With summer on the horizon, it’s high time we start to think about getting our skin sun-ready. Soft smooth skin is essential when temperatures start to rise, and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to our legs. Because shaving can be extra brutal in winter, it’s no surprise that our legs might be looking less than stellar–and there’s nothing quite like red bumps, ingrown hairs and irritated skin to ruin a new outfit. Whether it was a dull razor, piping hot water or not enough shaving cream, we’ve all been there!
Those dreaded razor bumps are actually caused by sharp hairs that curl around and re-enter the skin (ouch!). Not only are the unsightly, but because the body considers the hair a foreign object, it usually results in redness, swelling, inflammation and pain. Thankfully it’s possible to get the redness and irritation in check without giving up shaving altogether.
8 Ways to Treat Razor Burn Naturally
Here are some natural razor burn remedies, just in time for summer.
1. Tea tree oil
Like other oils, tea tree oil moisturizes, cleanses, and nourishes the skin. But what makes it different is that it’s also naturally antiseptic and antibiotic. It’s these innate healing properties that make it perfect for soothing skin irritation and healing ingrown hairs.
Apply a small amount to razor bumps and let the oil’s natural astringent properties go to work soothing irritation, calming redness and decreasing swelling.
2. Hot compress
Preparing the skin before shaving is just as important as healing the skin after shaving. To prevent razor bumps in the first place, lay a hot, damp towel over the area you’re about to shave and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This will open the pores and make hairs easier to shave.
If you already have razor bumps, using a hot compress will help reduce swelling and kill bacteria that might been transferred from a dull or dirty blade.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is well known for it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to razor bumps twice a day and massage in (don’t rinse off!). Continue until irritation has subsided.
Salt is known to help increase circulation, reduce swelling and heal skin irritation. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to one cup warm water and stir to dissolve. Dip a cotton ball into the saltwater mixture and gently dab on ingrown hairs. Let dry. Repeat this process daily until the ingrown hairs are gone.
Aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm the redness and irritation associated with razor bumps. To use, crush 2-3 aspirin using the back of spoon and mix with 1 teaspoon water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it dry completely, then rinse off. Repeat twice a day.
6. Sugar scrub
Since sharp hairs trapped just beneath the skin cause razor bumps, a gentle scrub can remove dead skin cells and help the hair can grow free.
To make, combine ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup olive oil and 10 drops tea tree oil. Gently massage in a circular motion and follow with a liberal application of coconut or olive oil to moisturize.
7. Extra moisturizing shaving cream
A moisturizing shaving cream will help soften hair and nourish skin so that shaving doesn’t result in as much irritation.
This recipe for nourishing shaving cream uses coconut oil, honey, aloe and tea tree oil—all of which are antibacterial and can help calm red, irritated skin. Here’s what you’ll need:
- ½ cup solid coconut oil
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ¼ cup liquid castile soap
- 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the coconut oil until it’s fluffy and smooth. With your mixer on low, whip in the remaining ingredients until blended. Store in a plastic container in the shower
Lemon juice not only reduces the redness associated with razor burn but can actually help prevent infection if you used an old blade. Cut a fresh lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Dab it on the affected area using a clean cotton ball. Allow it to dry and then rinse with cool water.14