How to Get Rid of Razor Bumps and Razor Burns Naturally - Shaving is something that most of us have to do on a regular basis and for most people is a necessary part of caring for their physical appearance. However, anyone that regularly shaves knows that the shaving process can leave the skin feeling irritated with breakouts of rashes, bumps, spots, and sometimes ingrown hairs.
Unfortunately, in the end, what was supposed to make us feel good about ourselves can end up making us feel self-conscious and unattractive.
Razor bumps and razor burns can affect women as well as men. But, if you suffer from razor bumps or razor burns, there is much you can do to help reduce skin irritation and the appearance of razor bumps naturally. This article examines the many natural remedies that you can use to get rid of razor bumps and razor burns.
First of all, it’s important to know the difference between razor bumps and razor burns.
What Are Razor Bumps and Razor Burns?
Very often, the terms razor bumps and razor burns are used interchangeably. However, there is a big difference between razor bumps and razor burns.
Razor bumps occur when the hair that re-grows after shaving stays under the skin by either growing into the skin or by staying in the hair follicle. The medical term for razor bumps is pseudofolliculitis barbae.
This can lead to inflammation which can cause spots and pimples to develop and even lead to abscesses. Razor bumps are caused by regular shaving and, while they affect mainly the face, they can also affect any area that is shaved. Because they form by the hair growing back into the skin, they tend to affect more people with short, curly hair.
On the other hand, razor burns refer just to the skin irritation that sometimes occurs after shaving. It is usually caused by shaving with a blunt blade or not having the skin properly moist and lubricated beforehand. Areas of the body like the armpits, bikini zone, and face can be quite sensitive, and because coarser hairs grow there, people tend to have more razor burns in those areas.
How to Prevent Razor Bumps
Because of the way that razor bumps develop, it can be difficult to completely get rid of them. The only way to completely avoid them is to let the hair grow, however, for many people that isn’t an option.
There are some preventative measures that you can take to prevent razor bumps from developing.
The best way to prevent razor bumps is to shave carefully and make sure that the hairs are softened as much as possible before shaving. The American Family Physician Journal, which studied the effects of razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae) on black men, recommends the following to avoid razor bumps:1
- Never try to achieve a close shave, so, always shave in the direction of hair growth.
- Use a single blade razor
- Don’t pull the skin while shaving
- Gently brush the area to be shaved to loosen embedded hairs and apply a warm compress
Electric razors can have better results than a blade. You can also try using a razor which has blade wrapped in a wire because that can avoid shaving too close to the skin. If possible, try to shave every other day.
After shaving, it is important to care properly for the skin. To know how to naturally care for your skin after shaving, please read on because the advice on how to get rid of razor burns will help you take care of your skin naturally.
How to Get Rid of Razor Bumps Naturally
Although it is quite difficult to completely avoid razor bumps if you are prone to them, there are some natural ways that you can reduce the frequency of them, or prevent them altogether.
Research published in the dermatology journal Cutis showed that a topical application of glycolic acid can help reduce and prevent razor bumps by 60%.2 Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and sugar beets as well as milk.
You can make your own natural glycolic acid face mask to help reduce razor bumps. For this, mix 2 tbsp. raw organic sugar with 2 tbsp. raw honey with the juice of half a lemon and mix well. Make sure that the sugar is as fine as possible. Apply to the face and neck, avoiding the eyes and leave for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Repeat this once a week.
Alternatively, you can combine 2 tbsp. sugar with 1 to 2 tbsp. plain yogurt and add 1 or 2 drops oflavender essential oil. Apply the same way as the sugar and honey face mask. For extra soothing, use a cotton pad dipped in some chamomile tea (which has many other health benefits) to remove the face mask.
How to Prevent Razor Burns
The best way to prevent razor burns is to avoid the skin getting irritated in the first place. Here are the best tips on how to prevent razor burns from happening:
It’s important to moisten the skin beforehand. This will make shaving easier and reduce the chance of razor burns. You can do this by putting a warm, wet face cloth on the area to be shaved.
The next step is to lubricate the skin properly. Remember that many shaving gels and foams contain ingredients which irritate your skin. You can use a small amount of coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil and gently massage into the area to be shaved.
When shaving, it is important to always use a sharp razor and never apply pressure on the skin. It is also important to always shave in the direction that the hair grows. Even though you will not get as close a shave as going against hair growth, you will avoid irritating the skin and having ingrown hairs which can cause razor bumps.
Always use gentle, slow strokes when shaving and try to avoid going over an area more than once. After shaving, rinse with warm water.
After shave treatment
When you have finished shaving, it is very important to use natural remedies to care properly for your skin. That way you can prevent razor burns from developing or if you have razor burns, then you can treat them naturally. How can you do this? Here are my top natural remedies for preventing and getting rid of razor burns. You can also use these remedies for preventing and possibly getting rid of razor bumps.
