Asian woman shaving armpits

Razor bumps can be a huge hassle. Although they are a common side effect of shaving, they can be unsightly, itchy, and irritated. There are many other names for it — folliculitis, ingrown hair, hot tub rash, or barber’s itch on men — but they’re all the same pesky infection of the hair follicles. Here are five ways you can prevent and address them.

Use a Fresh Razor

Razors get exposed to all the bacteria and germs of a damp bathroom environment. Keeping your razors in a cool, dry place can help prevent them from getting contaminated. If you’re using a disposable razor, don’t forget to do as its name suggests and dispose of it after five to seven shaves, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. This helps minimize the spread of bacteria and prevent irritation. Moreover, a dull blade is also a major cause of , so, make sure to keep your razor as fresh as possible.

Exfoliate Regularly

Another major cause of razor bumps is dry skin. Dead skin cells can accumulate on the epidermis and clog the hair follicles. The hairs then become trapped inside the follicles and instead of growing out, moves sideways, creating razor bumps. Regular exfoliation with either a mechanical exfoliant such as a body scrub or a can help boost cell renewal. It prevents clogged hair follicles.

To prevent ingrown hairs, exfoliate before shaving with Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash, which is gentle enough for regular use. Make sure to moisturize after with Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Restore Body Lotion. This locks in moisture with Vaseline petroleum jelly and aloe vera extract, leaving skin soothed and calm.

Always Prep Your Skin

Never shave your skin when it’s dry, especially if you have sensitive skin that is more prone to irritation. Dry shave only if you’re using an electric razor. If you’re using a disposable one, make sure to prep your skin by cleansing and rinsing it with warm water. This will give you a smooth shave by softening the hair and skin, reducing the risk of razor bumps. The AAD suggests shaving right after a shower when your skin is most primed for it.

Shave in the Direction of Growth