The Grooming Manual
How to Shave When You Have Sensitive Skin
Do you have sensitive skin? If so, shaving can be miserable, almost torturous. When you're done, you look in the mirror and see bad news. Redness, irritation, bumps, and ingrown hairs. You may feel an intense itch from razor burn too.
How can you eliminate - or at least reduce - these shaving woes? What’s the best way to shave for guys with sensitive skin?
What Is Sensitive Skin?
Sensitive skin is “a complex dermatological condition, defined by abnormal sensory symptoms.” Researchers have coined the term “Sensitive Skin Syndrome” to describe a growing problem. Some people, despite a lack of clinical symptoms, experience extreme reactions to cosmetics and skincare products.
Other guys have sensitive skin because they suffer from a specific skin issue. Common examples are intense dryness, eczema, and severe ingrown hairs.
How to Shave If You Have Sensitive Skin
The good news is that it’s easy to adapt your shaving technique to accommodate your sensitive skin. Keep in mind that:
- You can’t just grab a razor and go. Sensitive skin needs time and attention. Baby your skin. Don’t rush through your shave routine.
- Shaving every day increases the chance of skin irritation. Many guys with sensitive skin prefer to shave every other day or less - if possible.
Step 1 - Wash
Start your shave routine with a clean slate. Before you even look at your razor, your first step is to cleanse with face wash. Clean all the dirt, bacteria, and debris off your mug. This is an easy way to reduce the chance of post-shave irritation.
For guys with sensitive skin, our Purifying Charcoal Face Wash is ideal. It’s non-foaming, made with gentle ingredients, and won’t cause dryness or irritation.
Step 2 - Exfoliate
Exfoliation is a bit of a double edged sword for guys with sensitive skin. If you do it too often, it can cause dryness and irritation. But exfoliating with a gentle product just before you shave can do wonders for reducing common shave irritation. That’s because it gets rid of dead skin cells and other debris covering your skin’s outermost layer. And it lifts your whiskers away from the skin for a closer, smoother shave.
Our Renewing Face Scrub is made with jojoba beads and pumice, not harsh or irritating ingredients. Try it 1-2 times per week just before shaving to see how your skin tolerates it. For many men, face scrub is the secret to getting an amazing shave every single time.
Step 3 - Apply Shave Cream
Avoid products that create foam and lather as they tend to dry out and irritated sensitive skin. Our Smooth Brushless Shave Cream is made to go on like a lotion, hydrating your skin while preparing it for an irritation-free shave.
Don’t be stingy with your shave cream. This will help protect your skin and is critical to preventing redness, bumps, and other irritation. So while you don’t have to slather it on, using too little will only hinder your experience.
Step 4 - Shave with a Quality Razor
For guys with sensitive skin, a safety razor is best. It offers a close, smooth shave with less chance for irritation.
If you prefer a disposable razor, be sure to replace it often. Razor cartridges are hotbeds of bacteria growth. Dead skin cells and dirt can fester there. When you go to shave, you're exposing your open pores to harmful bacteria. The result? Skin irritation, redness, and razor burn.
Step 5 - Use Aftershave
Aftershave is essential for men with sensitive skin. But choose the wrong product, and you’ll be doing more harm than good.
Natural aftershave should be soothing and lotion-based. Menthol and alcohol should not be in your aftershave. They dry out your skin, leading to the irritation you were hoping to avoid. That’s why you won’t find alcohol in our Instant Relief Aftershave; instead it’s made with aloe, coconut, and hyaluronic acid.
Bonus - Moisturize Daily
Too many guys - with sensitive skin or not - still skip this. Hydrated, healthy skin is much less likely to become sensitized. Making this a daily priority and not just a step in your shave routine will help.
It doesn’t even take one whole minute to apply face moisturizer. So no excuses. Use our Daily Essential Face Moisturizer twice daily - morning and evening - for the best results. A little goes a long way and with consistent use you’ll see a marked improvement in your skin.
Why Guys with Sensitive Skin Should Avoid Products with Alcohol
Yes, alcohol is antiseptic and kills bacteria. But the antiseptic benefits of alcohol-based aftershaves are far outshadowed by their negative effects.
Alcohol dries and tightens the skin. When you finish shaving and splash on an alcohol-based product, your skin reacts in one of two ways:
- Drying out. Alcohol pulls the moisture out of your skin, leaving it dry. If you already have naturally dry skin, this will only make things worse. Extreme dryness can lead to flakiness and other skin problems.
- Overproducing oil. Your skin needs to stay hydrated. That’s why your body produces its own oil - called sebum - to coat your skin. Strip all the moisture away, and your body may go into overdrive, producing excess oil. That leads to a shiny, oily finish and puts you at risk for developing unsightly blemishes.
Another point against alcohol for skincare - it can increase wrinkles with long term use because of its dehydrating effects.
Care for Your Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is totally manageable. You don’t have to give up on having clean, clear skin. You don’t have to switch to some fancy razor either. Just follow the steps above. Be willing to invest a little bit of time into your sensitive skin shaving routine. If you do, you’ll feel better and see positive results.