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How to Treat and Prevent Razor Bumps
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How to Treat and Prevent Razor Bumps

Out of all of life’s little annoyances we could sincerely live without — razor bumps are pretty high up on our list. Even though you might not see or hear these irritating bumps the way you do a mishandled food delivery or someone chewing loud in public, they definitely exist and they definitely suck. Despite their high annoyance level, you might be surprised to learn that razor bumps are actually preventable. What’s more, there are a few ways in which they can be treated if you ever find yourself dealing with them. So while we can’t tell you how to get rid of all of your pet peeves (sorry, we totally wish we could), we can help with this one. With a few choice products and some golden advice, you’ll be well on your way to mastering how to treat and prevent razor bumps, babe.

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Why do razor bumps happen in the first place?

Before we jump right into how to treat and prevent razor bumps, let’s address the real elephant in the room. How on earth do we even get this annoying aftereffect from shaving? If you haven’t ever wondered about this babe, we envy you. But us? Well, we’ve wondered. And, we’re here to give you some answers on it.

Known as pseudofolliculitis barbae in the medical world, razor bumps are created by (drum roll, please)… shaving. Alright, we get it, you already knew that. However, the reason shaving can have this effect on the skin is because it actually removes its top layer. This can result in what many dermatologists refer to as “micro-injuries” on your skin. Additionally, it is highly common for hairs to turn inwards or curl in different directions after shaving and for a new layer of skin to grow over them. (i.e. "Ingrown Hairs) These trapped hairs are what causes that dreaded bump effect. Oh and, it’s what’s responsible for causing the shaving dilemma you wish didn’t exist.

Illustrative diagram of how razor bumps occur

The pre-shave ritual that will help you prevent razor bumps.

Before you get to shaving, you need to prep your skin babe. We know how tempting it can be to just hop into the shower and shave immediately, but we promise the few minutes you’ll spend prepping is totally worth the results. Not only will this go a long way in helping you prevent those pesky razor bumps, but it will also give you softer skin overall.

First thing’s first, hit the shower with this goal in mind: proper exfoliation. Getting rid of dead skin cells and softening your skin pre-shave will ensure your razor glides effortlessly. Additionally, you’ll minimize your chances of sliding over existing bumps and your hair will be somewhat softer which will make it easier to shave. And as an added bonus, you’ll have baby smooth skin when you’re all done.

Pro-tip: Chill in the shower for a few minutes before you get to exfoliating. The warmth and steam of the water will help to open up your pores, making the exfoliation process that much more effective. Additionally, it will help to soften up those hairs you’re about to get rid of.

The product your shaving routine has been waiting for...

If you want the perfect product for pre-shaving exfoliation, we recommend none other than BBE’s peppermint tea tree body scrub. Not only does this gem smell ridiculously good, but it contains ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties and that will soothe your skin upon application. Moreover, tea tree oil is known for its abundance of antibacterial properties. This means you’ll be getting rid of any bacteria in the area you plan on shaving. And as if that weren’t enough, this scrub works to hydrate and exfoliate your skin simultaneously which is a major key in stopping razor bumps in their tracks.

Image of beauty by earth's peppermint tea tree body scrub, perfect for preventing and treating razor bumps

Using the BBE peppermint tea tree body scrub on its own will definitely help to get you well on your way to razor bump-free days. But if you want to take your pre-shave ritual to the next level, we recommend adding in an exfoliating loofah. You can use this bad boy to apply your body scrub and to buff your way to flawless skin while you’re at it.

Paired together, this exfoliating duo is seriously unmatched. So good in fact, that you’ll want to use them even on no-shave days, we promise.

A woman using beauty by earth's exfoliating loofah on her arm

So you’re buffed, smooth, and ready to shave – not so fast, girlfriend.

Once you’ve perfected your pre-shave skin prepping routine, there are a few other things we need you to be on top of. You know, before you go to town on those exfoliated legs. These next tips are *crucial* to your bump-free skin goals, and you’ll want to incorporate them into your shaving routine, pronto.

Always, always use a fresh razor.

You would think a sharper blade would be more dangerous than a dull one, right? Wrong, babe. So wrong.

We cannot stress this next tip enough. Using a dull razor can cause more nicks and skin irritations than a new one ever will. Part of this is because dull blades tug more at your skin and glide less easily against it. This can result in increased skin irritation and give you not-so-cute effects. We recommend a more sustainable option from our friends over at Leaf Shave.

We should also mention that using an old razor has other nasty side effects you’ll want to avoid at all costs. And while we hate to gross you out, we think it’s important that you know all of this babe. Firstly, razors get easily covered in grime. Like, really easily. From shaving cream to the hairs themselves, these guys get pretty dirty, pretty quickly. All of that grime leads to one big downfall for your precious skin: infection.

