How can I reduce shaving rash?
September 19, 2007 4:15 PM   Subscribe

I've read the previous threads on shaving, and got some useful tips, but my query is slightly different. I use an electric shaver, specifically this one. What product can I use with it to help reduce the redness and irritation? I've tried the recommended Nivea products, and while they do make the shaver glide easier, I still get the irritation.

I shave before getting into the shower, because I find dragging the shaver over already soft skin makes the problem worse.

I'd also prefer a natural product, if that's possible (I've tried shaving oil, but it's made no difference whatsoever, apart from making me smell nice). Something that I can slather on my face, then drag the shaver round would be perfect. The less thought I need to apply to it the better. I don't mind applying the product before or after the shave, as long as it works. Cost isn't really an issue, but being able to get it in the UK would be great.

I've tried using a disposable razor, but I simply don't have enough coordination to drag a sharp blade over my skin first thing in the morning. So that's out. In an ideal world, I'd use a brush, shaving foam and proper razor, but I don't want my bathroom to look like the scene from Psycho every morning. :D
posted by Solomon to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have this same problem and my solution was to basically give up on being clean shaven. This may or may not be an option for you depending upon your profession. But the perpetual stubble look seems to be in vogue right now so you may be able to get away with it.

What I elected to do was get an electric clipper, take the protective guard off and use it to shave once or twice a week. Since the blades never come into contact with the skin there isn't any of the irritation associated with regular shaving. This works like a charm but ymmv.
posted by quadog at 4:37 PM on September 19, 2007

It might be a little on the pricey side, but what about an occasional trip to an honest-to-goodness barber? I've heard that the shaves are so close that you can afford to skip a day or two.

My own experience was mixed - it was close, but not as close as I can do it at home.
posted by jquinby at 4:44 PM on September 19, 2007

I take it you're shaving wet, with this wet/dry shaver. Maybe, not such a good idea, as wetting your face has the good advantage of making the hairs a bit softer, but the worse result of making your skin softer, too, which makes it easier for the shaver's lift and cut system to pull little peaks of skin around your follicles up to where they'll be irritated by the cutting blades. No amount of lubrication will really solve this, as the shaver is really cutting your outer skin layers away. Lift and cut just doesn't work for some people, as their skin just isn't tough enough for it. The solution for some people is to shave dry, but using an electric pre-shave product, like Williams Lectric Shave (accept no substitutes - Williams is often attested as being the best of this class of products). When the skin is not softened by wetting, the lift and cut system doesn't pull it up as much, with the result that the shave isn't as "close," but neither is it as irritating.

Also, the cutters in such shavers dull more rapidly than you might think. If you aren't replacing the cutters every 6 months or so, you may get more irritation than you would with sharp cutters.
posted by paulsc at 4:44 PM on September 19, 2007

I have heard Tend Skin recommended for this, although I haven't used it myself.
posted by brain_drain at 4:50 PM on September 19, 2007

I've had better luck with skin irritation with linear rather than rotary shavers, but YMMV.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:23 PM on September 19, 2007

Rotary shavers make me break out but I have great luck with what brain_drain called "linear" shavers.

I like Brauns though I think their quality has really dropped in the past couple of years. They still give me the best/least irritating shave. I got for the simplest razor with 1 or 2 screens and no other fancy cutters besides the sideburn trimmer.

I shave after I shower and after my face has dried. The drying phase causes my wife to go crazy sometimes esp. if we are in a rush, but a guys has to do what a guy has to do.

I find that a clean dry face causes less irritation when I shave than a greasy morning face.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 6:47 PM on September 19, 2007

I have pretty sensitive skin, and I've used a fair number of electric shavers and cartridge, and safety razors trying to get a decent shave that doesn't hurt, or leave my face blotchy or bloody.

Regardless of shaver, or razor, the single best thing I've found to make my face happier is Neutrogena Men Razor Defense Post Shave Lotion. That stuff has my highest recommendation.
posted by deCadmus at 8:11 PM on September 19, 2007

When I used to use an electric I had exactly the same problem. What worked really well for me was to put a little bit of talc on my face before shaving, this helped make things slippery, and also made my face completely and utterly dry. I had no luck at all with any form of wet electric shaving.

I started off with a Remington powder stick thing, which I'm sure you could google for, which was very good, but since it was probably 95% talc I just started using talc when it ran out.

This was with a Panasonic linear shaver though, not a rotary.
posted by markr at 12:20 AM on September 20, 2007

I started using Nivea Shaving Balm for sensitive skin (it is in a white bottle with a screw cap) after I saw a photo of me with horrible stubble rash.

After a week of use, the rash was gone and I continue using it 2 years later to keep it that way.
posted by mr_silver at 1:07 AM on September 20, 2007

To clarify, this is one you put on after shaving to get rid of the redness - not one you put on for shaving.

I too have never found one in the latter category that works with an electric shaver. You can get the cream from Boots.

Oh and replace the foil and cutter, that will make a big difference.
posted by mr_silver at 1:13 AM on September 20, 2007

Ambrosia by Lush (the UK website seems to be down right now, but they've got shops everywhere now) sounds like it might be worth a go. Possibly their Razorantium product too, but I'm not sure if they still sell it in the UK. It does tend to clog razors up but it's very soothing, is all natural, and lubricates the blade nicely. If you go into one of their shops the staff will probably be able to recommend you something.
posted by terrynutkins at 2:28 AM on September 20, 2007

« Older What to do a three-year-old bouncing ball?   |   Covering my grey in a healthy way Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.