Most men who choose to shave do so every day or at least every other day to control regrowth. This represents a lot of potential skin irritation as well as the risk of cuts from the razor, whichever kind is used. The most popular and commonly used type of razor is the disposable razor which can have anything from one to five stainless steel blades. Although disposables are popular probably because they are cheap and quick and easy to use they are responsible for the most skin irritation of any type of razor. This is partly because the blades may not be at their best if they are not changed often enough. Blunt blades and improperly lubricated skin is the recipe for skin rashes or razor burn.
If you change your disposables regularly and you are still having issue with skin irritation there may be other issues at play. Razor burn or a red rash on the face or neck can be caused by poor shaving technique such as applying too much pressure to the blade or shaving against the grain of the hair. The first step is to prepare the skin properly by using a skin wash. The website and online store Menscience (and recommended in Men’s Health magazine) sells a face scrub that removes oils and dead skin to prepare the face and neck for shaving. Exfoliating is something that women have known about for a long time but men need to do it too. Using a face scrub or a gentle exfoliating mitt can help to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs as well or you can just find the best beard care kit online to take care of your face and skin.
Soap or creams and gels can be used during shaving to keep the skin lubricated and reduce irritation. There are hundreds of effective beard products on the market but if irritation is a big problem for you then look out for a product that is suited for sensitive skin. For persistent inflammation caused by shaving (razor bumps) you can try using shaving oil after exfoliating and before applying soap or shaving cream. Shaving oil is normally a blend of vegetable oil with essential oils. These are concentrated liquids that contain an aroma compound from a plant so they do “smell”). If you don’t like the smell there are oils available that are odourless. Shaving oil can be used on its own as a shaving lubricant or as a pre-shaving preparation if you have particularly easily irritated skin.
Shaving oil has a number of advantages over creams and soaps. Oil helps to moisturise the skin and this can eliminate razor burn and ingrown hair. You will also get fewer nicks and skin cuts as the razor glides better over the skin. A big advantage over thick creams and soaps is that you can see where you are shaving as you go as the oil is colourless. Unlike soaps and creams, oil does not clog the pores and this means the skin will be healthier.