The reputation precedes itself—the notorious razorburn. Nearly the entire world’s population practices the removal of unwanted body hair. Shaving is the most common method used followed by plucking and waxing; however, the power of the blade is not without any possible repercussions. We all yearn for a body paved with smooth and supple skin, but this is not possible without a couple bumps in the road. Both men and women suffer from such roadblocks including razorburn, razor bumps and ingrown hairs.
“[Razorburn] is an irritation of the skin that creates redness and inflammation,” says dermatologist Kimberly Edwards, MD. Ingrown hairs, on the other hand, happen when “the hairs are shaved so closely that when attempting to regrow from the follicle, they puncture it and grow underneath the skin.”
While, ideally, we’d like to prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs, sometimes, the burn in unavoidable. In such cases, there are a number of products available to facilitate getting your skin back on track to its radiant and smooth potential including quick fixes, gentle mists and blade-less possibilities.
1. Apply a Soothing Gel for Immediate Relief
The name says it all: razorburn. And it does just that. To relieve the burn, fast, try a soothing gel immediately after you shave or wax to calm and cool your skin. The active ingredients in the gel scrub away dead skin to encourage smoother hair regrowth while simultaneously providing instant relief of pain and reduction of redness. For continued usage, apply every other day.
Dermstore Recommends: Shaveworks – The Cool Fix
2. Spritz a Calming Spray for a Refreshing Cool
If you already have fairly sensitive skin, razor bumps and ingrown hair can mean double the pain. Oftentimes, some heavier gel products on the shelf can further irritate your skin by congesting your pores. Using a light mist can soothe your skin in the utmost natural capacity. Spritzing your face and body a few times and gently rubbing it in will provide calming and hydrating relief to freshly shaved skin. Use after shaving and before moisturizing for the most effective, bountiful results. Ingredients such as witch hazel and aloe vera provide both relief and protection for your sensitive skin.
Dermstore Recommends: Herbivore Botanicals – Post Shave
3. Use a Soft Pad to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
If you’re one of the lucky (or prepared) ones, there may not be an immediate burn accompanying your shaving or waxing session. “Preparation is the first step in avoiding razorburn or ingrown hairs,” states Coastal Carolina-based barber Alex Morales. “One of the most effective is readying the to-be-shaved area with a hot towel to steam and open your pores.” However, you still may be troubled throughout the following days as the hair starts to grow back.
After the initial hair removal process, you must prepare your skin for the best regrowth possible. Using an exfoliating pad beforehand creates the smoothest skin, allowing the hair to grow back with ease. Use a single soaked pad on any areas with incoming stubble after showering. Daily use between waxing and shaving sessions creates silky skin and uninterrupted hair growth. A note of caution: These pads can cause a slight stinging sensation, so avoid usage for 12 or 24 hours after shaving or waxing, respectively. However, a few seconds of stinging is worth avoiding a few days of burning.
Dermstore Recommends: Bliss – Ingrown Eliminating Pads
4. Apply a Smooth Serum to Calm and Prevent
Every individual body is as unique as the hairs that populate them, so gauging how long it takes hair to grow back would be as fruitless as trying to count them. However, on average, it takes about three to five days for body and facial hair to produce noticeable regrowth. Only three days? Wouldn’t it be a dream to get just a few more days of smooth bliss without the worry of ingrown hairs? After shaving, apply a serum designed specifically to slow the process of regrowth for an extended stay in the paradise of silky and smooth.
Dermstore Recommends: Whish – Flawless Post Wax and Shave Serum
5. Consider an Effective Bladeless Alternative
An effective, pain-free way to avoid the burn of the blade is to avoid the blade altogether. Using bladeless alternatives to shaving and waxing can leave your skin feeling fresh and smooth without any of the irritation. “For frequent or recurrent razorburn or irritant folliculitis, depilatory creams are alternatives that can be used in place of shaving or waxing,” says Dr. Edwards.
Using a fast-acting cream targets stubborn hair around your bikini line while the infusion of shea and cocoa butter leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated. For the most safe and effective usage, leave the cream on for five minutes, then test to see if hair comes off easily. Repeat the process in one-minute intervals, without exceeding 10 minutes total. Then, wipe the cream with a damp wash cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.
Dermstore Recommends: Bliss – Fuzz Off Bikini Precision Hair Removal Cream