Shaving can be a challenge for both men and women and may lead to irritation/razor burn or ingrown hairs. Here are tips from the American Academy of Dermatology, modified by Dr. Gewirtzman, to help you get a clean shave:

  • Before you shave, wet your skin and hair to soften it. Taking a shower or bath prior to shaving is a great way to soften your hair, but this may also be accomplished by applying a damp cloth to your face and neck (or legs, etc) for 1-2 minutes.
  • Apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer or pre-shave oil.
  • Next, apply a shaving cream or gel. While foam/gel from a can is convenient and effective, an even better alternative is to apply a high quality shaving soap or cream from a tube or tub and apply with a shaving brush. Use of a shaving brush helps to exfoliate as well as helping to lift the hairs more effectively. It also infuses the cream with water to create a richer lather than would be possible with fingers alone.
  • Use a razor with a sharp blade. Change blades or throw away disposable razors after 5 to 7 shaves to help minimize irritation. Note that more blades is not necessarily better. A high quality single razor blade (such as those used in double edge safety razors) will shave skin at the level of the skin rather than below the skin which leads to irritation.
  • Keep skin taut and shave lightly (do not push razor hard against face) to prevent nicks.
  • Be sure to shave in the direction that the hair grows. While shaving against the grain may give you a closer shave, it is a prime reason for redness, shaving bumps, and ingrown hairs.
  • Rinse face with cool water and apply moisturizing aftershave or facial moisturizer.

If you have questions or concerns about caring for your skin, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.