Recently, customers in the shop have been asking how to manage and or prevent their ingrown facial and beard hairs. As mentioned in the last blog, you should always cleanse your face in gentle circular motions using a cleansing oil or soap with either your fingers, washcloth or using an exfoliant scrub. This process will help untangle these ingrown hairs – but how do you prevent this from occurring?
Ingrown facial and beard hair occurs when the hair curls and grows into the skin instead of growing outward. Shaving leaves the stubble with a sharp edge which can penetrate the skin on your beard area – the chin, cheeks or neck. The hair follicle can also become plugged and that can force the hair to grow in sideways. When this happens, it may lead to inflammation which can result in pain, burning, itching, tiny bumps, hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), scarring and possibly even bacterial infection from scratching.
How you prevent this from happening depends on the way you prepare your skin for shaving, how you shave, and what you do to follow up your shave.
Always start with washing your face, as described above. This process may help avoid these ingrown hairs by untangling them and allowing them to grow outward.
Rather than using an electric or manual razor with multiple blades which can cause the problem, as it cuts the stubble too close to your skin, use a single-blade razor.
Start by dampening your face and beard for a few minutes with warm water, shaving cream, pre-shave oil or gel or place a warm washcloth on your face. Allow the product you are using to work for a couple of minutes before proceeding with the shave. This give the product time to moisturize the skin and hair, which softens the hair making it easier to cut with the razor. Never shave dry. Your facial skin needs to soften before you shave. When you shave, strokes should move in the same direction as your hair is growing -i.e. with the grain – not against as this can cause ingrown hairs as well. Don’t over shave either, use fewer, shorter strokes. Rinse the blade with water after each stroke and instead of shaving too close to your skin, leave some stubble. It’s better to avoid the closest shave you can get. Your skin will thank you. If your skin still feels irritated place a cool towel or washcloth on your face.
Now it is time to moisturize your skin with a good moisturizer that is either scent-free or a with scent you like.
Remember that the time you spend on yourself and your skin should not be considered a chore but be an enjoyable experience. This will leave a more pleasurable feel to your face, and a pleasing scent will help waken you in the morning.