Men of color often report razor bumps, razor burn or irritation after shaving. Globally, 70 percent of men report having sensitive skin, and having curly or coarse hair can aggravate sensitive skin symptoms even further. After shaving, bumps tend to appear when hairs push back into the surface of the skin as they regrow after being cut. When his beard his curly, stubble can curl back under the skin when it starts to grow back, causing bumps. Lots of guys compensate by shaving less often or going to a barber when they want a smooth look, but here are some tips for getting a more comfortable shave at home to share with the guy in your life.
1. Hydrate and Prepare Your Skin and Face
Preparation is key! Dry hair is harder to cut and more likely to grow back into skin, causing bumps. It’s best to shave during or after a warm shower. Or, hold a hot, wet towel to your face for a few minutes to open up your pores. Exfoliate using a face wash or scrub to remove oil, dirt and dead skin, which can keep you from getting a close shave or aggravate the skin. Exfoliation also helps to release hairs trapped under the skin.
2. Lather up!
Use a high-quality shave gel, foam or cream designed for sensitive skin, like new PURE by Gillette®, which is formulated without alcohol, dyes, parabens, and sulfates. The specially designed formula will help protect against irritation during the shave and lightly cools to soothe. Lather and spread gel or cream all over to hydrate any hairs you plan to shave and help protect against irritation. Let it soak in before starting.
3. Time to Shave
It’s important to choose a razor specifically designed for sensitive skin – like the new Gillette® SkinGuard, with its proprietary technology that ensure the blades shave hair while guarding skin. In a first for sensitive skin, the SkinGuard technology absorbs pressure from the hand (minimizing how much pressure is on each blade), smooths the skin to protect it from the blades, and raises the blades slightly from the skin, minimizing the blade’s contact with your sensitive face or neck. The low cutting force blades work to minimize tug and pull and cut hair at skin level, helping to prevent irritation. Always check your blades before you starts shaving: dull blades can cause tug and pull, leading to ingrown hairs or bumps. Shave with light, gentle strokes. Be careful not to re-stroke the same area too much as this can cause irritation. Rinse your blades often and reapply shave gel as you go. Facial hair grows in many directions, so try to shave in the direction that feels most comfortable. This will be different for every guy.
4. Save The Most Sensitive Spots for Last
When the shave gel or cream has more time to soak in, the hairs become softer and easier to cut. If you always get irritation on your neck, you should save that spot for last. Use the single blade Precision Trimmer on the back of the Gillette® SkinGuard razor to create sharp lines around facial hair and shave hard-to-reach places, like under the nose.
5. Clean and Soothe
Once you’re done shaving, rinse off with cool water, and dry your face with a soft towel. Rub in a hydrating after shave to replenish moisture and soothe skin. Shaving regularly helps prevent hairs from getting long enough to re-enter the skin’s surface. It may seem counterintuitive, but a regular routine can help with sensitive skin issues.
Want more information on which shaving products are best for your guy? Click here for more tips and to find the best razors and pre- and post-shave skincare.