How to Prevent and Deal with Sensitive SkinWritten by Advice Team on February 7, 2018
All skin types can become sensitised if their protective barrier is compromised at any time. There are various factors that could cause a change in sensitivity, such as changes in humidity, irritants from chemicals in products and dehydration. Whilst many men like to experiment with skincare, it’s important to choose a product that is going to help prevent sensitive skin and not just deal with it.
In our recent survey, 53% of men were concerned with razor burn as well as 50% stating they suffered from blemishes, too. Over half of our customers shave every day and a staggering 90% of them prefer to be completely clean shaven. It’s not surprising then, that our customers consider their skin sensitive when they’re shaving daily, and using 1-4 grooming products every day to combat any irritation.
Our advice team has put together several tips on preventing and dealing with sensitive skin when shaving. If you’re a man with a beard then take a look at our article on beard itch, which is caused by irritated skin.
1. When and where you shave
When and where you shave can be a big factor for those that have sensitive skin or suffer from irritation. 93% of men shave at the sink and that’s usually during their morning routine. However, shaving at the sink doesn’t allow for pores to open or soften the hair pre-shave.
By shaving in the shower, the steamy environment softens the hair for a more comfortable shave. It’s also recommended to shave before bed to allow your skin chance to adjust and breathe before being faced with outdoor elements in the morning.
2. How often you shave
Many men shave daily due to their profession but allowing the hair to grow, and not being clean shaven every day, gives your skin a chance to recover. Shaving every other day often gives men an even closer and cleaner shave.
3. What tool you’re shaving with and how often you’re cleaning it
The majority of Shavers’ customers use electric foil shavers. Over half of them aren’t suffering from razor burn and a third claim to have sensitive skin. Whilst those using cartridge razors, double edge safety razors or a straight razor, found their skin as sensitive but more likely to suffer from razor burn; over 70% of them to be exact.
Whilst electric shavers can’t quite achieve a shave as close as a blade, once the technique is mastered, they’re less abrasive to the skin. It’s also easier to clean an electric shaver whereas cartridge razors tend to be rinsed and put aside. That allows dead skin, hair and product to build up against the blade and if we’re all honest with ourselves, we don’t always remember to change the cartridge weekly as recommended. Using a blade that isn’t clean can cause blemishes and breakouts.
Learn more about cartridge razors vs electric shavers in our recent article.
4. What pre-shave product is used
Shavers’ customers have stated they’re typically using 1-4 products a day during their routine. Realistically, you should only need 2 good products for your skin, to use as preparation and post shave. For men with sensitive skin or those that struggle with razor burn or irritation, there are several great products available.
Foams and gels are most popular when it comes to wet shaving, however, some men do opt for a simple wet shave with soap and water. We would recommend using a foam or gel to build up a lather if you have sensitive skin. The key to pre-shave preparation is using a shaving brush. Brushes work the pre-shave product into the hair and they lift hair that lays flat on the skin. The lather creates a layer that protects the skin and makes for a comfortable shave.
Not sure if gel, foam or oil is for you? Here is our guide to choosing a pre-shave product for wet shaving.
Blocmen have a range of powder sticks to soothe sensitive skin. We’d recommend their Aloe Vera or Derma Pre Shave Powder Sticks. Aloe Vera cools and calms irritated skin, whilst their Derma range doesn’t contain any colourants or fragrances, so you can rest assured the ingredients are going to keep your skin calm and clear.
There is also King of Shaves Sensitive Advanced Pre Shave Oil that can be used when dry shaving. Oils soften the skin and work with the hair to make sure it sticks up ready for the blade. It gives a super smooth surface for the blade to glide over the hair preventing nicks and the blade from tugging.
We recently looked at the best pre-shave products under £10 for dry shaving, as rated and reviewed by our customers.
5. What post shave is used
Men are typically using aftershave or face moisturiser post-shave, however, aftershave tends to contain alcohol that can dehydrate the skin. The creamy texture of face moisturiser can also clog pores and nicks, and lead to irritation or pimples.
Body & Skin Alum Stone aftershave is made from natural salts. It has antiseptic properties, soothes the skin and doesn’t contain alcohol, preservatives or any chemical agents. Its natural qualities make it great for sensitive skin. If you prefer a balm, then The Bluebeards Revenge is preservative free and is known for reducing razor burn and rashes. That’s due to its special formula of Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera, which leaves your skin feeling well nourished. It also contains Decelerine which stunts hair growth over time.
Read other personal care articles by the Shavers Advice Team.