What's the Difference Between Razor Rash and Razor Bumps?
We've all been there. Taking time to achieve that close shave just to be met with razor burn or ingrown hairs... It's frustrating, painful, and not at all what you were hoping for! So what's the deal with these rashes and bumps??
Both razor rash and razor bumps are forms of irritation that can be caused by shaving – and let's be honest... They both aren't fun to deal with! However, these two conditions are actually pretty different, and knowing about them can help lead to gentler shaving practices that result in smooth skin without any unsightly bumps or rash.
Razor rash or razor burn is a form of irritation that can be spotted when you have finished shaving. Have you ever achieved perfect silky smooth legs only to then notice a slight burning sensation or tenderness? Or after you were done shaving you were left with red or itchy skin? That's a razor rash! This can last for a few hours or as long as 2-3 days – the last thing we want!
Razor bumps are when hair gets stuck inside the follicle. This happens when hair doesn't grow straight out of the follicle, but instead curls back around inside the pore or is blocked by dead skin cells, causing painful, inflamed red bumps.
If you notice acne-like spots or raised bumps when your hair starts to grow back in, stop before you pick up the razor! Unlike a rash that only lasts a short time, razor bumps can potentially linger for weeks. This is because the hair has grown back at an odd angle which is what produces these frustrating bumps. This type of shaving irritation can cause tenderness, pigmentation, and inflammation, so make sure to be kind to your skin during this time while the area heals.
What Causes Shaving Irritation?
While shaving is a great way to remove unwanted body hair, it can cause issues if not practiced carefully. If you rush things or don't opt for a clean sharp blade, you could experience severe irritation, nicks and cuts, or damage to the skin.
Skin irritation like razor rash and bumps is caused by friction from your razor. This can happen if you are shaving too quickly, pressing too hard, shaving one area too many times, dry shaving, not using the right products, choose an old dull or dirty blade, or use a disposable razor that slices the hairs off from below the surface.
How To Avoid Razor Burn and Bumps
Prep your skin before each shave, by exfoliating. This removes dead skin cells which will help to avoid ingrown hairs and razor bumps. They aren't left to gunk up your razor and prevent a close shave. It also helps to raise your hair to make for a closer smoother shave and minimizes irritation.
Shaving with cool water also helps keep the skin firmer to reduce nicks and cuts. Decreasing damage the skin.
Not all razors are created equal, and this is why it's so important to choose a blade that is sharp and created with a gentle experience in mind. A safety razor is a great option and has been shown to help cut down on bumps and rashes. Rinse your blade regularly during shaving. Be sure to always check that your blade is clean and not clogged, as this will work to keep your skin happy too.
Use a gentle hand when shaving. Careful not to press too hard or pull on your skin. More pressure isn't better. You may think you're going to grab more hair, but it actually makes things worse.
Always use water and a lubricant like a lotion when shaving, as this offers superior glide for the blade, moisturizes and minimizes irritation. The gentle and luxurious Shave Balm from Caley-Beth have been specially created to help protect, soothe and lubricate your skin to keep the razor gliding smoothly, reduce and relieve razor bumps and rash, and help create a selfcare experience that boosts your shave sessions.
Shave with the grain or in the direction your hair grows. So long as it doesn't cause irritation the second pass across the grain, and the the third against the grain. Take your time and use short gentle strokes to help avoid cuts and irritation.
Rinse with cool water to close your pores, this helps avoid pores getting clogged, and razor burn, leaving your skin feeling smooth
Don't forget aftercare—after you're done shaving finish with a conditioning moisturizer. The Caley-Beth After Shave Balm helps to soothe, moisturize and calm freshly shaved skin. This all-natural, zero-waste balm will deeply nourish your skin and help prevent razor bumps and rash.
Finally, take your time when shaving! Don't think of this task as a chore, but as a time to get to know your body and have a moment to really slow down. Shaving too quickly or going over the same area again and again can lead to razor burn and bumps, so let this experience be full of care and intention.
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