After just a few swift strokes, you smile at yourself in the mirror, with an eyebrow slightly arched. You put your razor back in its holder with all the swagger of Clint Eastwood replacing his gun. You’ve just managed to shave with the same smooth motion and effortless confidence as the person in the ad on TV, and now your skin feels brand new. You’re ready to face the day ahead, fully aware that you look head-turningly sharp.
But then it begins. Minutes or hours later, as you’re boarding the train, typing furiously at your desk or acing your way through a presentation to senior management, you notice a tingling pain in your skin. It starts out barely noticeable, but before long it’s burning away. You’ve been here before.
The way you see it, you couldn’t have shaved more carefully that morning. Your skin disagrees, and now it’s wreaking its vengeance for not giving it the care it truly deserves. Despairing, you wonder how anyone manages to avoid the rashes, bumps and irritation that come from running a sharp blade over the surface of the body. Is a perfectly skin-friendly shave really possible?
The answer, of course, is a resounding yes, and at Wilkinson Sword we’re here to show you how to avoid shaving rashes and razor burn every single time. For over a century we’ve been tinkering around with our blades to develop cutting-edge ways of making your shave safer, closer and more comfortable. So we know a thing or two about protecting your skin.
How to prevent rashes when shaving
Pain, discomfort and skin irritation don’t have to be a part of shaving. At Wilkinson Sword we love shaving, and everything we do is about putting the joy back into it – freeing your skin to reflect your unique and individual style, whatever that might be. Whether you’re feeling pumped for the day ahead or are just desperate for five minutes in bed, there’s no reason why your skin shouldn’t look fresh after shaving.
Smooth skin is all in the technique. But that doesn’t mean you have to become some kind of master of the shaving arts to achieve rash-free skin – it just means knowing what shaving pitfalls to avoid, taking the time to shave your skin carefully and knowing what to do if razor burn does rear its head.
The best shaving technique to avoid shaving rash
There are a few golden rules when it comes to a rash-free shave, so make sure the following become part of your regular routine…
Shave two hours before you want to look your best. This might not apply on a daily basis as nobody’s getting up at 5am for the sake of a slicker shave, but if it’s especially important – say you’ve got a big interview or a nerve-racking date – then giving your skin the time to relax will allow even the slightest redness or irritation that does occur to go down.
Remember the old wash ‘n’ wait rule. It’s important to have clean skin before shaving, but it’s just as important to let it dry fully before applying shaving cream, so give it five minutes. If your skin is too moist then the movement of your razor can cause irritation.
Try to exfoliate before you start. Getting rid of nasty oils, dirt and dead skin cells can go a long way towards freeing up hairs and making sure the razor’s way isn’t blocked. The clearer the path, the smoother the ride for the razor. That can only be good news for your skin, so get a trusty shaving brush and make it the first tool you pick up.
Don’t always go straight in with the razor. If the hair is long or in a particularly hard-to-shave place, trim it first before you start to shave. This will prevent unnecessary pull on their hairs and stop you from having to shave too forcefully.
Never, ever dry shave. A dry shave is a surefire ticket to redness, whichever part of the body you’re working on. Shaving creams are full of lubricants that protect the skin as the razor glides over it as well as hydrating the hairs. When the hairs are hydrated, they soften, meaning less pull and less scraping of the skin.
Use a good-quality shaving cream. Our Hydro 5 Sense Hydrate shave cream is specially formulated with vitamin E, which helps provide extra protection for your skin. Plus, a thin layer will do the job, so there’s no need to slather it on.
Don’t press too hard with the razor. It sounds obvious, but the moment you get complacent in the basics of shaving is the moment you give yourself razor burn or even nicks and cuts. It’s about trusting the razor to put in the hard work for you. Tread carefully at all times, even when you’re already ten minutes late for work. If you’re in the habit of pressing too hard, the Hydro 5 Sense’s shock absorb tech can handle the extra pressure, adjusting the razor to reduce cuts.
Don’t hang onto your blades. Dull blades are one of the biggest causes of shaving rashes, so make sure that you dispose of your old blades as soon as you start to feel any discomfort. Make sure you keep your blades well-stocked so you’re not tempted to use that rusting old thing that’s been sitting in the corner of the bathroom.
One stroke is better than two. Almost two thirds of all strokes during a shave are re-strokes. How many of those are really necessary? The first stroke over a patch of skin will take with it the lion’s share of the shaving cream, leaving it exposed to irritation if you return with the razor a second time. Shave slowly, carefully and precisely the first time around and you’ll find yourself saving time in the long run.
How long does razor burn last for?
The good news is that shaving rash and razor burn don’t take long to go away, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not painful and irritating in the meantime. There are things that you can do to ease it during those few days…
How to treat razor burn
Whether it’s on your face, on your legs, in the pubic area or anywhere in between, treating razor burn effectively works the same way.
Apply a cool, damp cloth to the affected area. This might not be such a handy tip when you’re halfway to work, but if you notice irritation straight after shaving then this is one of the most simple and effective ways to reduce redness and discomfort.
Find a good-quality after shave balm and make sure the skin is hydrated. Making post-shave hydration part of your morning routine in front of the mirror nips the problem of razor burn in the bud before it gets out of hand. Moisture replenishes the skin and leaves it feeling much more comfortable.
Avoid shaving for a few days. Giving it time to heal will help the rashes to go away naturally, so don’t do anything that will irritate the skin further.