smooth feel in one deft swoop, you risk slicing up your face and causing razor burn. Also, shaving too close increases the chances for ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Shave with the grain instead. This will reduce the chances of irritation and razor burn.  You won’t be able to remove your beard in one pass when shaving with the grain. That’s okay. Just lather up and make another pass with the razor. Making several passes with the grain is much better than making one pass against the grain.

Use light, short strokes. Applying too much pressure with the razor increases your chances for razor burn. The weight of the razor is sufficient to cut your beard. To keep yourself from applying too much pressure, use short strokes. With longer strokes, we tend to apply more pressure on the razor.

Use a sharp razor. Have you ever tried cutting a tomato with a dull knife blade (or watched an infomerical where they did)? Notice how instead of cutting, you end up tearing the tomato? Well, imagine the tomato being your face. Instead of cutting your whiskers cleanly, a dull blade creates a lot of drag and tears at your whiskers. This increases your chances of creating ingrown hairs and skin irritation. One of the benefits of using a safety razor is that you can change blades frequently and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Each blade is about $.25.

Clean the blade with alcohol. One of the main causes of razor burn and skin irritation from shaving is bacteria on your blade. Kill the bastards by wiping down your razor blade with some rubbing alcohol before you start shaving. Some companies sell fancy blade antiseptic for big bucks, but it’s just run of the mill alcohol plus some fragrance. Drugstore rubbing alcohol is all you need.

Clean the blade after every stroke.
Every time you make a pass on your face, your blade is collecting whiskers and shaving cream. This goop gets in the way of the blade making a clean cut. Rinse your blade after each pass. But don’t pull a Gilded Yak and leave your shave scum in the sink. Unless of course, you’re married to Ren or Stimpy.

Rinse your face with cold water when done. The cold water helps close up your pores and reduces the probability of pesky whiskers forming ingrown hairs.

Apply a balm or moisturizer. You’ve just finished scraping a piece of sharp metal across your skin, so no matter how carefully you shave, your face is going to be a little unhappy. Aftershaves can feel refreshing, but for some men, they actually add to the irritation. If this is you, try applying a soothing balm or an aloe vera-based cortisone cream in order to reduce redness. You can find shaving balms or cortisone cream at your local drugstore.

Apply a razor bump cream. If you’re an African-American man or susceptible to ingrown hairs, there are a few products you can apply to prevent razor bumps. Bump Stopper and Tend Skin are two products you can find at your local drugstore. Both of these products help prevent ingrown hairs from forming.

Dry your blades and brush. After you’re done shaving, dry off your blade with a towel. This will help prevent the blade from dulling quickly, keeping it nice and sharp for your next shave. Also, be sure to use a holder to hang up your badger hair brush so it gets some air to dry out. A wet brush can grow bacteria that you’ll be slathering on your face the next time you shave.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 -joshua. July 16, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Great Article! I’ve had problems with razor burn and ingrown hairs as long as I’ve been shaving. Several months ago I switched to a safety razor and badger brush and can honestly say it’s made a huge difference. I’ve also started using shaving cream by C.O. Bigelow. It’s by far the greatest shaving cream I have ever used. http://tiny.cc/DgXg1

2 Dan July 17, 2009 at 12:46 am

The “How To Shave Like Your Grandpa” article got me to try a brush and safety blade a year ago and I haven’t looked back. Something else to try is find a more natural shaving cream than what comes in the over-marketed can of translucent goo from the makers of the 5-bladed razors. Art of Shaving is where I get my shaving kit filled.

3 Dave K July 17, 2009 at 1:44 am

Safety razors are full of win. They give me a much closer shave, and I’m actually saving quite a bit of money on shaving products since I switched. The safety razor is giving me a shave that’s half a day closer, hopefully that makes sense. The amount of stubble I have 24 hours after shaving with Quatro takes about 36 hours to come in after using a safety razor.

4 K.C. July 17, 2009 at 1:56 am

Great article, especially when coupled with the “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa” one. I had been using a cheap boar’s hair brush and soap, and the back “trimmer” side of one of the multiblade razors for a few months. But I got lucky enough that an early birthday present about a week ago was an entire set from The Art of Shaving. So now I am using their sensitive skin set with a badger brush and I got a safety razor as well, and it has been a really nice change. Forever I thought it was acne on my neck/chin area, until I read up how different shaving methods affect your skin.

5 Autobraz July 17, 2009 at 3:45 am

Another fan of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub here.

