Body hair is a part of the human experience. We all have it, and we all have our own habits when it comes to removing it (or, keeping it). Whether you get waxed regularly, prefer to shave or go electric using your best electric razor to tame your body’s follicular growth, you’ve probably experienced razor bumps. They’re an unfortunate side effect of hair removal that afflicts some of us more than it does others.
Razor burn isn’t only synonymous with the face. People can get razor burn just about anywhere they’re shaving, including the neck, chest, armpits, your pubic area — wherever. If you’re shaving in a specific spot, your body can accumulate a number of unsightly (and often painful) razor burn bumps. Even if you’re using the best body groomer or most sought-after shaving cream on the planet, it doesn’t matter. You can still get them.
We’re going to dive deep into razor burn — what causes it, what differentiates it from other skin afflictions and, most importantly, how to remedy it. We’ll cover a whole range of modalities as well as parts of the body so by the end you’ll know exactly how to tackle this problem with your unique body.
What Is Razor Burn?
Razor burn is a mild, benign rash from shaving that appears as tenderness, itching, small red bumps or a general burning sensation on the skin where the shaving took place. It can happen anywhere you shave but is most common on your underarms and more sensitive parts. It’s typically temporary and goes away quickly.
How Is Razor Burn Different From Razor Bumps?
Razor burn is a rash on the external layer of your skin that happens directly after shaving. Razor bumps occur when the shaved hair grows back but becomes ingrown. This happens more often with curly hair as it curls back into the skin while growing. Both conditions however cause tenderness, burning and potentially a red rash.
It’s important to know which one you’re dealing with so that you can treat it accordingly, as the treatments are slightly different.
How to Remedy Razor Burn and Razor Bumps
One of the best ways to prevent razor burn is to make sure your skin is adequately exfoliated before you shave to remove dead skin. Also, make sure you provide your skin a lubricant with the razor whilst shaving such as shaving cream or soapy water. Don’t pull your skin tight while shaving as this pulls on the hair follicles. Finally, make sure to shave in the direction that the hair is growing.
Below, we’ve listed a handful of products that should help you avoid razor burn and razor bumps in your quest for smooth skin. Take a look below.
1. Dry Skin Body Brush
This dry brush will effectively remove dead skin quickly and easily before you shave. Use it gently, making slow circles along the area being shaved. Do this regularly to keep dead skin from accumulating on the surface. It’s made of high-quality polished wood and 100% natural bristles designed to improve blood circulation, eliminate clogged pores and shed dead skin. This brush comes with its own hook for storage and a travel case so you can bring it on the road with you.
2. Oleavine Tea Tree Oil Exfoliating Scrub
If brushes aren’t your thing, this exfoliating scrub is a great way to consistently prep your skin for clean shaves without dead skin or other particles clogging pores and causing irritation. It’s made with micro-volcanic pumice and white willowbark that gently exfoliates as it removes dead skin and calluses. It’s got bamboo charcoal powder that draws out dirt and impurities, and the nourishing formula will help soothe dry, inflamed skin.
3. Dollar Shave Club Ultimate Shave Starter Set
Always remember to replace your razor blade frequently and rinse it frequently to prevent clogging and build-up. With that said, one of the best ways to consistently remember to replace your razor blade is to have a subscription service do it for you. Dollar Shave Club offers a number of different subscription options and razor products based on your shaving needs. They offer their starter set for $5 (yes, only $5) and afterward they restock you once per month and charge you based on what is in your specific box.
Read more: The Absolute Best Razors for Men
4. Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel With Aloe Vera
This natural botanical skin toner from Thayers is moisturizing and contains witch hazel, a powerful plant that contains 195% more tannins than other formulas. These work to control and remedy everything from acne production to reducing redness and inflammation. The antioxidants in the tannins reduce irritation and balance sensitive skin effectively. This is a great option for those with sensitive skin looking for a product that’s not going to irritate them further. It’s also got moisturizing properties and cleansing abilities.
5. Shaveworks The Cool Fix
Guys, we know you don’t really care that this product was recommended by Khloe Kardashian but hear us out. If anyone knows a lot about hair removal, and how to do it without leaving behind red razor burn, it’s her. This formula is designed to immediately calm skin and help reduce post-shave redness. It also helps prevent ingrown hairs. For the most effective use, apply it to clean, dry skin immediately after shaving.
