9 Easy Razor Burn Solutions

No matter how masterful a wet shaver you are, you’ve experienced razor burn at some point. As a shaving connoisseur, you already know that switching to a DE razor or straight razor eliminates most of the threat. But there are plenty of other solutions, too, that might not occur to you right away. Making moisturizing a daily routine, for instance, instead of only after you shave, or shaving at night so you’re not stressing your skin with a full day of activities and environmental toxins.

If you have a tip not mentioned on this list, share it with us – and your fellow wet shavers – by leaving a comment below, or connecting with us on Facebook or Instagram.

1. Exfoliate before you shave

If you’re not exfoliating, you’re missing a crucial step to preventing razor burn. Exfoliating removes dead skin, oil, and other debris that can clog your razor blade and lead to razor burn. Exfoliating can also unearth ingrown hairs.

Choose an exfoliator based on your skin type: if you have normal/oily skin, try an exfoliator with glycolic acid, which dissolves the outermost layer of skin to encourage cell repair and healing. Pick one that comes with physical exfoliators (like beads or pumice) to get a deeper clean. Billy Jealousy Assassin is an intense exfoliator with walnut shell powder and sweet almond meal for physical exfoliation, as well as natural exfoliating enzymes. It’s so effective you can reduce the appearance of discoloration and scars over time!

If you have sensitive skin, a chemical exfoliator with beta hydroxy acids is gentler. We’re a big fan of Triumph & Disaster Rock & Roll Suicide Face Scrub, which exfoliates with salicylic acid, volcanic ash, and green clay.

2. Make moisturizing a routine

Good skincare, plain and simple, is the basis of strong, healthy skin.

Dragging a piece of metal across your face is highly irritating. Keep your skin hydrated and irritation-free with a gentle aftershave balm, followed by a fragrance-free moisturizer. Avoid products containing alcohol, which is drying.

But don’t just limit moisturizing to after your shaves; apply moisturizer every morning and at night before you go to sleep.

3. Rinse your face with cold water after shaving

Warm water feels better, but at the end of a shave, splashing your face with cold water closes pores and cuts. It can even prevent ingrown hairs from forming.

4. Clean your blade between strokes

Each stroke you make collects a fresh batch of bacteria, shaving cream, and whiskers. If you don’t rinse your blade before the next stroke, you’re using a blade that’s filled with goop. Because the razor is now dull, you’ll get an uneven cut and may end up pressing down harder to compensate, irritating the skin. Not only that, but the dirty razor will also distribute pore-clogging bacteria. The solution? Simply rinse your blade with water between each stroke.

5. Disinfect the blade with alcohol

Over time, blades dull as mineral crystals from the water form microscopic “teeth” on the edge. These teeth drag across the skin, producing razor burn and cuts. Prevent this process by dipping the blade in rubbing alcohol at the end of your shave. Dip the blade in rubbing alcohol again right before you start your next shave.

6. Natural remedies

Aloe vera – Aloe vera is nature’s gift to irritated skin. It’s a painkiller that reduces swelling while forming a moisturizing barrier to encourage healing. Plus, it naturally contains salicylic acid to destroy bacteria.

Aloe vera cools on contact to sooth razor burn. Apply aloe vera gel on your face and allow to set for 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

Tea bags – White, green, and black tea contain tannic acid, which is an anti-bacterial, astringent, and antioxidant. Once you’re finished with your morning tea, place the tea bag in the fridge for 10 minutes. Then rub the tea bag over the inflamed skin to calm redness.

Honey – Honey is an antibacterial that reduces swelling and inflammation while moisturizing the skin. Apply honey to skin and leave on for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing.

Aspirin – Make use of aspirin’s excellent anti-inflammatory properties by creating an aspirin paste. Crush two aspirins in a teaspoon of water, then rub the paste on affected skin. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

7. Use an antibiotic face wash or ointment

Razor burn is caused by bacteria, so eliminate the source with either an antibacterial face wash or ointment.

8. Shave at night

Think about your morning routine. Let’s say you shave, apply aftershave, lotion, and sunscreen before heading out the door. Then you spend a full day out and about, during which time you’re likely to sweat. The sweat, in combination with using multiple products, can make your skin more prone to razor burn.

You are also more likely to come into contact with bacteria and toxins during the day.

Switch to shaving at night so you’re not stressing your skin out right after a shave. Instead, your skin will have a full night to focus on nothing but repair.

9. Remember your environment

If you live in a cold, dry climate, consider using a richer aftershave and moisturizer. If it’s hot and humid, you can get away with using a lighter product. Even if you live somewhere with moderate weather – like California – you may still want to switch up your products depending on the season.

