Let’s talk about razor bumps.
I remember a conversation I had about shaving with some male friends of mine, and I asked them what the number one issue was that they had with shaving. Razor bumps came up 99% of the time. So of course I had to go and do some research! Today, we're going to be talking all about them and how the right beard oil could help minimise them.
Okay, so razor bumps are not to be confused with razor-burns and yes razor bumps affect a lot of men but seems to be more common in black men. Before we discuss razor bumps, let's talk about razor-burns quickly. Razor-burn is a type of skin irritation, which occurs as a result of friction caused by using a razor. It tends to cause areas of redness and irritation immediately after shaving. So if you don't lubricate your skin properly with shaving gel or cream before shaving or us a dull razor; or you have skin that is sensitive to friction, then razor-burns can occur.
Now razor bumps on the other hand can develop several days after hair removal and they are essentially ingrown hairs or inflamed hair follicles that develop as a result of shaving. Remember we said earlier, black men are much more prone to razor bumps, right? This kind of boils down to our hair type, being those curly coils that appear underneath the skin after shaving and cause unsightly and sometimes painful razor bumps. However, if you shave correctly, or you treat your skin properly prior to and after shaving, then, you're less likely to get shaving bumps.
Let’s look at some of the ways that you can do this.
- Shave with sharp and single edge razor blade. Try to avoid using razors with more than one blade as these give you a closer shave. Now if you shave too close to your skin, it will cut the hair to a level that lies below the surface of the skin and it will increase the possibility of hair curling backwards into the skin before it has a chance to break through the surface of the skin.
- Exfoliate your skin with an exfoliating scrub and warm water prior to shaving. This helps to clear out the pores get rid of dead skin. After exfoliating you want to put some moisture back into the skin so take some moisturising beard oil and massage it into your skin. This softens your skin and hair.
- Beard oils/serums with emollients (like our Moisturising Serum) are great for this. Emollients are essentially moisturisers that help soften your skin and your facial hair by increasing the ability of the skin to hold water. They also provide the skin with a layer of oil to prevent water loss while lubricating the skin.
- Next comes your shaving cream and if possible use a moisturising shaving cream. Leave it to sit on your skin for about 10 minutes or so before shaving to allow it to completely coat the hairs and then you want to shave in the direction that the hair is growing rather than the opposite direction. Shaving in the opposite direction of your hair growth gives you a closer shave but black men really should be aiming for a clean shave rather than a close shave.
- Once you have finished shaving, you want to rinse your skin with some cool water to close the pores. Then apply a hydrating aftershave solution to your skin immediately after shaving to soothe and calm your skin. Look for products that contain ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe or chamomile as these are good for soothing your skin. Our Moisturising Serum contains chamomile extracts which are good for shaving aftercare and also in-between shaves as well.
So, these are quick tips to help banish, or at least really minimise razor bumps. Now you know the steps to that baby-soft skin you want!