How to Extinguish Razor Burn for Good

Angry face? Give it a chill pill with these shaving tips.

In Chinese culture, the color red is auspicious and lucky — it symbolizes happiness, beauty and success. On a man’s clean-shaven face, however, the color red can only mean one thing: razor burn.

A post-shaving rash that itches, burns and stings, razor burn occurs when your razor has a no-holds-barred skirmish with your skin. Like a lawnmower that cuts the grass too short, its blades cleave the outer layer of the dermis, causing micro-abrasions that can become inflamed or even infected. When that happens, you feel the burn. Which is not only uncomfortable, but also unsightly.

But let’s be honest: You don’t care about the physiology of razor burn. If you regularly suffer from it, all you really want to know is how to prevent shaving rash from happening in the first place. Fortunately, razon burn is easy to avoid with just a few simple tweaks to your shaving routine.

1. Prepare your face.

Do your face a favor: Wash it before you shave it. If you don’t, your razor will spread dirt, grime and germs all over your face like a knife spreading butter on a slice of toast. All that gunk will get into tiny cuts that your razor makes on your face, leaving your skin prone to infection. And even if it doesn’t, the debris on your skin will be like bumps in the road that make it hard for your razor to drive smoothly across your face; the harder it is for your razor to pass, the more likely it is that your skin will become irritated.

For the best possible results, wash your face in the shower with Billy Jealousy White Knight Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser, then shave immediately after. The heat and steam from bathing will open your pores and soften your beard, both of which will make easier work for your razor.

2. Revitalize your razor.

Of course, having a clean face is pointless if you’re shaving with a dirty razor. To ensure that you aren’t, clean your razor after you shave by running it under hot water, sterilizing the blades by wiping them with rubbing alcohol and storing it in an upright razor stand.

Just as important as having a clean razor is having a sharp one, as shaving with a dull razor is a surefire way to create shaving rash. You should replace your blade every one to two weeks if you shave every day, every two to three weeks if you shave every other day and every four to six weeks if you shave just a couple times per week.

If a clean, sharp razor isn’t enough to soothe your razor burn, you might want to consider switching from a fancy razor that has three, four or five blades to a safety razor that has just one blade. The fewer the blades your razor has, the less it will irritate your skin.

3. Lube ’er up.

In your car’s engine, oil prevents damage by reducing corrosive heat and friction. On your face, pre-shave oil and shaving cream accomplish the same thing. For optimal results, use them both — pre-shave oil, followed by shaving cream — in order to soften your beard and lubricate your skin, which will reduce dragging and pulling from your razor so it can glide across your face friction-free. Try Billy Jealousy Hot Towel Heating Pre-Shave and Billy Jealousy Hydroplane Super-Slick Shave Cream, which is the best shaving cream for sensitive skin, and therefore the best shaving cream for men who want to stop shaving rash in its tracks.

4. Adjust your technique.

Although shaving against the grain promises a closer shave, it also promises a more irritating one. To avoid shaving rash, shave only with the grain and never against it. And when you do, do it gently. That means short, soft strokes instead of long, hard ones, which create more friction and, as a result, more razor burn.

5. Heal and hydrate.

Shaving strips your skin — literally — of its natural oils, moisture and protection. If you want to prevent shaving rash, you’ll need to restore them, which you can do by applying an alcohol-free aftershave lotion or balm. The best aftershave for men who are trying to prevent razor burn is one that has skin-soothing aloe — which, by the way, is the best shaving rash treatment, too, in case your prevention efforts fail. Try Billy Jealousy Shaved Ice After-Shave Lotion, which is formulated with several types of aloe that provide time-released moisturizing and cooling.

With these simple changes to your shaving routine, shaving burn will hopefully turn into shaving bliss.

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