Does Shaving Cause Acne?

Does Shaving Cause Acne

Did you know that about 85 percent of the world’s population is affected by acne

Like many other kids, I used to admire shaving whenever I saw older people doing so. However, everything changed when my time came. I regretted my first moment. The pimples and the dry skin that came with the weekly shaves were too embarrassing and upsetting. I was stuck thinking about whether to continue or stop the shaving.

We all dream of that clean look, and shaving the facial hair is one way to achieve it. Therefore, my only option was to seek ways to counterattack the shortcomings and not make peace with them.

Does shaving cause acne? And if so, is there anything one can do about it? These are the two questions that most people ask. Therefore, without saying much, I will continue and answer them.

What Causes Acne?

Does Shaving Cause AcneAcne is triggered by irritation and is different from razor bumps.

Acne is a disease that afflicts many people worldwide, especially at puberty. And to answer your big question, my answer is yes. Shaving triggers acne or what experts categorize as acne-related pimples. Especially when one has extra-sensitive skin, the pimples will likely appear after a good shave. Therefore, finding ways to prevent it is the best thing one can do to ensure that acne doesn’t become a persistent issue.

However, don’t confuse between acne and razor bumps. A lot of people use the terms interchangeably. But the two words are entirely different. While pimples are caused by bacteria that clog the skin pores, razor bumps are caused by ingrown hair or prickly hair.

However, understanding how to prevent razor bumps is a big step towards fighting acne because razor bumps can also trigger acne in the long run.

How To Prevent Pimples After Shaving

For individuals grappling with both acne and the need for regular shaving, adopting the right practices is essential. Here are some tips to help you achieve a smooth shave without inviting unwanted pimples:

What To Do Before The Shave

What To Do Before The ShaveFollow a proper pre-shave to lessen the irritation from shaving.

Prep your face with cleansing, steam, and exfoliation before shaving. Apply pre-shave oil for added moisture and protection.

1. Take Sanitary Measures

Taking the proper sanitary measures is one way to help prevent acne. It may sound obvious, but it's a common thing to overlook. Therefore, ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly before proceeding to the face.

This routine kills the bacteria on your hands that would otherwise end up in the face. Also, get used to washing your face regularly, at least twice a day or any time you get sweaty, as this helps wash away the bacteria.

2. Use A Toner

By now, you understand blocked pores cause that acne. Therefore, it can only be cleared by cleaning out the dirt.

Applying a toner is one way to unclog the pores.1 The toner opens the pores and extracts all the dirt and grime that may trigger the condition.

3. Exfoliate Lightly

Getting rid of the dead skin cells on the face eliminates the chance of bacteria transfer and thus prevents acne from occurring in the first place.

Therefore, it is important to exfoliate your face at least once a day or before a shave using a gentle face scrub or a wet cloth soaked with beard oil.

4. Hot Towel Treatment

A moist and warm towel treatment is important before a shave. It helps moisturize the skin while opening up the pores, preventing acne.

5. Splash Warm Water On Your Face

It is advisable to splash warm water on your face before the shave because it helps open up the pores and soften the skin. Besides, the warm water makes it easy to shave while eliminating the irritation that may result.

6. Use A Pre-shave Oil

You might wonder why we have to use a pre-shave oil when oil clogs the pores and causes acne. The answer is that not all the oils cause acne. With the right pre-shave oil, you can keep your skin soft and ready for the shave. Besides, some of these oils fight bacteria, which causes acne.

What To Do During A Shave

What To Do During The ShaveAlways shave wet, preferably with a straight razor, to have minimal irritation. 

Opt for a natural shaving soap and pair it with a single-blade razor, like a straight razor, for minimal irritation.

1. Get The Right Shaving Cream

Applying the wrong shaving cream or gel is one of the significant causes of acne. Therefore, it is advisable to use a gentle and non-irritating cream to give you a thin layer of protection for better results.

