Itching is a common occurrence for many people after shaving. This itching is often the result of millions of microscopic abrasions on the surface of the epidermis, or outermost layer of the skin. Left unattended, these micro-abrasions will often heal within a day or two, although the itching may last longer if the skin is irritated by certain ingredients found in low-quality shaving creams, soaps, gels, and lotions.
Fortunately, it is easy to prevent post-shave itching. The first step is invest in higher-quality shaving supplies. Cheap disposable razors will result in a greater amount of skin abrasions, which will result in more itching. Low-quality shaving creams can also intensify the itching sensation. Shaving creams and gels containing aloe, dimethicone, silicone, and other natural and synthetic emolients (ingredients which soften skin) will help reduce itching and soothe the skin while shaving. Dimethicone and silicone also help the razor glide over the skin more easily, reducing abrasions and irritation.
The next step is to practice proper shaving technique. Using warm water will soften the hair, making shaving easier. Allow the shaving cream to sit on the skin for a minute or two prior to shaving; this will also help soften the hair. Rinse the blade after each pass with the razor, since a clogged razor can lead to cuts and nicks. It is important to shave “with” rather than “against” the grain of the hair (the direction in which the hair grows). While shaving “against the grain” will result in a closer shave, it will also increase the possibility of cuts, nicks, abrasions, itching, and ingrown hairs. Stretching the skin taut with your free hand while shaving will also help minimize itching and irritation. If the itching still persists, one easy trick is use an unscented stick deodorant on the afflicted area. The aluminum oxide found in most deodorants will soothe the skin and absorb excess moisture on the surface of the skin, which will reduce irritation, redness, and itching.
Finally, it is essential to practice good basic skincare. Healthy skin is much more resistant to micro-abrasions than dry or dehydrated skin. Proper skincare is easily achieved by drinking plenty of water, using a moisturizing lotion daily, and exfoliating the skin a few times per month to remove dead skin cells.
By investing in better quality shaving products, practicing proper shaving technique, and practicing proper skin maintenance, post-shave itching and burning will become a thing of the past.