How to Shave Down There
If you’ve never experienced razor bumps, consider yourself lucky. Razor bumps are an uncomfortable and irritating rash caused by an unpleasant interaction between the razor blade, skin, and hair. Razor bumps can sting, itch, and even burn.
What a nightmare!
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Shaving Your Pubic Region Correctly
A guaranteed way to prevent razor bumps is to invest in products designed to soothe and treat the skin before and after shaving. Shaving your pubic region is a very sensitive area, as the skin tends to be thinner.
Read these tips and tricks to make the interaction between blade and skin as gentle as possible when shaving your pubic region. This blog will do a deep dive into eight shaving techniques to avoid razor burn while shaving down there, and everywhere on your body.
Three Tips for Shaving
- Shave with the grain
- Use a sharp razor
- Soak the skin in warm water first
Shave with the grain
Move the razor in the same direction that your hair grows. This will guarantee a more comfortable shave. Shaving with the grain minimizes tugging on the skin and hair. Whereas shaving against the grain increases the risk of irritation, nicks, cuts, and razor bumps.
How to shave with the grain
Map out your stubble and determine the direction of growth. Run your fingers over your hair to determine the direction your hair is growing. If it feels smooth and soft, then you’re moving with the grain. If it feels prickly, you are moving against the direction of growth. It is also possible that the hair grows in different directions. This is especially common in the pubic area. To help with this, you can use an electric trimmer to comb all the hair in the same direction and get them all down to an equal length. Click here to learn more about grooming with a trimmer.
How to safely shave against the grain (if you insist)
Admittedly, shaving with the grain will not give you as close of a shave. So, if you insist on shaving against the grain, this is what to do: on the first pass, only shave in the direction your hair grows (downwards). After this step, shaving against the direction of growth is much safer and won't tug at the skin as much. Reapply your moisturizing agent and shave against the grain.
Note: We recommend only shaving with the grain if you have sensitive skin.
Use a sharp razor
Your razor should be fresh and sharp. A worn blade is likely to be much less efficient because it requires more passes over the same area to remove the unwanted hair; this will irritate the skin and cause micro-abrasions (little cuts). On the other hand, a sharp blade will remove as much hair as possible with minimal strokes. It's best to avoid this by replacing your blade every ten shaves.
Never use an old razor
An old razor tracks bacteria. This debris could seep into the freshly opened hair follicles and leave an angry razor rash in the most delicate areas.
Soak the skin in warm water
Whether you are in the bath or shower, it is necessary to give your skin 5-10 minutes to soak in warm water before shaving. Warm water helps open up the pores and makes the hair softer; this makes the shaving process much easier and less abrasive on the skin.
Note: don't wait too long. Otherwise, the skin will wrinkle and make it harder to get a close shave. It's best to stick to the 5-10 minutes window.
Using a moisturizing agent like shaving cream or hair conditioner provides much-needed lubrication and makes the shaving process much smoother. Shaving on dry skin will cause major skin irritation including razor bumps and ingrown hairs. When the skin lacks moisture, it can become rough. Dragging a razor on an already rough surface can aggravate the skin and increase the risk of razor bumps. In the spur of the moment, you may be thinking that it is saving you time but it is not helping!
Use short, light strokes
Using short and light strokes will ensure that the skin won't be tugged during the hair removal process. With long strokes, we tend to apply more pressure on the razor. This extra weight is enough to irritate, nic, and scrape the skin.
Cleanse the skin before shaving
Investing in a pH-balanced cleanser is an important step to make sure that no lingering bacteria seeps into the freshly opened hair follicles after hair removal. If the oil, dirt, and bacteria that accumulate throughout the day are not removed before hair removal, they will cause the rashy razor bumps we all know and hate. So it's best to avoid that altogether by ensuring that the skin is clean and prepped before going in with a razor.
Before we move on, let's take a closer look at pH and why it's so important to find pH-balanced products.
The importance of using pH balanced products
pH stands for potential for hydrogen. The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline the skin is on a scale from 1-14. On the pH scale, 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic (0 being the most acidic), and above 7 is alkaline (14 being the most alkaline). The ideal pH level for the skin like on the acidic side and ranges from 4.5 to 5.5 (on the acidic side). An acidic pH kills bacteria and keeps the skin balanced, hydrated, and rejuvenated. An acidic pH helps keep your skin balanced, hydrated, healthy, and radiant.
