What to Know about Shaving when you have Acne
Managing breakouts is tough enough as it is, and we often get questions, especially from our male patients, about the best way to shave without causing additional irritation. Acne is an irritation after all, and the last thing we want is for people to unknowingly cause more damage. The steps below are how we advise our patients to shave, from beginning to end, but let us know if you have any questions!
- Most shaving creams contain ingredients that can irritate the skin, so the most basic part of shaving with acne prone skin is to instead use a good, gentle cleanser that is non-medicated and that lathers (SkinMedica Sensitive Skin Cleanser is a great example)
- Using warm water, add about 1 and ½ tsp. of cleanser to your hands to make a good lather on the skin, but when in doubt, add more.
- Always shave immediately after or while in the shower so that the skin is soft and wet.
- Use a 2 blade razor. (1 blade pulls at the hair too much and 3+ blades get too close to the skin causing irritation as well as more risk for ingrown hairs )
- Always shave in the direction that the hair grows. This causes less irritation and inflammation, thus less acne as well as less risk of contributing to ingrown hairs on the face.
- Shaving should be done daily or we recommend that our patients grow a beard. If you have acne-prone skin growing a beard will stop the irritation, inflammation, and ingrown hairs.
- The longer the time between shaves the longer the hair and the more pulling the razor will do, so use scissors for trimming prior to shaving.
- Always use light, gentle strokes. The razor should do the work, not you!
- If you don’t shave but want to maintain facial hair, you can use scissors or an electric razor with a guard as this will decrease pulling at the hair follicles and avoids direct contact of the razor to the skin.