There was a time in my life when I was praying earnestly for God to bless me with hair on my face, especially when most of my friends were growing beards, and my face looked like a desert! However, some 10 years down the line, while I’ve not had the guts to say it out as a prayer, I secretly wish I could stop growing beards… thanks to the all too famous razor bumps. To make matters worse, it’s also called ‘Pseudofolliculitis Barbae’.
Being an African, susceptibility to razor bumps seems to be one of the things I inherited from my forefathers, and hence, I’ve been faced with a continuous battle with the ‘Barbae Confederation’. I must be quick to add that it’s an ongoing war, but I have found a few things that have preserved my face from annihilation. I must also warn that I don’t have the scientific explanations for most of the points below. They help, and that’s all I need to know. Along with the benefits, nassrasierer test will provide the tips for reducing the bumps of the razors. There should be no damage to the sensitive skin of the person.
Be consistent: My elder brother always told me, ‘get one thing and stick to it!’ (By the way, he successfully uses a depilatory, which I’m sure would shave off not just my facial hair, but my facial skin as well!) I must confess that the only reason why I’ve stuck to my electric razor thus far is because it cost me a lot of money, and I’m determined to use off all the money I spent on it regardless of how bad it makes me look. But seriously, consistency reduces occurrence of razor bumps (patience is very necessary because it might take some time!
Exfoliate regularly: I exfoliate twice every day. For real, it makes your face look fresh, and probably does prevent bumps. A facial scrub would do a great job here. I’m particularly a fan of the Neutrogena Daily Scrubs (the expensive one that contains tiny stones kinda). It really does improve the condition, although I get angry every time I buy it – it costs about three times other products! Generally, just check to be sure the scrub contains ‘Salicylic Acid’. Also ensure it’s a product that can be used regularly lest you scrub off your facial skin.
Take a bath before shaving: Let some hot water run on the facial hair (or wherever hair) for a couple of minutes. Be careful the water is not too hot, else you won’t have a face on which to grow bumps anymore! Technically, doing this is meant to soften the hairs and open up the pores (I actually thought the hairs would just fall out if the pores were open!).
Use an electric razor: All my travails started when I ventured into the world of ‘blades’! When I looked myself in the mirror the next morning, I couldn’t recognize me! Bottom line… I kissed blades ‘bye for life’. Now I use the Philips Norelco 8060 (the Rolls Royce of electric shavers). I’m hoping this gets me a job with Philips: the Norelco does a great job! It shaves with little or no irritation, shaves close enough, and feels good on the face (especially with the lotion – you can google ‘Norelco 8060’ for more info on it). The Nivea lotion is expensive, but I’ve found a replacement in the much cheaper Nivea gel (although, I must also add that the lotion lasts quite some time – mine lasted about 3months). You might still get bumps with this, but it gets better with time; and never as bad as with blades (at least for me). However, the key here seems to be consistency!
Rinse with cold water after shaving: Apart from the claim that rinsing with cold water closes up the pores, I know that rinsing with cold water right after shaving does sooth the skin.
Use a facial cleanser: Apart from scrubbing with the Neutrogena cleanser, I also dab some cotton wool with a liquid facial cleanser and run it over my face. Right now, I use the Olay Cleanser/Toner (which contains chamomile and witch hazel, which are touted to be good for preventing razor bumps… although I must confess I’m a little reluctant rubbing my face with a self acclaimed witch)
Get a good aftershave/moisturizer: Generally, just ensure that the aftershave doesn’t contain alcohol. Since my Nivea aftershave balm ran out, I’ve been using a Nivea body cream (intensive moisturizer), and it does ok (hope Nivea is reading this… I could do with a job with them too!) I guess the idea is to avoid a dry skin. I also use the Neutrogena SPF 15 sunscreen/moisturizer in the mornings to protect from the sun.
Use an antibiotic: If razor bumps are already existent, a lot of times, they could be infected. An antibiotic course usually helps the condition. I’ve found Septrin to be very effective in clearing the infections (you might need to get a prescription from a doctor though). Tetracycline ointment, rubbed on every night, also works for some people.
However, consistently following the above points would pay off with time. I must also mention that some of those points might not work for everyone, especially using an electric razor, and that’s why I emphasized the importance of consistence.
Remember presence or absence of razor bumps don’t define who you are or how great you look, so remain confident notwithstanding! I hope you’re able to clear those bumps and continue driving the girls (or guys) crazy (with or without the bumps!)