Razor bump reduction

Ok, here I go… Probably too much info, but I think I need to share.

I have extremeely sensitive skin, and bumps, dots, ingrown hairs, etc. are very intimate issues with me. I have tried nearly every product and method for hair removal and after-removal care. I finally found a regimen that works, and is based on proven concepts, rather than marketing hype and quackery.

First, it is important to understand where the bumps come from. When you remove hair, you necessarily irritate your skin, to some degree or another, resulting in inflamation. This is because hair is very tough, dead protein, and your skin is very fragile living tissue. The hairs were made to stay in, with a large bulb at their root for this purpose. Hair was also made to be resistant to cutting, abrasion, breaking, etc. In the case of body hair, this results in a permanent sponge, able to collect large amounts of sweat in order to attract members of the opposite sex. Yeah, I know, yuck. But that’s what the biologist say.

So now, you need to apply a large amount of enrgy to the hair and surrounding skin in order to remove the hair. This is true of shaving, waxing, chemical depilation, lasers, IPL, elotrolosys, tweezing, abrasion, and any other method.

Beyond photoepilation (lasers or IPL), the method that is gentlest to the skin is shaving. What I’ve found is that the Gilette Mach 3 is the best method for shaving for a couple of reasons. First, the blades are very smooth and sharp, second, the gooey stuff that they put on the top and bottom of the blades is an excellent lubricant (I think it contains dimethicone and/or simethicone). The lube helps to stop dragging, and the sharp, smooth blades allow the razor to slice cleanly through the tough hair without yanking on the root.

If you decide to use a different brand of razor blade, make sure it is a good (expensive) one. Never use a disposable, and don’t use the Schick flexible blade (it curves to fit your face)- the time I tried the Schick, it looked like my face was in a razor-blade factory explosion. Also, no matter what razor you use, make sure it is very sharp (new).

When I shave, I’ve found the best shaving cream is actully moisturizing shampoo (never use soap). I have bad luck with shaving creams, even “Ultra-sensitive Edge”. The problem is that the shaving creams all contain either astringents, excessive emollients, or both. The moisturizing shampoo is much less irritating, but is still slick enough combined with the lubricating strips on the razor.

When shaving with a blade, as opposed to an electric shaver, try to shave with the grain. When you absolutely must shave against the grain, be very gentle. You might be left with some slight stubble, but this is better than ingrown hairs and infections.

I also use an electric shaver, more often than the blade. An electric shaver, if it’s a good one, will be much gentler than a blade, but won’t always get as close as a blade. I found that an oscillating “micro-screen” is the best type to use. I have a Norelco rotary that cost more than 100 dollars, and it doesn’t compare to the microscreen. And I would never use a rotary on the very sensitive genital/bikini areas (save the money and use a broken bottle).

I also use pulling methods (waxing/sugaring), on occasion, but not as often as the electric shaver. Chemical depilitories are better than pulling methods as far as irritation/inflamation are concerned. Chemical depilitories can only be used once every several days without irritation.

As far as bump-fighters go, I have not found one that works at all. But here is my secret for stopping bumps and ingrown hairs:

Before I shave, wax, or use chemicals, I wash the area with Betadine. Betadine is water based version of old fashioned tincture of iodine (alchohol based). Betadine is the stuff that surgeons scrub with before surgery, but you can buy it at any drugstore. Also, after hair removal, I use the Betadine again, and somes iodine tincture. Iodine tincture actually is better, but it stains your skin for a few hours after use.

The reason that Betadine/iodine works for preventing bumps and inflamation is that a major cause of the inflamation is bacterial infection. No matter how clean you are, you have a wide variety of flora living on your skin and in your hair follicles. When you break the skin’s surface, which you almost always do when removing hair, these external bacteria are introduced to a warm, nutrient rich place to grow (your blood and broken skin). So, kill the bacteria before you break the skin. Afterwards, apply Betadine/iodine again, so that you retain some residue to protect your skin afterwards - this is also important.

Now that the bacteria is absent, you will have much less inflamation. Without the inflamation (swelling), your new hairs won’t have anything to “bite” into, allowing them to grow out, rather than in.

Bacteria is not the only thing that will cause inflamation, but it is the most common thing. Other causes of inflamation are perfumes, dyes, antiperspirants, deoderants, soap, dirt, oil and clothing. If you remove hair fom the bikini/genetal area, don’t wear tight underwear the day or two afterwards. These items will also cause enough inflammation to promote ingrown hairs, as well as generally unhealthy skin.

This sounds like a lot to do, but it’s really not once you settle into a regimen. And it’s very inexpensive compared to all the other creams, potions and snake oil for sale out there. Also, I’ve used shampoo for years for my whole body, and it much more effective than soap for cleansing, and for the condition of my skin (shampoo is a detergent, as opposed to a soap). And the so-called “body shampoos” and liquid soaps are terrible as cleansers and leave skin dry and full of chemicals.

The bottom line is, be as gentle to your skin as you can when removing hair, and make sure you remove the bacteria as well. This is the only methodology that I’ve found that works. If you do get small bumps, they will go away in a few days.

This is a first-rate report! :relaxed:

Male facial hair takes the most energy of all to remove, which is why it’s such a stress test. Add to that a little curl to the hairs, an improper razor or technique, and you have a recipe for serious inflammation at the least, and terrible ingrowns and infections at the worst.

While it doesn’t work for everyone, beta-hydroxy acids like Tend Skin lead the way in helping with ingrowns and razor bumps. These products are usually alcohol and aspirin, both of which kill bacteria and appear to cause the skin to exfoliate. The effect of beta-hydroxy acids on skin and hair structures is not completely known yet, but they may have other benefits for reducing ingrowns as well. Something to consider if you have had a lot of problems.

