What Causes Razor Burn?

Almost every adult has experienced razor burn at one time or another. This mild condition usually resolves itself, but it can be painful, irritating, and unsightly in the meantime. For many men, razor burn while shaving can be a habitual problem which can cause long term skin irritation and even visible skin issues. 

Thankfully, razor burn is highly manageable and often entirely avoidable. By understanding what causes razor burn, we can make simple changes to limit the symptoms of razor burn and effectively minimize the negative impacts.

Razor Burn vs. Razor Bumps

Razor Burn

Many men use the terms razor burn and razor bumps interchangeably. While both are relatively common skin conditions which can result from shaving, they are actually two distinct issues.

Razor burn is essentially a skin rash which results from excess friction while shaving. The skin becomes irritated due to a number of different factors (more on this below). The important thing to remember here is that razor burn only impacts the surface of the skin. In normal cases, the skin will be able to repair itself with a little bit of help.

Razor bumps may also be thought of as a type of ingrown hair. Men with curly hair are particularly susceptible to razor bumps as their beards or other body hair may grow back sideways or even backwards, growing back into the skin. Razor bumps are also known as folliculitis, and may require acute treatment in some cases.

Common Causes of Razor Burn

Common Causes of Razor Burn

Razor burn may not be serious, but it is certainly irritating. Nobody wants to start a fresh shave and end up with a face, chest, or *ahem* other areas which are red, itchy, and uncomfortable. Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing razor burn:

You are shaving dry. And we aren’t just talking about water. Modern razor blades all but require lubrication from shaving creams, shaving butters, or other appropriate products. It may look cool when the dudes in The Predator shave with straight razors and no shaving cream, but you are likely to end up bleeding and with a face covered in tiny pieces of toilet paper.

You are shaving with too much pressure. Those razor blades might seem harmless, but they are still extremely sharp pieces of metal. You do not need to press down with 30 pounds of pressure to get a close shave. Let the blades do the work and save the forearm pump for the gym.

You are going over the same areas too much. Gillette estimates that men use about 170 razor strokes when shaving their face. Of those 170, 120 are going over an area which was already shaved. Again, trust your razor and don’t overdo it.

Simple Ways to Prevent Razor Burn and Razor Bumps

So how exactly can we avoid razor burn in the first place? If shaving dry and improper shaving techniques are a couple of the culprits, here are a few simple tips to keep shaving quick, easy, and razor burn free:

  • Only shave clean skin. If you have the choice, shaving after your shower or after washing your face makes the entire process easier. There is less dead skin, sebum, and other non-hair elements for your razor blades to negotiate.
  • Always use sharp razor blades. It doesn’t matter what kind of razor blade you use, so long as it is sharp and clean. Dull razor blades can drag across the skin, causing severe razor burn.
  • Shave with the grain. Shaving against the grain may feel better for some of us, but especially when shaving your face, going with the grain is better for your skin and for your shave.
  • Always wet your skin and use shaving cream or other lubricant. As we mentioned earlier, shaving dry is terrible for your skin.
  • Let your skin rest after shaving. After you have shaved, your skin is raw. You have scraped off the top layer of dead skin cells, oils, hair, and everything else. Rather than continuing with another cleansing product, simply pat your skin dry.

Moisturizer to Restore Damaged Skin from Shaving

Moisturizer to Restore Damaged Skin from Shaving

Of course, razor burns and other forms of damaged skin cannot always be avoided. Hardworking men put their skin through the ringer from lifting weights to working with their hands to simply spending long days in the sun. Fortunately, the solution to many of these cases of dry, cracked, and damaged skin is simple: using a once-daily moisturizing cream.

Powerful moisturizers for men can help with skin damaged by razor burns and much more. A potent moisturizing cream should attack skin dryness and irritation by penetrating deep into the skin with ingredients like essential amino acids to repair and restore skin from within.

By adding a simple moisturizer into your daily routine, you can mitigate the razor burn, dry skin, cracked skin, and much more.

HEFF Daily Moisturizer for Hardworking Men

HEFF for hands, elbows and feet is scientifically formulated for men. We believe that hard working men need a simple, easy-to-use moisturizing product for daily skin maintenance. Our water based formula is chock full of potent ingredients including amino acids to restore, repair, and renew dry and damaged skin. If you are experiencing razor burn or other common skin irritation, why not give HEFF a try?
To learn more, find HEFF at one of many retail locations, online, or contact us directly. Your purchase helps to support Operation Gratitude.