Nothing ruins a good shave quite like itchy skin. Sure, your face/legs/armpits/whatever else might look as smooth as a baby’s bottom (or even your own bottom, if that’s what you shaved), but it feels like it’s on fire, or worse, like there are things crawling on it that all the scratching in the world can’t get off. In fact, any scratching just makes it worse and more irritated. What now??
As usual, you have to know why shaving can cause itchiness before you can learn how to stop it, and that’s where we turn to our old friend, dermatologist Anthony Rossi, for advice. “[When you shave,] you’re removing the stratum corneum along with the hair follicles,” explains Rossi.
In layman’s terms, that means your razor is taking off your top-most level of skin along with your facial hair. It sounds gnarly, but what we’re describing here is a perfectly normal shave, the effects of which can be mitigated by using products like Post Shave Cream — more on that below.
When you feel an itch, it’s because your skin has — understandably — become irritated by this process, and the receptors on your skin are letting your brain know, says Rossi. There are a variety of exacerbating reasons you could feel itchy, too, including dry skin, short hairs that feel extra prickly, or more serious conditions like eczema. Or you could simply have sensitive skin!
While serious skin conditions likely require prescription medications, for your everyday shave-related itching, post-shave products are the best bet. These contain moisturizers to replace the lubricating oils stripped off with the stratum corneum. Your face (or whatever body part you just shaved) will feel even more soothed by using post-shave products with cooling agents like aloe (like our Post Shave Dew…just sayin’).
Rossi has a bonus tip, too: “Put your moisturizers in the refrigerator to get cold, so when you put them on the [affected] area they will help quell the itch.” Who knew?
Shaving by its very nature irritates your skin, and that can cause itching — it’s just a fact. But a more useful fact is that you can prevent that itching by moisturizing your face as soon as you put your razor down. It may add a few seconds to your shave time, but it’s a lot less time than you’d otherwise waste on scratching it.