If your last shave resulted in razor burn, you’re likely wondering how to ease the pain—and fast. Read on to learn:
If you’re feeling the pain from a rough shave, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of razor burn fast. Luckily, there are a number of easy ways to treat razor burn at home and bring immediate relief. Find out a few of our favorite razor burn relief products plus some helpful tips to prevent razor burn in the future.
Razor burn is irritated skin caused by shaving—not to be confused with razor bumps, which are inflamed hair follicles, also known as folliculitis. You’ll typically notice razor burn shortly after shaving, and it can look like a rash with redness or tiny red bumps. You can get razor burn anywhere on your body that you shave, from your face to your ankles and anywhere in between. Because your skin is irritated, razor burn might itch, hurt, sting or—as the name suggests—burn.
There are a number of causes for razor burn: shaving too quickly, shaving with a dull razor, pressing too hard with your razor or dry shaving without water or shaving cream. When you do any of the above, the friction of the razor’s blade pulling your skin causes irritation. “At a microscopic level, razor burn essentially looks like tiny cracks in your skin,” says board-certified dermatologist and LovelySkin CEO Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “Once you have gotten razor burn, it is important to avoid shaving too close for a few days to a week. When you come back to it, make sure you take it easy or it will just come back. Whatever the case, don't use soap to shave with and avoid razors that are less sharp.”
If you have an especially bad case, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of razor burn in an hour. Here are six things that can help fix razor burn fast—and you might even have a few of them at home already.
1. A Cool Compress
Apply a cool compress—a washcloth, towel or cotton pads moistened with cool water—to ease pain and irritation. We recommend using Koh Gen Do Pure Cotton Pads moistened with Avene Thermal Spring Water, which you can chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes before use.
2. Topical Hydrocortisone
Treating your razor burn with hydrocortisone can help calm inflammation, reducing both redness and swelling. One of our favorite options is FixMySkin Body Balm, as it contains 1% hydrocortisone and soothing moisturizers, such as shea and cocoa butters.
3. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel contains tannins that make it a natural anti-inflammatory, so it’s a great remedy for razor burn. Soak a cotton ball with a toner or astringent that contains witch hazel and gently dab it on your rash. Just make sure it’s an alcohol-free formula, such as Brickell Balancing Toner, so it doesn’t further irritate your skin by drying it out. We also recommend PFB Vanish ULTRA, an after-shave solution with an easy-to-use roll-on applicator that soothes razor burn with witch hazel and also protects against razor bumps with glycolic and salicylic acids.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera helps soothe sunburn, so you may not be surprised to hear you can also use it to treat razor burn. LovelySkin Aloe Vera Soothing Skin Relief Gel contains soothing, antioxidant-packed aloe vera as well as other ingredients to help get rid of razor burn fast, such as vitamin E and hydrating hyaluronic acid.
5. Coconut Oil
If you have coconut oil in your kitchen cabinet for cooking, it can double as a razor burn treatment. It contains lauric acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties that bring you fast razor burn relief. We recommend RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream, which is 100% unrefined, certified organic coconut oil in its purest form. It’s pressed using a modern technique that results in a higher quality oil than the typical cold-pressed coconut oil found in grocery stores for cooking.
6. Colloidal Oatmeal
You may have soaked in a bath with colloidal oatmeal to soothe itching from chicken pox or poison ivy. That’s because oats are a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that help calm red, irritated skin. Applying a cream with colloidal oatmeal, such as La Roche-Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream, can offer some much-needed relief for razor burn.
Change your razor often
Dragging a dull razor over your skin is a recipe for razor burn. Invest in a new razor and commit to changing the blade regularly. Try The Art of Shaving Morris Park Collection Fusion Razor, which has a lightweight handle and five anti-friction blades for a close, smooth shave.
Don’t shave dry
It can be tempting to shave dry when you’re pressed for time, but you’ll greatly reduce the chance of razor burn if you shave either in the shower or after a shower while your skin and hair are still moist. Use an emollient shaving cream or gel to reduce friction and help provide a protective barrier between your skin and your razor. Dr. Schlessinger personally recommends Elemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel, which contains microcapsules of soothing jojoba oil and marine extracts to protect skin during shaving.
Slow down and lighten up
If you’re changing your razor often, using shaving gel and still suffering from razor burn, try easing up on the pressure and taking your time while shaving. Pressing down too hard or too fast can cause unnecessary harm to your skin, resulting in razor burn.
Looking for more shaving tips? Read up on the Best Pre-Shave Exfoliators for Legs and Face.