Monday, July 14, 2014

The Raw Truth about Razor Burn

I occasionally got razor burn after my early DE shaves. Razor burn is characterized by uncomfortable burning rash or bumps after shaving that can linger for a day or even three.

Although skin preparation can be a factor, the primary reasons for razor burn boil down to just three:
  • Excessive pressure of razor against skin
  • Too many swipes of razor against a given area of skin
  • A dull blade, which can directly lead to excessive pressure and too many swipes as already mentioned
If you have given yourself razor burn on a particular day, using an alum block immediately post shave can help to reduce the worst of it. Use of the alum block has become part of my daily ritual to minimize inflammation post shave. Though the alum block helps, once you've got razor burn, better to go easy on pressure and passes in subsequent shaves until it is healed.

My raw truth is that, though I don't get razor burn very often at all, I do frequently have a burning sensation on parts of my face after shaving. There are typically no visible signs of this burning sensation, and it does go away within about an hour, but it's there -- most often under my jaw line, where my skin seems to be most sensitive and also where I must shave against the grain to get close.

When I shaved with a multi-blade disposable razor, I never got razor burn; but I never got a close shave either. With the disposable, I would make one quick pass with the grain everywhere, and that was it; so there wasn't enough shaving going on to cause much irritation besides the occasional nick from carelessness.

Currently, my daily ritual includes, as I've said, the alum block immediately after the final rinse, usually followed by a splash of witch hazel to wash off the alum so it doesn't dry my skin throughout the day. Then I apply an after-shave balm to help moisturize. On days when I've shaved a little too closely, I may also apply an additional moisturizer such as Aveeno brand lotion.

[UPDATE: Since I've been using my shave soap #6 formulation and making a creamier, less-foamy lather, I have generally eliminated everything beyond the alum block. No witch hazel, no after-shave balm, and only occasionally do I use the Aveeno lotion.]

[UPDATE #2: As of this second update, my shave soap formula has continued to evolve; I'm now using formulation #10A, which is the best yet. I'm also using a minimalist morning ritual that includes a one-pass shave and usually requires nothing after a cool-water rinse: no alum block, no lotions.]

That's it for today.  Happy shaving!

No comments:

Post a Comment