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Tips + Tools For Shaving With Sensitive Skin



Does your morning shave extract more blood than a Red Cross drive? Razor burn, bumps and irritation a predictable part of your day?

You aren’t alone. In a 2011 medical survey, nearly 45% of the men who answered said they had sensitive, up to very sensitive skin. This could be because of your skincare routine, or even the way you shave your face. Or, in some cases, you may truly have clinically sensitive skin.

Never fear! The Grooming Lounge is here to help pinpoint what’s going on with your touchy skin challenges. In this article, we also provide you professional tools and techniques -- straight from our Barbers’ noggins -- that you can use right at home to help soothe and heal your sensitive and irritated skin problems.



As we stated before, around 45% of men report having sensitive skin. Surprisingly, these men believe that skin irritation, regular breakouts, ingrown hairs and bleeding while shaving are a reflection of their skin type. However, they don’t usually stop to consider if it might be their shaving tools or routine.

As the barbers at our elite Barbershops explain, “Often, men don’t necessarily have sensitive skin. They’re just not aware of the best tools for shaving. They also don’t know that their shaving technique could be causing problems for their skin.”

(In case you’re curious, we’ve taken the insights of our professional Barbers and outlined the path to The Greatest Shave Ever in a handy guide.)

If you’re following a good skincare regimen -- daily gentle cleansing, daily moisturizing and weekly exfoliation -- but you still have skin issues crop up, there are only a couple things that could be causing it:

  1. Your skincare products aren’t right for you.
  2. You need to change your shaving routine, because the one you’re using currently is irritating your skin.
  3. You legitimately have sensitive skin. Which can either be healed or made worse by the products you use or your shaving routine/tools.

So, what do dermatologists look for when diagnosing sensitive skin? Here’s a quick description of a few clinical sensitive skin categories. There are several more categories and diagnoses than we can outline in a single article. Generally the following bullets cover the most prevalent clinical sensitive skin issues and symptoms:

  • Skin Reactions: this can include noticeable and extreme reactions such as rash, skin bumps, skin erosion, or pimples due to putting something on, or doing something to your skin. For instance, you may have a favorite skin lotion you like to apply after shaving. A dermatologist would try to isolate that skin lotion and see if you’re having a reaction to it––and how severe that reaction is.
  • Very Dry Skin: this is categorized by itchiness, redness, regular flaking, a dry rash or even something that looks like a heat rash. Basically, does your skin become so dry (or consistently stay very dry) to the point that it’s not properly protecting nerve endings in the skin? You’ll know if this is you, because it can make even the slightest touch feel like fire or needles running across your skin.
  • Eczema and/or Rosacea: this is like upgrading the Very Dry Skin from a category 4 to a category 10 in terms of pain, reaction, symptoms, etc. Unfortunately, even the best over the counter products may not be the right solution for you. Eczema and Rosacea ridden skin often requires clinical products to help calm and heal the skin. However, our shaving tips below can help you if you’re in a job where it’s necessary to keep your skin hair free on a regular basis.
  • Severe Ingrown Hairs: while these are prevalent amongst those who have extremely curly hair, it’s important to note we’re talking about ingrown hairs that reach an almost cystic state. The cause of normal ingrown hairs is that the regrowing hair curls back toward the skin rather than breaking the surface of the dermis. This causes a painful sensation as the sharp edge of the hair is prodding back into deeper layers of skin. As a result, an inflamed bump pops up. Normal ingrown hairs are easy to treat. Severe Ingrown Hairs may be due to a combination of other sensitive skin factors that prevent even the thinnest and straightest hair from being able to break the skin when it regrows. Again, this may be something that needs to be treated by a doctor. However, having the right shaving routine and tools will make a world of difference in how often this occurs in your skin.



For many people reading this article, they will not fit the categorizations bulleted above. Instead, you’ll simply find that your normal skincare and shaving rituals are just not the right fit for you and causing skin challenges as a result.

How can you discern the difference? Read the tips and insights below from our elite Barbershops about men’s daily skincare and shaving. Make a few easy changes to your routine, and see if things improve. For the majority of men, this will solve the problem in a matter of weeks, if not days!

If you still find after changing things up that you still have symptoms of sensitive skin, it may be time to go see a Dermatologist. Having the right routine can help soothe symptoms of clinically sensitive skin, but they will not cure the problem alone. Combining our routine tips with seeing a skin doctor can help take you that extra mile to getting the radiant, handsome mug that you want and deserve.



As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, the listed techniques, tips, and even many of the tools can work for both those who simply need to upgrade their skin or shaving routine, and for those with clinically sensitive skin.



Cleanse Your Skin Gently, Every Morning and Every Night:

Do not use that Irish Spring soap you bought from a corner store. Invest in a gentle foaming or gel skin cleanser that is free from irritants, scent and alcohol. Like our Grooming Lounge Mug Cleaner Face Wash, or Urth Face Wash. Both of these help to cleanse the skin, without stripping it of all the good stuff it needs to stay healthy.


