Help with Shaving Irritation
Created: 2020/4/22 :: Modified: 2020/4/22
Tips for shaving every day and avoiding neck irritation. You may want to try one at a time, to see which might relate to your problem the most. Or you may want to try them all at once...
- Switch to cool water for your lather and rinses. Hot/warm water enhances irritation and puffiness in the skin.
- Light touch. Use only enough pressure on the razor to keep it to your skin. If you're not getting a good, close cut in an area, it is better to do another pass where you re-lather, instead of pressing harder.
- Gradual stubble reduction. Don't try to get all the stubble off in one pass. Think of it in terms of gradual reduction with each pass.
Skip the ATG. For a while, you may want to skip the against-the-grain pass on any irritated areas. If you do an ATG pass, of course. Instead, on your normally-ATG pass, do a cross-grain one. If your second pass was cross-grain, then go across, but in the other direction, for your 3rd pass.
Once you are no longer getting irritation, and you want to resume your ATG pass, you'll be able to know if the problem is the ATG pass (if the irritation comes back) or maybe at that point the ATG will be fine (because the problem was one of the other issues).
I, for instance, can't go ATG on my neck. It just gives me irritation and often nicks. So I just do 2 cross-grain passes instead. I'm very happy with the closeness of my shave, so it works out.
Map your grain. IOW, figure out what direction your stubble grows in your problem area. You could be shaving ATG before it's time to do that in that area.
For instance, my neck area growth is mainly from my left to my right, a side direction. So a north-south (i.e. up-down) pass is actually a cross-grain pass. If I didn't know my growth direction in my neck area, and I assumed one of my cross-grain passes could be done from my right to my left, I would get crazy irritation. It's because that would be mainly ATG, when I mistakenly thought it was a cross-grain pass.
Necks can be very tricky and have changes in direction and even circles and whirls. So study your growth.
- Add more water to your lather. It dilutes the harsh properties of the soap. It also makes your lather slicker, which protects your skin better. If you are a face-latherer, you might try using a bowl for a while, because as you add water, the first stuff to fly off your brush as you're adding water is often the good stuff that you actually want to be using. A cereal or soup bowl from your kitchen is often a great lather bowl. That way you can add water as needed without worrying about it flying around everywhere.
- Avoid Alcohol-based splashes for a while. They can dry the skin and cause irritation occasionally. Change to a moisturizing balm like the Nivea available at big box stores. Stirling Soaps, Soap Commander, and ZingariMan make good balms, with the last one there gaining a lot of notariety and fans lately. You can also use a standard moisturizer like a good lotion. I've heard CeraVe mentioned a lot. These products will help heal and repair your skin.
- Make sure you're not using a razor that's too aggressive for you. A Muhle R-41, for example, is a notoriously aggressive razor. There are others, too. There is a small possibility that you're unknowingly using a razor that is too much for your skin type.