6. PFB Vanish Chromabright Razor Bump Stopper
This powerful formula from PFB Vanish prevents ingrown hairs as well as razor burn, lightening your skin and leaving behind a clean-shaven surface. It’s designed for everyday use, so if you shave every day, apply it directly afterward to protect against razor burn, ingrown hairs and razor bumps. You should also use it on days that you don’t shave as a preventative measure.
7. Meridian Trimmer
If you’re taming your downstairs region, in which you absolutely should be, we hope to God that you aren’t trying to tackle the family jewels with the same razor you’re using on your face. First and foremost, going to town downstairs with your regular face razor is going to cause razor burn out the wazoo. It’s too close of a shave for the sensitive skin in your bathing suit area and your bare skin isn’t going to react properly to the hair loss. Instead, use a sensitive below-the-belt trimmer such as the Meridian to handle all of your manscaping needs. This trimmer can handle all hairs thick and curly without ever tugging or pulling. You’ll get a close shave each time without the nicks or snags, so you can kiss downstairs razor burn goodbye next time around.
8. C.O. Bigelow Premium Shave Cream for Men
This shave cream is made in Italy and is a favorite among Italian barbers so you know it’s good. It’s got a creamy formula that lathers and allows for a close shave that’s also comfortable and moisturized to prevent razor burn and irritated skin. It contains camphor which calms the skin, menthol for cooling and eucalyptus oil that’s naturally uplifting.
Apply it to your wet skin prior to shaving and create a good lather before using a razor.
9. fur Ingrown Concentrate
Bumps and redness? We don’t know them anymore when we’re using fur’s ingrown concentrate. This all-natural oil is all you need to soothe irritation and make ingrown hairs disappear after you shave. Pours will stay clean, clear and smooth after application even if your skin is as sensitive as it gets. You can use this oil anywhere you shave both in or out of the shower. Redness, be gone!
10. Harry’s Shave Cream
When it comes to all things shaving, Harry’s is a great brand to trust. This smooth shaving cream is made with eucalyptus to calm and cool your skin down for a comfortable shave that’s close. It’s made with 12 natural oils and extracts that refresh and moisturize the skin. They own their own factory in Germany so you never pay markup prices for top-notch formulas. Use this shave cream each time you shave to take care of your skin and avoid razor burn afterward.
11. Harry’s Shave Gel
If you prefer gel to cream, Harry’s gel lathers into a rich foam with calming properties for your skin that allows the razor to glide, avoiding nicks and creating a more comfortable experience overall. The natural ingredients in this formula won’t inflame and irritate your skin and will keep it sufficiently hydrated. Your face will be protected throughout and you’ll notice the difference afterward with less redness, fewer bumps and decreased irritation.
12. Kiehl’s Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief
Love the feeling of a close shave? Don’t we all. But, all you close-shavers out there will know — the closer the shave, the more likely of a possibility that razor burn will occur. Lucky for you, Kiehl’s is here with a razor burn and bump relief treatment that will knock other brands right out of the water. It’s inspired by their beloved Razor Bump Relief product and remedies skin with the use of aloe vera, lipo hydroxy acid, willow herb extract and vitamin E.
13. Tend Skin AfterShave
This TendSkin formula is made for both men and women, for avoiding razor bumps and razor burn after shaving. Apply this formula after shaving to avoid razor bumps and ingrown hairs and even use it between shaves on existing symptoms to help reduce them. Applying a thin layer of Tend Skin helps reduce skin redness and will help your skin clear if irritation occurs.
14. Ingrown Hair Tweezers
If you’ve got a few ingrown hairs or razor bumps that you’d like to extract, you’ll need a specific type of tweezers to do so. These stainless steel tweezers are made along with medical instruments at the same facility so they’ve incredibly precise and made for easy maneuvering. The fine tip is sharpened for penetrating beneath the skin and unblocking your hair follicle easily.
15. Aesop Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion
If you’ve got a little extra money to spend, Aesop is one of the best premiere shave lines with nurturing formulas that take care of your skin. This post-shave lotion is designed to cool and calm your skin with a unisex hydration formula made with botanical oils. The lotion will balance your skin using a combination of sandalwood, neroli blossom and panthenol. It’s perfectly suited for all major skin types — normal, combination and sensitive and will leave your skin feeling soothed with a light finish that’s not too greasy.