The emphasis of the post above-- work clean with fresh blades-- cannot be stressed enough. In some cases it’s enough.

There are a few other great tips in this section, including using sib=ngle blades or wire-wrapped blades, which have been useful for others. There’s going to be some trial and error vefore you find a system that works best for you, but most of the best ways are discussed in this post and others. Good luck!

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>If you’re looking for a clear, non-foaming shave gel try Air Shave, which is also made by Tend-Skin. It works very well but is rather expensive.

RJC2001 </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>For those who are on a serious budget, clear personal lubricants like “Astro-glide” can be used for this purpose.

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Does the electrolysis work well on ear hairs? Mine are really fine and light, but they do grow out pretty long. It’s hard to see exactly where they are coming from. Don’t you have to be able to see the hair follicle shaft to zap it? Or is just grabbing the hair with tweezers enough?
Ted Striker </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Electrolysis may be done on the ears, but if the electrologist can not see the follicle opening, or can not reach the follicle opening with the probe, the hair can not be safely treated. This is another area where a microscope, or magnified visualization system helps modern electrologists to take the next step in expanding services beyond those of the past.

</font><blockquote><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>quote:</font><hr /><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>what do you apply tend skin with? i read that andrea says you need to apply a lot of it… since it’s so expensive, what is everyone applying it with? ALSO, and perhaps more importantly, every salon in my area that used to carry tend skin is now discontinuing it cuz of some fda recall and need for reformulations. so do you suggest i try something new that they carry and recommend or what? any ideas?
Goodgirl101 </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Those on a budget can make their own tend skin type product by dissolving aspirin tablets in a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Although the easiest way to dispense the product would be a sponge appliator top like the one found on the product “Absorbine Jr.” the acid of the product would destroy the sponge in a month or two. Of course, you could just make your dispenser bottle with that in mind and just change the dispenser sponge on a regular basis. Since Absorbine Jr comes in glass bottles, it may actually be a perfect bottle to pour your solution into after you have mixed it, and allowed it to saturate and excess aspirin to settle. You would just have to then have a way to change the sponge top when needed. But don’t get the idea of having this product as something you “carry along” in your purse or other on the go bag. Even the bottle the Tend Skin people put the product in will be eaten away by the product, and you will have a leak! It will then destroy everything it touches.

[ March 08, 2003, 09:46 AM: Message edited by: James W. Walker VII, CPE ]

Great report, James! I’ll have to try the Astroglide idea. As far as making your own Tend Skin type product at home, I’m not sure what the ratios are. The aspirin is the active ingredient, though, so I’d say ramp up slowly over time-- the stuff can be a pretty powerful irritant for some. If anyone has a recipe, let us know.

The general idea is to saturate the alcohol with the aspirin. I used to know the ratio, but that info is just one more thing to prove that I have forgotten more than my brother ever bothered to learn :stuck_out_tongue: One need only dissolve asprin in the alcohol until it stops dissoving. This will make the strongest possible solution. For those with more sensitive skin, one may try starting with a bottle of alcohol and slowly upping the aspirin content until they reach a level that does the job, while not having a bad reaction with their skin.

hello all…

i hope its ok to post my question here…

i am a black male, and my lady cuts my hair on my head. i get a low hair cut so its no need to spend the money to go to a barber shop for such a simple cut…

anyway, since we have been doing this, i have been getting some bumps in the back of my head… they appear in random fashion. and they show up in the back of my head down toward the neck.

at this point i don’t know what to do. i will list some things about me scalp:

i do have oily skin…

i usually cut my hair before taking a shower.

i don’t put any thing in my head prior to cutting my hair…

also we have been using the same blade (electric barber style shaver we purchased from sally beauty supply) ever since we started cutting my hair at home (its been a few months!) perhaps this is a reason the bumps appear? we did buy a new one last week though…

i have been searching on the internet for any tips or resolutions to no avail. i would appreciate it if someone could give me some info on what could be the problem, and what i can do to stop it.

thank you.

You should do everything you can to work clean:

Make sure the blades are cleaned according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Cut the hair after a shower.
Cleanse the area with Tend Skin or witch hazel and let dry.
Trim hair.
Wash off any loose hair.
Cleanse again with Tend Skin or witch hazel.

thx for your tips andrea.i have a couple more…

the box does not say much (nothing!) about cleaning the blades, only to oil it . can you give me some tips on blade cleaning? do we put it in alcohol?

also, wash my head first, apply witch hazel and let dry. cut hair. (can i use a damp rag to wipe away loose hair?) reapply witch hazel.

are those the steps? also do i avoid alcohol altogether?

since i have a low hair cut, is there any type of shampoo i should use? i currently use suave (i wash my head when i shower). are there any shampoo’s to avoid? is suave ok?

thank you for your tips and info. gotta love google searches!! :wink:


Do you have razor burn, bumps and ingrown hairs? Eliminate them with TEND SKIN!



Personally, I cannot live without this product. If you need, I can supply you with how much of the product you need at a reduced price! Just email me at sililu@hotmail.com for more information.

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I had a brazillian Wax a month a ago and now my pubic area is a mess of ingrown hairs. :frowning: I really liked the original result though. Will these bumps ever go away? What can I do about the darks spots these bumps are leaving?



I’m now in adelaide , australia… is there tend skin available here? i’ve been looking for a product to get rid of bumps and redness after i shave… and it seems to me from this forum… Tend skin sounds pretty good…
How is it like? a cream, lotion or wat?