Acne,  Skin

Can Shaving Cause Acne? Here’s The Answer

Shaving is something we all do, it’s a daily grooming necessity for most adults. Although the reason for shaving is different from one person to another, but we can all agree that at some point, we shave. It could be the way we look without shaving, it could be for hygiene, you name it. One of the most common question asked about shaving is, “can shaving cause acne?”

Now before we get into that, I would like to talk about shaving in general first. What it does to our skin and what it is made of, and also look into some of the ingredients of a shaving cream. I think that will give you a better understanding about shaving.

Shaving Cream

First, lets talk about the shaving cream you are using and how much of it you are using. Have you ever wondered what’s inside a shaving cream? What it is made of and what it is used for?

If you are somewhat like me, I have always been the curious kid on the block, I want to know what I’m using and how I’m using it.

High end shaving creams have similar ingredients in them and they work better in comparison to their less efficient counterpart.

The ingredients in a shaving cream is of utmost importance, some play a very big role on the performance and some a minor role.

Stearic acid, myristic acid, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycerin,triethanolamine, fragrance, water and sodium hydroxide are the most common ingredients in high end shaving creams.

Shaving creams have 3 functions:

  1. Lubrication – Your shaving cream creates a very thin layer that will protect your skin from the sharp and rough razor blades by minimizing the risk of friction, irritation and razor burn on your skin.
  2. Hydration – The cream moisturizes the skin and the hair on the skin, making it smooth and soft, and that will make it ten times easier to shave effortlessly without causing discomfort.
  3. Track and Refresh – The cream also serves as a tracking line/area for you, so you know where to stop or where you still need some more shaving, that way you won’t miss anything. Last but not least, it’s gives your face a refreshing look and feel when it’s done.

Before You Shave

The are two things you should consider doing before you shave.

  • Splash Warm Water On Your Face
  • Use Shaving Cream

Wash or splash your face with some lukewarm water to soften it and make the pores a little looser, that’s why it’s recommended to shave in the bedroom for convenience. An alternative for this would be with steam and then wet your face.

After you washed your face with some lukewarm water, apply shaving cream to your then already wet face, make sure to cover the area you want to shave. Shaving cream is a must for good shaving. It also helps you track where to shave.

How Pimples Are Formed After Shaving

The most annoying thing that can happen after shaving, is a face full of pimples. I know how that feels like, and thus the reason I hated shaving back then in my teenage years. Now that I am better informed, I can shave without having to worry too much about it.

It’s not uncommon to get irritation from shaving, shaving usually cause irritation to the skin. Your hair follicles can get a bacterial infection and that can lead to pimples.

When shaving with a razor, there’s a chance of getting razor bumps ( when your hair grows into your skin), and this can lead to pimples.

Pimples can also be caused by stretching of the skin, that can happen when you use the razor a little too rough, causing it to irritate and damage the skin.

Using shaving cream or foam can also cause pimples due to allergy. Everyone’s skin react differently to chemicals, but in most cases the cream can cause pimples as well.

How To Avoid It

Hygiene is extremely important when it comes to preventing razor bumps or pimples after shaving. Maintain a good overall hygiene, the blades that you are using can cause infection, clean it properly after usage. You can clean the razor blade with anti-bacterial wipes or any other antibacterial product.

Don’t plan on using the same razor blade for days or even weeks, and never share it with anyone else, that’s a big NO. Try using different products and see how your skin react to it, knowing which product work best for your skin helps a lot in preventing.

When shaving, shave downwards, and not against the grain of your hair. Shaving it that way can lessen the irritation of the skin a great deal and that in turn will lead to less acne or pimples.

One other thing that might help in preventing acne that comes after shaving is moisturizing. Wash your face properly after shaving and apply some moisturizer on it, I would not recommend using aftershave, because it has alcohol and that can cause irritation to the skin.

So Now You Know

After reading this I can safely assume that you know it is possible to get acne from shaving. Don’t let this be a discouragement for you to shave, shaving is a necessity as I mentioned before like getting a haircut.