The RoyalShave Guide to Finding the Best Aftershave for Your Skin Type

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Aftershaves started off simple enough. After a shave, your barber would splash some of the refreshing liquid onto your face to prevent infection from nicks and cuts while leaving you with that ‘just back from the barbershop’ scent. Since then, we’ve learned that traditional aftershave – which used to approach almost 100% alcohol – is not necessarily suited to every guy.

Now you’ll find a wide variety of aftershaves on the market, which can make the process of finding the right aftershave a bit daunting. No matter what a bottle may claim, use this as a general rule: you must choose an aftershave formulated specifically for your skin type. Failure to do so will cause imbalance in your skin, aggravating inflammation, redness, and razor burn.

Continue reading to learn how to select the best aftershave for your skin type.

Sensitive

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When you shave, you’re taking off a layer of skin (and with it, your skin’s natural protective barrier), an act that is tremendously irritating for men with sensitive skin. To replenish moisture while reducing redness and burning, try a rich aftershave balm like The Daimon Barber Cooling Post-Shave Balm. A combination of fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants soothe skin so it’s strong and supple. Plus, menthol cools the skin, leaving you feeling refreshed.

In general, avoid products with fragrance if possible.

SHOP: The Daimon Barber Cooling Post-Shave Balm

Oily/Acne-prone

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Look for a lightweight (read: non-greasy) lotion.

Proraso Moisturizing & Nourishing After Shave Lotion contains alcohol to disinfect, and is enriched with shea butter to reduce irritation. Its super lightweight texture means you don’t have to worry about pores getting clogged.

If you feel a lotion is still too thick for your oily skin, use an aftershave splash instead, which is usually based in antiseptics like alcohol or witch hazel to prevent infection. We like Geo F Trumper Aftershave in Spanish Leather, a rich, woody scent that’ll double as a subtle cologne.

SHOP: Proraso Moisturizing & Nourishing After Shave Lotion

Combination

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You have two options:

  1. Apply a product designed for sensitive/dry skin on your cheeks, and a product designed for oily skin on your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).
  2. Use a product designed specifically for combination skin. Imperial Barber Products Bergamot After-Shave is safe for use on all skin types but does everything you need an aftershave to do: disinfect, calm, and condition the skin.

SHOP: Imperial Barber Products Bergamot After-Shave

Dry

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An aftershave balm will be your ultimate aly, especially if you tend to get nicks. Balms coat the surface of the skin with a protective layer, preventing moisture loss. Apply only what you need, however, since balms are the thickest of the aftershave lot and can clog pores if used in excess.

Avoid products containing alcohol, especially astringents, the strongest form of toner. Astringents typically contain 20 – 60% alcohol and are better suited for oily skin.

Baxter of California After Shave Balm is alcohol-free and contains a nice mix of tea tree oil (anti-microbial) and glycerin (lubricant).

Tip: Do you have dry, aging skin? If so, follow your aftershave balm with a hydrating moisturizer afterwards, like Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream for Men, which protects your skin’s elasticity with UV filters.

SHOP: Baxter of California After Shave Balm

Normal

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Lucky you – you can use just about any type of aftershave you want! If you’re keen to keep hydrated, glycerin-based Geo F Trumper Skin Food absorbs quickly and can double as a pre-shave treatment.

If you use an aftershave with alcohol, replenish moisture with an all-around lotion like Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer. This all-natural, fragrance-free moisturizer is loaded with vitamins A, C, and E to defend against signs of aging.

SHOP: Geo F Trumper Skin Food

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Why You Need to Moisturize This Fall and Winter

Skincare is an oft-neglected topic in the wet shaving community. We all worry about finding the perfect razor and blade and debate the type of bristles used in our brushes. But all of this neglects the foundation of a good shave – good skin.

We like to think of proper skincare as laying the primer before you paint a wall in your house. Sure, you could save some time and just skip straight to the paint, but you’ll be painting directly onto a wall potentially strewn with bumps, cracks, and small holes. Putting a primer on first smoothes over these imperfections so your paint goes on nice and evenly. The same concept applies to skincare. Moisturized skin means strong and resilient skin that stands up better to a razor blade and razor burn.

And during fall and winter, when the temperatures drop and icy air and wind rip at your face, hydrating your skin keeps its natural protective lipid barrier up. This is the barrier which locks in moisture and prevents bacteria from entering your skin. Without supplemental moisture, you can look forward to chapped lips, flakes, itchiness, and the running motif of winter – ashy skin.

So it goes without saying that moisturizing is important.

