These-10-Razor-Burn-Treatments-Are-the-Secret-to-Smooth-Bump-Free-Skin

These 10 Razor Burn Treatments Are the Secret to Smooth, Bump-Free Skin

Dermatologists explain what causes razor burn, and the best razor bump treatments and tips.
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There's no shortage of hair removal methods to choose from — if you choose to rid yourself of your body hair — but there's arguably none more popular than shaving. It's quick and effective, not to mention easy. The only downside? Razor bumps (aka razor burn), which can be both unsightly and uncomfortable, no matter where they pop up.

Razor bumps are most often ingrown hairs, which occur when the hairs are trapped and grow under the skin, causing an inflammatory reaction that shows up as a red bump around the hair follicle, explains Joyce Park, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Northern California. There are several factors that can cause ingrowns, but one of the biggest is improper shaving technique and tools: "Shaving with a dull razor against the growth of the hair predisposes you to developing razor bumps," says Dr. Park. This causes the hair to curl back into the hair follicle, while the dull blade can cause skin irritation, contributing to that razor burn appearance, adds Devika Icecreamwala, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Berkeley, CA. She points out that those with coarse and curly hair are also more prone to developing ingrowns; that hair type is more likely to curl back and start growing under the skin. To that point, they're also more likely to crop up in areas such as the bikini line, where the hair is naturally coarser, she notes. (Related: 6 Tricks for How to Shave Your Bikini Area.)

The good news is that preventing razor bumps is as simple as tweaking your shaving routine. For starters, "the skin should be well-hydrated with shaving cream so that the blade can glide smoothly across the skin," advises Erum Ilyas, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in King of Prussia, PA. "Hold the razor at a 45-degree angle and make sure the first pass is with the grain of the hair. If you want to go against the grain for subsequent passes to get a closer shave, reapply shaving cream in between." Also important: Make sure you're changing your razor blade frequently, both to keep it sharp and to avoid the risk of spreading any bacteria into the skin, which can further contribute to razor bumps, adds Dr. Ilyas. What's more, it's a good idea to shave at the end of the shower, when there's been enough time for the water and steam to soften your and skin, she says.

And if you end up battling bumps? Don't stress, just try any of these 10 best razor burn treatments. (Related: The 11 Best Bikini Trimmers for a Super Close Shave Without Razor Burn)

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razor burn treatments schick
Credit: AMAZON

Best Razor: Schick Hydro Silk Silk 5 Razor

Buy It, $9 (was $12)

A clean, sharp razor is a must, and this is one of Dr. Parks's favorites. She lauds it for the built-in, water-activated hydrating serum that contains moisturizing shea butter; it also contains five blades to help you get the closest shave possible. FYI, you still do need to use shaving cream with it. This kit contains one razor and five refills, so you have plenty of blades to take with you on beach vacations this summer, too. (Related: Amazon Reviewers Say This $5 Dermaplaning Tool Is Better Than a Wax

razor burn treatment skintimates
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Best Shaving Cream: Skintimate Bloom Shave Gel

Buy It, $8 for 3-pack (was $10)

"The moisturizing formula of this shave gel both hydrates your skin and protects it from shaving-induced irritation," says Dr. Park. Plus, with a price this cost-effective, you can afford to load up with reckless abandon each and every time you shave. (Related: 10 Shaving Creams, Gels, and Oils Dermatologists Swear By for Softer, Smoother Skin

razor burn treatment tree hut
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Best Scrub: Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub

Buy It, $9

Exfoliating the skin can help reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs by removing the dead cells that can clog pores and force hairs to grow back in on themselves. Dr. Ilyas is a fan of sugar scrubs for this purpose: "The gritty texture of sugar helps remove dead skin cells without being too harsh or abrasive. Sugar also tends to hold on to moisture and actually hydrates as it exfoliates, too," she explains. This is a great pick to try, filled with extra butters and oils that impart tons of moisture. (Related: The Best Body Exfoliators for Smooth Skin, According to Customer Reviews)

razor burn treatment cerave
Credit: TARGET

Best Wash: CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

Buy It, $10

This is a top pick for Dr. Icecreamwala. It contains salicylic acid which, "helps exfoliate the skin but also decreases oil production and unclogs pores, all of which can help with razor bumps," she says. She likes this formula, in particular, because it also contains ceramides and niacinamide to protect the skin from dryness and/or irritation. (Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is a Miracle Ingredient For Your Skin.) 

razor burn treatment differin
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Best Antibacterial Wash: Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

Buy It, $10 (was $12)

"Infected hair follicles can also cause razor bumps," says Dr. Ilyas. "This occurs when bacteria finds its way into the pore and infects it after the razor passes by." Its why all of our experts recommend using a benzoyl peroxide wash; the ingredient is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Dr. Icecreamwala says this is a great option, using a micronized version of the ingredient that can penetrate hair follicles and kill bacteria.

razor burn treatment flamingo
Credit: TARGET

Best Spot Treatment: Flamingo Ingrown Spot Treatment

Buy It, $10

If it's just one or two ingrowns you're dealing with, reach for this treatment, a fan favorite. It touts a combo of exfoliating acids, and a targeted applicator that makes it perfect for strategic dabbing. You do need to apply it twice a day, but satisfied users rave about how quickly (and how well) it works. (Related: Amazon Shoppers Call This $18 Product a "Freaking Miracle" for Ingrown Hairs)

razor burn treatment amlactin
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Best Lotion: AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Buy It, $10

Post-shaving, apply a gentle exfoliating lotion, like this one, daily. Dr. Ilyas points out that keeping the skin hydrated helps ensure a closer, smoother shave in general. Parks says this formula is great because it contains lactic acid, an ingredient that helps gently exfoliate the skin. And not only is it great for warding off bumps, but it also ensures exposed areas like your legs stay looking (and feeling) smooth and silky.

razor burn treatments cerave
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Best Skin Soother: CeraVe Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream

Buy It, $10

If it feels like you're losing the battle of the bumps, Dr. Icecreamwala says a topical, OTC hydrocortisone cream is the best way to decrease inflammation and irritation of the skin. This not only contains 1 percent hydrocortisone, it also contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to further help hydrate the irritated skin, she says. (Related: All the Ways You Can Use Cortisone Cream, According to a Derm)

razor burn treatment amara beauty
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Best Natural Skin Soother: Amara Beauty Aloe Vera Gel

Buy It, $18

If your skin is super sensitive, or your razor bumps have cropped up in a sensitive area (think: your bikini line), this is another great soothing product. "It consists of over 99 percent aloe vera, and no chemicals, fragrance, color, alcohols, or other additives that could further irritate the skin," says Dr. Icecreamwala of her suggestion. (Related: The Best Hair Removal Creams for Silky, Smooth Results

razor burn treatment fur
Credit: DERMSTORE

Best Oil: Fur Ingrown Concentrate

Buy It, $28

This oil is another great way to both keep skin hydrated and soften hairs, both factors that can go a long way toward helping minimize the likelihood of ending up with ingrowns. Touting a blend of natural oils, all you have to do is dab it onto any areas that are prone to bumps and irritation daily; reviewers say it works extremely well without irritating the skin, and is worth the slightly more expensive price. (Related: This $12 Shaving Oil Makes Moisturizing Post-Shower Unnecessary)