Shaving is a necessary annoyance that we all undertake in our pursuit of smooth, perfect skin. However, those with naturally sensitive skin can find shaving regularly to be very problematic, and something that causes many forms of irritation.
So, what’s the best way to shave with sensitive skin? We looked into it.
Why does shaving irritate sensitive skin?
In general, sensitive skin is much more prone to suffering reactions to various things, such as weather and heat conditions, product usage, and environmental elements. One of the main speed bumps for people with sensitive skin is shaving, as there can be multiple forms of side effects if done incorrectly or carelessly.
Here are some of the main issues that can be caused by shaving.
Ingrown hairs occur when the hair is cut at an uneven angle, causing a sharp point. This then becomes lodged under the skin’s surface and causes stunted growth of the hair, leading to various forms of irritation such as bumps, redness, pigmentation, and itchiness.
If you have a lot of ingrown hairs and pigmentation as a result, check out our article on how to get rid of dark spots caused by ingrown hairs.
Another common problem with shaving sensitive skin comes in the form of razor burns. This is when either incorrect shaving tools are used, or the user has a poor technique, which results in the skin becoming inflamed due to friction and irritation. This can often lead to discomfort and even rashes.
Signs you have sensitive skin
If you’re a little bit unsure whether you have sensitive skin, you should check for the following symptoms after shaving.
- Burning or stinging
- Ingrown hair
- Dark spots
If you experience several of these effects, it is more than likely that you are one of the unlucky ones with sensitive skin. To learn how to get rid of dark spots after shaving, check out our helpful article here.
Our shaving guide for sensitive skin
Okay, you are displaying all the obvious signs of sensitive skin, and shaving is something you dread, so what can you do? Well, shaving with sensitive skin can be more of a delicate process than normal, but if done right, the unpleasant side effects and reactions can be kept to a minimum.
Follow our handy guide below to experience stress-free shaving.
Step 1: Soak in warm water
Before grabbing the razor and going to town, it’s super important to prepare the skin correctly. The best way to do this is by soaking the skin in nice warm water. This will give the pores and hair follicles an opportunity to soften and loosen, which will make them more agreeable to the shaving process. Generally speaking, it is never advisable to shave dry skin, as this just increases the chances of irritation.
Step 2: Exfoliate
A crucial step when shaving sensitive skin is exfoliating. Exfoliators, or scrubs, are powerful products that contain potent ingredients as well as thousands of tiny hard granules, that act to thoroughly wash away dirt, debris, and dead cells from the surface of the skin. This will make sure the skin is as clear as possible before shaving, lowering the risk of blocked pores and other hurdles that could get in the way. The likelihood of developing ingrown hair after exfoliating is also minimized.
Step 3: Use a new razor
If your razor blades aren’t sharp, you are only upping the chances of your skin experiencing problems. Blunt razors can be tough on hair, cause razor burn, scratch the skin, and cause other forms of irritation. Always make sure you are using new razors so the hair can be cut easier.
Step 4: Use shaving cream
This is an obvious one. Using a good shaving cream or oil can really help the shaving process. For sensitive skin, the cream or oil will allow the razor to smoothly glide across the surface, which will lessen the probability of negative reactions.
Step 5: Use lukewarm water
It’s very important to avoid using hot water when shaving. If water is too hot, the skin will automatically suffer from a protective response, which will cause redness, inflammation, and irritation. Lukewarm water on the other hand will soothe the skin and make everything much easier.
Step 6: Take your time
Shaving isn’t a race, it’s a delicate process that requires a lot of care and patience. Take it slow and steady and your skin should react much more favorably.
Step 7: Shave with the grain
Unless you need to tackle extremely rough patches of hair, it’s always best to shave with the grain, not against it. Shaving against the grain, especially on sensitive skin, can massively increase the chances of irritation, bumps, redness, and ingrown hair.
Step 8: Rinse with cold water
Once you’re happy with your shave, rinse your face thoroughly with cold water. The impact of the cold water can surprise the skin and force pores to tighten and close up, which provides less opportunity for ingrown hairs to form. This is a neat little trick that can save you a lot of headaches.
Step 9: Moisturize
To finish the routine, use a moisturizer to calm the skin down. A moisturizer, especially one that is alcohol-free, can restore vital hydration and water to the skin which will help it deal with any possible irritation from shaving. The type of moisturizer is up to you, creams, gels, or foam products will all be beneficial.
That’s it! By following our guide for shaving sensitive skin, you can greatly reduce the chances of painful irritation and other bad reactions.
Remember, shaving should be a careful and gradual process. It shouldn’t be rushed or taken for granted. Protect the skin before, during, and after shaving to ensure the best and safest results.