Shaving with acne can be pretty tricky. For more serious acne breakouts, shaving often aggravates the skin and may lead to bleeding and (potentially) infection.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the difficulty of shaving when you have acne. Here’s what you can do:
- Use the right cleanser. Using a daily cleanser with Salicylic Acid will accomplish two goals: (1) it will help clear up and prevent acne breakouts and (2) it will reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs by encouraging skin cell turnover.
- Steam it up! Soften the skin and hair using steam—either shave after taking a shower OR soak a washcloth in warm water and place over your face. There’s a reason that old-school barbers do this!
- Condition the hair. Using a pre-shave conditioner will further soften the hair and help reduce shaving irritation.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth. It may seem counterproductive, but this is the best way to get a close shave without further aggravating your skin. Don’t make too many passes in the same area, and use gentle motions to prevent rupturing acne breakouts.
- Avoid shaving during a serious acne breakout. There may be times when you’ll have to make a judgment call. If your skin is particularly broken out and irritated, skipping a shave or two may be necessary.