Isn’t it frustrating when you have gone through the effort of shaving your skin, expecting soft and smooth results afterwards, but only to be left with itchy red bumps all over? Not the most attractive look, we must admit.
How to Avoid a Post-Shave Rash
For those of us who can’t afford to go for professional laser hair removal, shaving our body hair is one of the most affordable options out there. Unfortunately, if done incorrectly, shaving can end up causing irritation to our skin, leaving us with an unflattering rash all over. But, that post-shave red bumpy skin can be avoided as long as you adopt the following tips:
Do a Proper Lather
You might think any type of lubricant will work to lather your shave — all that matters is it allows you to shave smoothly, right? Well, even though other lubricants like soaps, shampoos or moisturisers might allow you to glide the razor easily across the surface of your skin, that does not necessarily mean you will get the results of a smooth shave. In fact, using these lubricants as substitutes for shaving gels or creams can even cause your skin to become even drier because they do not contain ingredients that are hydrating enough for your post-shave skin. Therefore, to lather your skin before shaving, always use a proper shaving gel or cream as these products are specifically designed to be used with razors. Furthermore, they usually contain hydrating ingredients that are rich enough to help reduce the friction of your razor against your skin while shaving.
Hydrate Your Skin Pre and Post-Shave
Hydrating your skin does not only mean slathering it in moisturiser but also letting it soak in warm water — this is known as wet shaving. Soaking your skin in water before shaving will allow the hairs on your skin to soften and enable you to achieve a closer shave. Shaving when your skin is dry, on the other hand, will result in an uneven shave, which will leave you with rougher skin texture. For an easy wet shave, we recommend shaving in the shower and letting your skin soak in water for a few minutes so it has ample time to get hydrated. Follow this up by applying a shaving gel or cream before you start shaving. Once you are done, remember to moisturise your post-shave skin as well. Choose a moisturiser with rich ingredients such as shea butter and coconut oil as well as skin-calming ingredients like aloe vera.
Exfoliate Your Skin Before Shaving
Just as how you need to exfoliate your face every week to remove the dead skin cells that have accumulated over time, your body requires the same treatment too. If not removed, the dead cells that have built up on your skin will clog your hair follicles and trap the hair under the surface of your skin, which can lead to ingrown hairs. If you already have a once-a-week exfoliation routine down, then it is not necessary for you to do this step every time before a shave. If not, be sure to exfoliate your skin before each shave to remove the build-up of dead skin cells. The type of exfoliator you use matters too to ensure you do not end up with sensitised skin after shaving. Instead of using physical scrubs — which can be too abrasive on the skin — opt for chemical exfoliators such as alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or beta hydroxy acid (BHA).
Invest in a Good Quality Razor
We know it is hard to resist that packet of disposable razors that costs less than a McDonald’s meal. But, we probably do not have to tell you that those bargain razors are just waiting to irritate your skin. If you do choose to use disposable razors, you will need to replace them after a number of uses. Some brands of disposable razors will state this on their packaging. If there are no specific replacement instructions, you should generally replace your razors after about five to eight uses, or when your the blade of your razor is beginning to rust, whichever comes first. Obviously, an alternative to buying disposable razors is investing in a good quality razor. Although the price will be heavier on your wallet, you will be able to use it for a longer period of time without having to replace it after every few uses, making it a more cost-effective option.
Do a Post-Shave Cold Water Rinse
Since soaking your skin in warm water will cause the pores of your skin to open, it is a good idea to rinse the shaved area in cold water to close them up. If not, you are leaving the open pores of your skin vulnerable to various environmental matter like dirt and grime. Plus, rinsing your post-shave skin in cold water will help soothe your skin and reduce the risk of irritation, especially if your skin is sensitive.
Dry the Shaved Area Gently
This sounds like a minor issue, but how you dry the shaved areas of your skin matters too to reduce the risk of a shaving rash. Your skin will be in a more sensitive condition after shaving, and you will need to be extra delicate in its aftercare. Therefore, after you have shaved, do not vigorously towel dry your skin. Use patting motions instead and if possible, use a towel made of a softer fabric so it will be much gentler on your skin.