If you have acne you know how troublesome it is to shave. Not only does it make shaving more difficult but shaving in itself causes you more acne. Luckily you can learn how to prevent acne after shaving your face.
Taking the time to learn how to shave properly and making a few tweaks to your routine will go a long way to treating your acne. Below you'll find our best shaving practices and tips to improve your shaving routine.
Begin With Good Shaving Practices
With all things you want to master you'll need a solid foundation and become an expert in the basics. Figuring out where you're going wrong in your shave routine will put you on the right path to fighting your shave acne.
Read through the steps below and see where your routine is different. Find where you can incorporate these best shaving practices and improve on your own routine.
Step 1) Exfoliate & Cleanse
Begin your routine with exfoliating and cleansing your skin. Take a washcloth and soak it in hot water. Twist the washcloth to remove excess water. Use this washcloth to lay across your face. This is going to relax your skin and hair follicles and it also feels amazing!
Immediately after finishing with the hot washcloth begin exfoliating your skin. I recommend using a soft bristle brush to scrub your face. Exfoliating removes excess oils and dead skin cells from your face before shaving.
The exfoliate and cleanse process greatly reduces the amount of bacteria on your skin before shaving. It's an activity that's greatly underestimated and needs to be utilized more often at home. Typically people only receive this sort of treatment when visiting a barber shop professional. Instead, treat yourself to this every time you shave.
Step 2) Don't Overuse Shave Cream
Far to often I see men using way to much shaving cream. It's falling all over the place and the first couple shave passes is only wiping off excess shaving cream. It looks like a huge mess but maybe no one showed them how to properly apply shaving cream.
When you're applying shaving cream always put on a very thin light amount of cream. You can always re-apply shaving cream after a pass of the razor if you need it. Using thinner amounts of shave cream lets your razor pick up hairs easier and provides the right amount of protection for your skin.
Also, you want to focus on using the shave cream you have on your face. Utilize the shave cream to its fullest because shaving cream is oily and you rather not use it for longer periods of time if you have acne.
Step 3) Shave With The Grain
Always, I repeat always shave with the grain. If you're taking your acne seriously and really want to prevent acne then only shave with the grain. I know you're thinking that it's only possible to get the closest shave going against the grain but you may be surprised.
When you shave against the grain you increase your odds of shaving related issues. You're more likely to get ingrown hairs, skin irritation, and razor burn. All of these issues you want to avoid if you have acne. Acne only amplifies the pain behind each of these problems and you can avoid it all together by not shaving against the grain.
You can make more passes going with the grain and also shave cross grain to get an acceptably smooth shave. I've written a more detailed guide on how to get a close shave with the grain if you want to read it after this.
Step 4) Rinse Regularly
Frequently rinsing your razor should be an overdone habit. It's a positive thing to rinse your razor as much as possible throughout your shaving routine. You're removing the dead skin cells and bacteria that get clogged on your razor blade.
No matter how good your pre-shave routine is a razor blade gliding over your skin will collect additional bacteria. So rinse your razor blade off after every pass so that your next pass is with a clean razor.
Step 5) Due Diligence
Once you're done shaving it's up to you to continuously maintain your skin. Preventing acne and treating acne has everything to do with skin care. Depending on how severe your acne is you will need to take different levels of action.
If you only have light acne then improving on your basic shaving routine may be enough to prevent your acne from reoccurring. If your acne is more extreme you will need to take additional measures beyond improving your shave routine.
Create a skin care regime you can do three times a day. Exfoliating and using acne ointment should be made part of your routine. Treat your skin in the morning, mid-day, and before bed. If your acne is very severe always discuss your options with a dermatologist.
Below I've put together some additional tips you should consider.
Make Changes For Your Acne
So you're off to a good start. You're learning how to prevent acne after shaving your face but you want to take as many precautions as possible. The tips below will greatly help reduce your acne and make your life a little bit easier.
Tip 1) Use A Safety Razor
Using a safety razor instead of a cartridge razor will make a huge difference for you. Shaving with a cartridge razor with multiple blades is a nightmare for someone with acne. Each blade is an additional chance to have shaving related problems.
With a safety razor you have a single blade to worry about and focus on. It gives you complete control over your shave and it's easier to shave around bumps on the skin.
Tip 2) Change Shaving Creams
Shaving creams can be full of artificial ingredients and chemicals that will make your acne worse. If you search around a little you can find all natural shaving creams that won't cause any acne related issues.
There's other types of shave creams and gels that work as substitutes as well. You can find shave butters and other natural oils to shave with to replace a chemical filled shave cream.
Tip 3) Go Fragrance Free
Avoid anything with fragrance. Nearly everything that has a fragrance is bad for acne. It causes acne inflammation and skin irritation. Instead use fragrance free alternatives.
It's super easy to find fragrance free options of nearly anything. Your skin moisturizers, aftershave, shampoo, and other products that would be used on or near your face should be free of fragrance.
Tip 4) Use Alcohol Based Aftershave Balm
When you're finished shaving apply a fragrance free alcohol based aftershave balm. These balms are great for tightening the skin and removing excess oils. This makes alcohol based aftershave great for shaving related acne.
Avoid using aftershave that's non-alcohol based for acne. Without the alcohol the aftershave will have a negative effect for your acne and actually make your skin more oily.
Tip 5) Mid Day Maintenance
Put in the extra effort to treat your skin mid-day. You likely treat your skin in the morning and before bed but putting the extra effort in and doing a mid-day treatment will go a long way.
Your mid-day routine should include exfoliating, cleansing, and a product based treatment. The product you use is up to you but things like proactive or simple alcohol based skin treatments will do great.