How to shave
sensitive skin

Article Read Duration 7 min read

Shaving can stress the skin by damaging the surface, and may be painful for those with dry or sensitive skin. “Razor burn” occurs when skin is left red and inflamed after shaving, but this reaction can be prevented:


• Moisten skin with warm water or a warm compress.

• Use a pre-shave oil and massage the beard in circular motions.

• Make sure your shaving foam or gel is alcohol-free.

• Go with the grain (shave in the direction the hair grows) pressing very lightly.

• Opt for single-blade wet razors or consider switching to an electric shaver.

• Thoroughly clean your blades before and after use.

• Follow up with a repairing healing cream with vitamin B5.

Why is my skin sensitive
after shaving?

Shaving strips the skin’s protective surface and damages the upper layers

Shaving involves running a blade over your skin on a regular basis. So it should come as no surprise that it can leave the skin on your face somewhat sensitive! That blade, whether on a manual or electric shaver, creates micro-injuries. In fact, when you shave you may actually be scraping away part of the epidermis – the outer layer of skin! This also leaves a route through which microbes can enter your skin and cause inflammation.

Razor burn: Pulling, burning sensations and red skin

Repeated shaving can feel painful and leave skin inflamed and red. This is commonly known as “razor burn”. Gradually, the skin dries out. In more serious cases, folliculitis may develop on the face. Folliculitis is characterised by small spots that resemble acne at the base of the hairs. But armed with the right knowledge, you can prevent this reaction. It’s all in the preparation!

The best way
to shave sensitive skin

Begin with good preparation

Stop right there! Before you get the blade anywhere near your face, you’ll need to prep your skin properly – it will make all the difference. Here’s how:

First, moisten skin by pressing a warm (not hot) washcloth over the face. Even better, shave after you’ve steamed up in the shower! The warmth and steam act to prep your skin and will make the hair easier to shave.

Consider using a pre-shave oil to soften hair and encourage the razor to glide smoothly over the face and minimise irritation. Massage your stubble using circular motions to make the hair stand up.

You’ll also want to use a shaving cream or gel that doesn’t contain alcohol or other harsh ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate, as these can dry out the skin and cause irritation.

Find the right tools

If you don’t mind a less close shave, opt for an electric razor as it will irritate the skin less.
But for a true clean-cut look, the only way is a wet shave.

Multi-blade razors are not your friend. The more blades a razor has, the more likely those blades will slice into pimples and also spread bacteria. A single blade razor, though not as widely available and a bit trickier to use, will be much kinder to your skin.

Make sure you’re using sharp blades. Dull blades can drag more on skin, with greater potential for irritation.

While a shaving brush might look the part, this is a sure way to store bacteria which will then get transferred directly onto your skin. The best way to spread shaving creams and gels is with clean hands.

Shave hair in the right direction – go with the grain!

Avoid shaving in random directions! Always go with the grain which means you need to run the blade in the direction of hair growth: From the ears to the mouth, and from the chin to the neck. You may think you’ll get a closer shave if you go against the grain but this is a recipe for disaster even on perfect skin, because it increases the chances of nicks.

Also, possibly because everyone’s in a rush in the morning, most men apply too much pressure to the razor; a light touch will help to save ultra-sensitive skin from damage.

Always rinse and soothe post-shave

Wash all the shaving oil and cream off your face so the residue doesn't linger and clog pores. Use warm water to thoroughly rinse skin. Water is enough here; there's no need to cleanse again. Follow up your rinse with a pro-healing and repairing product such as CICAPLAST Baume B5 to provide intense care, comfort and soothe local redness.

Clean up afterwards!

It’s important to clean your razor before and after every use to minimise spreading bacteria back onto your skin. Wash your razor-head under warm water to remove any residual hairs and product, then douse with rubbing alcohol for a perfect finish!

If you suffer from super-sensitive skin, all these habits will help to prevent razor burn and keep your complexion smooth and clear.

Which electric shaver is best for sensitive skin?

If you like to shave your sensitive skin with an electric shaver, consider the following points:

  • A more powerful motor should be faster and smoother, and will therefore require fewer passes over the skin.
  • Wet shaving can be better for sensitive skin so consider an electric shaver that can operate on wet skin.
  • Check how hot the shaving head gets – the cooler the better to avoid irritating the skin and prevent discomfort.

Many men with shaving issues are concerned by seborrheic dermatitis or adult acne. Click on the links to find out more.

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