Razor burn, razor bumps. Same thing, right? Wrong. They may sound alike, and they may both be unsightly, painful and itchy, but they are quite different.
So what separates the two? Razor bumps are ingrown hairs. Razor burn is chafed skin. Razor bumps will only go away once the ingrown hairs grow out, either by themselves or with the many remedies available. You have to keep them from getting infected or they'll cause even more trouble.
Razor burn, on the other hand, is skin that has been irritated in the hair removal process and without the added complication of hair follicles, is much easier to treat. That being said, a razor burn feels like just that - a burn - and needs to be soothed.
Lucky for you, there are a heap of things that do just that so you don't ever have to suffer long from razor burn. Here are the top ways to get rid of razor burn asap!
One of the most easily available, most comforting home remedies for razor burn you can find, yogurt is amazing at immediately putting out that fiery feeling.
And it's no surprise why - full-fat yogurt contains a heap of goodness that not only cools but helps to heal that razor burn. Zinc, for starters, has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties and promotes cell production and tissue growth. Calcium supplements the natural calcium in the body to keep skin hydrated and assist in skin renewal. Lactic acid is a wonderful moisturizer.
We especially love that it's all-natural and perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Plus, who doesn't have a tub of yogurt in their fridge? To use, simply dab a bit of yogurt onto the razor burn. Wait about 20 minutes. Wash off.
Aloe Vera Gel
You knew aloe vera gel was going to make the list, right? After all, it is one of the most popular cures for a number of skin conditions and razor burn is no exception. And it makes perfect sense when you consider that this goopy gel is packing tons of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants - everything you need to soothe and cool razor burns, moisturize and speed up the healing process.
Just make sure that you use organic, chemical-free gel. There are brands, and some of them are very popular, that have preservatives, colors and other additives, none of which contribute to the benefits of the aloe vera gel. You'll be hard-pressed to find 100% aloe vera gel (unless you make it yourself) but go for as close as you can get to the real, natural thing.
Lab Series Razor Burn Relief Ultra
Got super sensitive skin or simply can't stand the intense burn of a fresh razor burn? You need to get yourself a bottle of the Razor Burn Relief Ultra.
Yes, it's intended for men's faced. And yes, it is expensive.
But this lightweight lotion is one of the few products out there that provides immediate and long-lasting relief from the sting and redness of razor burn. It cools and moistens the burn, while it restores the skin's natural moisture with antioxidants and expedites the healing process. The botanicals in the formula will have your skin calm and comfortable in no time. Plus, it can be used on all skin types.
Just a little bit will do and poof! No more redness, no more burn. Worth it, we think.
Calendula, also known as pot marigold (not that pot), is a plant that contains antibacterial and immunostimulant properties to heal skin irritations. In cream or gel form, it harness this natural healing and improves blood circulation, which increases the body's natural ability to repair skin tissue and heal the burned area.
It also stimulates the production of collagen in the affected area, helping your skin restore itself more quickly. The moisturizing texture of the cream soothes and relieves the pain and itching upon application, which is a godsend when you're feeling the sting of razor burn.
Coconut oil isn't just great for moisturizing your skin - it also contains both caprylic and lauric acids, powerful antimicrobial agents with antiseptic properties that have a near-miraculous effect on razor burns. Together with the many antioxidants, the acids will immediately reduce inflammation, moisturize and heal the skin.
Not to mention, you'll come out smelling delicious.
To use coconut oil for razor burn, apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the burn. Repeat the process two to four times a day, or whenever you feel discomfort from the burn.
Love tea? Great. Drink up...and save your tea bags. You can even store them in the fridge or freezer so they're ice cold and ready to go the next time you have a case of razor burn to deal with.
Or you can brew the tea, let it get cold, then soak a cloth in it. Hold the cloth against the razor burn for about 15 minutes.
In case you're wondering why you'd even want to put tea on your razor burn, here's a quick look at the healing properties that some of our favorite teas bring to the table...
- Chamomile tea. Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that has been used for centuries to calm anxiety. Now we're going to use its antibacterial and inflammatory properties to calm razor burn. You'll instantly find it soothe away the pain and understand why it's considered one of the best herbs for razor burn.
- St. John's wort tea. St. John's Wort is a little plant with pretty yellow flowers native to subtropical regions. You might see it growing wild along the road. Or you might see it used as an ornamental plant in a garden. The plant has antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral properties to help the skin tissues recover, relieve pain and soothe the skin.
- Lavender tea.When I hear “lavender,” I immediately imagine that incomparable fragrance and romantic fields of periwinkle-colored flowers on French hillsides. I don't always think about the its medicinal qualities, and yet lavender has been used to cure a wide range of ailments for centuries, and that includes skin conditions. It has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties and alleviates redness and itching of razor burn.
We'll drink to that!
Shaveworks The Cool Fix
True to its name, this blue gel is as cool and as soothing as it looks. It glides over your skin and immediately calms the burn and reduces the redness. It contains Mediacalm Complex (boerhavia root extract) that is as strong and effective as anything that you could get with a prescription to take care of razor burn. Plus, it's safe to use on even the most sensitive skin.
The downside is that there's a bit of a sting when you first apply it so be ready for that. As soon as you feel the cooling kick in, you'll know that it's doing its job to calm the inflammation faster than you'd be able to on your own.
The biggest perk of The Cool Fix, though, is that it's a multi-tasker. It's great for razor burn, but it also serves as a powerful preventative against other shaving mishaps like ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
How? It contains a lovely mix of chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, salicylic acid and phytic acid - all of which slough off dead skin cells and keep your pores clear of gunk, which helps cut down on the possibility of ingrown hairs as well as the darkened skin that can occur from constant hair removal.
