Does Shaving Cause Acne?

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A well-executed shave is a rebirth for your mug. Skin all soft and smooth. Showing off that strong jawline. 

A bad shave? A bad shave can be really bad. Patchiness. Razor bumps. Nicks. And, yes, a truly failed shave can bring on acne. It’s a bit of small-scale, self-administered torture, basically the exact opposite of pampering your visage with a charcoal mask for men.

a Charcoal Mask for Men

Treat Your Face Right with a Charcoal Mask for Men

We’re here to make sure the slaughter stops. Clearly, you care about your skin — you’re here, after all. You work to keep your skin looking healthy and good. The last thing you want to do is wreck everything and bring on a bout of acne and a slew of other problems with a disastrous shave. 

Bumps Galore 

While shaving can indeed bring on acne, the bumps that emerge from a bad shave are typically razor bumps. Acne and razor bumps look so similar that it can be difficult to discern one from the other — and, frankly, when it’s there, it’s hard to care which is which. It sucks across the board. 

Still, it’s good to know a little bit more about both conditions. You should also be a bit relieved to learn that basic shave precautions go a long way toward eliminating both. 

Razor bumps are caused by ingrown hairs. They can pop up a day or so after you shave (the splotchy red unpleasantness that comes immediately after a shave is razor burn). Acne, everyone’s nemesis at one time or another, is caused by clogged pores. 

Both razor bumps and acne are exacerbated by skin irritation and bacteria. And when it comes to shaving, you know what can irritate and introduce bacteria? A razor past its prime. If you’re using a dull razor, you’re going to get one of those bad shaves we just talked about. 

a man holding a razor and looking at it with disgust

Source: The Faces/

Shaving Prep to Stop Acne

Anytime your razor is taking a less-than-smooth ride across the surface of your skin, the likelihood of bad outcomes skyrockets. In other words, a bumpy ride leads to bumps. 

Even if you ditch that dull razor and re-up with a fresh blade, you need to ready your face for the shave by nixing bacteria and dead skin cells. This not only reduces the workload for your razor, but it rids your face of potentially pore-clogging/acne-producing debris. 

How do you go about it? So glad you asked. 

First off, you need to get after it with our charcoal face wash. If your skin tends to be on the dry side, reach for our face wash for dry skin. And then you need to bring on a little more firepower by giving your pores the deep clean they deserve with our bamboo scrub, a premium exfoliant that will blast away the thousands upon THOUSANDS of dead skin cells that are hanging out on your face, waiting for an opportunity to slip into a pore. You might think we’re exaggerating the prevalence of dead skin cells — we aren’t.

Keep It Fresh with Charcoal Face Wash

It’s best if your shave prep goes down in the shower. Warm water serves to soften your hair. Soft hair puts up less resistance when it meets the blade. Reduced resistance means less irritation. Less irritation means you’re more likely to get that good shave. But if you simply don’t have time for a shower, be sure to use warm water during your prep. 

A few minutes with a warm towel resting on your face can also help a great deal. If you don’t have time for that, you should probably consider putting that shave off for a minute. A rushed shave — pretty good chance it’s going to be a bad shave. 

That Finishing Touch

Remember how we said that the same methods go a long way toward nixing razor bumps and acne? Well, we really mean it. The tips and tricks we just shared will help prevent both. And so will this post-shave finishing touch: our razor bump cream. It gives you an antimicrobial hookup along with a blast of acne-fighting salicylic acid.   

a man before and after shaving

Source: Africa Studio/

So, yes, a bad shave can indeed cause acne. But now you know how to make sure that doesn’t happen.

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