Personal appearance and looks matter more to us than ever before. The beauty and cosmetics industry is one of the biggest in the world with people spending thousands of pounds every year to make sure they look their very best. One of the major parts of the body that leaves people worried and can be a cause of self-consciousness is the skin. The skin is often perceived as a reflection of how well you take care of yourself, so skin conditions such as acne can be a real cause of discomfort for many.
Knowing how to look after acne-prone skin can be confusing and sufferers often have questions about the best skincare products to use or how to best care for their skin. One problem that many acne sufferers struggle with is shaving and often want to know if shaving irritates their acne further.
Know the Difference Between Razor Bumps and Acne
Firstly, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish razor bumps from acne. Razor bumps can appear following shaving, particularly if the skin is sensitive or irritated. Although both razor bumps and acne can appear similar, there are a set of characteristics that set them apart. Acne is a skin condition whereas razor bumps are primarily due to sensitive skin or not following the best practices of shaving, such as using shaving gel or shaving in the right direction.
Acne is characterized by spots and redness all over the face, which can look similar to a rash caused by shaving. However, the main aspect that distinguishes the spots from razor bumps is that they include white and blackheads, which are often built up due to clogged pores. Acne is caused by a plethora of reasons, from hormonal changes or having a poor diet to stress.
On the contrary, razor bumps don’t formulate whiteheads or blackheads. As the name suggests, Razor bumps mainly appear following shaving. Now, these may not be as bad as acne but may still significantly impact an individual’s skin and self-confidence. For this reason, it may always prove to be a good decision to be careful if and when you choose to shave and follow good shaving habits to help you avoid razor bumps in the future.
It’s easy to mistake razor bumps for acne from time to time, due to which it’s often important to look at the symptoms with precision before coming to a solid conclusion.
Is It Safe to Shave If You Have Acne?
Yes, if you have acne prone skin, shaving shouldn’t pose a problem when done carefully. The reason why shaving poses a problem for individuals with acne is because they don’t shave carefully which can lead to the symptoms becoming more severe.
Does Shaving Irritate Acne?
Shaving can irritate acne prone skin and sometimes you may be left with inflamed skin, bleeding or even the worsening of your acne. However, you don’t have to stop shaving altogether, you just need to know how to shave safely during a breakout.
How to Shave If You Have Acne
Assess Your Skin
Before you begin shaving take a look at your skin. If you are having a particularly bad breakout or suffering with painful or inflamed cystic acne, it may be best to wait until your skin has calmed down or speak to a dermatologist before shaving.
Cleanse Your Face Beforehand
Before you shave, use a high-quality cleanser to clean your face of any impurities. Following your cleanser, apply a moisturiser to help soften your hair, making it more pliable and lowering the chances of causing harm or irritation. By cleansing your face it allows your skin to stay clear and void of any gunk and or dirt that piles up.
Use Only Razors from Reputable Brands
In order to ensure that you shave properly, use only those razors that are deemed to be high quality. Low-quality razors can often damage the skin as they aren’t as sharp or protective to the skin when being used. This can lead to inflamed skin and razor bumps, making the overall appearance and feel of the skin worsen. The razors should be multi-blade that are spaced close together which leaves less room for the skin to get tugged and inflamed.
Utilize Only Unused Razor Blades
Another thing to note regarding shaving with acne is to avoid using old blades. By using dirty or used blades, you further inflict yourself with substances that clog your pores which can lead to the formation of new blackheads or whiteheads. This can also spread acne symptoms further around your face. Old, blunt blades can also further irritate the skin, causing redness or razor rash.
Use A Shaving Gel or Foam Designed For Acne Prone Skin
There are many shaving gels or foams on the market designed for acne prone skin. These are designed to be gentle, to not irritate your skin and contain ingredients that will actively work to fight your acne such as tea-tree oil.
Take Your Time
Finally, ensure that you take your time so as to avoid rushing and damaging your skin. Be careful when passing over any pimples, avoiding them completely if possible. If you do need to shave directly over a spot, try to only go over it once and use a light stroke throughout.
Protect Your Freshly Shaved Skin
Once you have finished shaving, wash your skin with warm water and apply another layer of moisturiser to the skin.
If you have any concerns about your acne or have tried home remedies without any luck, we suggest seeking advice from an expert dermatologist that provides acne treatments that are specific to your needs.