Prevent Razor Bumps Anywhere with These Simple Tips
When it comes to razor bumps, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some pointers of what you need to do to avoid skin irritation after hair removal.
- Practice Good Shaving Habits and Techniques
Did you know that there are certain shaving habits and methods that increase the chances of razor burn? Read on to learn about the dos and don’ts of shaving.
- Let Hair Grow a Bit Long Before Shaving
Perhaps not the kind of advice the clean-shaven enthusiasts would expect to hear, but letting hair grow a little longer actually reduces the chances of experiencing razor burn.
Shaving every day will irritate fresh bumps, so it’s wise to give them a chance to heal. If you must shave/wax your bikini area often, do this after every 5 to 7 days.
- Don’t Use Blunt Razors
As a general rule of thumb, shaving is best done with a sharp razor. You should always buy a new razor if your current one becomes dull. A dull blade will irritate hair follicles since you’ll be forced to press harder against the skin to get a clean cut. This also increases the risk of accidental nicks that might cause razor bumps to become infected.
Although high quality blades don’t come cheap, they tend to last long and are worth the investment. You can extend the life of your razor by taking care of it. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the blade under running water for a deeper clean. In addition, pat the blade dry with a clean towel when you’re through shaving to prevent rusting and dulling.
- Exfoliate Before and After Shaving
When dead skin cells and bacteria clog hair follicles, this encourages ingrown hair. As one of the contributing factors of razor bumps, ingrown hair is a condition that you should avoid. Before shaving the bikini area, always exfoliate to unblock any clogged pores. Exfoliating again when you are done will help to wipe away any excess dead skin particles that were brought up by shaving.
You can use a washcloth or exfoliation scrub such as mitt or loofah sponge. Exfoliating once or twice a week after shaving can also be helpful. This will effectively remove dead skin cells that block hair follicles and encourage razor bumps to form.
- Soak in Warm Water or Take a Hot Shower Before Shaving
When planning to shave the bikini area, it helps to expose the hair to warm water before cutting it. Soaking in warm water or taking a hot shower before shaving softens the hair and makes your skin less prone to irritation.
If you don’t have much time to take a shower or soak in the tub, a faster method is to press a clean, washcloth soaked in warm water on the bikini area for about 60 seconds.
- Lubricate the Skin with Pre-shave Oil or Shaving Cream
One of the biggest contributing factors to razor bump development is shaving when your skin is dry. However, you can avoid this by simply using pre-shave oil or shaving cream. Much like warm water, shaving gel or pre-shave oil softens hair and moisturizes the skin to make shaving easier and prevent irritation.
- Shave in the Direction of Hair Growth
This is one of the best techniques to prevent razor bumps. Shaving in the direction of hair growth allows hair to grow back naturally because new strands will have smooth angled cuts that are less likely to curl and pierce the skin.
On the bikini area, hair grows downward. This means that you should stroke the razor from the top going down. The only drawback with this method is that you won’t get the super close and smooth shave that can only be achieved when shaving against the grain.
- Although shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth allows you to cut hair below the skin level, this creates irritation and facilitates development of ingrown hair.
- Avoid Going Over the Same Place Twice
Try not to pass the razor over the same patch of hair twice as this only causes more irritation to the skin. You can still get a close shave with fewer strokes by using a few simple techniques. To do so:
- Trim long hair with a pair of scissors so that there will be no entanglement in between the blades on your shaving razor.
- Alternatively, you can use an electric clipper with the guide comb on to trim the hair before grabbing your razor to get a close shave.
- It also helps to hold the skin taut when shaving because an even surface helps the razor to cut as much hair as it possibly can.
- Don’t Press the Razor too Hard Against the Skin When Shaving
When shaving, you may be tempted to press the razor harder on the skin to get a closer shave. However, avoid this because too much pressure will only make the razor uneven on your skin can cause irritation. To prevent razor bumps, hold the razor lightly and glide it over the bikini area.
- Rinse with Cold Water After Shaving
Cold water lowers the temperature on your skin and causes the tiny muscles attached to each hair follicle to contract. This in turn closes skin pores and makes it more difficult for bacteria to invade your skin. It’s therefore a good practice to rinse off with cold water after shaving. Pressing a cold wet, cloth on the bikini area would also work just fine.
- Pat Dry and Apply Moisturizing Lotion
Another great way to keep razor bumps at bay after shaving is to dry the area and apply some moisturizer. The key to preventing further aggravation on your newly shaved bikini area is to pat it dry. Don’t rub the area with your towel as this only irritates the skin more.
In addition, make sure to apply some Aloe Vera gel or any other natural moisturizer after drying the shaved area. This will reduce redness and irritation as well as decrease the risk of razor burn.
- Wear Loose Clothing After Shaving
It helps to wear loose clothing after shaving. This way, sweat and bacteria won’t get trapped down there plus new strands of hair will have space to grow naturally. Preferably, choose cotton underwear or any other breathable fabric. Remember that tight clothing will only encourage formation of ingrown hair on the bikini area, one of the precursors for razor bumps.
- Try Chemical Depilatory
Chemical depilatory eliminates one of the major causes of razor burn. With this hair removal method, you don’t have to shave or wax. Instead, depilatory uses chemicals to remove hair just above or below the skin’s surface.
These depilatory chemicals usually come in the form of a gel, cream, lotion, roll-on liquid, powder, or aerosol. Once applied on the skin, the chemical compound remains on hair strands for a given period. The chemicals weaken hair so that it falls off easily when scrapped.
As with any chemical based product, this method of hair removal has a few drawbacks. For starters, chemical depilatory creams generally give off a foul smell and some people may experience skin irritation when using them. In addition, the effects only last for a short period since hair growth begins to appear typically within 2 to 5 days.
Despite these disadvantages, chemical depilatory is a painless, fast, and inexpensive way to remove unwanted hair without causing irritation on the skin. It can be done at home and no professional assistance is required. The fact that there are many over-the-counter products in the market is also an added bonus of choosing to remove unwanted hair through chemical depilatory.
Bear in mind that formulations for depilatory creams may vary depending on the brand. Therefore, ensure to choose a hair removal cream that has been approved for use on the bikini area to avoid irritation.
- Consider Long Term Hair Removal
Shaving increases the risk of razor bumps. Therefore, you can avoid or at least minimize razor burn bouts by opting for semi-permanent methods of hair removal. Here are two options for long-term hair removal.
Waxing removes hair from the root and it can take anywhere between four to six weeks before seeing any re-growth. Although some people experience skin irritation after a bikini wax, the risk of ingrown hair will be decreased. Much of this has to do with the fact that new growth will be composed of finer strands instead of coarse hair with sharp tips.
- Laser Hair Removal
This high-tech treatment removes unwanted hair by destroying follicles with pulses of laser light. Although re-growth eventually occurs after several months, laser hair removal can save you the hassle of shaving and recurring bouts of razor bumps. However, it can be quite expensive and you will require four to six sessions in order to kill hair in all phases of growth.