6 Anam July 17, 2009 at 4:49 am

A couple of years back I got fed up of the price Gillette wanted for their latest blades. A bit of reading led me to a straight(cut throat) razor, If anything its even better than most safety razors (unless you want to drop cash on a merkur or similar). One thing both do is force you to shave slower, which I found really helps as does a really good shaving soap (I like Trumpers personally)

Setting yourself up for a good traditional shave does cost, but in a year you’ll probably have recouped it and you’ll have kit that is good enough to last & last.

7 Michael July 17, 2009 at 5:18 am

Although I’ve never felt the horror of razor bumps, I definitely wince when I see the guys at the gym who run to the sink, slap on some Foamy and let ‘er rip.

The one tip I’d add: take it easy with the facial scrubs and don’t use them every day. I had the St. Ives in my arsenal for a long time, but like a lot of guys, my skin would get a little torn up from time to time. Now I give myself a good scrub about twice a week, and the rest of the time I just make sure to use a moisturizing balm.

8 tony July 17, 2009 at 6:41 am

I haven’t been bothered by razor burn since I started using a straight razor and a shaving brush. Any good soap, I prefer Ogallala Bay Rum or Trumpers, is preferable to a can of goo. The brush also helps exfoliate. Also, a good aftershave balm comes in handy while learning a new system.

9 Gene July 17, 2009 at 7:36 am

Michael is right…you don’t need to exfolliate just before you shave. Shaving is the ultimate exfolliation process. I started with a safety razor over 30 years ago, just came back to them about 2 years back, mainly for the cost savings on blades, but also because acess to “top shelf” shave creams, soaps, and aftershave products is easier with the internet. Some of this stuff is amazing! And, like Dave K…my 5 o’clock shadow doesn’t show up till well after 10 PM, and when it does the whiskers are softer, too. Imagine…stubble that isn’t so “prickly”!

10 Jason July 17, 2009 at 8:12 am

FYI guys. I had problems with the 3 blade disposable razors on the market. Gave me razor burn something fierce–and all I shave is my neck and cheeks! (I have a manly beard/mustache). Anyway, I bought a safety razor and love it immensely. Not only is it manly, like our grandpas used to use, but it’s better for the environment. You don’t need to throw away the blades, you can recycle them.

If you want to get a safety razor, you don’t need to spend big bucks. Do a google search for safety razor and try using the word antique in it. Many thrift stores or antique shops have safety razors and have a devil of a time getting rid of them. I got mine for $6 from an on-line shop, and that price included the shipping!

Great article and there were a few tips here that I didn’t know, so I’ll be using them. Thanks AoM as alway!

11 Brian July 17, 2009 at 8:45 am

E-bay is also a good source for safety razors and badger hair brushes. I got a brand new safety razor for $7.00 and a new brush for $12.00 (both including shipping costs).

12 Robert July 17, 2009 at 9:12 am

No matter what type of razor you use (blade, electric, whatever) always make sure to dry it off, and don’t store it in a bathroom that has a shower.

Reason being that blades tend to degrade the quickest when exposed to moisture. By drying after use you help prevent a lot of the corrosion that causes the blade to go bad giving you a bad shave, and costing you money. Blades add up quickly.

Because blades are in close proximity, moisture from a steamy shower can really stick around, especially in an electric, so take it out and leave it on a shelf in your bedroom or someplace else where it’s a dryer more comfortable temp.

Most electric in the past 10-15 years are rinsable under running water. So clean it off, shake it dry then leave it out to dry good. Open it up so that you get good air flow. That makes a huge difference. If yours isn’t safe to wash… get a new one seriously.

Water is metals enemy, especially the fine blade. Humidity is water. Do the math. It makes a world of a difference.

13 Dr. Bergeron July 17, 2009 at 9:14 am

The method I always employ when trying to avoid razor burn is to use the “second lather”. I don’t have a straight razor, and I find this works pretty well with multiblade shavers. I shave my face once, always going with the grain, then use another dab of shaving cream to re-lather and then shave against the grain in the key areas: neck,cheeks, and jawline.

14 jim July 17, 2009 at 9:31 am

a product that has eliminated my razor burn is Ambrosia by Lush.
http://www.lushusa.com/shop/products/face/shaving-creams/ambrosia
I’ve been using this for about a year and a half and have not had razor burn since.

15 Greg July 17, 2009 at 9:31 am

For a good, unscented moisturizer, try Neutrogena’s “Oil Free Moisture”. It’s not greasy or sticky, works well, and even has a SPF 15 rating.

