Often a rite of passage, shaving, can be a burden and an irritation to people with sensitive skin. Unfortunately, razor burn is an ongoing reality for many people beyond just their first shave.
This can be a hindrance and cause irregular shaving patterns or lazy shaving. Sensitive skin is no reason for poor maintenance and bad grooming habits. Today, there are many innovations razor technology that can reduce razor burn while increasing shaving capability.
OUr Top PiCK
Schick Hydro Sensitive Razor
Not only the shape and texture of the blade, but the number of blades can make a difference. Beyond blade technology, there are also new soaps and shampoos that reduce irritants for sensitive skins.
First, we need to understand the problem. We will be looking at what causes skin sensitivities both genetically and environmentally. Then, we will take a look at what sort of new razors and razor configurations are available. We will then take a look at what sorts of shaving creams and soaps are available to help reduce any undue irritation.
Finally, we will include a list of ingredients to stay away from as they are known to cause inflammation or irritation.
What Causes Skin Irritation?
Before you can go into solutions, you have to first understand the problem. Like most problems, though the symptoms are the same (razor burn or razor bumps) the causes are complex and have many answers. We will start with quick definitions of each and then jump into some of the reasons why they persist.
It is important to remember that shaving is a rather violent action to be taking right against the skin on an everyday basis. Razor burns and razor bumps are not uncommon though there are ways to reduce the stress you undergo with shaving.
Skin is designed to be protective, and part of that protectiveness is to be sensitive to the outside environment
Razor Burn vs. Razor Bumps
A razor burn is caused usually right after shaving. Shaving, in general, is a bit of a stress on the skin. When you include the fact that your hair does not all grow in the same direction, that shaving dries out your skin and removes oils, and that you are dragging a sharp blade across your skin, razor burn can seem inevitable to some.
Razor Bumps are caused after the fact when hair tries to grow back in, but are unable to grow back.
This likely because your razor left some dirt in your pores, or because your hair is curlier, the hair does grow through the opening but instead curls back on itself causing a painful ingrown hair or razor bump. These generally resolve but can be unsightly and certainly painful for a period of time.
What Type of Razors Are Good For Sensitive Skin?
A blade is not just a blade. In fact, two of the leading causes of razor burn is a dull blade and going over the same area multiple times in one round of shaving. This section goes over the best blades for men and for women to make sure you get the shave that you need without the burns you want to avoid.
Schick Hydro Sensitive Razor
The Shick razor for men is a great solution for men who want a better shave and a better feeling face. The razor comes with a sensitive gel formula that comforts and re-hydrates dried skin. Made from herbal abstracts, this gel is designed to provide instant lubrication after the blades provide a close shave.
The blades themselves can either be set to single blade use for precision trimming or flip to the full 5 blade mode. By using five blades over one blade for a large area of skin, this reduces any need to go back over skin that has just been shaved. This with lubrication, re-hydration, and only going over the skin one-time, this should reduce razor burn greatly.
If that was not enough though, the razor comes with Shock Absorb Technology. It will lighten up if it feels you pressing too hard and will add pressure back when you need it to. This proprietary technology makes this a razor considering just on those merits.
The gel packs hydrate and refresh your face after the shave. All in all, this is a great razor for men with sensitive skin.
I know what you're thinking...
You can't be serious. A Woman's razor? Oh, I am VERY serious. I stole this from a girl I was dating one time and I've never had a less irritated shave on my scalp. Trust me when I tell you, the moisturizing strip in this razor works!
The Venus razor has a lot of the same features as the Shick with a few notable differences. The rounded, pivoting head and the ergonomic razor handle themselves are designed to better handle the many curves of a woman for a closer shave all around. The gel is a skin lotion, so not only is your skin hydrated after the shave but it is also moisturized.
Dollar Shave Club (The 4x)
Harry's The Winston
What Shaving Creams or Soaps Could Reduce Irritation?
The product you use before or after you shave is just as important as the design of the blades or what kind of razor you use. A lot of razor bumps come from skin that has not been cleaned before it was shaved. The dirt or sweat can get trapped in the newly opened pore and the hair coming out can get trapped.
Razor rash is often after dry skin has been shave without a lubricant. To avoid both, it is important to have a good soap before use that is good for sensitive skin.
During a shave, it is also important to apply a good shaving cream to act as a lubricant. It is not enough to just rely upon the lubricant gels on the razor to do the work for you.
Proraso Pre-Shave Cream, Sensitive Skin
A good shave begins with a good razor. A great shave begins with a Pre-Shave Soap Cream. This old world recipe contains Oatmeal, Green Tea, is Cruelty-Free and has no parabens, phthalates, silicones, or other skin irritants. The Proraso helps clean and prepare the shave area by softening the hair and softening the skin before the shave.
Having originated in Italy, this pre-shave is great for your skin and hair if you are looking for a close shave.
Aveeno has been in the skincare game for over 65 years and brings this no-fragrance shaving cream specifically created for those with sensitive skin. This can help prevent razor bumps by hydrating and protecting your skin during a shave. Due to the lubricating nature of the gel, you can get a close shave against the skin to prevent short coarse hairs from contributing to a typical razor burn.
The Vitamin E and oats are added in to help with moisturizing your skin. As you shave and wick oils away from your face, it is important to moisturize with the right elements after a close shave and Aveeno has nailed the ingredient list on this one.
Aveeno is a great option specifically for those who have sensitive skin and need a close shave. Say goodbye to the dry razor burn!
What Ingredients Should I Stay Away from?
Just as with everything, prevention is the best medicine. That means keeping your blades fresh and washed, making sure you use some of the razors mentioned up above, as well as taking the time to find the right creams and soaps for sensitive skin. However, you will want to make sure that all of the products that you use are not undoing the hard work you put into your shaving routine.
While it would be difficult to try to list all of the best soaps, shampoos, face cleansers, lotions, it is easier instead to list a few of the most harmful elements. That way you can check labels from now on and stay away from them.
For all of the benefits that we are discovering in essential oils, we are finding that such a concentrated oil the intensity can upset skin that is already sensitive. Not only that, even the natural and organic ingredients can carry many allergenic compounds within them. Use these sparingly and do your research beforehand.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or SLS
This is a foaming agent that is found in many different home cleaners and shampoos. Most cleaning agents that you equate with foam, or “cleansing bubble” rely upon SSL’s. During their foaming phase, they can upset and wick away the protective layer of oils on your body and in your hair. For those who have sensitive skin, this can create an opportunity for dryness, rashes, and further irritations.
Petrochemicals and Synthetics
On the opposite side of the scale are those chemicals that actually create an extra oil layer on top of your skin. This can prevent moisture from escaping. This allows the skin to expand, which hides wrinkles, but also causes a build-up of bacteria.
Alternatives include jojoba and almond oil. Look for these ingredients and stay away from mineral oil or any other petro-based chemicals.
That's A Wrap
The best thing that you can do for your skin is to build a skin barrier to reduce sensitivity with your natural oils. Anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera or oatmeal help with this, and avoiding the chemicals listed above are helpful as well.
The daily routine that most jeopardizes your skin layers is shaving though. You are literally bringing a metal blade to scrape against your skin and shave your hair down to the skin line. That is why we took the time to not only list a few razors that do the job well but also the pre-shave creams and shaving creams that will go the furthest in helping you to protect your skin.
Razor burns and razor bumps have been around from the beginning of shaving, but there is not reason for them to stay. With the products out there now, there is no reason why your shaving routines and skincare management cannot be as smooth as the skin you desire after a close shave. Take a look through the links again and find the products that would work best for you.
Last update on 2020-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API