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As we mentioned at the beginning of this how to prevent and treat razor bumps blog post, shaving does remove a small layer of your skin and can create micro-tears. Pair that with an old, dirty razor that is prone to carrying bacteria and you are opening your skin up to a *ton* of potential irritation.

Alright, you’re all caught up on the nasty effects of using an old blade. Ready for our next tip? Cool. It’s not half as nauseating babe, we promise.

Shave in the direction that your hair is growing in.

We totally get that this is easier said than done. Mainly because, in some areas, our hair grows in what looks like multiple directions (i.e., our armpits). However, we still recommend that you try to shave your hair in the direction that it’s growing in as much as you possibly can.

This will prevent nicks and bumps and give you smoother shaving results. That, along with using a fresh blade of course.

Pro-tip: If you want to help your razor blade glide, ditch the shaving cream. Not only is it not entirely necessary to get smooth results, but these products are often packed with toxic chemicals you can certainly live without. Instead, opt for our Shaving Soap Bar. After exfoliation, lather your skin in this eco-friendly bar soap swap packed with certified organic ingredients and of course, cruelty-free. Again, this will help your razor glide effortlessly and you’ll be simultaneously providing your skin with some hydration. Talk about a win-win, right?

Woman using beauty by earth's shave bar to shave her legs

What you need to know about treating razor bumps, après-shave.

Maybe you didn’t have your pre-shave skin prepping ritual on lock. Or maybe, you were in a rush and thought shaving quickly would pan out just fine. Ah, if only life was that simple babe. Don’t stress. This has happened to the best of us and having a few go-to tricks under your belt can totally ease the razor-bump blues.

How to target pesky bikini line razor bumps:

Ah! This can be the worst place for razor bumps. Not only is it uncomfy, it's also super annoying if you're planning to take a dip. To treat these razor bumps, the best thing you can do is gently exfoliate, tweeze, or try some form of medication.

Woman with bikini sitting on sand

Prevention is key, however. Since the hair in this area tends to be coarser, it's oh-so-much more important that you're prepping for a clean shave. Make sure you're using a fresh, sharp razor, separate from the one you use for other areas of your body. Use a shaving bar that is gentle and without any synthetic fragrance as your private areas tend to be more finicky pH-wise. And, try not to hop right into shaving dry skin—you'll want to wait until your pores have opened from the warm water in the shower.

Moisturize a lot but not with just any moisturizer.

Babe, the key to soothing irritated skin is *almost always* BBE’s beloved aloe vera gel. Forget only reaching for this superstar when you have a wicked sunburn. The next time you run into shaving blunders, remember this. Razor bumps can instantly be smoothed with just a little bit of this powerful plant. Those with sensitive skin, this is perfect for you!

Woman sitting poolside with Beauty By Earth's aloe vera gel

Aloe vera is packed with hydrating properties and is known for its ability to reduce redness and inflammation. These are all things that come along with those annoying razor burn. On top of that, aloe has natural antibacterial properties that will help prevent further infection and irritation in your skin's surface. Essentially, it provides you with all of the nourishment you need when dealing with those not-so-cute aftereffects from shaving.

Trust us, babe, aloe vera gel is the real MVP when it comes to mastering how to treat and prevent razor bumps, and you’ll want this hydrating powerhouse on your side at all times.

Use cold water on razor bumps the minute you see them surfacing.

We know, we know. Who wants to splash cold water on their body?! But babe, this can be exactly what your irritated pores need when dealing with razor bumps!

If the results of your shaving job have you experiencing some instant regret, take a breath gorgeous. After that, splash or compress cold water on to the area. Cold water helps to soothe and close pores, thus reducing overall inflammation of the skin. What’s more, if you opt for the compressing option, it can actually feel quite soothing upon application. Simply soak a small cloth in cold water and gently press it on the affected area for 1-2 minutes.

This should reduce the size of your razor bumps fairly quickly. Follow up with that amazing aloe gel we just mentioned above, and you’ll eliminate a *ton* of those irritating aftereffects we’ve mentioned all throughout this article. See? You’re looking bump-free already!

Look at you, you beautiful shaving expert, you.

There you have it, babe. Everything you ever needed to know about how to treat and prevent razor bumps is really that simple. Incorporate these easy tips and tricks into your self-care routine, invest in a few key products, and you’ll have one less little annoyance to deal with in your life.

And while we can’t fix all of those other pet peeves for you, we sincerely think coconut oil and aloe vera gel can solve at least half of them.

Until next time gorgeous.

Fresh razors & smooth skin,

Carey <3


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