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Does Shaving Cause Acne?

If you prefer to remove your body hair, you might have struggled with ingrown hairs and shaving rash. but, does shaving cause acne?

Can removing unwanted body hair with a razor, end up in painful and inflamed breakouts? If you’d like to know all about shaving and whether it causes acne, keep on reading…

Does Shaving Cause Acne?

What Happens To The Surface Of The Skin During Shaving?

When it comes to shaving, the surface of the skin takes quite a bit of wear and tear. As you’re shaving, the razor blade passes over the skin, scraping away at hair as it goes.

At first, this can cause small nicks and cuts in the otherwise smooth shave area. But with regular and proper maintenance, your skin will soon adjust to a gentle shaving routine and be better prepared for a closer shave without risk of injury or irritation.

The skin must also face dehydration from being subjected to water constantly during shaving.

This is why applying an alcohol-free moisturizer after filing down the hairs is essential to maintain hydration to prevent dryness or irritation as well as protecting against any microcuts that could occur from repeated use of the razor blade. 

And while you’re shaving, some of your natural oils get stripped away by both water and friction, causing further dehydration which can cause flaking or redness if not managed properly before reapplying them afterward. 

And because hair removal involves cutting off individual strands rather than removing it all at once like waxing does, there’s bound to be extra friction created between blades and follicles every time you shave which needs additional moisturizing care afterward too. 

Does Shaving Cause Acne?

If you’re someone who struggles with acne, you may have wondered whether shaving could be contributing to your breakouts.

The answer is not a straightforward one, as there are a number of factors that can come into play. However, with the right approach, it is possible to shave without exacerbating acne.

The Relationship Between Shaving and Acne

Shaving itself doesn’t necessarily cause acne. However, it can contribute to breakouts in a number of ways.

For example, if you’re using a dull blade or shaving too aggressively, you can end up with razor burn or razor bumps, which can lead to inflammation and irritation. This, in turn, can make acne worse.

Shaving can cause ingrown hairs, which can also contribute to breakouts. When a hair grows back into the skin, it can become trapped and cause inflammation.

This is particularly common in the beard area and can lead to a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae.

Why Do We Get Pimples After Shaving?

Why Do We Get Pimples After Shaving?

When you shave, the blade of the razor removes hairs at a level just beneath the skin’s surface. This creates some disruption within your hair follicles and can leave behind tiny openings.

These newly created pathways provide bacteria easy access to make its way into pores on your face; when this happens, it causes irritation and inflammation.

Shaving with a blunt razor causes tugging at the skin as well as scraping off a layer of it. The result is irritation that can manifest itself in pimples or other skin issues like ingrown hairs and razor bumps. 

To avoid these unwanted facial features from popping up after shaving, it’s important to use the right type of razor and technique for shaving your face.

Make sure you use sharp blades, so you don’t have to pull at your hair to finish shaving; tugging at hairs can cause injury to both the hair follicle and pore which may lead to clogged pores down the line.

Be sure to shave with the grain whenever possible since going against it can create a lot of friction on delicate facial skin which increases the likelihood of getting those pesky red pimples post-shave.

How To Get Rid Of Pimples After Shaving

To reduce the risk of skin irritation and prevent pimples after shaving, first be sure to use warm water when cleaning your face before you shave.

This will help soften the hairs and open pores while washing off any dirt and oils that may cause more acne. Depending on your skin type, there are a few ways to avoid getting pimples after shaving.

 Using healthy shaving products like natural oil or moisturizing cream can help protect your skin from razor burn and other irritations.

Make sure you’re changing out your razor blades often, so you don’t spread bacteria during each shave.

Finally, if all else fails and you still get pimples after shaving, then consider skipping shaving altogether until the issue has cleared up, otherwise more irritated skin could be damaged in the process.

