What Can I Do If Shaving Irritates My Skin?

If they’re truthful, many guys would have to admit that shaving their face is irritating to their skin and an unpleasant experience overall. Some guys have iron skin and aren’t bothered by the process, but most of us have problems with bumps, rashes, cuts or dry skin from time to time.

There are some actions you can take if you find that shaving causes you pain or discomfort. So what can you do if shaving irritates your skin? Don’t keep doing what you’re doing. There’s no reason for your face to be hot, red or blotchy when you can take one of the following actions instead:

Grow a beard. Okay, this may not be the most helpful or creative suggestion because you must have considered the possibility before. But beards are more accepted today than ever before, and having one can make you look better. While you’ll still have to trim around it if you want clean lines, that’s less of your face you’ll be irritating, so it just might work out for you.

Choose permanent stubble. Stubble is a hot trend now too, and most of that stubble you see these days isn’t the result of shaving and then letting the hair grow out for a few days. Many guys eliminate the need to shave by getting themselves the best stubble trimmer they can find and then trimming every day or every other day to maintain a consistent appearance that can range from hardly noticeable to nearly a full beard.

Take some days off from shaving. One, two or three days off from shaving can make a real difference in the health of your face. Think about your work requirements and your social life. Maybe you need to look good four days a week at work but can get by with stubble on Fridays. Or maybe you want to look your best for going out on Friday night or going to church on Sunday morning and can confidently skip the day before these times. Lots of guys don’t bother to shave on their days off.

Try shaving oil. There are two kinds of shaving oil that amount to the same thing. Some guys use a shaving oil instead of or in addition to cream or gel when shaving to reduce irritation, get a cleaner cut and make it easier to see what they’re doing. Others use one to condition the skin after shaving. Both help, and if you’re going to shave, it makes sense to give these special oils a try.

Do some skin conditioning. Irritation is often the result of dry skin, and conditioning is a way of holding in moisture that you lose from showering often (because showering takes away the oils that hold in the water), from harsh weather conditions and from scraping them off your face. If you don’t condition with oils as mentioned above, there are lighter moisturizer options made just for men — and you can use them on your whole body, not just on your face. Use them wherever you feel dry, including elbows, hands and feet, if necessary.

Take dramatic action. Another possibility is to take the dramatic step of having laser hair removal or another kind of hair removal procedure. These are expensive, take several treatments and can leave you with a baby face, but they solve the problem of irritation. More guys have this done than you can imagine, but some only have a portion of their face done — like the cheek line, neckline or around the ears or nose. This is an especially good option for African Americans with curly, ingrown facial hair — but lots of guys have given up shaving for good with hair removal. Admittedly, it’s not an option for everyone.

The important thing to remember is that having bumps and irritation isn’t natural or normal. And it isn’t something guys just have to learn to live with. There are actions you can take — and some will make more sense to you than others.