Razor Cut

What Causes a Razor Burn

Similar to razor bumps, razor burn is a skin condition that results from shaving. Note, though, that while razor bumps tend to be visible for several days or weeks, once you notice your hair starting to grow again, razor burns take place right after shaving.

The problem becomes apparent in just one hour or two after shaving.

The leading causes of razor burn include:

  • The use of an old cartridge razor or safety razor blades.
  • Too quick shaving.
  • Wrong direction when shaving.
  • Shaving over dry skin.

How Long Does It Last

While uncomfortable, you will be pleased to know that razor burns are not permanent. You can expect mild symptoms of this condition to last only several hours. Some moderate cases, though, last for two to three days but will go away with the proper treatment.

There are also severe cases often brought on by leaving razor burns unattended. This may lead to severe infections and irritations with folliculitis or bumps. In this case, the skin condition would take at least a couple of weeks to heal.

How to Prevent Razor Burns

For you to avoid experiencing razor burns and their uncomfortable and annoying symptoms, here are some of its most effective preventive measures:

  • Exfoliate before or aftershave – To prevent razor burns, do not forget to exfoliate before shaving. It can make your skin soft and smooth, ready for shaving.
  • Apply pre-shave oils – This oil can protect the skin, especially the sensitive type, from the effects of using a razor for shaving. It can soften facial hair, ensuring that the shaving process will be comfortable and safe for your skin. The oil also helps lock in your skin’s natural oils, preventing dehydration.

Confused Bearded Black Man Holding a Razor

  • Use wet shaving products – Wet shaving forms a protective barrier between the razor and the skin. It also has moisturizing benefits capable of hydrating and conditioning your hair and skin, promoting ease for your blade to glide or cut through your skin. You may want to use an aftershave for this purpose, as it can help prevent post-shave rash and burns.
  • Shave right after a warm shower – It is when your skin is still wet and warm. You may want to use a hot lather to retain the warm temperature, which helps keep your hair shafts soft, making them easier to manage during the entire shaving process.

How to Treat

If you are already experiencing razor burns, then you can rest assured that there are a few ways to treat them.

You may want to do the following to relieve the symptoms you experience from razor burns and encourage healing:

  • Cold compress – This can provide immediate relief to skin burning and itching.
  • Aloe Vera – Apply aloe vera gel to the affected area to relieve redness.
  • Witch hazel – As a natural astringent, you have an assurance that the witch hazel will be of great help in dealing with inflammation.
  • Moisturizer – Put some moisturizer on your skin, especially the affected part. Use a fragrance-free one to get rid of the irritation.
  • Over-the-counter cream – Apply hydrocortisone cream to the affected area to relieve itching and inflammation.

Best Shaving Tips

Note that even if you are using top beard trimmers and shavers or know precisely how to get a close shave safely, it is still crucial to learn a few shaving tips to help you with the process.

By doing these tips, you can prevent razor burns from appearing:

  • Use a washcloth or loofah for skin exfoliation – It would be best to do the exfoliation before shaving. You may also want to give your skin and body a gentle scrub.
  • Expose skin to warm or steam water for several minutes before shaving – This should help soften your hair, making it easier to shave.
  • Shave based on the direction of hair growth – This can help prevent razor burns and ingrown hairs.
  • Do not dry-shave – Make it a point to apply some body oil, shaving cream, or nourishing conditioner before shaving.
  • Do not use very old razors – Make it a point to regularly replace the razors you use for shaving. If you are using a disposable razor, keep in mind that its usual lifespan is two to three weeks or around ten shaves, so replace it after that period.


Is razor burn the same thing as razor bumps?

No, the two are different. A razor burn tends to occur immediately after you shave. Meanwhile, a razor bump is a skin condition, a form of folliculitis, resulting from irritated hair follicles.

Razor bumps only become visible or noticeable once your hair starts growing back, often several days after the shaving process.

Scared Man Holding a Razor and Shaving

How can I soothe razor burns?

If razor burns become uncomfortable for you, you can get quick relief with the help of pure coconut oil and aloe vera. They are mild and natural skin conditioners that aid in eliminating redness and irritation.

Put it on the affected area two times a day. You should also stop using products with artificial fragrances and alcohol, as such ingredients may cause further irritation and dryness.

Does razor burn go away by itself? 

In most cases, yes. It tends to clear up without you having to do anything within 2 to 4 days. However, some find the condition too uncomfortable, so they must apply some products to speed up healing.

Does lotion help razor burns?

Yes. There are over-the-counter lotions that aid in treating razor burns. You can also apply aftershave lotions to the affected area.


Razor burns may cause many discomforts, exceptionally the moderate to severe cases of the condition, but there are ways to treat it. You may also want to follow the preventive measures mentioned in this article to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place.

Michele Antunes

About the author: Michele Antunes

Michele Meesh Antunes is the lady of the Beardoholic writers team and a genius when it comes to hair and beard styles that suit any face shape. She’s been a barber for years now and, no matter your personal style, she knows exactly what beard, hairstyle and length suit you. She brings the women’s perspective on beards, beard care, haircuts and hairstyles and male grooming.

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