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I am a fairly hairy teen with bad skin. I have to shave at least once a week and my skin always break out for a week–until I have to shave again. How do I prevent this?????(r/wicked_edge)
Switch to shaving with a double-edged safety razor (I highly recommend the Parker 26C, $29 on Amazon). Here are my recommendations for a starter kit. Note that you should use a true lather (made with a shaving brush and a shaving soap or shaving cream) instead of canned foam:
Worst: cartridge razor + canned foam
Better: DE razor + canned foam
Better yet: cartridge razor + true lather
Best: DE razor + true lather
When you start, take care to avoid the four most common mistakes cartridge shavers make when switching to a DE razor.
For acne, I recommend:
a. Check the ingredients in your shaving products and know which to avoid—menthol, for example, is not a good idea. Until your acne’s in remission, favor unscented shaving creams and soaps.
b. Use a high-glycerin soap such as Whole Foods 365 glycerin soap with vitamin E (that’s one of several glycerin soaps they offer), $2/bar, as a pre-shave beard wash. Wash beard at the sink using your hands, then rinse partially with a splash and apply lather.
c. Rinse razor head in high-proof rubbing alcohol before and after each shave.
d. After the final rinse ending the shave, glide a dry alum block over your wet skin, then set block aside and clean up around the sink, put stuff away, etc., with the alum on your face. After a minute or two, rinse the alum off, dry, and do your usual aftershave. This step is particularly helpful: alum is a mild antiseptic. You may need to wet the block in colder climes during the winter, when indoor relatively humidity plummets.
e. Use a fresh towel for every shave. You can buy thin, 100% cotton, lint-free towels called “barber towels” or “bar towels” for under $20/dozen. They’re easy to launder and a fresh one for each shave helps a lot. Here’s an example. You can also use surgical towels, like these. Also, these towels from Ikea are said to be good. A wet towel is a microbe incubator.
f. Shave daily. Use very light pressure Think of your skin as being badly sunburned and the razor is an uncomfortably hot bar, but the razor still must touch the skin—but barely. That kind of light pressure. Daily shaving probably helps by being exfoliating and by the daily alum block and good aftershave—try one of the Thayers witch hazels with aloe vera or one of the witch-hazel-based aftershaves by ProspectorCo.com or StirlingSoap.com. Since the shave itself is exfoliating, I suggest restricting exfoliating scrubs to the forehead and nose and not use them where you shave—this is to minimize skin damage.
g. Buy a bunch of pillowcases from a hotel supply house and use a fresh pillowcase every night.