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Shaving and Acne

August 12, 2020

We often get questions about shaving and acne. Is it ok to shave if you have an active acne breakout? Does shaving CAUSE acne breakouts?  If you need to shave and have acne, are there any tips and tricks to avoid exacerbating the breakout? These are all very valid questions and ones that require a deeper explanation.

Does shaving cause acne?

The first question we want to address is whether or not shaving CAUSES acne.  The answer is yes. Shaving CAN cause acne breakouts. That said, sometimes what people think are pimples are actually just inflamed  areas around the hair follicle called “Folliculitis”. Folliculitis is usually caused by an ingrown hair. However, acne is also a very common result of shaving.  Using dirty razor blades (introducing bacteria into hair follicles) and using the wrong shaving products (full of oils and fillers that cause acne) are two of the major reasons for acne breakouts caused by shaving.

Should people with acne prone skin shave?

Yes. That is the short answer. People who have acne CAN shave if they do it correctly.

What is the correct way to shave?

There are a few things you can do to avoid acne breakouts after shaving.

  • Using a clipper or an electric shaver will result in the least irritation to your skin. Extreme irritation will result in over production of skin cells then the retention of dead skin cells inside the hair follicles.
  • Use a cleanser that is non-comedogenic to shave.  Meaning – don’t use shaving cream. Most shaving creams have tons of bad stuff in them for people with acne-prone skin. The safer thing for you to do would be to use the same cleanser you use to wash your face, get it into a good lather and go to town.
  • Change razor blades regularly. Old blades not only have more bacteria but they are duller, which can irritate already sensitive skin.
  • Rinse your blade after every stroke to clean off any bacteria you picked up
  • Shave in the direction of the hair growth will create the least amount of irritation to your skin
  • Rinse your skin with cold water to close up your pores after shaving

Any other tips and tricks?

Ultimately, for women wanting to avoid blemishes around the bikini line, laser and electrolysis is the best bet hands down. Waxing is ok if it is done by someone who knows what they are doing. If they don’t know what they are doing, the hair can break off while still in the hair follicle resulting in…. a breakout.

The good news? Beards are in so men are shaving less and less. 🙂  But for those of you who still like a clean shave, the other piece of good news is that you can do it without exacerbating your acne.  If you have any questions that we didn’t answer above – let us know! Reach out at clearskin@ninjaskincare.com or call/text us at 925.933.8425.

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