Razor Burn also known as razor rash can largely be attributed to the modern razors and products that are readily available.
Think about the old Gillette advert “one blade to shave you close the other to shave even closer”. The television advert showed the first blade pulling the hair out of the skin, then the second blade cut followed by the hair sucking back below the skin. When the hair is cut like this it is really cut too close so the hair is under the skin and this can lead to a number of issues. A layer of skin can form over the top of the hair and as it grows this can become sensitive and so if shaving every day you will be cutting through this skin causing razor burn. When the hair is too short it can regrow in any direction sometimes not even surfacing, you have heard of ingrowing hairs well this is what has happened. If the wayward hair does breach the skin it can be growing in the wrong direction. The most comfortable shave is when the blade is travelling in the direction the hairs grow but discomfort can be experienced when shaving against the grain.
Thirty years on and we now have five blades so what does this mean for causing razor burn? I can’t tell you the benefit of having so many blades but what I can see is the blades getting choked with stubble and shaving products. So, for a close shave you are going to have to press on harder with the razor and scrap away at your face. The replacement heads are quite expensive, a pack of four will pay for a box of beer, so we try to make them last as long as possible so now we are shaving with under performing, dirty blades. These razors are hard to clean so dirt is building up in the heads with each use.
Now take a look at your favorite shaving products even the ones for sensitive skin. What does the list of ingredients say, do you recognise many of the names? You would not want to wash your car with some of these chemicals so why would you put them on you face? Foam from a can is the worst product to use due to the propellants inside.
What this means is that as you shave your face it is being aggravated by the stress and germs from your razor and then your raw skin is exposed to all kinds of toxins found in the foam.
So what do you do? Look away from the supermarkets, find a razor with less blades and ideally one with just a single double edged replacement blade so you don't have to keep buying new razors just use a good one with a reputation for being a mild or non-agressive razor. Next look for grooming products that contain only natural or organic ingredients. Follow these simple steps and your skin will improve diminishing razor burn for ever.