Young Asian male shaving in front of a mirror.

Tired of experiencing razor burn, you decide to invest in a high-end multi-blade . Unfortunately, you still find yourself dealing with that annoying post-shave sting. If the razor isn't to blame, then what could be causing this persistent problem?

According to dermatologists and barbers, factors such as skin type, shaving products, and techniques for managing facial and body hair have a greater impact on skin irritation than the razor itself. Why don’t you try reevaluating your shaving habits and skincare routine? But before going into that, let's establish whether your skin irritation is razor burn.

Razor Burn vs. Razor Bumps

Razor burn occurs when the skin becomes irritated and inflamed after shaving. It manifests as skin redness and , like a rash, and involves a stinging sensation. These symptoms can last hours or days.

Although razor burns may exhibit similar symptoms, they can have different causes. Razor rash typically occurs when you fail to use sufficient lubrication during shaving or when you shave too closely to your skin.

On the other hand, razor bumps resemble and are caused by ingrown hairs. In this case, a hair strand regrows or curves sideways into the skin instead of growing upward as it should. This can lead to inflammation and potential infection when the hair pierces the skin.

Razor Burn Treatment

Razor burn symptoms don’t usually last long, but if you want to hasten your recovery, try applying a cold compress. The cold temperature helps reduce inflammation and soothes the skin. 

You could also try applying aloe vera gel, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. If you have the houseplant, cut its leaf lengthwise to reveal the pulp inside. Then, dab the gel-like pulp on the razor burn to relieve itching and reduce redness.

However, if your skin continues to sting or feels like it’s on fire, talk to your doctor immediately. They may recommend topical creams or other OTC remedies to alleviate the discomfort.

How to Prevent Razor Burn

Unsure about the cause of your skin rash? Review your shaving ritual and techniques against these tips to prevent razor burn.

1. Wash your face properly.

The American Academy of Dermatology (ADA) recommends shaving after a shower. Your skin is clear of dirt and . Showering also softens your skin and hair, which helps prevent irritation.

After your shower, wash your face with POND'S Men Facial Wash Energy Charge. Infused with known for their antioxidant properties, it controls oil for up to eight hours and leaves you feeling refreshed.

2. Prep your skin.

Dry shaving can cause significant friction on the skin, so always prep with fragrance-free shaving cream. ADA advises letting the cream sit on thick facial hair for two to three minutes and then coating the rest of the area evenly using a circular motion. You can use water and soap if shaving cream isn't available.

3. Shave in the direction of hair growth.

If you want to avoid razor burn, it's best to avoid running the blade against the grain. Instead, go with the direction your hair naturally grows. When you run your hand over your stubble, it should feel smooth and easy, without any resistance.

4. Switch razor blades.

ADA says multi-blade razors may shave too closely to your skin, so you still get a rash or bumps even with the correct technique. Try a single- or two-blade razor instead. Also, avoid using dull blades because they tend to tug at the hair, increasing friction against the skin.

5. Use alcohol-free aftershave.

The alcohol content in your aftershave may contribute to that stinging sensation but don't skip this crucial step. Instead, switch to an alcohol-free aftershave or look for one with a natural astringent like witch hazel. You may also want to try moisturizing products with calming benefits on inflamed skin.

6. Avoid dragging the razor over acne.

Shaving can worsen and cause additional irritation. If you're prone to acne, follow a gentle and targeted shaving routine. ADA advises experimenting with electric or disposable razors (which you should throw away after seven shaves).

To manage your breakouts, use a gentle cleanser formulated for acne-prone skin like POND'S Men Acne Solution Face Wash. It has Thymol T essence that locks onto bacteria and continues to fight pimples even after rinsing.

Prepping your skin before and after shaving helps keep your skin free of irritation. If razor burn persists, consider taking a break from hair removal and consult your doctor.