Shaving rash is always an unfortunate occurrence that can leave you red-faced in more ways than one. When dragging a razor blade across your skin it is easy to cause irritation. This is often caused when you’re in a rush or your mind is elsewhere and you press too hard or shave against the grain.
What Causes Shaving Rash
Shaving rash is generally caused by shaving too aggressively or with dull blades. A lack of lubrication is another cause as the common theme of these is friction. You also don’t normally see or feel razor burn start for a few minutes and so you don’t know you are doing the damage.
How to Prevent Shaving Rash
Thankfully, a single blade safety razor can actually reduce your chances of razor burn. As you use the natural weight of the safety razor rather than using your arm to drag a plastic cartridge across your face you use less pressure overall. A single sharp blade can shave cleanly without multiple passes. It is quite possible, if not necessarily ideal, to shave with a safety razor with nothing more than hot water without causing shaving rash.
Of course, if you use a double edge razor then you probably take advantage of the best shaving soaps. These provide both lubrication and anti-inflammatory properties to prevent shaving rash.
Make sure to prepare thoroughly. You should hold a hot towel to your face for a minute as the very first step of shaving prep.
Next you should prepare your lubrication thoroughly, whether that’s a shaving brush and soap, cream or oil.
Importantly, always start shaving with the direction of growth. So if the bristles in one area grow downwards then you should shave downwards. For the closest and cleanest shave you can go back later and shave perpendicular to the growth but this is not a good idea for the first pass.
After shaving, a final step to minimise the risk of razor burn is to apply after shave. This disinfects the skin and acts as an astringent – something that reduces inflammation.
How To Treat Shaving Rash
Of course if you are reading this then the chances are you have already been afflicted with razor burn. This normally goes away within a couple of hours but you can arm yourself with a few products to make future incidents easier. If you don’t have any of these then a touch of concealer can help cover more severe shaving rash.
The alum block was the original aftershave used by the Ancient Egyptians. It too is an antiseptic and astringent.