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Preventing Break-Outs?

DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
edited May 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I haven't shaved for about a week or so. It seems that when I don't shave, I have less breakouts than when I do. This wouldn't be a problem, but I grow a terrible beard. So, I need to shave, but I'm too afraid to because I know my skin will break out. So, are there any recommendations you guys can make in regards to shaving gels and/or razors?

I am using a Gillette Fusion atm with just some Gillette shaving gel.

All help appreciated.

Demerdar on
parabol
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Posts

  • falsedeffalsedef Registered User
    edited April 2008
    I'm just going to assume that you take proper caution not to get bacteria everywhere while shaving.

    My skin is usually always clear without having to scrub or doing cleansers, since my face isn't over oily or dry. I get the same problem in that shaving sometimes messes with it.

    Start off with a warm shower, or just shave in the shower. Switch to an electric and shave lightly. You might be getting a light case of razor rash, partly due to irritation while shaving. Wash off with cold water. Also follow up with some lotion (specifically for the face, or for sensitive skin). This won't work for everyone.

  • Nohbody8Nohbody8 Registered User
    edited April 2008
    falsedef wrote: »
    ...or just shave in the shower.

    Can't recommend this enough. Just started doing this myself and the difference between shaving out of the shower and in the shower is like night and day. The steam opens up your pores which makes the hairs easier to cut because they stand up. Plus, you can get very close to the mirror without the pesky counter getting in the way. This makes it infinitely easier to see the grain of the hairs in order to shave in this direction.
    falsedef wrote: »
    Wash off with cold water. Also follow up with some lotion (specifically for the face, or for sensitive skin). This won't work for everyone.

    Good advice as well. Short strokes are better than one long drag against your skin. Avoid pulling the skin tight and then shaving to avoid cuts which can turn into in-grown hairs. Start using an exfoliating face scrub. As girly as it sounds, an exfoliating face scrub will slough off the dead skin which forces some hairs to grow back into the folicle. I really recommend the Neutrogena for Men line for this. They have a wash for before you shave, an exfoliating wash for the off days, a good shave lotion, and a great moisturizer complete with an SPF.

    Also keep in mind that your skin has to get used to a shaving routine. I used to always give up on shaving thinking my face was going to get worse and worse. If you figure out a routine, stick to it. You may be surprised at the results.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] "We're the middle children of history, man."
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You know you're tired when you read the thread title and for some reason you assume the OP is a prison warden.

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  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Aye, I have the exfoliation thing down. I'm currently using Proactiv to combat my acne, but whenever I shave it seems to me that my face gets fucked.

    Sounds like I need a shaving routine.

    Thanks for the replies.

    parabol
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  • Nohbody8Nohbody8 Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Also, I don't know how obsessive you are about a close shave but it is possible to shave against the grain AFTER you've shaved WITH the grain without much irritation at all. This was another reason I always gave up shaving. Not only did my face look like I'd used a dull butterknife to shave, it didn't really seem worth it 'cause my face still felt rough. If you're patient and gentle enough, you can get a kick-ass shave that will last two full days allowing you to exfoliate and your face to recover.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] "We're the middle children of history, man."
  • ReitenReiten Registered User
    edited April 2008
    An electric shaver might be the way to go. It will irritate the skin a lot less, but your shave won't be as good either. If your facial hair isn't thick enough to grow a good beard, an electric shaver should be good enough.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I second pretty much everything on this thread.

    Shaving in the shower after you've cleaned your face reduced the break-outs on my face to almost non-existent. It's a much closer shave and I can even bare-shave to get even closer than I would with cream outside of the shower. And shaving against the grain is 100x's easier after you've shaved with, and even more easily done in the shower (with less razor burn).

    Please make sure you only use a non-electric razor. This goes without saying, but you know.
    Reiten wrote: »
    An electric shaver might be the way to go. It will irritate the skin a lot less, but your shave won't be as good either. If your facial hair isn't thick enough to grow a good beard, an electric shaver should be good enough.

    I disagree completely. Electric shavers tend to rip your skin (causing tiny cuts) and will definitely leave you more prone to infections and break outs than a standard razor. It is especially irritative of the skin.

  • Nohbody8Nohbody8 Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Demerdar wrote: »
    Sounds like I need a shaving routine.

    Forgot to mention that this is the most important part. It used to take my face almost a full week to recover from the hackjob I used to consider a good shave. Now I shave twice (with the grain and then against) a day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with less irritation after than my previous once a week ritual of shaving WITH the grain only.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] "We're the middle children of history, man."
  • WootloopsWootloops Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Curiously enough, most men tend to get pimples when they don't shave regularly as beards have a nice way of trapping gunk in it and messing up pores.