Moisturize Your Skin, Every Morning and Every Night:

Again, the key to a good moisturizer is to grab one that is formulated without irritants, perfumes or scents, and has zero alcohol. The key is that it should be gentle and work for combination skin. Most people with sensitive or irritated skin problems waver back and forth between patches of dry scaly skin, and oily slick skin. A good moisturizer will help balance both. Here’s our top recommended day moisturizer, and here’s our top recommended night moisturizer. Remember, healthy skin has the right amount of moisture to prevent dry skin (which doesn’t fully protect your nerve endings), and also prevents the skin from making excess sebum (oil).

Gently Exfoliate Your Skin, Once a Week:

Shaving in and of itself acts as a surface-exfoliant, because it scrapes off dead skin cells and removes hair. However, it’s good to exfoliate your skin at least once a week with a very gentle scrub or mask. There’s a lot of excess dead skin cells, oil and deeply embedded dirt beyond the first layer of your dermis. A scrub and/or mask can help you get all that nasty stuff out of your skin and let it breathe. If you’re looking for a good mask we have a separate guide for that. 

Get Plenty of Sleep: your skin repairs itself while you sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep it shows with baggy dark eye circles, “tired” looking skin, more fine lines, and often even breakouts. Make sure you’re getting a solid 6-8 hours if you want your skin in tip-top shape.

Stay Hydrated: irritated and/or sensitive skin is typically extremely thirsty. It’s like it can’t get enough moisture. While you can help combat that with a daily and nightly moisturizer, it’s also important you make a point to get enough water in a given day. Plus, you’ll feel more energized and have better clarity of thought throughout your day. A good indicator is if your pee is yellow all the time, you are likely dehydrated and need to drink more water.
As an added bonus to following these tips, you’ll also find that you’re proactively fighting the aging process. Having a good skincare routine is about more than having clear, radiant skin. It’s a vital part of your everyday health, as well as your confidence. When you feel good about the face you show the world, you free up your mind and emotions to make better decisions and connections. Isn’t that worth 15 minutes of your day?




Get The Greatest Shave Ever:

Learn the exact process that the Grooming Experts at the Grooming Lounge Barbershops use to provide the closest and irritation-free shaves to politicians, celebrities, and men just like you. You don’t have to be in Washington, D.C. or Virginia to get this amazing shave -- just watch this video to learn how you can do this at home!

Invest In Blades: Sure it’s pricey, but dull or disposable blades are killers for touchy skin as their drag inflames an already flammable situation. Swapping out blades every two shaves will save some face -- which means it’s worth the investment. Our best selling double-edge razor can be found here, our best selling head razor can be found here, and our best selling back shaver can be found here. Because you’re worth it, right?
Be Gentle: When shaving, do so slowly while applying light blade pressure. Only shave with the grain of hair growth, resisting the temptation to get stubborn hairs by going against the grain. When you go against the grain, it often twists the hairs and causes inflammation, nicks the skin into bloody little patches and can even cause ingrown hairs and breakouts. Using a shave oil, such as our Beard Master Shave Oil, improves razor glide to reduce irritation and subsequent ingrown hairs.

Shave Less Often: as we said in our earlier tip box, those with truly sensitive or irritation-prone skin may not be suited to shave every day. If that seems to be the case for you, shave every 2-3 days instead. You may have a little bit of stubble on the in-between days, but that’s far better than having a red and inflamed face. (And you know we’re telling you the truth, because we make our money when you shave more often and buy more products!)

Soak In The Aftershave: After shaving applying a milky, alcohol-free post-shave balm liberally is MANDATORY. It’s like a second moisturizer for the skin. If you’re doing it right, it will probably look like a mask at first. But, remember this: dry skin is so thirsty it will lap up needed moisture pronto. Just walk around and sing your favorite manly tunes while it soaks into your poor dry dermis.

Prepare For The Elements:

Since touchy skin tends to be affected by sun and wind burn more easily after shaving, it’s important to apply a product with an SPF (we suggest Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer) prior to heading out the door. These products can be layered on top of or in some cases, used in place of a moisturizing post shave balm.
IF YOU HAVE CLINICALLY SENSITIVE SKIN Avoid Sunscreens With Chemical Ingredients: there are two types of ingredients in sunscreens. There are physical ingredients that block UV rays, and then there are chemical ingredients that block UV rays. The chemical kind are usually hard to pronounce (like the commonly used avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone). These ingredients are known to cause skin inflammation, which are especially bad when combined with already clinically sensitive skin.

Use A Treatment:

In many cases, excessive ingrowns, rashes and such can be treated pretty effectively with targeted razor irritation solutions, such as our proprietary and award winning Grooming Lounge Shavior balm. Items like The Shavior can reverse the aesthetic effects of razor irritation. However, it’s always better to proactively avoid the problem with better shaving routines, rather than treating the problem after the fact. For other skin irritations, you might want to consider the all-in-one Skincando Combat-Ready Balm.
You don’t have to live with an embarrassing and uncomfortable complexion. Experiment with our 13 tips to find what works for you.

Taking care of your skin is about so much more than vanity. It’s about taking care of your health, preventing premature aging and improving your confidence so you can conquer the day. What could be more manly than that?

If you have any questions about how to take care of your skin, you can chat with one of our accommodating Grooming Experts. They’ll help you find the solution that’s right for your unique skin needs.