How to Treat Razor Bumps

How to Treat Razor Bumps

By Daniel Broadley

How to Treat Razor Bumps

Razor bumps are normal, even if they are unpleasant. Many men develop razor bumps after a clean shave, especially if they have curly hair or if their technique and products aren’t suited to avoiding razor bumps. If you currently have razor bumps, you want to treat and soothe them. 

This is only half the battle. 

The best treatment for razor bumps is to avoid them at all costs. Take care of the bumps you currently have, but take steps to avoid more bumps from popping up in the future. Preventative measures can help save your skin. 

What Are Razor Bumps?

Razor bumps are hairs that, for one reason or another, are unable to exit through the surface of the skin and grow straight out. Instead, they turn, twist, or get stuck on the way out. This sends the end of the hair further into the skin, causing an irritated little bump where the hair has become ingrown. 

A lot of people mix up razor bumps and razor burns. Sometimes, razor burn can cause a rash that appears bumpy. Razor burn happens when the skin is irritated from the razor or the products you shave with. 

They can be caused by different things, but can be prevented in a lot of the same ways. Whether you have razor bumps or razor burn, changing your shaving routine to prioritize the wellbeing of your skin can potentially prevent both from occurring. 

How Do You Treat Razor Bumps?

Before you start slathering stuff on, or worse, picking at your face, take a step back. In many cases, razor bumps are something that you have to wait out. In the meantime, you can manage the redness and irritations on the surface of your skin. 

Avoid Squeezing

Although your razor bump might look like a pimple, that’s not what’s going on underneath the surface of your skin. 

The bump is a reaction to the ingrown hair. Squeezing at it or poking at it will only damage your skin. Don’t try to use a blackhead extractor and don’t pick around the bump with tweezers. This does more harm than good.

Stop Shaving

If you shave over them, they’re only going to get angrier. Stop shaving the affected areas of your face until your razor bumps clear up. If you can see the hair growing out of the bump, tweeze it instead. 

If you can see a loop of ingrown hair outside of the bump, you may be able to gently free the end of the hair. Just don’t use a sharp tool or break it apart. Gentle coaxing with sterilized tweezers should be enough to un-stick the end of the hair. If you don’t see the hair, your best option is to let it be until it works its way closer to the surface.

Keep Your Face Clean

Using a gentle cleanser on your face can help to reduce the amount of germs sitting on your skin. Germs naturally sit on everyone’s skin, and the last thing you want to deal with is infected ingrown hairs on your face. 

Using a non-drying, alcohol free, fragrance free soap on your face will help to naturally manage bacteria on your skin.

Exfoliate, Moisturize, and Treat

Dead or dry skin sitting on the surface of your face can make it harder for your beard hairs to find their way out. Removing this layer of dead skin makes it easier for them to pass through. Exfoliate your face twice a week. 

Salicylic acid and glycolic acid are two gentle exfoliators that won’t damage your skin. Don’t use anything gritty or anything with sharp pieces in the formula. Rubbing sharp or grainy products on irritated skin is a recipe for disaster. Acid exfoliators will encourage the dead layer to gently peel away without harming the healthy skin underneath. 

After you exfoliate, top your face off with a moisturizer. Moisturizer will keep your skin soft and prevent dry patches from popping up. You can use a natural topical treatment like tea tree oil by dabbing it on the razor bumps. 

Tea tree oil can decrease germs and soothe redness on your spots, and it’s just as effective for pimples and razor burn. It’s a good thing to keep in your arsenal of face care tools. 

Can I Prevent Razor Bumps?

You can’t always prevent razor bumps. If your beard grows curly, razor bumps are somewhat inevitable. You can’t control the growth cycle or coil of your hair, and if it gets trapped when it’s attempting to exit, you can’t do much to change that.

What you can do is make it as easy as possible for your hairs to emerge without growing inward. 

Changing the way you shave and using the right products can help to minimize the potential for things to go awry. There’s a good chance that the razor and shaving cream you’re using aren’t doing you any favors. 

Preparing to Shave

You should be exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing your face even if you don’t have razor bumps. Keeping your skin healthy is important. In addition to following a skincare routine, you should shower before you shave. When your skin is warm and wet, shaving is much easier.

Lathering Up

You need to use a moisturizing shaving cream free from irritants. The razor needs to glide smoothly over your skin, protecting its surface and softening the beard hairs you’re about to clip. Using a subpar shaving cream is only slightly better than dry shaving. 

LTHR’s shaving cream is formulated without chemicals. We use ingredients like glycerin, aloe, and coconut oil to moisturize and protect the skin while helping the razor glide. Pop a pod of our shaving cream into our hot lather machine

Warm lather helps to keep your face smooth and your beard soft throughout the shaving process, making for a more comfortable shave. It also happens to feel a lot more luxurious and relaxing than squirting something out of a can and patting it on. 

Using a Single Bladed Razor

Use a single bladed razor (like a safety razor or a straight razor) and shave with the grain. When you shave with the grain, you’re leaving the smallest little bit of each beard hair close to the surface of the skin. When you shave against the grain, you’re lifting the hair up and cutting it shorter on one side. 

You’re less likely to get ingrown hairs or razor bumps if you give your hair the slight advantage by allowing it to rest comfortably at the surface of the skin. 

The Takeaway

It never hurts to take better care of your skin, and it’s much easier to prevent razor bumps than it is to deal with them after they’ve appeared. 

Changing your skin care and shaving routine can prevent irritation, bumps, and rashes associated with shaving. Make sure you’re using the right products, and take your time shaving.

LTHR understands the importance of your shaving ritual. We’re a team of master barbers, and we’re all fans of the barbershop experience. That’s why we created products that allow men to have the barbershop experience from the comfort of their own bathroom. Take a little extra time to take care of yourself. You’ll feel better and look better. 


How to safely exfoliate at home | American Academy of Dermatology

Tea tree oil | Mayo Clinic

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae | American Osteopathic College of Dermatology