While “razor burn” sounds like a cool punk garage band name you’d come up with in high school, the real life version is certainly not glamorous. Find out how you can avoid the painful burning, bumps and stinging that can often result from improper shaving technique as well as why it happens in the first place.

What Is Razor Burn?
Like a carpet burn or road rash, razor burn is all about excess friction. It can happen while you shave for a number of reasons, but they all boil down to the fact that your blade is dragging across skin and snagging hair follicles when it should be gliding across them.

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How to Prevent Razor Burn
Here a few tips for razor burn prevention. Don’t let it happen to you!

  • Start with a clean, wet face that has been soaking for around two
  • minutes. You can use a piping hot towel or stand with your mug pointed at the shower head a little longer before you shave.

  • Not all shave creams are created equally.
  • Use a high-quality shaving cream with skin moisturizing ingredients; keeping your skin soft and stretchy prevents dragging.

  • Reapply shaving cream before going back over problem areas.
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  • Trim down bushy or excess growth with clipper or a beard trimmer before going in with a razor.
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  • Always shave with the grain if you are especially prone to razor burn. You’ll get a closer, more comfortable shave and avoid unsightly mishaps. Just be sure to note where your grain pattern switches direction.
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  • Use short, light strokes.
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  • Keep your blade clean! Razor burn can happen when oil or bacteria linger on the blade edge.
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  • Splash your face with cold water after shaving, which snaps your pores shut and reduces your odds of forming ingrown hairs.
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  • You need to care for your skin after you shave, too.
  • Use an aftershave, face balm or moisturizer post shave, and definitely avoid harsh aftershave products made with alcohol. As Patrick Bateman tells us: “Alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older.”

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