How to Get Rid of Razor Burns Naturally
Aloe vera is one of the best natural ways to treat and soothe damaged skin. Aloe vera contains many anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.3 Many dermatologists recommend using hydrocortisone creams to reduce razor burns, but studies have shown that aloe vera is just as effective as 1% hydrocortisone cream.
To use, squeeze some of the gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply to the shaved area. If you buy aloe vera gel from health store, read the product label to make sure it contains the highest amount of aloe vera with the least amount of additives. To find more information on how to use aloe vera for your skin, please read my article on aloe vera for great and healthy skin.
Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil
By mixing aloe vera together with coconut oil you can make an amazing natural treatment to treat razor burns and razor bumps. Coconut oil also contains powerful properties which can help soothe skin infections.5
To make an aloe vera and coconut oil healing lotion for razor burns please see instructions in my article about the health benefits of aloe vera and coconut oil. This healing lotion can be applied to the skin just after shaving.
Honey has been used for centuries to help treat wounds and repair damaged skin. It is one of the most natural foods available and it is full of healing properties, including powerful antimicrobial and antibacterial agents.5 By applying some honey directly to the affected area you reduce the risk of infection and also help moisturize the skin.
I have already written on the health benefits of Manuka honey, which is one of the best types of honey to use for killing infections. You can apply a little honey directly onto the shaved area, allow to dry, and then rinse off with water.
Tea tree oil or lavender oil for Razor Burns
Tea tree essential oil is very versatile and has many uses. This oil is a natural astringent which, when applied to the skin, has antiseptic properties and reduces the risk of irritation. It is also antibacterial which will reduce inflammation on the skin. Tea tree oil could cause the skin to become more irritated if applied directly, therefore you need to dilute it in a carrier oil like jojoba oil or coconut oil.
To use tea tree oil, mix 3-5 drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply to the affected area. Leave for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse with water.
Another great and versatile essential oil you can use is lavender essential oil which is also antibacterial and helps to soothe irritated skin. Use it the same way as you use tea tree oil.
If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-bookMagical Aromatherapy.
Witch hazel for Razor Burns
To successfully treat razor burns you can also use witch hazel which has many uses and benefits for skincare. In fact, witch hazel is an ingredient in many skin treatments for lotions to reduce skin irritation. However, you don’t have to buy expensive lotions because witch hazel is a great natural way to soothe and treat razor burns which you can also use to get rid of razor bumps.
Witch hazel has anti bacterial properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
To use witch hazel for razor burns, put some witch hazel on a cotton pad, and then apply directly to the affected area.
Turmeric face mask
Most people usually only think of turmeric for its use in cooking, however, it also contains properties which are antioxidant and reduce inflammation. Turmeric contains curcumin, which scientists have discovered is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
I have a wonderful recipe for making a turmeric face mask which can help to reduce redness and inflammation on the skin. All you need is 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of raw honey, and 1 tsp of milk or natural yogurt. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil if you want.
Mix together and apply to the affected area for 20 minutes before rinsing off with water. Please remember that turmeric will stain fabric, so make sure that the paste is thick enough so that it doesn’t drip.
Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
One of the many uses of apple cider vinegar is its use as a natural antiseptic on the skin. It is very easy to make an effective and natural aftershave treatment using apple cider vinegar.
All you have to do is mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar (don’t use undiluted apple cider vinegar).
Dip a cotton pad in the liquid and apply to the affected area.
When you use apple cider vinegar for the first time, it is a good idea to rinse it off with water after 5 minutes. This is so your skin isn’t too exposed to apple cider vinegar on your first time.
If you don’t get a reaction, then the next time you use it, you can leave it for a longer period.
You can also add some witch hazel or aloe vera gel to the liquid.
If you are looking for more ideas on how to use apple cider vinegar as a face wash, then please read my article on why you should wash your face with apple cider vinegar.
Baking soda for Razor Burns
Baking soda can be used in many ways on the skin and one excellent way to reduce redness and inflammation is to mix some baking soda with coconut oil. Baking soda cleanses your skin and the coconut oil provides anti-inflammatory properties as well as moisturizing your skin.
To make a mask to help treat razor burns, mix 2 parts of coconut oil to one part baking soda if you have sensitive skin. Or if you have normal skin, then equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda. Apply to your skin after shaving, leave for few minutes and then wash it off with water. I have more recipes in my article on how to use baking soda for gorgeous face and skin.
Natural butters (Shea, cocoa) for Razor Burns
Natural butters can also do wonders for your skin and help to reduce skin irritation. Most people are afraid of putting butters on their skin because they think that it will make their skin oilier and cause spots. However, natural butters like Shea butter and cocoa butter contain essential nutrients to soothe your skin without clogging the pores.
For example, Shea butter contains a large amount of anti-inflammatory compounds9 and cocoa butter is an excellent moisturizer. If fact, because of the high fat content, you can also use some Shea butter or cocoa butter as a pre-shave treatment.
To get the benefits of Shea butter and cocoa butter after shaving, just gently massage some directly into the affected area