Many men suffer from irritation or bumps caused by shaving, which then leaves them with little confidence. Some are even convinced that “irritation and redness” are the price they have to pay for regular shaving, of which Nivea Men totally disagrees.
According to Nivea Men, three of the most irritations caused by shaving are:
Razor burn: Caused by insufficient lubrication, a blunt blade dragged across the skin with too much pressure or, in some cases, bacteria that's been festering away on an old razor, razor burn looks like rush and normally comes with a scorching sensation.
To avoid it, always use a new blade coupled with adequate lubrication in the form of a dense shaving cream or gel. Moisturising with an alcohol-free aftershave balm will also calm any irritation.
Ingrown hairs: Caused by hair curling back underneath the skin instead of growing straight out, ingrown hairs are inflamed red spots that look a lot like pimples, as they often have a ‘head’. Regular exfoliating will help release trapped hairs over time.
If you can actually see the hair ‘loop’ above the skin's surface (and you've got a steady hand), you can use the slanted edge of a pair of tweezers to flick the hair back out. Just do not pluck it!
Brendan Fourie in a nicely trimmed beard. Picture: The Spiffy Chap.
Nicks and cuts: Caused by shaving against the grain, going over the same area without re-applying a shaving barrier, using too much pressure or a blunt blade, nicks and cuts are visible incisions or tiny micro cuts that can slice through several layers of skin and are prone to bleeding. Avoid them by shaving with the grain (i.e. following the direction of hair growth, noting that it can often change direction).
Always use gentle strokes with a fresh blade. Smoothing down the ‘landscape’ of your jaw with a cleanser or an exfoliator before shaving will also help.
One can obtain a great shave using a normal blade or an electric one, it all goes down to preference.