    I need to ask though, have you considered that you possibly have an allergy to an ingredient in the shaving cream - or perhaps something else in your normal shaving routine? Shaving, if anything, should help your skin.

    I ask this because I had a friend who would break out whenever he applied deodorant - turns out he was allergic to some ingrediant each deodorant stick uses. Check it out - something that simple (or complex) may be your culprit.

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  • an_altan_alt Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I agree with most of the advice in this thread, but I'll add one tidbit.

    Use soap instead of shaving cream. If you're going to use an aftershave moisturizer/lotion anyway, there's nothing in the shaving cream/gel that's helping you. First lather your face up really well in the shower until you can feel the hair get nice and soft, then rinse and lather up a lot more soap for the shave in or out of the shower. After that, the cold rinse and aftershave balm is required.

    There's a reason why those who use a brush to lather up tend not to go back.

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  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Or you could skip shaving all together, and get a beard trimmer. Take off the length adjustment, and use it as an ultra close buzzer.

    It leaves a tiny little bit behind, less than a sixteenth of an inch- looks sort of like a 3'oclock shadow. But it doesn't cut or scrape the skin, looks groomed (because all the hairs are even), and has zero ingrown hairs.

    I use one for manscaping, because ingrowns on your junk can freak someone right the fuck out. Owner of said junk included.

    Edcrab wrote: »
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  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    After shave and or rubbing alcohol after a shave does wonders.

  • Nohbody8Nohbody8 Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Sarcastro wrote: »
    I use one for manscaping, because ingrowns on your junk can freak someone right the fuck out. Owner of said junk included.

    Speaking of manscaping, as weird as it sounds, olive oil can work wonders down there if you ever do find yourself having to use a razor again. The Intertron recommended it so I gave it a shot. No complaints so far.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] "We're the middle children of history, man."
  • ReitenReiten Registered User
    edited April 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    I disagree completely. Electric shavers tend to rip your skin (causing tiny cuts) and will definitely leave you more prone to infections and break outs than a standard razor. It is especially irritative of the skin.

    My friend undergoing chemo at Mayo Clinic would disagree. They told him to go electric because it will cause fewer cuts and a lower risk of infection. I'm going with Mayo Clinic. Of course, you need to get a good shaver, keep your screens clean, replace them regularly and make sure the battery is fully charged.

    My own personal experience is that I get an allergic reaction to using a razor around my mouth and chin (type of razor or source of foam (soap, gel or otherwise) doesn't matter), but no reaction from an electric razor.

  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    No one's mentioned it that I've seen, but some people have facial hair that's curlier than their normal hair. If you have curly facial hair, then with too close a shave you'll often run the risk of ingrown hairs that cause site-specific acne by plugging the pore until the pressure of the infection pushes the tip of the follicle back out or into a position where it can push through to escape.

    If you're using a four or five blade gizmo and find yourself breaking out after shaving, try a 'quality' (not like they're expensive) 2 or 3 blade razor instead to see if it helps.

    Always soak your hair well when you shave, and yes shaving in the shower is a great idea. AFTER you've shaved and rinsed, DOUSE your face thoroughly with COLD COLD water. Do it again before you leave the bathroom. Cold water closes your pores again and helps prevent crap from getting in and plugging them.

    If you touch your face often, wash your hands often.

    Your skin also gets used to being shaved (ask a girl). Shave regularly and find something that works for your routine, while growing a beard is a good way to temporarily decrease breakouts or solve issues with badly ingrown hairs, but shaving too infrequently or irregularly will increase your chances of complexion issues.

    Edit: oh, and electric razors are all about the quality of the razor. 'Cheap' ones will yank on hairs and leave cuts on your skin. A good electric razor doesn't have to be expensive and an expensive electric razor isn't necessarily a good one. Read reviews or go to a store that JUST sells electric razors (yes, there are stores that do this and usually two old guys work there and they know everything about electric razors.) And it's much easier to groom with a clipper without causing skin trouble than to groom with an electric razor, though you won't get as close. Someone else already mentioned trimmers and it's good advice if the look suits you.

    Erik
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Reiten wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    I disagree completely. Electric shavers tend to rip your skin (causing tiny cuts) and will definitely leave you more prone to infections and break outs than a standard razor. It is especially irritative of the skin.