So what does all that mean? Simply put, the skin must maintain a balance of acidity and alkalinity in order to combat germs, fight infection, retain/store nutrients and minerals and protect you against external stresses.
If the pH balance is off, the skin can have adverse reactions. See for yourself:
- When the pH balance is too alkaline, one may experience acne, dryness, accelerated aging (fine lines and wrinkles); this can lead to conditions like eczema.
- When the pH balance is too acidic, one may experience inflammation and irritation. This effect is similar to what would happen if you put a harsh chemical peel on your skin; the skin becomes "burnt", sensitive, irritated, and prone to break-outs.
In sum, it is necessary to maintain a balanced pH so that you don't have to deal with the consequences of your skin being too alkaline or too acidic.
Use an ultra-hydrating exfoliating scrub before shaving
Exfoliating before shaving is important for 2 reasons:
- Exfoliants remove the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin that would otherwise seep into the freshly opened hair follicles upon hair removal
- To soften the skin and hair as much as possible so that the blade glides with ease and slices off the hair without tension.
First, Bushbalm™ sugar scrubs prevent razor bumps by removing the debris (for lack of a better word) that clogs the pores. When we shave, the hair follicle is opened. Microscopic debris on the surface of the skin will then inevitably fall into these openings and clog the pores. If the pore is clogged, the growing hair strand will not be able to break past the skin's surface and instead will become trapped - causing ingrown hairs. Bushbalm™ scrubs give the pores a thorough cleaning so that your hair can grow back normally instead of getting trapped.
Second, Bushbalm™ ultra-hydrating sugar scrubs ensure that the interaction between blade and skin is as gentle as possible by softening the skin and hair. When the skin is dry while shaving the razor blade will not glide smoothly. Instead, it will tug on the hair and skin which can create micro-abrasions (mini cuts). Similar to if you fall off a bike and skid your knee, you may experience a skid-like rash or razor bumps hours after your shave. Bushbalm™ sugar scrubs will give your skin an irresistibly smooth look and feel. The star ingredient responsible for this baby-smooth effect is Jojoba Oil. Jojoba Oil is one of our key ingredients in all our products - including our exfoliating sugar scrubs. Jojoba oil mimics your body's natural moisturizing properties, which allow for extra hydration and as a result, super smooth skin. The nourishing essential oils within Bushbalm™ sugar scrubs will enable your razor to glide with ease and minimize razor bumps.
Treat the skin after hair removal
It is necessary to go in with a treatment oil after hair removal. Moisturizing and rehydrating the skin is an essential step in all skin care routines. Products such as exfoliants, razor blades, waxing strips etc., can strip the skin of its natural oils. The skin is the barrier between the body and the outside world. If the skin is dry, it cracks and the barrier becomes less resistant to bacteria and infection. This is why it’s so important to keep your skin moisturized. When the skin is moisturized, it is more intact and better able to defend against foreign agents
An effective treatment oil will soothe the skin and heal any skin irritations. Bushbalm’s treatment oils are packed with a combination of rich oils that combat dryness and replenish your skin after hair removal. Each formula is infused with Tea Tree Oil - a natural healer with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. This star ingredient provides a soothing sensation to calm redness, swelling, and inflammation.
Note: Just because you do not shave daily does not mean you should not treat the areas you shave on a daily basis. Applying a soothing treatment oil really helps reduce inflammation/irritation and prevents razor bumps from occurring even days after your shave.
The difference between Bushbalm™ Oils
The Bermuda Oil
The Bermuda Treatment Oil is a 100% natural and vegan skincare product that naturally reduces the look of hyperpigmentation and dark spots found anywhere on the body. The Bermuda formula is designed to gently break down melanin that is built up in the skin and even out the skin tone over time. The combination of fractionated coconut carrier oil, lemon essential oil, and rare copaiba oil works to diffuse the appearance of dark spots and blemishes.
How To Use: Gently massage the oil onto the desired areas; think bikini line, underarms, knees, or anywhere else skin is experiencing hyperpigmentation or dark spots. For best results, use on a daily basis and/or right after stepping out of the shower.