Read on for what adjustments you should be making to your skincare routine to keep skin hydrated through fall and winter, and what ingredients to look for in products.

What tweaks do I have to make to my skincare routine in the winter?

For the most part, use products with a denser, richer consistency. If you’re using a gel cleanser, for example, switch to a more emollient one like Triumph & Disaster Ritual Face Cleanser, formulated without alcohol (which is very drying). It contains Tamanu oil, an antibacterial that promotes skin elasticity.

Avoid cleansers that foam as well as ones that contain sulfates (sulfates dissolve the outermost layer of skin).

If you don’t use a facial serum currently, now’s the time to do it: Layer it beneath your regular moisturizer. Serums are composed of smaller particles than moisturizers, so they penetrate deeper and stay locked in longer. We like Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum, which is brimming with protective antioxidants and peptides.

You can further strength your skin’s lipid barrier by making these changes to your daily routine and lifestyle:

  • Avoid long, hot showers – these dry out your skin
  • If you have the radiator running, put a bowl of water next to it so the air won’t be completely parched
  • Eat a diet rich in omega-3s and omega-6s, which reduce inflammation and help skin retain moisture

What should I look for in fall/winter skincare products?

These ingredients are your skincare heavy hitters:

Glycerin – Glycerin is a humectant, which means it draws in moisture from the environment and traps it in skin. By doing so, it helps maintain the skin’s water balance. Glycerin also makes skin appear healthier because it’s highly emollient, making skin soft and reducing scaly, dry skin.

Hyaluronic Acid – A powerful humectant, hyaluronic acid keeps skin plump and hydrated. It can penetrate the outermost dead skin cell layer and moisturize the skin underneath. It also improves elasticity and acts as an antioxidant.

Non-Fragranced Plant Oils – Rich in antioxidants, plant oils like extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, and jojoba oil can be mixed with moisturizer or applied afterwards to combat stubborn dry areas.

Ceramides – Your skin’s lipid barrier is made of 35-40% ceramides, so boosting it with some topical ceramides during the winter will keep it extra resilient. Ceramides are the glue that holds skin cells together. Anytime your skin suffers damage from a dry environment, the sun, or bad skincare products, the ceremides in your skin decrease. Replenishing your skin’s ceramides protects your skin overall so it feels better and looks younger.

Peptides – Peptides are animo acid chains that stimulate the production of collagen, which increases elasticity.

Do I still need sunscreen when it’s so cold and gloomy outside?

Absolutely. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the UV rays have disappeared. In fact, up to 80% of UV rays bounce off white snow, which means exposed skin is vulnerable to damage if you’re not wearing good sunscreen. And yes, you can still get a sunburn in winter.

Seal the deal after you moisturize with a broad spectrum sunscreen, like Game Day Men Moisturizer: Hydrator + SPF 30, which includes peptides and vitamin E.

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Interview: Triumph & Disaster

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If you’re an avid reader, you may recall some familiarity with the phrase “Triumph & Disaster” – it’s from a line in Rudyard Kipling’s poem “IF.” Specifically: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two imposters just the same.” The poem, which details a father’s advice to his son, is about humility, honor, risk, and reward.

Triumph & Disaster founder Dion Nash received the framed poem from his father when he was a kid. More than two decades later, he found the poem at the bottom of an old chest and merged these values – as well as the memorable phrase – into his New Zealand-based men’s grooming line.

In fact, Nash has a thing for memorable names. The former professional cricketer and skincare enthusiast (the two are actually more related than you’d think) dubbed his clay face scrub Rock & Roll Suicide (after a David Bowie song) and his popular facial moisturizer Gameface, a nod to his sports past.

Sourcing local indigenous ingredients from New Zealand, Australia, Polynesia, and beyond, Nash ensures each product is thoughtfully conceived and not harmful to nature or humans.

We were delighted to talk to Nash recently about many facets of his skincare line, from the line’s beginnings to product packaging to the importance of men remembering to take care of their skin.

Enjoy!

Tell us the story of how Triumph & Disaster began.

I started out in life as a sports jock. A cricket-mad sports jock to be precise. I chased this as far as I could and was lucky enough to play professionally and represent New Zealand for a decade before retiring due to a series of back injuries. In hindsight this was a lucky twist of fate as it gave me time to refocus and have another dig, so to speak.

After sports I ran into Geoff Ross and the guys setting up New Zealand Vodka brand 42Below and hung on to their shirttails long enough to learn a bit about selling, branding, and marketing, all of which sort of leads me to today.