16 James Wells July 17, 2009 at 9:35 am

I switched to the badger brush a couple of months ago. Love it! Haven’t been able to go with the safety razor. Call me chicken. I have found that just using the brush and the multiblade have gone a long way in the elimination of razor burn and in grown hairs. I had big trouble with them before. I am also a fan of the apricot scrub, therefore, at least 3 of us agree and it must be manly!!! Nivea for Men makes a nice balm that has a manly smell too.

17 Kevin M July 17, 2009 at 10:14 am

Never had problems w/razor burn, but I get the best shave from a cheap 2-blade Bic razor. I have a Merkur safety razor too but it just isn’t the same, especially my neck and jaw (I think my hairs grow every which way so it’s hard to find the grain). It is constantly cutting up my neck and doesn’t get nearly as close. I’ve tried shaving soap vs. the canned stuff and don’t really notice a difference there. And I always shave after a shower. Any suggestions?

18 Perry Clease July 17, 2009 at 10:14 am

A couple of things.

1. It can be difficult to find safety razor blades stocked in stores. It can be even more difficult to find safety razors. Both of course can be purchased from websites, but the safety razor my son bought online is pretty junky, poorly manufactured.

2. I also recommend using a straight razor with the badger brushes, shaving soaps, and such. A closer, and better shave, and it can be a Zen experience.

3. The best way to avoid razor burn is to let your beard, and mustache, grow the way God intended. :)

19 Jeff July 17, 2009 at 10:43 am

I started shaving in the shower and changed nothing else and the results were great. The only new equipment I bought was a fog-less mirror from Bed Bath & Beyond. They are made for shower shaving and even have hangers for your blade and cream. Wash your face with decent face cleaner, not soap or anything that lathers, then shave using cream, then use the cleaner again (since I don’t trust having shaving stuff on my face all day). All of this talk of razors and such is superfluous if in the shower the dullest razor in the world can cut through hair like butter.

An added bonus is I can fly through shaving, so no more worrying about getting everything into the sink.

20 Matt July 17, 2009 at 11:07 am

A great website to get into safety razor / straight blade shaving is http://www.badgerandblade.com/ The have great forum postings about where to buy good razors / blades / other items to make shaving a manly enjoyable experience.

21 Playstead July 17, 2009 at 11:07 am

Great article. I also found that using a per-shave oil is really helpful as well. I would have never tried it, but it was in a trial kit I got from the Art of Shaving. Also never use an electric razor — it never does the job and can mess up your face.

22 acr July 17, 2009 at 11:16 am

Since mouthwash is mostly alcohol, I use it to rinse my razor and need one less bottle of stuff in the bathroom.

23 Dusty July 17, 2009 at 11:18 am

I have extremely thick and quick growing facial hair (I won a legitimate beard growing contest in college!) One of the best ways to reduce razor burn after a shave is to take a towel, soak it in hot water and immediately put it on your face after shaving. I had terrible razor burn until I started doing this. If you want to take it a step further, you can follow up with a hair dryer and put it on ‘hot’ and dry your face after the hot towel. These two things have helped my face considerably.

The barber does it, you should too!

24 Michael Lentz July 17, 2009 at 11:34 am

I’ve considered “not shaving” as a way to prevent razor bumps. The girlfriend didn’t like it.

A sharp razor is a must. It is important to pay special attention to your blades. Keep them fresh and new.

As for products, Bump Patrol works wonders. Try the aftershave treatment. They have a detailed shave guide here…
http://www.mmproducts.com/Instruction_Sheet.pdf

25 bstanko99 July 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

I just recently switched from the 5 blade razor to a safety razor and must say I’ve never had such a good shave. Besides the lack of razor burn I’m really looking forward to the cost savings with not having to buy the expensive replacement cartridges all the time.

26 Jason July 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Here’s some videos which covers the information in the post. He goes into a lot more information including differences in brushes, soaps, razors, etc.
http://www.youtube.com/user/mantic59

27 Brett July 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm

To -Joshua. The cream you mentioned is a re-branded version of Prorasso. It’s the same stuff and cheaper at your Bath and Body Works than if you order the original online. You’re right, it is good stuff, been around for a long time and makes a great stand-by for quick morning shaves. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I used it for this morning.

And to all who haven’t tried it, Old School Shaving is better than anything advertised during SportsCenter. I haven’t bought a $15 pack of refills in over two years. My only regret is all the money I spent before I knew better.

