Every woman who has ever shaved her bikini line knows the inevitable evil that is razor burn—especially during the summer. Not only is it uncomfortable, but the abundance of noticeably swollen red spots does nothing to help with already fragile bikini confidence…at least, that’s how I feel.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simple remedies to rid our skin of these irritating bumps, as well as easy steps to prevent them from appearing. So, the next time you’re getting beach-ready, check out these quick tips for feeling your very best and most comfortable all summer long.
For treating razor bumps…
1. Allow for a 2-3 day break in between shaving.
This short hiatus between shaving sessions provides your skin time to heal and your razor bumps time to go away. Shaving on already irritated skin will only make the razor burn worse.
2. Apply a hot compress.
Take a small towel or washrag soaked in hot water and hold against the affected area for 5-10 minutes. The heat will open up your pores and free any trapped hair, causing the razor bumps to shrink as well as kill any bacteria that could be making them worse.
3. Use hydrocortisone cream.
Hydrocortisone cream possesses an anti-inflammatory component and is proven to reduce redness, inflammation and itching. After the razor burn subsides (1-3 days), stop using the cream—overuse can cause your skin to develop rashes.
4. Stick to cotton underwear or breathable clothing.
Wearing any form of synthetic material near your bikini area doesn’t allow your skin to breathe. It can also cause bacteria and sweat to become trapped and make razor bumps worse.
5. Baking soda.
Believe it or not, baking soda is another useful agent in minimizing razor bumps. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothes irritated skin and helps to balance pH levels. Simply mix one cup of water with one teaspoonful of baking soda thoroughly, and apply to the shaved area. Repeat this process twice daily until the symptoms subside.
6. Aloe vera or tea tree oil.
Aloe vera is a traditional remedy for irritated skin and yields the best results when snipped from the tip of an aloe plant and applied directly to the razor bumps. Tea Tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial agent and can be applied directly to the affected area to help soothe irritated skin.
7. Never pick or scratch at razor bumps.
Obviously, messing with the affected area won’t do anything to improve symptoms. In fact, you will just further irritate the already-swollen bumps and facilitate the multiplication of bacteria. Resist the urge!
8. Make a cucumber and milk mask.
It might sound odd, but if you mix together ½ a pureed cucumber and a ¼ cup of milk and let it cool, then apply to your razor burn—like you would a face mask—it can make a world of a difference. Let the mask sit for 10-20 minutes before washing off and you’ll be shocked at how much better your symptoms look and feel.
9. Aspirin paste.
Another surefire way to help with severely irritated razor burn is an aspirin paste. Simply crush two aspirin tablets into a teaspoon of warm water and mix until it becomes a thick gluey substance. Then, apply the mixture to your razor bumps and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off and allow area to air out. Voila.
Of course, the best way to get rid of razor burn is by preventing it altogether.
Here are just a few ways to stave off annoying razor bumps before they start:
- Exfoliate skin with a sugar scrub prior to shaving.
- Use shaving cream or a substitute.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth, not against it.
- Don’t shave too often.
- Replace your razors.
- Wipe deodorant on the area after drying to prevent irritation.
Happy swimsuit season!