How Can I Get Rid of Razor Burns?

Posted by Anne Alajar

 

Razor burn is a common skin irritation that occurs while shaving. Razor burn can affect any part of your body - from your face to your neck, from your arms to your legs. Not to be confused with razor bumps, signs of razor burn can include redness (all over the shaved area, or in the form of red streaks, or blotchiness), itchiness, rash, swelling, tenderness, a burning feeling, and small red bumps on and around the affected area. Whereas razor bumps are characterized by small bumps and are the result of ingrown hairs - i.e. hairs that curl back into the skin as it grows back. 

More often than not, razor burn goes away on its own, but fortunately, there are a handful of at home remedies that could help quicken the healing process… 


ALOE VERA

Aloe Vera is one of the most accessible remedies. It is known for soothing and healing burns, plus it also acts as a moisturizer, soother, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. In addition, Aloe Vera contains plant hormones called glucomannan and gibberellin, which increases the synthesis of collagen, healing skin ailments and preventing scarring.


NATURAL OILS

Natural oils can be used to soften and hydrate the skin, and reduce itchiness, tenderness, and burning. 
For example, coconut oil and sweet almond oil can help relieve razor burn. Coconut Oil is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, whereas Sweet Almond Oil is a great natural moisturizer. Both coconut oil and sweet almond oil can be applied after shaving and directly onto the razor burn. 
Other creams or oils, such as unscented lotions, aftershaves, and moisturizers can also be applied to the skin. Avoid using any products with alcohol in it to the inflamed area. 

TEA TREE OIL

Tea Tree Oil is known to be an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It can be used as a natural remedy to heal minor wounds and soothe burns. However, it is important to note how potent this product is, so it should be diluted before applying it directly to your skin. We recommend mixing 1 to 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil with about a teaspoon of another carrier oil (such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil). 

 

WITCH HAZEL

Witch hazel is an astringent and anti-inflammatory, meaning it contains properties that causes body tissues (such as skin) to tighten, making the skin less oily, and helps stops a cut from bleeding. It is a natural remedy that soothes burns, relieves pain, and treat minor skin irritations.

BAKING SODA PASTE

Baking Soda contains cooling effects on the skin, and making Baking Soda into a paste allows for easy application. To make the Baking Soda Paste, simply add filtered water to baking soda until a thick paste forms. Apply the paste to your skin, leave it on until it dries, then rinse thoroughly.

 

OATMEAL BATH

According to Colloidal Oatmeal: History, Chemistry and Clinical Properties (2007) by Kurtz & Wallo, oats contain phenols with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties - making oatmeal baths great for skin irritations, and in turn, razor burns. To use oatmeal as a relief, finely grind (as best you can) rolled oats and saturate the blend with cool water. Strain the mixture, then use a cloth to dab into the mixture and gently press against the inflicted area for about 10 to 15 minutes everyday until it’s healed.
 
Be careful when experimenting with home remedies to alleviate razor burns. When introducing new products to your body, there is a chance you may be allergic to the above, or your skin might react poorly to the substance. Make sure to do a patch test on another area of your body to see how your skin reacts, before applying it directly to your razor burn.
 
DECREASE YOUR RAZOR BURNS

Getting razor burn is a pain, and the healing process can take some time, but there are a handful of preventative steps you could take to help reduce your chances of getting razor burn in the future.
One of the most significant ways you could decrease your chances of razor burns is to always practice good shaving techniques. For instance, 
    1. Give yourself plenty of time to shave, so you’re not rushed
    2. Shave when your skin is clean, wet and warm to help soften the hair. It’s usually a good idea to exfoliate your skin before shaving to remove dirt and dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Doing so keeps your skin clean, unclogs your pores and helps you get a closer shave.
    3. Always apply a generous coating of shaving gel, cream, or lotion to the area. Make sure you’re using a gentle lubricant that won’t irritate your skin. 
    4. Avoid using old blades. Typically, you should replace your disposable blades every five to seven times - if not sooner. If you haven't already, check out our last blog post to determine how often you should be changing your razor blade.
    5. Shave in the direction that your hair grows, not against the grain. You would also want to keep your shaving strokes short and light. If you feel like you have to drag your razor, it’s time for a new blade.
    6. Avoid going over the same area more than once. If you feel that you have to repeatedly go over your skin with the razor, again, it’s probably time for a new blade.
    7. Rinse your razor between each use to remove buildup.
    8. Keep your razors in a dry area and replace them often. You want to maintain a sharp razor, void of any rust or buildup.
    9. After shaving, apply a fragrance free moisturizer to restore your skin’s natural barriers and avoid wearing any tight clothing or fabric against the freshly shaved area so that the cloth won’t rub against the area and irritate it.
    Worst case scenario, if you find that the razor burn aggravates you enough to cause you to lose sleep, causes you to have difficulty performing ordinary activities, continues for weeks, starts to blister, and/or if there are any signs of infection (for instance, begins to show white or pus-filled heads), contact your doctor immediately - these could be signs that antibiotic treatment may be required.


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