You've achieved short-lived but glorious smoothness. Your trusty razor has whisked away pesky, stubbly hairs, leaving soft skin behind, and the tedious task of shaving is once again complete.
Then you begin to see them -- those uninvited little bumps, raised and red. They can pop up basically anywhere and anytime you shave. On the face, neck, legs, armpits, bikini line -- they do not discriminate.
So, you didn’t successfully know how to avoid razor bumps, and now you need to figure out how to get rid of razor bumps fast. What should you know, and what should you do?
What Are Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps also go by the name pseudofolliculitis barbae. It might seem like an inflammation of the skin, but it really isn’t.
When the hair is shaved down, it may become trapped under the skin, curl inward, and keep growing in that wrong direction -- tiny ingrown hairs. It will irritate the hair follicle and cause a slight swelling, which results in bumps.
What Causes Razor Bumps?
It isn’t only shaving, in fact. Since razor bumps come down to hair and skin not playing nicely, waxing and depilatory creams run the risk of razor bumps, too.
People with thicker, coarser, and curlier hair are more susceptible as well.
Here are conditions which can cause them in general:
Using older dull razor blades
Dead skin buildup in the area
Excessive shaving of the same areas
Shaving against the grain rather than with it
Aggravating your pores during or after shaving
Shaving without using shaving cream or another lubricant
Symptoms of Razor Bumps
The most obvious sign, of course, is going to be the arrival of those troublesome bumps. But the irritation that causes them has a few other accompanying symptoms.
Areas of skin with razor bumps will be reddened and have increased sensitivity, possibly some pain.
The bumps tend to itch, but scratching at them will increase inflammation, and opens up the possibility of breaking the skin. That might result in a little bleeding or even scarring later on down the line. If bacteria is trapped under the skin with the hair, there can also be put inside the bump.
How Can Razor Bumps Be Prevented
Now that you know the causes, you’re probably wondering how to prevent razor bumps altogether.
Using warm water and steam helps. Gentle exfoliation is always recommended to clear away dead skin and gives any trapped hairs a chance to come up above the skin.
Exfoliation comes in the form of cleansing scrubs or items such as a loofah or pumice stone. For a softer touch, try something like Gold Mountain Beauty’s Mitt Kit for exfoliating face and body to stop razor bumps on necks or razor bumps on legs.
Best Razors to Prevent Bumps
Counterintuitively, more blades can actually equal a worse quality shave with more razor bumps. Multi-blade razors mean multiple chances for irritation to occur, and irritation means your hopes of beautifully smooth skin go out the window. The fewer blades. the better, all the way down to a single blade safety razor.
Many people swear by non-disposable metal razors even with more than one blade -- the weight of the shaving implement allows you to use less force and reduce friction between the blades and your skin.
For others, an electric shaver works wonders to get rid of razor bumps that just won’t quit. It changes up the blade and shaving equation entirely while still offering weightiness and fewer blades -- just make sure it’s capable of a wet shave for the best results.
And no matter which is your weapon of choice, the best razor is a fresher razor. Clean and sharp.
Best Creams and Lotions to Prevent Bumps
Thick, moisturizing shaving creams worked into a lather and massaged over the skin will reduce friction from the razor and keep your skin from drying out as you shave. Keep it up by applying a lightweight moisturizing lotion afterward.
Creams and lotions with Vitamin E promote skin health and have anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, lotions and creams with the same ingredients that know how to get rid of razor bumps are perfect for stopping them before they appear. Try infusions of tea tree oil or witch hazel.
Anything antibacterial or containing some revitalizing proteins and essential oils can do the trick.
How to Treat Razor Bumps
What if it’s just too late? You did the best you could, but angry red bumps still erupted over your neck, formed a trail down part of your leg. Wondering how to get rid of razor bumps overnight for a fresh shot at tomorrow?
There’s not a surefire approach, but soothing actions go a long way.
Try to reduce redness and bumps with a cold compress -- just a washcloth or towel soaked in cool water and draped over the area will help. A hot compress, by contrast, will open up the pores and may free some ingrown hairs, putting an end to that follicle’s irritation.
Best Products to Get Rid of Razor Bumps
- Once again, tea tree oil will come to the rescue. It’s an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory at the same time. To use it to get rid of razor bumps, mix the oil with warm water to create a soak is the most direct method. Douse your washcloth in it and apply to the affected area.
- Mix coconut activated charcoal powder with water for a mask you will coat the razor bumps on your face and neck. When you remove it, the area will be calmly exfoliated and cleansed of any toxins and bacteria trapped in the bumps. Gold Mountain Beauty offers it in 8 or 16-ounce sizes, so it can even be applied to larger areas like legs if you’re feeling ambitious.
- Aloe vera, whether straight from a plant or packaged into a gel or cream, is the hero you need for anything from sunburn to razor bumps. It will treat itchiness and reduce the severity of inflammation, making your red bumps less evident and irritating.
There are many different targeted concoctions to prevent the recurrence of razor bumps once you’ve fallen under their curse. They contain glycolic and salicylic acids and the like to kill bacteria and exfoliate the irritated skin and follicles.
- And if you’ve dealt with many instances of “getting rid of razor bumps” and your skin has paid the price, products like our Lightening Cream with Collagen can even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of darkness or scarring.