Tips and Products for Shaving Sensitive Skin

Woman shaving
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Shaving with sensitive skin can be extremely tricky hopping from one solution to the next in hopes of relief. Nailing down the cause behind what's making your skin cry can be different from person to person and it may take some trial and error.

Tips for Shaving Your Sensitive Skin

Once you get the reason, or reasons, behind the reaction in your hair removal routine you can get relief from redness, itchiness, and other annoying side effects.

Be Aware of What's in Your Products

There might be something in your shaving kit triggering problems. You could be allergic to an ingredient, or it may be simply irritating or drying to skin.

Choose Products Less Likely to Cause an Allergic Reaction

We can be allergic to almost any ingredient, man-made or natural. Common allergens in skin care products are artificial fragrances (perfume), colorants, and certain preservatives. (Learn more: Skin Allergies.)

Check the labels carefully and try products that are fragrance-free or made for sensitive skin. These products tend to leave out the most popular allergens.

Steer Clear of Irritants

While you may not be allergic to a certain ingredient, it may be bothering your skin and react similarly to a skin allergy. There are also other factors that may be responsible for creating aggravation.

  • Too much exfoliation. Shaving exfoliates in itself. Using an acne or anti-aging product that contains powerful exfoliators (like glycolic or salicylic acid) or pre-shave scrub may be too much combined with shaving.

Cut back on the amount of exfoliating or use something less intensive.

  • Debris stuck to your razor. Those dead skin cells and leftover product cling to your razor. Skin becomes more susceptible to bacteria when shaving and can definitely irritate skin, often causing redness, itching, and pimples.

Make sure to rinse razor thoroughly, clean with an alcohol wipe or use a product like the Razor Pit Teneo that cleans the razor for you.

Avoid Moisture Zappers

Shaving depletes moisture. Some skin already on the dry side will get worse by itching, feeling tight and turning red. Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, two foaming agents used in shaving creams and gels, are known to dry skin. Alcohol also in many skincare products, including aftershave, can sting freshly shaved skin and promote dryness.

Use a pre-shave oil which will help protect skin while shaving, lessen common side effects like redness, bumps, and ingrown hair, all while moisturizing skin. Use warm, not hot water. Check labels before buying any products and look for moisturizing ingredients like aloe, natural oils, and glycerin. Finish off with a quality aftershave lotion or balm.

The Best Razors for Sensitive Skin

A cheap disposable will wreak havoc on even those with the least vulnerable skin on the planet. The most expensive or fanciest razor doesn't have to be the answer. However, a quality razor will mean the world of difference.

What works great for one person and doesn't irritate their skin, may not for the other. Here are some basic features to look for in a razor, especially if you're prone to irritation:

  • A pivoting head. This bends with the curves of the face or body and gives a closer shave with less irritation.
  • Ditch the disposables. The quality isn't as good as a regular manual razor, so there's more chance of upset skin.
  • Fewer blades. This doesn't bother everyone and it depends on the brand. However, it's best to choose a razor with fewer blades if it seems to be a problem.
  • Go old school. A double edge safety razor is probably what your grandpa used for most of his life. Many men (and even some women) are using this style because it uses a single blade. Some say the cause of irritation, ingrown hair and bumps are from the multiple blades pulling on hair.

That great razor will eventually lose its life and begin pulling on the skin and causing irritation. We know putting in fresh blades can cost a small fortune. However, there are many ways to make one last a long time so you can save money.​