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How do I get Razor Burn Relief?

By Tess C. Taylor
Updated May 17, 2024
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Razor burn is a common skin ailment caused by shaving hair from the surface of the skin. This condition — characterized by redness, itching, burning, and bumps — is caused by shaving incorrectly or just by having sensitive skin in general. Razor burn can be prevented by using a fresh razor, plenty of shaving cream, hot water, and a gentle hand. After the fact, however, razor burn relief can come from several natural and over-the-counter skin treatments that do not contain alcohol or other skin-irritating components.

To get razor burn relief, consider how you're shaving. If you're rushed, use an older or dull razor blade, or do not use enough lubrication, razor burn will continue to be a problem. It’s important to start out by washing the skin with hot water, which opens pores to clean them out.

Next, use a skin-conditioning shaving gel or cream to soften the hair before shaving. Shave with a fresh, sharp blade running in the direction of hair growth. By using short, gentle strokes instead of pushing down harshly on the skin, razor burn can be prevented.

If you develop razor burn, skin can be treated in a variety of ways to take down the redness, itching, and burning. Start by applying a non-alcohol aftershave treatment to the shaved areas. This aftershave may be made out of skin-conditioning ingredients designed to reduce redness and razor bumps. A natural alternative to store-bought aftershave is witch hazel, which can be found in health food stores or in drug stores. It's relatively inexpensive and gives just as much razor burn relief.

If razor burn is severe enough that the skin is feeling hot, or there is a burning sensation, try applying a washcloth soaked in ice cold water for quick razor burn relief. In addition, an aloe-vera or tea-tree-oil-based product can be applied to relieve the burning feeling and stinging sensation. This will help to heal the skin from underneath and reduce the redness and discomfort. Many affordable skin-conditioning lotions and aftershave products containing aloe vera and tea tree oil can be found in retail and drug stores.

To get razor burn relief, avoid using alcohol-based shaving products that can actually dry out the skin, making it more prone to irritation, injury, and the resulting redness and bumps that accompany razor burn. Don’t try to scrub, pinch, or rub the red bumps or rough skin patches that appear with razor burn, as this will cause more irritation, and, in some cases, scarring of the skin. Keep colognes and perfumes away from shaved areas and use lotions instead to condition the skin before and after razor burn.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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