There’s nothing more irritating than sensitive skin and itching after shaving. Regardless of your motivation, shaving is an effective and efficient means of removing body hair and a good clean shave always makes you feel good. Red and irritated skin, however, doesn’t give anyone a confidence boost. Whether it’s dry skin, a dull razor, or specific products that just aren’t agreeing with you, there’s nothing a little investigation and routine alteration can’t fix.
So, what’s causing this irritation?
The first thing to check would be the ingredients in your choice of shaving lubricant. High alcohol content in shaving products can severely dry the skin out and cause it to itch. Some fragrances and essential oils may also be causing the skin to become irritated, depending on your skins’ sensitivity. If you’ve been experiencing irritated skin after shaving and your lubricant has high concentrations of alcohol, fragrance or essential oils, it is likely to be a culprit. Making the switch to a product that contains little to no alcohol and is fragrance-free would be extremely beneficial in this case. Look for products that contain Aloe Vera and Vitamin E as these have natural moisturising and soothing properties that will further prevent the post-shave itch.
A big contributor to post-shave skin irritation is the kind of razor you are using. Most people use a multi-blade commercial razor, and if they work for you that’s great. However, if you feel like it could be your razor that is leaving you with irritation, I’m about to change the game. Allow me to introduce you to single-blade safety razors. These bad-boys are used by shaving enthusiasts and professionals for a reason – they cause less friction with the skin, will give you the closest shave possible, and are way better for the planet. They are designed for those with sensitive skin and I guarantee will give you the cleanest shave you’ve ever had. My recommendation is clearly the Ritology Smooth Operator Razor, which is made from quality sustainable materials and does not come with post-shave skin irritations.
Another aspect to be mindful of is the sharpness of your razor’s blade. You know how cutting through a tomato with a dull knife is nearly impossible? It’s the same situation for a dull blade on your skin. A dull blade (just like a dull knife) is a recipe for disaster as it can create micro tears in the skin, increasing the chances of all types of irritation. A massive benefit to using a single-blade safety razor is that it is super easy to frequently and inexpensively change the blade – another reason to make the switch!
The direction in which you shave is another massive contributor to potential skin irritation. You may have been taught that shaving against the direction of your hair growth is the best way to get a smooth shave in one go. However, shaving against the grain will cause your razor blade to tug at hair before cutting it at a sharp angle, leaving you with those micro skin tears, possibly leading to irritation and razor burn. Sure, shaving with the direction of your hair might take need several passes, but it’s worth taking the extra time to avoid painful irritation.
You’ve just moved sharp metal across the surface of your skin, so it is incredibly important apply moisturiser to repair and protect your skin post-shave. Dry skin can often lead to irritation and itching, so finishing off with a lotion, oil or balm is crucial. For extra moisture, using a shaving lubricant that has moisturising properties will encourage the absorption of moisture even during shaving and will allow your razor to glide along the skin with ease. So, if you think your irritation is being caused by extreme dryness, it’s time to switch up your shaving and/or moisturising products.
If you’re going through trial and error and need something to stop the itching, these are a few of my favourite temporary solvents:
- Aloe Vera. It will immediately soothe and moisturise the skin, whilst also removing any itching or stinging sensations. Using the gel directly from an aloe plant is the best form, but if this is not a possible option for you there are store-bought alternatives – just make sure it’s as pure Aloe Vera as you can get.
- Organic Shea Butter. Another natural ingredient that is known for its anti-inflammatory and moisture retention properties. Will lock in skin moisture to reduce redness and remove pain.
- Colloidal Oatmeal Baths. Soaking in an oatmeal bath provides pure relief for irritated and dry skin. Super easy to do at home with a store-bought oatmeal treatment or follow a recipe to make your own with ground up oatmeal.