Click here to learn more about Bermuda Oil and its properties.
The Nude Oil
The Nude Oil is designed to eradicate ingrown hairs and treat razor bumps. Made from the highest quality of natural oils to ensure a soft and luxurious feeling on your skin Nude Oil quickly soothes ingrown hairs, redness, bumps, and irritations caused by hair removal. Nude Oil is infused with Jojoba and Copaiba oils that work to soften the skin and soothe skin irritation. It also contains tea tree oil and grape seed oil: tea tree is a natural healer that protects the skin from bacteria, while the grape seed allows the mixture to dry into the skin quickly and seamlessly.
The Nude Collection is virtually scentless and meant to restore your skin’s natural moisture - not add extra moisture. If you prefer a clean scent, The Nude Collection is for you! This collection will treat your razor bumps without a lingering scent.
How To Use: Gently massage Sweet Escape anywhere on the body or specifically places where razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and other skin irritations occur when removing hair.
The Sweet Escape Oil
Similar to Nude Oil, Sweet Escape Oil will target ingrown hairs and treat razor bumps. The difference between the two lies in the scent and level of hydration. The Sweet Escape Collection is ultra-hydrating and has a soft and sweet aroma of tangerine and vanilla, similar to a creamsicle. Sweet Escape will quickly soften skin and hair found in sensitive areas, including the pubic area, underarms, legs, and face. We recommend the Sweet Escape Collection if you are looking for a yummy scent and ultra-hydrating products.How To Use: Gently massage Sweet Escape anywhere on the body or places where razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and other skin irritations occur when removing hair.
Trim before shaving
For a final technique, you should begin trimming before you shave.
Imagine this: you’re getting a haircut, and your barber walks out with just a razor and shaving cream to cut your full head of hair - no clippers, trimmers, or scissors. Wouldn’t that be absurd! (unless you’re bald, then that’s normal - but for the purpose of this analogy pretend you have long locks of hair). Surely it’d be a very long and uncomfortable experience for both parties involved. In reality, this wouldn’t happen because of the length of the hair.
It seems obvious but this logic is often forgotten when it comes to shaving pubic hair. When pubic hair gets to a certain length, it must be trimmed before going in with a razor. If the body hair is too long the razor will tug on the skin as opposed to gliding smoothly. When the skin is pulled and tugged too much, the risk of getting nicks and cuts increases. Nics and cuts can be super painful and can get infected, leaving a rash of razor bumps in their place.
Fully switch to trimming
You can even ditch the razor and just stick to trimming. This will eliminate the risk of razor bumps! The blade of a trimmer does not reach the surface of the skin. As such, there is no risk of the blade tugging or pulling on the skin while it cuts the hair down.
To uphold our mission to encourage skincare everywhere, the Francesca Trimmer™ can be used anywhere on the body! It’s really up to you where you decide to trim. You have the liberty to trim your armpits, legs, face, stomach, pubic hair, toes, back - wherever you want a little cleanup. Click here to learn about how to use the Francesca Trimmer™.
Francesca has a built-in safeguard designed to allow the trimmer to fit into the grooves and crevices of your body without nicking or cutting your skin. With the Francesca Trimmer™, you can adjust the length of your body hair to 3mm or 6mm. The trimmer comes with the 6mm guard on. This guard can easily be removed to reveal the 3mm guard - click here to learn how to switch out the guards.
What is the difference between a razor and trimmer?
A razor is designed to achieve as close a shave as possible. When we shave, the first blade of the razor will lift the hair strand so the next blade can slice it off - click here to learn how to properly shave with a razor.
The trimmer is designed to trim the hair down rather than remove it all off. In other words, an electric trimmer will not cut the hair down to the skin’s surface. The Francesca Trimmer™ is made up of a comb and blade that work together to trim the hair: the comb lifts the strands upright so that the blade can trim all the hair at the same length. The comb acts as a protective barrier between the blade and the skin. The comb prevents the blade from reaching the skin and cutting the hair down to the surface of the skin. This minimizes the risk of ingrown hairs, razor burn, nics and cuts, and irritated skin.