28 Chris Pencis July 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I’m a big fan of wet method shaving and got into it through the you tube videos of “Shave Tutor” – he provided a great intro to the concepts, and I built up from a brush and safety razor up to a badger brush and now really love my morning shave. I highly recommend taking a look at his videos.

http://www.youtube.com/user/mantic59

29 CoffeeZombie July 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Razor burn was one reason I decided to grow my beard out. No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to keep from getting it. If only I had the Art of Manliness to give me these great tips back then!

Sadly, they won’t really help me, now, with my nice, full beard (and I don’t wanna get rid of it…it’s grown on me…ha, ha ,ha). Sure, I shave my neck (i.e., well below my chin) sometimes, but I’ve found simply removing the guard from my clippers and doing like they do on the back of the neck at the barber shop is good enough (and I don’t do that enough to make it worth the cost of buying all the fancy razors and all ya’ll are talkin’ about). :-D

30 Chris Partida July 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I recently purchased a trial kit at a store called The Art of Shaving (http://www.theartofshaving.com/). I love stores like this one, so I decided to check it out. I’ve got a beard, so I only shave to keep it looking clean around my neck and cheeks.

There is a pre-shave oil, shaving cream and after-shave balm as well as a small badger brush.

I recommend the pre-shave oil after a hot shower, it really helps to soften it further.

Also, pat your face with a clean towel, instead of wiping off the liquid. It’ll cause less irritation.

31 Brett July 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

hey all, http://westcoastshaving.com/ is where i get my blades. They sell a few razor blade sampler packs which are great for finding the brand of blades that suits you best. I’ve worked up to the Japanese feather blades, there sharp like samaria swords.

32 Michael D. Denny July 17, 2009 at 10:51 pm

And on the note of straight razor and safety razor shaving, it is also hard to be a good, quality preshave oil for protecting your skin. I get mine from Truefitt and Hill. (truefittandhill.com)

33 Jeff July 18, 2009 at 9:49 am

Thank-you for the great articles on shaving. I love my new (to me) safety razor. Besides giving me a great shave without razor burn I love how little money I have spent. I purchased my razor at a flea market for $1.62. Plus I love that shaving with a safety razor is so green. My razor will last a life time (nothing to go to the land fill). The razor blades are 100% recyclable when I am done.

34 paul July 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Hiya.
I showed my father in law this article; he was a professional barber for nearly 30 years.

Never use a loofa on your face. Geez, that thing will tear you apart.

He says the most important step is making sure the beard is thoroughly soaked. So, shaving after a shower is probably one of hte best things you can do. And, after a shave wash with a very gentle facial product, not an exfoliator. In fact, exfoliating may be fine if you’re not shaving since you have a nice beard, but otherwise, every shave exfoliates as someone else said.

Lastly, my wifes father said, you want long straight even strokes. Never short light ones, or you will be more plucking your beard that shaving it. Ideally, your razor is sharp and clean and should do the job with one stroke. For a finer shave, you should shave twice — the first time pulling with the grain but at a slight diagonal (either right handed or left handed, which just means in a slight diagonal) one long even-pressured stroke. Then, you re-lather your face and shave again with the grain but with a slight diagonal in the opposite direction to the first.

He also commented that a brush is best, especially if you’ve got some ingrown hairs etc. But with modern products like Gilette Fusion Gel, you can do a very decent job and the gel is much less drying, especially in the winter than a soap.

35 Timothy Goldsmith July 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Herbs such as black cohosh, angelica, yucca, and ginger can be beneficial in providing relief from arthritis. A tablespoon of honey mixed with a pinch of cinnamon can provide relief from arthritis pain. You should always consult your physician before taking any herbs internally as some herbs may cause side effects and may interact with prescription medications. Some herbs in oil, balm or ointment form, such as St. John’s Wort or Balm of Gilead can be applied topically. Aloe Vera gel can also be massaged right into the afflicted joint area to soothe and relieve the pain and stiffness. Soaking in Epsom salts can also help reduce swelling and increase circulation.

36 Jarrod Loudermilk July 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

All great advice the other thing I found that helps is using a pre-shave oil. You can find it at The Art of Shaving. You apply it prior to your shave cream. My face has become ten times better after I started using a badger brush and shave soap, and I shave every day due to military requirements.

