Recreating that perfect shave from razor commercials is enough of a challenge without adding acne-prone skin into the equation. Acne is always a pain to deal with and, when shaving, that pain can be literal. Unfortunately, you can’t always put something as routine as shaving on hold to wait for a breakout to subside.
Luckily, you don’t have to.
With proper preparation and the right technique, acne-prone skin does not have to be a barrier to a clean, even shave. In fact, by changing the way you shave your facial hair, you can significantly reduce the build-up of oil in your skin, and possibly solve two problems at once.
Here are some of our best tips for getting the close shave and clear skin that you want:
Preparation for a perfect shave
You do not have to be an expert in the art of shaving to pull off a great shave. But it does help to be prepared, especially when dealing with acne.
Of course, whenever you shave, it is essential to wash your face, in order to hydrate your skin, soften your hair, and prevent razor burn. But it is especially important to wash acne-prone skin, as a razor could potentially introduce bacteria from one area of your face and neck to another, continuing the cycle.
The best way to prep your skin for shaving is to begin right after a hot shower—not only will your skin but soft and hydrated but clean of excess oils that can turn to shave into an irritating ordeal.
Navigating life with acne can be tricky. Whether you see a dermatologist or just have friends who assert themselves as skin care experts, you’ve probably been warned about washing too much or too little, eating the wrong foods, or even sleeping the wrong way at night.
Finding the right cleanser for your skin type does not have to be this difficult.
For example, we at Modrn Man offer a two-step skin care system for acne prone skin for under $30. It’s an easy purchase that could help you keep your oil build-up under control, and treat your razor bumps, allowing you to address both breakouts and shaving mishaps at the same time.
Use the right tools when shaving
Once your skin is clean, hydrated, and ready to go, you’ll need the proper tools for a shave that’s both close and comfortable.
Although multi-blade razors are popular for their potential for a closer shave, more blades can mean more of a mess for those with acne. To lessen the risk of your razor causing bleeding (and, by extension, spreading bacteria), a single blade razor is the best way to go. It might mean a slightly less cohesive shave but being dealing with bloody nicks and razor bumps is annoying, so things even out.
As acne can grow and spread easily, it’s important to switch razors and face cloths more regularly than others. Ideally, you should be using a freshly washed towel or face cloth with every shave and switching razors after just a few uses.
Just as important as using the best possible razor is using the right shaving cream. There are lots of genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of acne but sometimes, using the wrong skin products can clog your pores and irritate your skin.
Yes, that does mean your shaving cream could be contributing to your acne. Yet, unless you really enjoy the sting of razor burn in the morning, going without shaving cream is definitely off the table. However, there are plenty of shaving products available that are designed for sensitive and acne prone skin.
Both Modern Man’s acne-prone and sensitive skin kits are made with all-natural ingredients and are designed to prevent your skin from growing irritated. As a lighter, natural option for shaving, it could help keep your pores from clogging, while helping you get as close a shave as possible without hurting your skin.
Everything in Moderation
It sounds like a cop-out to say that the solution to shaving with acne is to shave less. Of course, not everyone can work a five o’clock shadow, and not all workplaces appreciate the lumberjack style.
However, extending the time between shaves could help prevent irritation and give your skin time to recover and dehydrate. If shaving is usually a daily occurrence for you, see if it would be at all possible to start shaving every second day. This will also give your skin time to adjust to any new cleansing products, which could help acne breakouts clear up before you need to whip out your razor again.
If shaving facial hair in moderation is not in the cards for you, then you can still moderate the amount of pressure you use. Acne will leave your skin bumpy and even, and with too much pressure on your blade, the chances of piercing yourself will only grow.
For this reason, the best protocol is to be slow and gentle with your razor. As you may already be aware, shaving with the grain of the hair follicles is actually the best way to avoid nicks, pimples, and razor bumps. Some might decide that the close shave feel is worth the risk of going against the grain but this is far from ideal for those already dealing with acne.
If the combination of a light grip on your razor and a shave with the grain leaves you without the close shave you were looking for, there is a little trick you could use to get a closer feel: re-lather well and then shave across the grain at a 90-degree angle.
Finally, while you have probably figured this one out on your own, it is important to avoid major whiteheads, pimples, or any swollen areas. It’s not worth the possibility of a messy (and bloody) outcome.
Although shaving with acne by using a shaving cream composition might not be as quick or as easy as the average shave, with the right tools and a high-quality shaving cream, it can be just as painless—without bumps, nicks, or snags.