Also, avoid using your hand to apply the cream. Instead, use a shaving brush. The brush exfoliates the skin while providing a rich lather. Besides, it prevents the spread of bacteria when one uses the hands.

2. Shave Lightly

We all know that applying too much pressure during the shave is one of the few ways to trigger acne. Therefore, unless you want more acne, applying little or no pressure at all is essential during the shave.

3. Don’t Rush The Shave

I always discourage last-minute shaves. After all, shaving is not a race and should never be rushed. You should take the time to carry out this vital task.

As a result, you'll be able to protect yourself from careless cuts and irritation, which may lead to acne in the long run.

4. Rinse The Razor After Each Stroke

I understand this sounds tiring, but you better get used to it. Practice rinsing your razor after every stroke to remove the shaving cream, dead skin cells, and hair.

This tactic helps to reduce the irritations and the skin bacteria that cause acne in the end.

5. Check On The Razor Quality

Using the wrong or low-quality razor is a leading cause of irritation. As I said before, the irritations trigger acne in the long run.

Therefore, you can prevent this from occurring in the first place by ensuring that you use the right blade. For instance, never use a dull razor.

6. Cut with the Grain

We both know that shaving against the grain or, in other words, against the direction of hair growth gives a close cut. However, did you know that you can only do that on the third pass?

Experts recommend to start shaving first along the direction your hair grows. In most cases, this is sufficient to give you a close and smooth shave. If it doesn't, only then should one shave across the grain. This technique will help prevent irritations, which we all know cause acne.2

What To Do After The Shave

What To Do After The ShaveApply moisturizing and soothing products, like aftershave to soothe post-shave skin.

Always wash your razor and face clean, then apply soothing products like aftershave and moisturizers.

1. Moisturize Your Face

By now, you know that moisturizing the skin keeps it soft. The same moisturizing should also be done after the shave. Aloe and baby oil are some of the good aftershaves that you can use.

You can choose other options; just make sure your choice has low alcohol content, which helps reduce irritations.3

2. Use An Aftershave Balm

Applying an aftershave balm can soothe irritations after a shave, especially when you shave every day. They also eliminate any bacteria left on your skin after the shave.

You should know that aftershave balms are made of natural ingredients. Therefore, they work well with most natural oils.

3. Check Out Other Remedies To Treat Razor Bumps

You are unlikely to experience any razor bumps by following the correct shaving procedure. However, in case they occur, you are encouraged to check out for tips on how to cure them.

Understanding this will help you prevent these bumps, which we both know cause acne in the long run.

4. Clean Your Blade Thoroughly

During a shave, the exfoliated dead skin cells get trapped in between the blades. That's why it is better to use a single-blade razor, like a straight razor, that is easier to clean—rinsing the blade after every stroke washes away the dead cells.

However, it is still advisable to clean them thoroughly after the shave. Use an alcohol wipe after cleaning to ensure your razor remains clean and ready for the next shave.

5. Use Face Masks Regularly

Yes, I know this step sounds so girlish, but you can also utilize it for the sake of that handsome look. Using face masks regularly helps reduce oils and tightens your pores. In the end, it prevents the occurrence of acne.

6. Store Your Razors Properly

Most of us, if not all, store our razors in the washroom because that’s where all the business takes place.

However, you should avoid doing so because the steam from the shower will likely make your blade rusty, and we all know what this will mean to your shave. Besides, storing the razor near the shower makes it dull.


Many people around the world is suffereing from acne. While many factors can cause it, shaving is one of the few activities aggravating the condition.

However, switching to a quality razor and learning how to use it properly will help minimize the incidence of an acne breakout after shaving.

Wet shave and invest with a quality razor. Click Buy Now below.

More Naked Armor Reads


  1. M. Pierre-Louis, MD, C. Heiderscheit. How to Clean Clogged Pores. WikiHow.
  2. A. Santos-Longhurst. Is Shaving Against the Grain the Secret to Your Smoothest Shave Ever? Healthline.
  3. S. Johnson. Can alcohol cause acne or make it worse? Medical News Today.

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