37 Micheal Hall July 18, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I shave in the shower using single bladed disposable razors. I’ve tried multibladed with shaving cream, electric razors, etc. but the best shave I get is in the shower, using a single bladed disposable – no soap or shaving cream. I usually soak my face first, wash my body and hair (rinsing my face and rubbing water into my beard several times in between to help soften it) and then shave. By shaving without washing (but after a through wipe and rinse to remove dirt, dust, grit, etc.) the skin oils present on my face act as a lubricant. After shaving, I wash and rinse my face.

I don’t have a particularly dense or fast growing beard. Using this method, I can go a couple of days without shaving. Using my electric razor, I have to shave every day. I shave blind, simply running my hand over my face to find any missing patches and I shave both with and against the grain (like others it seems I have a beard the grows in all sorts of directions, in particular under my chin).

This method is very inexpensive and keeps my shaving kit very small.

38 Don July 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I have read a few of the articles on wet shaving and they have really grabbed my attention. I would like to start using a safety razor, but need help deciding which to purchase, if a set is a good idea, and all the other products needed to get it going. If anyone can help out there is so much info, I can’t narrow it down.

39 Ryan July 29, 2009 at 2:14 am

Siuper article…but Im partial to Matte For Men Antioxidant Shave Gel…helped stop my ingrowns and irritation…now I can shave everyday. Also love thier “man powder”!

40 Andrew James July 30, 2009 at 7:20 am

Great advice here would you mind if I use it on my website and blogs etc.

41 Z August 1, 2009 at 6:57 am

Two words for ya: Witch Hazel. Feels good and soothes an unhappy face after shaving. Cheap too. Can be found at most drug stores in the same section that has rubbing alcohol.

42 Mike August 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Pick up the Art of Shaving book. It will do wonders for your daily shave. Also check out groominglounge.com for great products.

43 OkieRover August 18, 2009 at 10:31 am

This week while cleaning out my parent’s house, I found my dad’s safety razors hiding in a corner of an unused bathroom. I was ECSTATIC! Badger hair brush, soap, cup, two razors and a box of blades. I promptly set it up so I could shave with it.

It took twice as long as normal. But then again I was unfamiliar with the feel and grip. But it worked great. I used it twice over the weekend.

I just had to share that story here. No one else appreciates it like you guys do.

44 Shaving Man August 25, 2009 at 2:21 am

Great article! Your points on pre-shave prep (soften the beard, use a shaving brush to lather up the shave cream) is where the most of the shaving battle is won or lost. That and shaving with the grain without too much pressure are the biggies in preventing razor burn.

45 Spencer August 26, 2009 at 12:35 am

PFB Vanish (http://www.pfbvanish.com/) ftw!
This is incredible stuff burns with white-hot intensity for the first 15 seconds after it’s applied, but the results are well worth the pain.
I used to not be able to even touch my neck at all for 2 or more days after shaving. It would be nasty looking, red, pimply, and ultra-sensitive.
Now I can use a brillo pad on my neck just a couple minutes after shaving. Well, maybe not a brillo pad, but you get the idea.

46 Brad August 30, 2009 at 9:22 am

My girlfriend gave me this product, ExfoliShave; totally eliminated my razor burn and allows me to shave less often. At first, the stuff looks whack and you are like, “isn’t this going to mess up my razor?” but it doesn’t and it works great. I totally recommend it.
You can buy Exfolishave here

47 Eden Wynter August 31, 2009 at 3:53 am

I have found that Jojoba oil works great on my skin. After my shower I apply a little bit of the oil to face and neck and then apply shaving cream on top of that, then proceed to shave. After I rinse off residue I apply another thin layer of Jojoba oil to sensitive area like neck while skin is still moist. The oil is very light and absorbs quickly and eliminates irritation. I have perfect skin every time.

48 MB October 3, 2009 at 1:55 am

I use Ozeoil shaving oil from Australia, I don’t have any issues about razor burn anymore. Check them out at ozeoil.com

49 Mike October 20, 2009 at 11:55 pm

For us middleaged dudes, the corollary to shaving the face seems to be dealing with other wild stray hair in the vicinity like on the ears.. what is the best way olde skool to groom that, a little hot wax or sugaring?

50 Phil January 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

I use Bronner soap when I shower, and afterward give my face another lathering with Bronners. Gives me the s-m-o-o-t-h-e-s-t shaves. I am 64 years old.

51 Nathan February 14, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Good article, but I would suggest that people stay far, far away from cortisone creams. While they are really good at decreasing inflammation and redness, prolonged use will cause thinning of your skin which can lead to infection and other problems – even sagging and tearing.

