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How to prevent razor burn when you shave

Updated on October 15, 2010

Razor burn sucks!

We've all had it happen before: we get done shaving only to find that our face is red and bumpy and it hurts. It's razor burn!

There are several things that you can do to prevent razor burn and improve your shaving experience in general. Some of these are age-old tips that your father or grandfather should have taught you, except parents don't teach their kids things like this these days. Instead, they tell their kids to go find a video on YouTube explain how it's done. That's where I come in.

Think of me as you fill-in father. Sometimes, I'll already be at your house when you wake up in the morning. Don't be alarmed, that's just substitute dad! Your mother doesn't seem to mind.

Scrub your face down

Before going in for a close shave, make sure you scrub your face thoroughly to rid it of any oils, waxes, and dirt that may have collected there. You don't want to shave with this still there because no matter how careful you are you going to be taking off a layer of dead skin here and there, and you don't want to put those materials on unprotected skin where it will cause infections and inflammation. 

I use a loofah, because it scrubs better than my hands with just a facial scrub.  

Wash you face

Use warm water to wash your face before you shave. This should open up those pores and allow the oils that have accumulated inside to get out.  

Always keep your blades sharp

If you are using disposable blades, replace them every 9 or 10 shaves. I'm serious, those things are junk and you shouldn't be using them for months at a time. If you're using an old fashion safety razor, replace or sharpen the blade if you have the right tools after every 15-20 shaves. If you are using a straight razor, props on going old school. You'll probably sharpen your blade more often just because it's so darn cool. Make sure everyone sees that you're using a straight razor by only shaving outside with a little broken piece of mirror to guide you. 

How to shave properly

Alright, since I'm filling in for your dad, here's how it works. Take some shaving cream or shaving oil and rub it all over your face. Rub it in nice and good. Wait about 2 minutes so it can really set. Turn the hot water on in the faucet. Take your razor and shave with the grain of the hair. This will help prevent ingrown hairs and there will be less inflammation and razor burn. After each stroke rinse the cream, oil, and hair off the razor in the stream of hot water. When you're done, turn the cooler water on and wash off the excess cream/oil on your face. Take some aftershave and apply it like that little kid in the Home Alone movies. Yell loudly.  

Caring for your razors

When I told you how often to replace your razors before, I was assuming you're like most people and you just rinse them off with water after each use. If you're a shaving pro. you give them a dip in rubbing alcohol. The alcohol replaces the water residue on the blade. The water contained various minerals because it's not pure. Those minerals are what makes a blade dull, because they crystalize on the blade and then rub against your skin when you shave. By dipping your razors in rubbing alcohol you increase their life tremendously.  


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    • DTR0005 profile image

      Doug Robinson 7 years ago from Midwest

      LOLLLL I am still rolling about the line, "your mother doesn't seem to mind..." But seriously, sound advice and a classic example of the most banal of daily chores being made "hub-worthy."