Razor burn is never fun, but it can be especially irritating during the summer months, so I wanted to share a little bit about how it happens, and what you can do at home to prevent and treat it!
Razor burn, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, happens when the hair follicle becomes damaged during the shaving process, leading to inflammation, pain and redness. The condition is especially common in the bikini and the armpit areas, but may also plague men who shave their beards.
Razor burn can be triggered by several things...
1. Shaving effectively exfoliates the skin and gets rid of its top layer, which is generally made up of dead skin cells. While removing dead skin is necessary to avoid issues like ingrown hairs, doing it too close to a shave can cause razor burn. The best advice is to be gentle and not scrub and shave in the same shower session.
2. Dull razors: razors should be changed out regularly (after 4-5 uses) to minimize harboring bacteria and tugging on hair follicles due to the dullness.
3. Bacteria: Shave at the end of your shower, when your skin is the most hydrated, using a clean, sharp razor, and unscented moisturizing wash, or even better, a hydrating body oil. The normal microbes on our skin can infect an area if it is shaved while not fully clean. And if you cut yourself, antibacterial soap should be used to cleanse the affected area.
4. Fragrance: Fragrances are one of the leading causes of skin irritation. Shaving with gels or creams that include synthetic smells can also irritate sensitive skin including armpits and bikini area.
5. Sweating: sweating can irritate and breakdown sensitive skin, leading to worsening razor burn.
Remedies that may be helpful in treating razor burn by soothing the inflammation and promoting skin repair include...
1. Emogene & Co. Repair Facial Oil: Originally created for facial use, this 100% natural ingredient oil is rich in skin nourishing omega 3 fatty acids which aid in skin repair by protecting the skin, providing antibacterial and antiviral properties, and decreasing inflammation. The ingredients include:
- Tamanu oil: which contains potent wound healing, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
- Tea tree oil and manuka oil: both have well-known antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties due to the high triketone compounds they contain, which provides high levels of antiviral activity.
- Blue Tansy Oil: one of the most concentrated anti-inflammatory oils, it is well documented to enhance wound healing as well as modulate histamine response, which can decrease inflammation and redness.
2. Emogene & Co. Remedy Body Oil: Formulated with a balanced omega 3 fatty acid profile from hempseed, grapeseed and apricot kernel oils, this body oil also contains a solar infused herbal infusion including calendula, chamomile and lavender, which are 3 of the most widely studied herbs to decrease inflammation, specifically from skin rashes. Additionally, this handcrafted infusion contains important antioxidant activity, specifically from chamomile, which contains apigenin, which aids in lowering inflammation by inhibiting the release of inflammation-causing chemicals.
Pro-tip: You can also use our Remedy Body Oil in place of shaving cream to decrease irritation.
3. Emogene & Co. The Healer All-Purpose Balm: Combining the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of a chamomile/calendula/lavender herbal infusion (mentioned above) with Indian gooseberry oil (also known as amla oil), which is popular in Ayurvedic medicine, to help prevent the breakdown of collagen, which forms the firm but flexible protein matrix in your skin. Additionally, unrefined mango butter helps to sooth itchiness while preventing transepidermal water loss to keep the skin moisturized and hydrated. This balm is also extremely beneficial for the following skin ailments:
- chapped skin
- dermatitis and psoriasis
- minor scars
- big bites
- new tattoo skin flaking
- soothing/protection from wind burn
Other ingredients to look for that calm the skin include:
- Licorice root
- Green tea/White Tea
- Aloe Vera
Here's to happy, healthy summer skin!