Take Care!
Nathan

52 JaimeInTexas May 15, 2010 at 11:30 am

I have been shaving in the shower for many years, without creams or foams or soaps. The recommendations of shaving with the grain (against the grain later, if you wish for a closer shave, for a speciall occasion), short strokes, cleaning after each stroke are things I also follow.

For me, though, shaving in the hot shower is what really does the trick.

Then, proceeed to finish the ritual by implementing the James Bond routine … brrrrr ….. ahhhhhhhhh.

PS: My apologies for clicking the submit button prematurely. Sorry!

53 Musashi June 9, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I hate being overly PC as much as anyone…but seriously, people have to get away from describing all black people as “African American”. A black man who was born in the UK is not an African American, but will be more susceptible to razor bumps. I know everyone reading this article gets the point, but it’s a matter of recognizing heritage. And everyone cares about their heritage.

54 Steve Doplan October 22, 2012 at 2:25 am

I was getting razor bumps weekly so I appreciate the article. Since I ve been using Matte For Men “Antioxidant Shave Gel”, I really dont have the issue anymore…. it works and may be worth a try if you have similar problems…

Thanks!

Steve

55 Steve Doplan October 22, 2012 at 2:26 am

Ive been using Matte Foe men Shave Gel and dont get the bumps anymore…maybe worth a try?!?

56 Andrew October 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I have sensitive acne prone skin so shaving has never been a treat. I tried a DE but I just got major razor burn repeatedly. I wanted soo bad to like it, but alas it wasn’t for me.

However, the best thing I ever did for my skin was to rinse with COLD water. That almost single handedly eliminated ingrown hairs.

The second best thing I did was switch to drug-store aftershaves- Old Spice, Clubman, and the like. The high alcohol content works like an antiseptic and really keeps my skin clear.

Finally, I bought a non-fragrance facial moisturizer and I apply it right after the aftershave while my hands are clean. My skin has never been better.

Cold-water rinse, alcohol aftershave, lotion. This is the trinity of my shave routine!

57 James S January 17, 2013 at 12:27 am

Thank you for all the information provided.
I found this page when I started researching a better shave. In my research I have found that the website etsy.com is a good resource for safety razors. I picked up a 1940′s vintage Gillette Super Speed in a storage case for $25. I am using Bath House Shave soap. Spanish Fig and Nutmeg, They a a few other scents I would like to try as well.

58 Johnny C January 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Reading this article and “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa” changed my life. Previously I could only shave once every 3-4 days and would always get terrible razor burn on my neck. After a week of research on shaving with safety razors I decided to make the investment. I ordered a Merkur safety razor, badger brush, Proraso pre-shave cream, Proraso shaving soap bowl, and finally Pinaud Clubman after shave lotion. The results were amazing. First the scent and feel of the Proraso were great. Applying the warm lather with the badger brush was a new and wonderful treat. Finally the shave itself was not only the closest but most comfortable i’ve ever had. Topping it off with the Pinaud Clubman after shave gave a mild sting then instantly cooling and soothing feel with a great scent. Wish I would’ve discovered all of this years ago.

59 Jake February 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I use this product called Razor Burn Freedom from Swedish Skin Care … it says its for women but it has no fragrance or anything and the bottle is like a silver color. My girlfriend introduced it to me… it is something that you try if you cant fix your razor burn

60 Dave March 26, 2013 at 7:02 am

I find it frustrating that so many people have had so much success with a safety razor. I’ve tried it and have found that it makes my razor burn less (in addition to carving up my face). Another frustrating thing I keep seeing (in this article and elsewhere) is that an effective way to avoid razor burn is to not shave against the grain. You know another way of avoiding razor burn? Grow a beard! For many people, myself included, not shaving against the grain is akin to not shaving at all. My hair grows so close to my skin that shaving with the grain or perpendicular to it accomplishes nothing. Anyway, for those considering a safety razor, beware: there’s a reason they went out of style and it’s not because people prefer spending ten times as much on razor cartridge replacements.

61 Noman January 14, 2014 at 12:32 am

Although I’ve never felt the horror of razor bumps.Thanks for your valuable information

62 Jessy March 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I think I revisiting the lost art of shaving. Thanks a lot @artofmanliness

63 Casy March 30, 2014 at 9:18 am

I believe the best way to avoid razor burn is to use an electric shaver. Well I have come across people who experienced razor burns even with electric razors. But they were all using average shavers and against the grain. http://getarazor.com/ reviewed the best of electric razors and I think it’s worth a look.

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