Factors That Contribute to Acne After Shaving

There are a number of factors that can contribute to acne after shaving. Some of these include:

  • Using a dirty razor: If your razor is not clean, it can harbor bacteria and other debris that can clog pores and contribute to breakouts.
  • Using the wrong products: Some shaving creams and gels contain ingredients that can be irritating to acne-prone skin. Additionally, fragrances and dyes can also cause irritation.
  • Shaving with a dull blade: A dull blade can tug at the skin and cause irritation, inflammation, and ingrown hairs.
  • Shaving too closely: If you shave too closely to the skin, you can end up removing protective oils and disrupting the skin’s protective barrier. This can make it easier for bacteria to penetrate the skin and cause breakouts.
  • Shaving over an active breakout: If you have an active breakout, shaving over it can cause further irritation and inflammation.

How To Prevent Acne After Shaving

How To Prevent Acne After Shaving

If you want to shave without exacerbating acne, there are a number of steps you can take. Some of these include:

  • Using a clean razor: Make sure to use a clean razor every time you shave to avoid introducing bacteria and debris to the skin.
  • Using the right products: Look for shaving creams and gels that are designed for sensitive skin and free of fragrances and dyes. Consider using a pre-shave oil to help lubricate the skin and protect it during shaving.
  • Using a sharp razor: A sharp razor will glide over the skin more easily and reduce the risk of irritation and inflammation.
  • Shaving in the direction of hair growth: Shaving against the grain can increase the risk of ingrown hairs and irritation. Instead, shave in the direction of hair growth.
  • Exfoliating regularly: Regular exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Consider using an exfoliating cleanser once or twice a week.
  • Moisturizing: After shaving, be sure to moisturize with a non-comedogenic moisturizer to help soothe and protect the skin.
  • Using sunscreen: Sun exposure can exacerbate acne and cause scarring. Be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin.

How To Shave With Acne

Prepping your skin before shaving is essential if you have existing mild to moderate acne. Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water to remove dirt, excess oil, and bacteria from the surface of the skin. 

Once it’s clean, apply a shaving gel or cream to make for smooth gliding along the skin. Make sure to avoid shaving directly over existing acne breakouts as this can disrupt any active lesions and cause further infection or inflammation.

When you’re ready to shave, rinse off your razor in hot water following each stroke so that bacteria isn’t passed on back onto the skin during further use.

Shaving bumps are also known as razor burn and can often be mistaken for acne or pimples due to their similar appearance.

To prevent further irritation post-shave, remember to rinse your face with cool water afterward followed by an application of a moisturizing balm or aftershave product which will provide both hydration and protection from environmental impurities that may worsen any existing acne flare-ups. 

Can Shaving Cause Cystic Acne?

Shaving can trigger cystic acne in some people, especially if they have sensitive skin or are prone to acne. Cystic acne is a severe form of acne that occurs when the pores become clogged with bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells.

Shaving can further irritate the skin and worsen cystic acne, so always be careful with your shaving technique, and rinse your razor thoroughly after each use.

How Do I Get Rid of Whiteheads After Shaving?

How Do I Get Rid of Whiteheads After Shaving?

To get rid of whiteheads after shaving, it is important to keep the skin clean and moisturized.

Use a gentle cleanser to remove dirt and oil from the skin and apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer to prevent dryness.

Avoid picking or squeezing the whiteheads, as this can cause further irritation and infection.

Can You Shave With Acne Scars?

Shaving acne scars can be a difficult task since the skin in the affected area is usually much thicker and more likely to have irritation.

To keep your skin healthy while shaving with acne scars, it is important to use the right kind of razor blade. The best choice for this type of shaving would be an electric razor with multiple blades that won’t damage the outermost layers of your skin.

Make sure to prepare your face properly before every shave by using a good cleansing product and moisturizer to give you a clean base for shaving.

As with any kind of facial hair removal, when it comes to shaving acne scars it is also important to make sure you don’t press too hard on the blade while passing over the area as this could lead to further scarring or even bleeding.

Once shaved, avoid pimples after shaving by applying some gentle moisturizing aftershave product to help soothe and calm down any irritation to your skin condition, which may have been caused during the process. 



You don’t get acne from shaving, but it can contribute to irritation and inflammation that may lead to breakouts. To prevent acne after shaving, use a clean razor, the right products, and the correct technique for your skin type, and avoid dry shaving altogether.

Be sure to protect and nourish your skin with post-shave moisturizing products as well. If you have existing cystic or acne scars, be extra careful when shaving as it can further irritate these areas.

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