Skincare was a more natural calling that you might think – it’s actually very close to a cricketer’s heart because when you stand in the sun and wind every day for hours on end you learn to appreciate the finer points of a moisturizer and sunscreen and the joy of exfoliation. So I felt like I had an industrial knowledge of the category, and I had learnt some skills I wanted to put into practice.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

The name comes from Rudyard Kipling. At about 13 years of age my father gave me a framed poem called ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling. The poem is advice from a father to his son on how to be a man. It is about humility, honour, risk, and reward. Values that would help mould a brand capable of reminding us that acts of ritual and preparation are worthy endeavours and that being well presented is something of which to be proud.

So when a tattered old poem that my dad had given me years before was uncovered in the bottom of an old chest and I read the line, ‘if you can meet with Triumph & Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same’, well, the deal was done and the brand was born.

The rest of story, as they say, is still ahead of us…

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You played for the New Zealand cricket team in the 1990s! Any special memories?

It all feels like another life ago now. I’m extremely proud of it and we had some wonderful moments (and some disastrous ones). Overall I just feel blessed to have had the chance to do it. It has given me a huge amount of confidence and also a very unique perspective on life and this adventure we find ourselves in.

Before Triumph & Disaster you worked for the vodka company 42Below for quite some time. Why the jump into men’s skincare?

Truth is Vodka’s a young man’s game : ).

Actually I just wanted to have a go at my own thing and as I have said I felt I had a real advantage in this category. I had used the products since I was 18 and had been exposed to/had to survive outdoors under the sun. I had worked out a routine.

At 42 below I learned about branding and marketing, so I really just put the two together.

Why did you decide to base your products in natural ingredients?

There really is no excuse to use synthetics and nasty chemicals anymore. Perhaps there never was. The lasted green science is better than anything else out there and utilizes ingredients that the body has become familiar with over thousands of years in nature. Therefore these ingredients are gentler on the body. It was a simple choice, especially when you start to dig into some of the ingredients that have become commonplace. Take denatured alcohol for example – it’s only there as a form of paint thinner. It has no place in skin care.

We hear your Gameface moisturizer contains natural ingredients traditionally used by Maori warriors?

We do use many indigenous New Zealand plants that were also used by Maori in their medicines. Many of these how now been clinically proven for their effectiveness, particularly in toning, antiseptic, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. Gameface uses ponga fern, which only grows in New Zealand and has been proven to lift and tone skin – it’s awesome like the Maori.

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We love the vintage barbershop feel of your packaging. What was your aesthetic inspiration?

The challenge we set ourselves was this: The moisturiser or cleanser needed to be able to fall from our gym bag and not have us feel embarrassed, but rather have people say, “Wow, that’s cool! What is it?”

We referenced too many points to recount fully, but it was as varied as rock ‘n’ roll album covers, long-forgotten fonts, and old gig posters.

What are some of your accomplishments as a business?

We are now stocked in over 400 stores globally, including great accounts like Selfridges in London, Fred Segal in LA, and Harrolds in Sydney. We were voted by Details magazine as one of the top five independent brands to watch for, and Men’s Journal voted three of our products into their Top 20 Best Men’s Products (YLF got first, Rock & Roll Suicide got 3rd and Gameface Moisturiser got 9th).

More than those achievements, though, is the sense of growing a great and loyal team around the world. We all sense the best years are still ahead; we have a lot to get done.

What is one Triumph & Disaster product every man should own and why?

Rock & Roll Suicide. Firstly, guys really need to exfoliate, even more than girls. We have larger pores and generally oilier skin, so cleaning it out, drawing out the dirty oil deposits, and taking away the top layer of dead skin is essential to an oil-free surface. Rock & Roll Suicide is our all-natural exfoliator designed to do just this job. It has two types of clay and volcanic ash that act to draw out and then slough away the impurities. It is named after a David Bowie song and is a game-changing product – a must, must have. Use twice a week: Once for business, once for pleasure.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Start.

Any new product releases we can expect in the near future?

Hair care has just launched and we are focused on that at this stage. We also have a body moisturiser that has launched in Australia that will be made available this year to the rest of the world. Everything else is top secret : ).

Quick Question + Answer:

Right now, I’m obsessed with:

Smells, always smells, I think I have a predisposition or hypersensitive nose, but whatever it is I love smells of all kinds.

I’d love to visit:

The Ivory Coast – I know nothing about it, but it seems to me that the best way to find out is to visit.

Rule I live by:

Nothing comes from doing Nothing. – William Shakespeare

Learn more about Triumph & Disaster on their website. Follow Triumph & Disaster on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Shop Triumph & Disaster products at RoyalShave.

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