Shaving makes an inseparable part of personal grooming in the regular routine of both men and women. While both, men and women, can suffer from pimples after shaving, the reasons often are a bit different. Taking a look at the common reasons of pimples after shaving is certainly the best way to save you from the discomfort, as the right knowledge will make it possible to prevent the pimples from appearing.
Shaving acne and Razor bumps are not exactly the same thing, but they are intricately related to each other as often razor bumps can work as the primary cause for shaving acne. However, Shaving acne can also occur without the razor bumps due to many other varied reasons. In this article we will discuss about the common reasons for pimples after shaving in both men and women and also how to deal with them.
Razor bumps – the most common cause of pimple after shaving
Razor bumps are one of the most common reasons of getting pimples after shaving and hence first we will take a look at the reasons of razor bumps and how these can be avoided.
The latest and modern shaving razors usually come with multiple blades with the objective of giving a closer shave that we all love. But the problem with these razors is that the technique they employ for cutting the hair really close to the roots, work as the primary reason of razor bumps. If you take a closer look at how the latest multi-blade razors work you will notice that the first blade in the razor actually lifts the hair out from the skin and the next blades cut it from just below the skin line.
This gives a smooth shave at a quick go with the razor but as the hair is cut below the skin, hence naturally skin grows over it and then when the hair starts to grow again from the root it pushes the skin up, giving rise to painful razor bumps. Razor bumps are painful and more often than not they get infected with bacteria giving rise to pimples or shaving acne.
How to deal with the problem
The best and most effective way to deal with the problem is to opt for a safety razor or an electric shaver for shaving, which might not give you a very close shave quickly, like the modern multi blade razors do, but will at least eliminate the problem of getting razor bumps to a great extent.
When you are using an electric shaver you should not press it very hard against the skin in order to get a closer shave, because that can irritate the skin giving rise to pimples and allergies. When using a safety razor, to get a close shave you can opt for multi-pass shaving, which will certainly make the process more time consuming and cumbersome but will significantly reduce the chance of getting ingrown hairs and razor bumps that can give rise to painful shaving pimples.
Improper shaving technique causes pimples after shaving
Another very common reason of getting pimples after shaving is following improper technique while shaving. When you are shaving, you should be cautious to not to cause heavy pull or tug at the root of the hairs, which can cause serious irritation on the skin giving rise to bumps and pimples. While using a safety razor for shaving beard, always do the first shaving in the direction of the hair growth. The second shaving should be across and the third can be done on the opposite direction for a closer shave.
However, if your skin is very sensitive or if you are shaving an intimate area of the body which is particularly applicable for women shaving the bikini area, it is only wise to not to opt for the last pass with the safety razor as that can irritate the skin seriously. Shaving at frequent intervals can be cumbersome but not as painful as having shaving bumps and pimples in the bikini area. So, if needed opt for frequent shaves but do not try to get a very close shave at one go or use some other hair removal methods.
Before you start with the razor, always make sure that your hairs are well soaked in water. It is only a wise idea to opt for shaving your intimate areas after taking a hot water bath. After your body hairs have soaked in hot water for some time they naturally become softer and hence it becomes much easier to shave them off, which reduces the friction against the skin caused by the shaving razor and also minimizes the chance of skin irritation and pimples.
Keeping your skin stretched while shaving can be helpful not only to get a better shave but also to minimize the risks of nicks and cuts. This is more applicable for shaving intimate areas of the body where the skin is often folded.
Use of wrong shaving products can cause pimples
This one is more applicable for men than women as the shaving is more frequent for the male counterpart and they are often not careful enough about what they are using before, during and after shaving. The shaving cream or shaving foam that you are using on your skin to assist in the process of shaving might be actually irritating your skin and the pimples you are getting after shaving are just a reaction of your skin against the product used.
It goes the same for aftershave lotions as well. If you are using a chemical filled aftershave lotion to get rid of any skin infection or irritation after shaving, the lotion itself might be irritating your skin. So, while using proper shaving foam, cream or aftershave lotion can give you a good shaving experience, using the wrong products can actually work as the primary reason of getting those painful pimples after shaving.
Finding the right shaving foam or cream is a trial and error process. Currently, all the well known brands manufacturing grooming items for men has come up with alcohol free milder formulations of shaving foams, using these products while shaving might be helpful to control the occurrence of pimples after shaving. Instead of an aftershave lotion, you can use natural items like Witch hazel on your skin to make sure that there are no infections or irritation.
Improper hygiene – another top cause of pimple after shaving
Not maintaining hygiene properly before, during and after shaving can be a major cause of getting painful pimples after shaving. Make sure that your shaving razor and blade are well cleaned and are stored in a proper hygienic place. Dipping your shaving razor in an anti-septic solution before starting shaving can be more helpful than you can imagine. Always change the blade of the razor frequently to make sure that there is no rust or germ buildup.
Washing your hands before starting with the shaving process is also important. During shaving the upper layer of the skin is removed and the skin becomes more vulnerable. The dirt and germs from your hands can easily work as the source of infection on the skin right after it has been shaved.
Not taking proper after care can cause pimples
When you are shaving, you are removing the upper layer of cells from the skin making it vulnerable and irritated. Hence, as soon as you are done with the shaving process it is important to take the right measures to soothe the skin. Shaving, no matter how carefully you do it, is sure to cause some irritation on the skin and by taking the proper after care you can minimize the chance of irritation and pimples.
Using an anti-bacterial solution followed by a soothing moisturizer immediately after shaving can be most effective to eliminate the problem of getting pimples. Witch hazel as well as a concoction made from neem and basil leaves can work efficiently as natural anti-bacterial agents keeping the chance of any skin infection on the freshly shaved skin at bay. Applying pure Aloe Vera gel on the freshly shaved skin after washing it with a natural anti-bacterial solution will soothe and heal the skin preventing the appearance of painful bumps & pimples.
Take home message
Keeping the above reasons for getting pimples after shaving in mind and following the measures to avoid them can be really helpful for both men and women. However, if you have a very sensitive skin, you might not actually be able to avoid the problem completely. In such cases, opting for trimming the hairs frequently instead of shaving them or waxing might be a better option.