If you’re headed for the beach anytime soon, then it’s probably time to start getting rid of those unwanted body hair in your legs and bikini line. There are several ways of doing this, but it appears that the fastest and least expensive way of removing unwanted hair is by shaving. Despite being a quick and convenient option, shaving is also notorious for leaving behind red patches of unattractive and painful bumps on the shaved skin. But don’t fret because we have here some quick tips and advice about how to get rid of razor bumps.
Aloe vera has always been considered as one of the best medicinal plants for treating skin problems, especially acne, scrapes and burns. Aloe vera creams and gels are widely available and can be bought from any pharmacy or beauty shop. To treat your razor bumps, simply apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel or lotion onto the affected area and allow the skin to absorb it.
Aloe vera has antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and reduce infection, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. The moisturizing effects of aloe vera also helps to reduce the redness of the affected area and make it less noticeable. And perhaps the best part is that aloe vera allows the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring so you won’t have to worry about visible scars and marks while lounging in your beach chairs.
Black tea is another home remedy which is said to be effective in treating razor bumps. It contains tannic acid which helps to reduce redness and inflammation while helping to soothe that burning sensation caused by those angry razor bumps. Surprisingly, cheaper black tea bags are said to contain more tannic acid (probably because of the less effective processing methods employed by manufacturers) and thus work better than the more expensive brands.
Using black tea to treat razor bumps is pretty easy. Simply moisten a black tea bag in warm water and rub it over the bumpy area for two to three minutes. Repeat daily until those razor bumps are gone.
Tea Tree Oil
You may already know that tea tree oil works like a lot of other oils in terms of its helpful qualities: it moisturizes, removes bad odor, and cleanses skin and hair. Well, here’s another use for tea tree oil to add to that list. Tea tree oil is a natural astringent, similar to witch hazel and lavender oil, and can help to alleviate skin irritated from shaving.
Many people have been using tea tree oil to treat their razor bumps with success. They claim that despite being a natural treatment for razor bumps, tea tree oil is fast acting and rather potent. This is perhaps because of its ability to act as an antiseptic and antibiotic.
Hydrocortisone cream, despite being technically a steroid, is safe for general use and can be bought over the counter in some pharmacies. Applying hydrocortisone cream on your razor bumps can help to get rid of the redness, inflammation and the itching. In general, you should be able to see some improvement within one to three days of use.
Once the bumps fade away, stop using the cream as overuse may lead to rashes. In addition, people who are allergic or may be allergic to steroids, have diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome, or are pregnant or are breastfeeding should avoid this using this product without consulting their doctor first.
A very common over-the-counter medicine that is helpful in treating razor bumps is aspirin. In fact, many skincare products that prevent and treat razor bumps contain acetylsalicylic acid, which is more commonly known as aspirin. All you need to do is to crush several tablets of aspirin and mix the powder in one teaspoon of warm water until the powder is completely dissolved. After that, rub the paste-like mixture on the affected skin, leave it on for about ten minutes or so and then wash it off with clean water.
This home remedy can help alleviate the discomfort bought about by those pesky razor bumps and help hasten the healing process. It also removes dead skin cells, liberates pores, and kills bacteria that have attacked hair follicles, therefore reducing the redness and inflammation.
Witch Hazel Extract
This is considered by many as one of the best natural solutions for razor bumps. Witch hazel extract, taken from a flowering shrub with a number of medicinal uses, is a powerful antibacterial and astringent. However, witch hazel extract is potent stuff so you may have to dilute it in water before applying it onto your skin. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin.
To use witch hazel extract, wash the affected area with warm water and soap. Rinse the skin with warm water and gently pat it dry with a towel. Then, saturate a cotton ball with the witch hazel astringent and apply it to the bumpy area. Repeat the process daily until the razor bumps clear up.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce inflammation and that itching sensation that comes with those razor bumps. In addition, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps in preventing infections. However, compared to witch hazel extracts, apple cider vinegar is less potent, though this does not mean that it isn’t as effective.
To treat razor bumps using apple cider vinegar, dab a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the affected area. Allow it to air dry and then wash it off with water. As an aside, if you have really sensitive skin, you’ll need to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water before using it.
Aside from being sweet and delicious, honey is also considered as one best natural remedies for razor bumps. So if you happen to have a bottle of honey in your beach picnic basket, then lucky you because you’ve got an effective razor bump remedy ready for use.
Honey has natural anti-bacterial properties which helps to reduce the risk of infections while helping your skin stay moisturized. Simply apply a small amount of honey the affected area and leave it on for 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure until you see those hateful razor bumps disappear.
Baking soda is one of those household items which is pretty useful in just about everything, from cleaning stains to removing ghastly odors in the bathroom, and yes, treating razor bumps.
However, unlike the other treatments mentioned here, baking soda will not help in moisturizing or healing the affected area. Instead, it helps to reduce the inflammation and itching, which is just as important when it comes to treating razor bumps.
Simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda with water and apply the mixture to the affected area. Once it dries, rinse it off and pat (not rub) your skin dry. Repeat up to twice daily until the symptoms resolve.
Keep in mind though that everyone’s skin is different so you’ll want to experiment a bit in order to find out which remedy works best for you. And if your symptoms get worse or you develop an allergic reaction during your experiments, stop using the said products and home remedies and see a doctor right away. The last thing you need is to worsen those razor bumps days before your beach picnic.
How to Prevent Razor Bumps
“Prevention is better than cure” so goes the adage, which is why it is always better to know how to prevent razor bumps so you won’t have to deal with them later. You can save yourself from a lot of pain (and embarrassment) by simply not letting these pesky red bumps make an appearance on your skin in the first place.
Surprisingly, preventing razor bumps does not require any intensive pre-shaving rituals or making drastic changes to your shaving regimen (unless you’ve always been really careless and sloppy). Here’s a list of what and what not to do so you can keep those painful razor bumps at bay.
Don’t Shave Against the Grain
Always make it a point to shave ‘with the grain’. Simply put, this means that you should run your razor in the direction where the hair is growing. There are many people who commit the mistake of shaving against the grain because it ensures that the hair is cut off very closely to the skin. However, doing this only increases the chances of razor bumps and skin irritation. Sure, it may take longer to get that close shave when you shave with the grain, but the effort will definitely be worth it.
Wet Your Skin and Hair before Shaving
Before you begin shaving, you should wet your skin and the hair in it with warm water to help soften it. No more attempting to shave when your skin is dry since this can scratch your skin and make it feel rough. So get into the bathtub or shower and wet your skin before picking up your razor.
Also, you’ll want to save the shaving towards the end of your shower or bath so your skin and hair are at their warmest and wettest. Oh, be sure that clean the area you’re going to shave with a gentle soap before you start running the razor.
It is recommended that you apply a shaving cream or gel prior to shaving. In fact, you should never shave without applying one. This is especially true for those who have really sensitive skin. Using a shaving cream or gel can help prevent you from cutting your skin while you’re shaving, thus preventing any ugly razor bumps from showing up.
On that note, check that you don’t have any allergic reactions to the shaving cream or gel you intend to use. To do this, dab a small amount of the cream or gel on an inconspicuous part of your body and check for any signs of irritation.
Use a Fresh Razors
If your razor’s been sitting in your bathroom for a pretty long time, then it’s time to toss them out and grab yourself a new one. This will help to make sure that you’re using a razor that is sharp and clean since dull and dirty razors can lead to irritation and even infections.
Rinse the Razor Blade with Each Pass
If you think shaving with the grain is already time-consuming, then we’ve got another rule that will make your shaving time much longer. That is, rinse the razor blade with each pass. Why?
Because a blade that is crowded with hair and cream is not really effective in ensuring a close shave. More often than not, it will snag and pull on the hairs which will certainly irritate your skin. So do run flowing water on your razor and tap it gently on the faucet or sink’s edges to rinse the cream or gel off and remove the trapped hair inside the razor.
Rinse the Shaved Area with Cold Water
Ending your shave with a blast of cold water will not only rinse the cream or gel off your skin, but it will also help to minimize the possibility of razor bumps from coming out. The cooling action will help reduce the swelling and irritation of the skin and prevent pores from closing up and blocking the hairs off from growing out.
Pat Your Skin Dry
You’ve taken extreme precautions while shaving, don’t ruin all the hard work by being careless about how you dry your skin. As a rule, you should always gently pat your skin dry as opposed to vigorously rubbing it with a towel (by the way, make sure you’re using clean or fresh towels). Rubbing the newly shaved skin will further irritate it and cause the swelling that leads to razor bumps.
Shaving, no matter how careful you do it, will always leave your skin damaged since it imposes constant stress on the skin. It is a fact that shaving is considered a form of physical exfoliation that can impact the health of the skin. Some of the visible signs that your skin is under a lot of trauma after shaving include inflammation and razor bumps.
That said, always make it a point to apply moisturizer on the shaved area. Moisturizers can help to repair the damaged skin and keep it hydrated so it doesn’t dry up and become infected.
Give the Razor a Break
We’ve already established that shaving is damaging to your skin. Just imagine the stress your skin is under when you do it every day! Some people who go on multi-day beach excursions often shave everyday just to make sure that there’s no unwanted hair poking out from their skin. However, doing so only puts you at more risk of developing razor burns.
Experts suggests that you schedule your shaving every other day. You should give your skin some time to heal and repair itself before putting it under stress again. Also, you’ll want to let the hair grow a little before your next shave. This is because the shorter the hair are when shaved, the more likely they are to get irritated.
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Taking the extra time and effort to shave properly is definitely one of the best ways to avoid getting those dreaded razor bumps. However, if you do get them (and you most likely will because everybody does), don’t worry. There are plenty of remedies, tips and advices about how to get rid of razor bumps available out there. Just be diligent in following them and you’ll be ready to show off that toned, tanned and razor-bump-free beach body of yours in no time.