Winning the Shaving Battle with Sensitive Skin
Many of my clients tell me (before I shave them) that they have sensitive skin. The first thing I ask is if their skin reacts to certain products that are applied to their skin. If their answer is yes, then I keep this in mind with the products I use during the shave. But, 9 times out of 10, they answer is no, that the irritation occurs after they shave themselves.
So what should you do?
The most important recommendation I pass on to them is to keep the skin hydrated! Sure, we must remember to maximize the moisture on our skin when shaving, but during the day and night the skin also needs to stay hydrated. Consistently moist skin, gives the face the strength needed to handle the unforgiving nature of the sharp blade. So be sure to add that extra step, both AM and PM, because supple skin is also healthier skin!
For those who complained of irritation prior to shaving it’s critical to chose the right product and make sure that whatever they’re using doesn’t include chemicals and additives like alcohol, peppermint or menthol as so many products on the market do. So check that label.
When I developed Burke Avenue's - Moisturizing Shave Cream, I selected botanicals and oils that changed the way the blade glides across your skin, while hydrating and healing the skin.
Here are just a few:
- Shea butter which is packed with vitamins A and E and has anti-inflammatory properties for sensitive skin.
- Avocado oil which contains potassium and lectin for healing and strengthening, plus it has major hydration benefits.
- Water which makes all the ingredients more effective, weakens the hair follicles for easier shaving and, you guessed it, hydrates and softens the skin.
So here are few quick tips for shaving if you’ve ever suffered from irritation before or after your shave:
Prepare The Skin:
Before you pick up a razor, prepare your skin and hair to ensure a smooth, irritation-free shave. Use warm water to dampen skin as it helps raise and soften the hairs so they’re more pliable and easier to remove. If you try to shave when the skin is too dry you may experience chaffing or irritation as the razor drags across the rough surface.
Change Your Blades Often:
When a razor is dull, a close shave requires more pressure on the skin. This can also cause nicks, cuts, rashes and even ingrown hairs. As a barber I’m a big fan of single blades, but most guys are most comfortable with multi-blade razors with pivoting heads. Both are great options. Ok, so how often should you change your blade? Ideally weekly, but with a good shave cream that helps the razor glide across the face and get a close shave without having to go over and over the skin you may be able to get an extra few days out of your blade.
Shave With The Grain:
Shaving with the grain (the direction your beard grows), reduces the chances of skin irritations like - razor burn and ingrown hairs. This may also mean shifting directions in places like your jawline, to give you a close shave in less strokes which will also reduce irritation.
Bonus: When your shave cream and razor are optimized to effectively work together you won’t have to press so hard on your blade.