    My friend undergoing chemo at Mayo Clinic would disagree. They told him to go electric because it will cause fewer cuts and a lower risk of infection. I'm going with Mayo Clinic. Of course, you need to get a good shaver, keep your screens clean, replace them regularly and make sure the battery is fully charged.

    My own personal experience is that I get an allergic reaction to using a razor around my mouth and chin (type of razor or source of foam (soap, gel or otherwise) doesn't matter), but no reaction from an electric razor.


    No, they're retarded. They are probably simply playing off bad hygiene habits. A good number of people don't dispose of their razors in a timely fashion. I'm guilty of this, too.

    An electric shaver is almost guaranteed to rip your face. Behind those screens lies miniature rotating teeth of doom. Of course, the risk of cutting yourself is much lower but the problems with infections is actually increased. They rip hairs, they don't cut hairs. Coupled with wear and tear, they can actually cut your skin and cause severe shaving rashes.

    The actual risk from a straight blade razor or disposable razor in the hands of a competent person is actually much less. Yes, you'll get cuts, but very rarely. (most people push with the razor instead of dragging it along the skin which is where the problem sometimes comes from)

    To me, it seems you need to revise your shaving strategy if you're getting an allergic reaction, and if you're having an allergic reaction that's something else entirely. Not limited to shaving with a manual razor. Chances are if you wiped your face with that soap in close proximity to the time you shaved with your electric your rashes would be umpteen-ly fucked up.

    I used to use an electric razor exclusively for the longest period and I had very bad acne problems, my face would always be red and it felt like someone massacred my face with tweezers.

    I guess don't take this to heart, since it's only my opinion and experiences; but it seems to be in line with what everyone else has experience and completely the opposite of the mayo clinic which may just be basing their facts off of statistics (read, lies, damned lies, and statistics). And yes, I've used both expensive and inexpensive electric razors that have nothing but good recommendations and ones I've picked up simply because, and I've also been very good with maintenance on them and replacing the heads/screens.

    Edit:

    Not to mention I've always found shaving with a non-electric razor faster, I don't have to sit there shaving one spot for 5 minutes trying to get those 4 stray hairs to get shaved. *shrug*

  • falsedeffalsedef Registered User
    edited April 2008
    Electric razors dont' "rip" hairs. Any good electric shaver will cut with excellent precision, and cause less irritation. You just got to pay for expensive foils.

    I personally use safety razors, but that's only for the close shave when I want it. If you're trying to get a close shave with an electric, yeah, it'll eat you up. I'll probably be buying another electric soon, as a close shave won't matter as much as convenience.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    falsedef wrote: »
    Electric razors dont' "rip" hairs. Any good electric shaver will cut with excellent precision, and cause less irritation. You just got to pay for expensive foils.

    I personally use safety razors, but that's only for the close shave when I want it. If you're trying to get a close shave with an electric, yeah, it'll eat you up. I'll probably be buying another electric soon, as a close shave won't matter as much as convenience.

    From my experience, rotary razors rip and foil razors pull then cut (the better of the two). The best electric-razor I owned was a Remington foil razor, but I was still getting very bad razor burn on my face.

    Maybe my results were atypical, but I've tried numerous electrics (cheap, expensive, most recommended) and I've gotten the same results. Burning, breakouts, irritation for the whole day. And yes, I've even tried different shaving methods. Circular, Up-Down, Diagonally, Ribbon-motion. Not to mention the stray hairs, maintenance, and everything else I don't want to deal with at 6:00 in the morning.

    Before about 4 years ago I was an advocate of electrics, but ever since I've gotten over the typical "OMFG MY FACE IS GOING TO HAVE THOUSANDS OF CUTS EVERYDAY AND I'M GOING TO DIE OF HEPATITIS!" notion that almost everyone has, there was no debating the benefits of it. You have portability with an electric, but that's it, granted I can't shave in my car, but that's tacky anyways.

    I've found disposable razors to be:
    • faster
    • cleaner
    • less intense
    • closer
    • less breakouts
    • less irritation
    • less cuts and nicks from when the razors goes "Gotcha!" (mainly only a problem with rotary)
    • no more ingrown hairs from the common "shave below the skin level" method that causes hairs to curl somewhat.

    Yes, you will cut yourself with a razor, but nothing a little soap won't fix. And if you cut yourself with an electric (this does happen too), you may not be near soap to clean it. I've heard the common debacle that "Oh well bladed razors shave skin off too, and electric won't do that!" but if you're shaving properly (glide across hairs, don't push onto) then you're going to have that situation (and electrics also remove part of the surface of the skin too on the same token, but nothing that wasn't going to shed when touched, just like normal bladed razors).

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