How to Prevent Pubic Shaving Rash

woman lying on the sand in bikini

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Shaving rash, also known as razor burn, is quite common in the pubic area—probably more common than other areas, unfortunately. The hair is generally thicker and when it bends it may affect those with more sensitive skin or who shave often. Shaving is uncomfortable enough as is, no one wants to get rid of the hair only to trade it in for other problems. Still, are you stuck with a bikini rash every time you shave? No way. Regardless, you should know how to prevent the rashes from happening.

The most important thing you should do is let the steam soften hair and relax skin for about five minutes, instead of jumping in and shaving immediately. It'll be more pliable that way. The softer hair is, the less it's likely to be pulled, especially on supple skin. Use firm, but not aggressive pressure using warm, not hot, water. Go over an area once, maybe twice with the razor. If you hold your skin taut, it will provide a closer shave, but might cause irritation. If you have very sensitive skin, only shave with the direction in which hair grows. When finished, rinse skin with cool water.

Rinse your blade thoroughly between strokes to remove build-up, which can cause unnecessary friction that leads to razor rash.

We often blame razor rash on the razor. Sometimes it's not the razor, but the products you're using to shave, such as your shave gel or cream, that cause an actual rash. Some potential offenders are artificial fragrances (like perfumes) and certain preservatives and colorants. Those made for sensitive skin usually leave out the most popular problematic ingredients that people are allergic to or cause irritation. Stay clear of products with alcohol in them, as it might strip the skin. If it is in the ingredients list, especially at the beginning, dump it. Instead choose products containing hydrating, soothing and healing ingredients like glycerin, goat's milk, shea butter, vitamin E and natural oils. After shaving, use an aftershave or light lotion, one which doesn't contain alcohol, perfumes, dyes or artificial fragrances. We recommend fur's Stubble Cream ($38).

You should also know that electric razors made for the face and cheap disposables are just that... cheap. Keep in mind, just because something works well on other parts of your body doesn't mean it will do well in your bikini zone. Definitely use a high-quality pivoting razor, preferably with moisture strips. It doesn't have to be expensive—the ones from Billie come well-reviewed and the Razor Starter Kit includes the razor base, a holder, and two blades for just $9. If your skin is very sensitive, try using a single blade razor, rather than one with multiple blades. You also shouldn't use a razor to trim long hair, because it not only uses valuable cutting power but dulls the blade. A dull razor will almost always leave some major burn and it irritates the skin by pulling on hair because it's not sharp. Cut the length down first with clippers using a guard.

Finally: Stay away from hot tubs, saunas and tanning beds the day of shaving. Don't plan on wearing exceptionally tight clothing, either. And try to stay away from sex for at least a couple of hours.

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