Do you ever notice red bumps on your legs after you shave? You’re probably experiencing razor bumps. Different from razor burn, which leaves the skin on your legs red and inflamed, razor bumps look like little pimples and can become irritated and sore. Don’t fret if you notice your razor bumps are irritated – there are a number of home remedies for razor bumps that can reduce irritation and soreness!
What Are Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps are small, irritated bumps on your skin that can surface after you shave. Also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, they cause irritation and the development of pimples, and can also lead to scarring.
What Causes Razor Bumps?
Razor bumps are caused by friction from your razor and ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs occur when hair grows into your skin rather than out, and can be painful in themselves. While razor burn occurs immediately after you shave, razor bumps are the result of shaved hairs growing back and becoming ingrown.
When hair grows out of your skin, it can curl back on itself and dig its way back into the skin – this is what causes ingrown hairs. Dead skin can also clog up the hair follicle, so instead of the hair growing out of the skin, it ends up growing sideways under it. Either way, the skin becomes irritated and red razor bumps occur.
How to Prevent Razor Bumps
1. Shave In The Direction Your Hair Is Growing
I always thought it made more sense to shave against the grain AKA in the opposite direction your hair is growing, but turns out I was very wrong. When you shave in the direction your hair is growing, it leaves your hair flush with the skin, and it’s less likely to start tunnelling in. Shave the other way, and it’s trimmed so short and left with such a spiky tip that it’s easier to get embedded in the skin.
To prevent your hair getting clogged by dead skin, it’s a smart move to exfoliate before shaving. This will get rid of any dead skin that’s clogging the hairs, allowing them to grow in the right direction.
3. Use a Sharp Blade
Shaving with a dull blade is a recipe for disaster. Make sure your blade is sharp and clean! As soon as your hair becomes difficult to shave or the hair starts getting caught in the razor, it’s time to change your blade. This ensures you get a clean cut and is less likely to lead to ingrown hairs.
4. Moisturize After Shaving
Moisturizing your skin is so important, especially after you shave. A good moisturizer ensures the skin’s barrier is moist and healthy. Shaving can cause micro trauma to your skin, so it’s important to treat it with care.
5. Never Shave Dry
No matter what, you should never be shaving without some sort of shaving cream. Work up a thick lather over your hair, and reapply frequently. This will ensure you get a smooth shave and aren’t left with any irritating razor bumps.
6. Start with Warm Water, Finish With Cold
Shaving in the shower is the best way to do it, especially if you want to prevent razor bumps. Shower in warm water – it will open the hair follicles and soften the hair shaft, making your hair easier to shave. Whatever you do, don’t shave on cold skin. It won’t turn out favourably. However, you can end your shower with cold water. This will tighten your pores and prevent bacteria from entering.
6 Home Remedies for Razor Bumps That Work
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory that helps soothe irritated skin. When you notice razor bumps, rub aloe vera on the area to reduce inflammation and tone down the redness and itch. If you have an Aloe vera plant, cut off the tip of a leaf and squeeze the aloe vera gel directly onto your skin.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is packed with nutrients that are amazing for the skin. Its moisturizing effects can help speed up the healing process for razor bumps, and will also curb bacteria growth. When bacteria is unable to grow, you’re able to recover faster. The soothing properties of coconut oil can heal any irritation and can help with scarring.
3. Black Tea Bags
Use wet black tea bags to get rid of razor bumps and calm your skin. Black tea contains tannic acid, which reduces redness and inflammation and helps soothe irritation. Cheap tea bags tend to contain more tannic acid, so you don’t need to buy anything expensive. Moisten a black tea bag in warm water and rub over the affected area for two to three minutes.
4. Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar
Honey can treat razor bumps due to its antibacterial properties. It kills bacteria and quickens the healing process so your skin can recover. Lightly cover your razor bumps with a layer of honey, leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse with cold water. Follow with apple cider vinegar, which reduces inflammation and cools the area.
5. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural antiseptic that reduces inflammation. Wash the affected area with soap and water and pat it dry with a towel. Apply witch hazel directly to your razor bumps with a cotton pad to get rid of redness and irritation. You can repeat this process daily.
6. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a well-known remedy for razor burn, but it also helps relieve razor bumps. Soak a cotton ball in a solution of one cup water, one tablespoon baking soda. Allow the mixture to remain on the skin for about five minutes, until it’s dry, then rinse with cool water. This will cause stinging and redness to disappear, and should be repeated two to three times daily until the bumps are gone.
Razor bumps can be a pain, but with these home remedies, your skin will be back to normal in no time!
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