7 Expert Tips to Protect and Heal Your Skin From Shaving Slipups
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Every man cuts himself shaving. It’s inevitable. But how often do you experience shaving slipups? If the answer is “too often,” that means two things: You’re being careless with your razor and you need to up your skin care regimen.
The skin on your face is particularly sensitive, which means you’re taking a gamble every time you glide a cartridge, safety or straight razor across it. You know firsthand just how painful and sharp the blades on these razors are, and after slicing your moneymaker one too many times, we’re guessing you want answers on how to avoid another bloody mess.
We can help with that, but before sharing these valuable post-shaving treatments, you need some insight on what’s causing these gaffes.
Common Mistakes That Lead to Nicks and Cuts
Gashes are common when shaving, but whether they become continuous is all on you. Pinpointing the problem is a great start to saving your face from nasty cuts. As a service to you, we got Andre Willcox, The Art of Shaving’s Master Barber, to touch on all the mistakes you’re making when shaving. Take note:
- Dry shaving: Skin must be hydrated before coming in contact with a blade.
- Going too fast: Rushing through a shave can rip hairs away from the skin.
- Ignoring blemishes: Pay attention to sensitive skin conditions such as acne, bumps, and moles to prevent nicks.
- Using a dull blade: Trying to overextend the life of your blade is only going to cause you to work harder during your shave.
- Shaving before a shower: Steam softens your beard hairs or stubble, which can clog up the blade and put it in contact with unlubricated skin.
- Using body soaps: These do not provide enough cushioning for a shave.
Mastering the right shaving routine will decrease the risk of facial lacerations, but there’s no full guarantee that you won’t carve up that handsome mug at some point. You’ll still need to employ certain treatments to stop blood from streaking down your face and neck. Here are some helpful DIY and expert tips to treat your razor nicks and cuts.
Apply a Potent Aftershave
As a product category, aftershave has come a long way and is now available in numerous forms, from balms to creams to gels. Stay away from aftershaves with alcohol and search for ones with nourishing ingredients that calm and repair your skin.
“Products like an aftershave mask with Kaolin clay or rose water help calm down inflammation in traumatized areas,” Willcox explains. Any well-formulated aftershave will suffice as long as they contain antibacterial properties and help calm down inflammation in traumatized areas.
We recommend The Art of Shaving Clay Mask, $10 at Amazon.com
We recommend Pacific Shaving Company Caffeinated Aftershave, $4.17 at Amazon.com
Try Coconut Oil and Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper and coconut oil are considered astringents and boast similar skin-healing properties. Certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician Dr. Bruce Fife shares a natural DIY remedy in his book “Coconut Cures” that mixes equal parts of both ingredients to create a skin-healing paste that stops bleeding and rejuvenates skin.
Start by heating up one part coconut oil until hot, then combine it with one part ground cayenne pepper to form a poultice or paste. Let cool, then apply to the affected area. Follow by placing a bandage over the wound for a few minutes to prevent infections.
Witch Hazel to the Rescue
“Antibiotic ointments are also helpful to place on cuts during initial healing,” says Willcox. Witch hazel happens to be a popular one, delivering plenty of skin care goodness such as acne and inflammation relief. Livestrong.com reports that witch hazel is rich with “powerful antioxidant properties” and “tightens skin and promotes healing” when applied to cuts. Studies have also shown that witch hazel can block free radicals from harming skin cells, and can decrease the risk of skin cancer. Soak a cotton pad and pat it over any nicks to clean and soothe.
We recommend Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner, $6.99 at Amazon.com
Tea Bag It
Get your mind out of the gutter, buddy. Tea bags are loaded with antioxidants and high in tannic acid, which has plenty of astringent properties and relieves inflamed skin. According to Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, cooling down a tea bag in the fridge for 15 minutes and resting it “on top of affected skin for several minutes” will clot the blood and “soothe inflamed, bumpy skin.” Doing this up to three times a day helps the healing process.
Use an Alum Block or Styptic Pen
“The No. 1 thing is to keep cuts clean and get them to stop bleeding,” says Willcox. That’s where these two antihemorrhagic agents come in. Alum blocks and styptic pens are two other astringent agents designed to stop bleeding and save your skin. Willcox states that both products “help tighten the skin in any area you’ve suffered a nick.”
The Lip Balm Hack
What’s good for your lips can also good for razor cuts? As bizarre as it sounds, a high-quality lip balm can restore skin health by forming a barrier to keep blood in while keeping out free radicals that would cause further damage. The skin care experts at Menscience recommend spreading some balm on nicks and cuts to “condition skin, thus slowing down and stopping the bleeding.” Grab something all-natural with SPF to protect your face from UV rays.
We recommend HURRAW! Sun Lip Balm, $4.29 at Amazon.com
The Tissue Ritual
When all else fails, tear a few pieces of tissue to stop the blood flow until it clots. However, keep in mind that this is all you are doing. It’s still a productive step to treating any wound. Willcox informs shavers to “immediately wash wounded areas with soap and water, then try to stop the bleeding with tissue.” Tear a piece off and place on any cuts. Apply pressure for a second, “but don’t let the tissue stick to your face, as pulling it off when might cause the cut to bleed again.”
A person’s skin type can change with time, potentially making him more prone to razor nicks and cuts. To avoid infections or other serious skin conditions, Willcox recommends seeing a doctor if your wound is deep and doesn’t stop bleeding.
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