Shaving is a part of the regular routine for many men and women, but because we tend to shave the areas with the most sensitive skin, including the face, underarms, and bikini line, it’s easy to run into some irritation and other problems along the way. While giving your skin a break from shaving every so often is one way to help reduce these concerns, this isn’t always realistic, especially for men who want or need to stay clean-shaven for work or other activities. Fortunately, there are are some things you can do to minimize shaving irritation and other common side effects and achieve smooth, healthy-looking skin.
Side Effects of Shaving
Many people don’t realize that their regular shaving habits could be to blame for some of the most common skin concerns, including clogged pores, dryness, flaking, irritation, and ingrown hairs. Keep in mind that the outermost layer of your skin is made up of dead skin cells that serve as part of its protective barrier. These skin cells gradually flake off over time and are replaced by new ones. When you run a razor over your skin, however, you can accelerate this flaking process. To some extent, this exfoliation can be beneficial. Unfortunately, shaving can also push these skin cells, dirt, and other debris into your pores, which can lead to breakouts. Additionally, frequent shaving can cause your skin to appear dull and flaky and often results in redness, irritation, and razor bumps. Ingrown hairs are another very common side effect of shaving. This occurs when a shaved hair begins to curl back in toward the skin as it regrows, resulting in an uncomfortable or painful bump that can become infected .
How to Get a Smoother, More Comfortable Shave
The good news is that you don’t have to ditch shaving altogether to get the smooth, healthy skin you want. First, there are a few skin care tips and tricks you can try before you even pick up your razor. Since shaving can cause excess exfoliation and irritation, keeping your skin properly moisturized all the time can help to minimize these side effects. When your skin is already smooth and supple, your razor will glide over it much more easily, resulting in fewer nicks, bumps, and irritation. The key is to use a moisturizer that will nourish your skin with the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy and effective outer protective barrier. The best ingredients for this job are amino acids, because they are components of your skin’s natural moisturizing factor, the substance that helps to seal in water content and keep harmful substances from penetrating your skin . Once your skin is properly moisturized, nourished, and protected using amino acid skin care, begin your shave with these helpful tips in mind:
- Never dry shave, as this can cause added friction between your skin and the razor.
- Use a clean, sharp razor, every time.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth, not “against the grain.”
- Use an amino acid moisturizer like HEFF to help soothe razor burn and heal ingrown hairs and other bumps and irritation.
The Bottom Line
No one wants to deal with painful or unsightly razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and the dull, flaky skin that frequent shaving can cause. Thankfully, with the right skin care and shaving routine, you can have the best of both worlds–clear, comfortable skin and a clean, smooth shave! If you’re interested in learning more about how amino acid skin care products can help to improve nearly all of your most frustrating skin conditions, take a moment to sign up to become an AminoGenesis Insider. You’ll receive all sorts of interesting skin-related news and tips delivered right to your inbox, as well as some pretty amazing deals and flash sales on innovative AminoGenesis products.
 Mayo Clinic