Razor burn is a constant burning sensation spreading over the face—and athletes can attest how irritating it is during training or competition.
The burn is manageable while you’re working or attending classes. But it can be downright painful during practice or games due to sweat and chinstraps rubbing against the skin.
One way to avoid razor burn is to imitate Grizzly Adams and don’t shave at all. However, recruiters generally disapprove of student-athletes looking like bums, with scruffy patches around their chins and necks. Instead, follow these five simple steps when shaving.
Exfoliate: It may sound feminine, but it works. An exfoliating facial scrub will remove dead skin and bring out ingrown hairs before the razor hits your mug.
Lubricate: Don’t use soap or even shampoo. Look for a shaving cream that is rich in glycerin and coconut oil, and does not contain alcohol. Also, pre-shave oil can help prevent razor drag, especially for those with sensitive skin.
Keep It Sharp: Dull blades are the leading cause of razor burn, so always use a sharp blade. A good rule of thumb is to replace the blade after five to seven uses. Between uses, remove all excess cream, oil and hair by dipping the blade in alcohol after the final rinse, and store the razor upside down.
Light Strokes: Use short, light strokes with the razor, always shaving with the grain to avoid skin irritation. Avoid pressing down too hard or stretching the skin while passing the blade over an area more than once, because each pass can shave off a small layer of skin.
Moisturize: Once the last hair is shaved off, rinse off and use a skin moisturizer or aftershave balm/lotion. This will keep your skin soft and enrich it with nutrients.