There are many ways you can prevent long-lasting pimples that comes after shaving.

Those painful pimples that are uncomfortable more often than not can be prevented and will go away on their own, most of the time without scarring.

They’re not exactly the same as teen or adult acne, those are a much more complicated problem. People usually get confused when they hear acne, so I wanted to make that clear.

If this article helped you in some way or if you find this read to be amusing, informative or intriguing don’t hesitate to leave a comment, I would be more than happy to answer your question with complete honesty and help you develop a better shaving routine. If you want to know about skin care routine for acne, check it out here.






  • PJ Germain

    Being Asian, I genetically have very oily skin and often see the “bumps” mentioned above, typically followed by acne. These are some great tips to prevent acne caused by shaving. I didn’t know about changing blades so frequently or using moisturizer after the shave. I’ll definitely try that! Thanks for a great article and solid information.

  • Chris

    I used to suffer from acne through shaving as a teenager – the ONLY acne I ever experienced was down to shaving at this age (and it drove me up the wall!). 

    A friend of mine who joined the army finally taught me a trick on how to limit the spots – leave your razor in boiling hot water for ten minutes before you shave. Not only does this kill the bacteria on it – it also softens the metal leading to less irritation! 

    A handy tip for you!!! 🙂

  • BEazzy Shifts

    Hello there. Hope you are having a nice time. I have asked my self this question several times. I know of my friends that have acne due to shaving. I guess they are not doing it right an. Using shaving cream not suitable with their skin. Thank you for sharing these shaving tips and advise. I believe it would go a long way in solving this problem.

  • Otis Dube

    Basically as i am a man when coming to shaving using creams is advisable to ask or consult your own GP or doctor for some creams contains skin sight effects and because truly what might allergy your skin have/has… what type of brands your skin is compatible with. You really do not wanna end up some bumps because the really will show on your face.

    so this note all the best in goodwill hunting

  • Chrissie Spurgeon

    Hi Isaac

    This is a great post, and as the mother of a son I really wish that I had been able to find all the information you give here when my son first started to shave!  I would then have been able to pass on your excellent advice to him, and save him considerable pain and angst!

    So not only men will benefit from this post, but also all mothers of teenage sons would really appreciate your really helpful information, and I do hope that they manage to find your post.

    Very many thanks

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Isaac

      I am glad you liked this post and if it helps, you can share it with anyone you like, also its never too late to tell your sons! I am here to help if there are any more question, Chrissie

  • Cath Anon

    heh … I’ve always wondered why teenage boys are so prone to pimples.  Now I know!

    Is there any practical purpose to aftershaves other than making men smell pretty?  I was always puzzled by why aftershaves are applied if they hurt when applied to freshly shaved skin.

    If the shaving cream leaves a lasting scent, then you don’t really need an aftershave then I guess.  Plus, I’m sure the moisturiser might have a long-lasting scent too.

    But are there alternatives to aftershaves?

    With Christmas around the corner, I’m thinking of a care pack for the men in my family.

    Thanks for the education! 

  • mark kabakov

    The author of the article “Shaving and Acne” young man successfully coped with the topic.As a man with 60 years of shaving experience, I can offer observations. 

    Sometimes a skin and razor problem occurs due to the stiffness and curliness of the hair. New blade and skin care relieve irritation after 24 hours. 

    Most men prefer bars for liquid cleaning products.It is good for normal or oily skin.

    My shaving grandchildren of 20 and 18 have problems with acne. Both have very oily skin. Acne is caused by excess oil production that clogs pores, causing inflammation. 

    They use soap or liquid detergents that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzyl peroxide. All three of these exfoliators remove the upper layers of dead skin and allow deeper pores to be cleaned. These agents have antibacterial properties.

    The author has published a useful article with professional content. I really appreciate the topic coverage. Mark

  • Barney44

    Interest article I suffer frequently with hair follicle infection. A lot of your information is the same as dermatologist recommended after lots of prescriptions that did not but decrease the bank account.

    I have always found that the simple home remedies are often better than the prescription medicine. A little prevention goes a long way towards good skin. Barney44

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