There's good reason why argan oil has held its place in the luxury beauty spotlight for so long - this stuff is pure, rich nourishment for your skin. Extracted from the fruit of the argan tree, this oil alleviates inflammation and moisturizes with vitamins A and E, antioxidants and Omega-6 fatty acids. Vitamin E, as you know, promotes cell production to heal the burn faster.
And in case you're thinking that it's going to be a thick, suffocating oil - rest assured, this stuff is light enough to wear on your face in lieu of moisturizer.
The one downside is that one hundred percent argan oil is expensive, because oil extraction is a manual process that is very time consuming. But you only need a drop or two, and the healing power of argan oil is . . . well, you have to see it to believe it.
We know how good oatmeal is in our diet. All those vitamins, minerals and proteins are just as good for razor burn. It relieves inflammation, moisturizes, and heals even the most delicate skin.
Mix two tablespoons of ground oatmeal with one tablespoon of honey. If the paste is too thick to apply in a smooth layer, add a teaspoon of water. Apply the paste to the razor burn and leave on for 30 minutes. Gently soak the paste off of your skin.
If the burn is on a large area, such as your legs, add ground oatmeal to your bath water and soak it away.
Here's a home remedy for razor burn that pretty much everyone has. Hydrocortisone cream, as you already know, is a topical steroid that reduces inflammation, redness and itching - and it's not just for insect bites or poison, it's also perfect for razor burn.
Plus, if you don't already have a little tube of it lying around, it's easy as pie to get some since they're available over the counter in drugstores (e.g., Cortaid, Cortizone-10, Hydrozone Plus).
First things first - this is one natural oil that is not for vegans. That's 'cause emu oil is extracted from the fatty tissue on the emu's back. And as gross as that may sound, it's one of the best natural oils for skin repair. Its major property is a hormone-like compound called eicosanoids that is super-effective and efficient at healing the skin. Vitamins A and E, antioxidants, also contribute to healing as well as hydrating the skin. Oleic acid clears up the inflammation.
Emu oil also has the unique ability to penetrate deep into the skin and oxygenate it to increase cell regeneration.
Pour a tiny amount of pure oil into your palm. Apply it to the affected area with your fingers. Keep in mind that an area about the size of the back of your hand only needs one drop. Just apply it; it will penetrate the skin on its own. If your skin feels oily, use less the next time.
The marshmallow plant, especially the leaves and roots, is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and an antioxidant as well as a natural source of minerals and vitamins. Its extract is most valued for its ability to heal, soothe and protect irritated skin. As a humectant, the extract keeps the affected area hydrated. It's been known for those qualities for many centuries. New studies have shown it also accelerates cell regeneration to heal the razor burn even faster.
It's mild. You can apply a thin layer to the razor burn. If you want to try something real different, brew marshmallow root tea. When it cools, pour the tea into an ice cube tray and let it freeze. Then you have these wonderful cold, soothing, healing cubes to hold onto the burn.
Haven't heard of tamanu oil yet? Well, it's going to be your new best friend, especially if you have sensitive skin that's prone to injuries. Tamanu oil is extracted from the kernel of the fruit of the Ati tree in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands and its primary value is as a remarkable skin regenerator that speeds up the healing process by forming new, healthy skin.
It's also an antioxidant and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The omega fatty acids moisturize. It's a potent antidote to razor burn, yet inexpensive compared to some other essential oils.
Note: Tamanu oil is a nut-derived product —important to know for anyone allergic to nuts.
There's oils...and then there's oils. Or more specifically, essential oils for razor burn - which aren't very oily at all. In fact, essential oils are super concentrated extractions from therapeutic, beneficial plants, many of which have been used for over 5,000 years as natural medicines.
The best essential oils for razor burn? Here's what you should rummage in your bathroom cabinets for:
Lavender oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent with cleansing and moisturizing properties. In other words, it's one of the best essential oils for soothing and healing razor burn. The sting and heat are, poof, gone immediately upon application. You can use lavender essential oil “straight.” Cover the burn liberally. Reapply as needed. Note: You might want to keep a small bottle of lavender oil in the kitchen for minor burns caused by splattering grease or touching a hot toaster or stove.
The hyssop plant is a semi-evergreen plant now cultivated in France for its essential oil. When steam-distilled, the plant produces a potent oil that is a natural treatment for razor burns with its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Its most beneficial quality is definitely the ability to heal skin quickly by encouraging the growth of new skin.
To use, dilute two or three drops of hyssop oil with equal parts of a carrier oil (e.g., olive, coconut or jojoba oil) and apply to the burn daily.
Neroli oil is produced by steam-distilling the flowers of the bitter orange tree. It is jam-packed with therapeutic properties due to its alpha- and beta-pinene, camphene, alpha-terpinene, and a bunch more things also with names we'll never remember. You'll see the benefits in action when the pain and inflammation of your razor burn disappears as if by magic. Its main benefit, however, is its ability to get down to the cellular level to regenerate your skin and replace that burn with healthy new skin. It also has a lovely, calming fragrance. You'll be less upset about your razor burn (and maybe anything else).
Dilute the oil with a carrier oil and apply directly to the burn twice a day. You can also add a few drops to cold water, soak a cloth in it and hold the cloth against the burn.
Neroli is the most expensive of all citrus essential oils, because it takes 1,000 pounds of flowers to make one pound of oil. You need to be cautious when purchasing it; there are manufacturers who dilute the pure oil with chemical compounds to increase their profits.