6 Essential Steps To Prevent Acne After Shaving

One of the many great things about shaving is that it leaves your skin feeling very soft and smooth. One downside to this, however, is acne. 

Acne can be caused by various factors, including over-exfoliation, excessive drying from chemicals or waxing, or even hormonal changes due to puberty or pregnancy. 

Whatever the reason for your breakouts, there are some simple ways you can prevent them after shaving!

Preventing Acne After Shaving – 6 Steps To Take Action

1: Use a Shaving Cream With Glycerin

To start, you should use a shaving cream that contains glycerin. Glycerin is an ingredient that will help soften hair and skin, making it easier to shave off the hairs and their roots. 

However, it is also important to note that not all types of shaving creams can be used on your face because they may contain ingredients like menthol or eucalyptus oil. 

These oils are added for flavor, but too much can dry out your skin, causing more acne problems in the long run!

2: Shave In The Direction Of Hair Growth, Not Against It

One mistake that guys make when shaving is that they shave against the direction of hair growth. This not only damages your skin but can lead to ingrown hairs and acne. 

If you want a closer shave, use shorter strokes with the razor while going the same direction as your hair grows. 

For example, if you are shaving your face, shave downward with the grain first. Then re-lather and go against or across the grain if any stubble is left over. Using a high-quality acne-safe razor will significantly help reduce post-shaving bumps.

3: Rinse Your Face With Cold Water After Every Shave

Excessive moisture can cause the skin to become itchy and sweaty, which is a perfect environment for acne. 

Coldwater will help reduce swelling as well as tighten up your pores after you are done shaving. Not to mention that cold water feels great on your skin after shaving. 

If you are not in the mood for a cold shower, just run your face under some cold water while you shave. Then, rinse off with warm or hot water when you are finished shaving to close the pores and pat dry.

4: Apply An Acne Treatment Like Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid

Both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are used to treat acne. Benzoyl peroxide is a common over-the-counter treatment that kills the bacteria associated with acne while stimulating new skin growth, which helps prevent breakouts. 

Salicylic acid has similar benefits but works by removing dead cells on top of your skin (exfoliation), which prevents clogged pores; it is especially helpful for reducing blackheads.

5: Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes

Wear loose-fitting clothes that do not rub up against your shaved area while you are sweating for reduced irritation and breakouts. They also help your skin breathe and will make you feel more comfortable. 

Loose-fitting clothing can be a bit of an inconvenience, but it is better than having to deal with the aftermath of shaving rash or acne outbreaks! 

To add to this, make sure you do not wear makeup on your shaved areas, as it will only cause more irritation and breakouts.

6: Keep Your Hands Out of Your Face

Make sure that you keep your hands away from your face. This will help avoid getting bacteria on the pores of your skin or hair follicles, which can then cause acne breakouts. 

If you do get a pimple after shaving, try applying an ice cube directly onto it for 15 minutes, which should reduce any inflammation present in the area. 

If possible, use fresh lemon juice with water as a toner several times per day for two days following any irritation caused by razor burn or ingrown hairs.


All men that are able to grow facial hair are statistically more likely to have acne breakouts. Regardless of whether you shave every day or once a month you need a skincare routine that keeps your skin hydrated without causing oil building.

Always use a fresh razor and shaving cream/gel when you shave. Cleanse your face with an acne wash or exfoliate before shaving to remove excess dirt and oil that can clog pores. 

Shave in the direction of hair growth using short, light strokes while avoiding pressure on your skin which irritates. Follow-up by immediately cleansing the shaved areas with gentle products – never use soap as it is too harsh for sensitive skin. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can aftershave cause acne?

Yes, aftershave can cause acne. However, the ingredients in aftershave are often the same as those found in most anti-acne products sold over the counter at drug stores or supermarkets.

What is aftershave?

Aftershave is a product that is usually applied to the face after one is done shaving their face. The aftershave usually has a delightful smell but can irritate acne.

How long do shaving bumps last?

People who suffer from shaving bumps should know that their condition can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. That is why it is essential to understand what causes the problem in the first place so you will know how to treat your skin after shaving.

Originally Published: November 16, 2021

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I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood
Hi I’m Sam Wood. I’m the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach behind GoodGlow. I’m also an author of one of the top selling acne books on Amazon, a husband, father of two, and a pretty good cook!

I’m so glad you found GoodGlow and hope the information I have spent the last 10 years cultivating will help you clear your skin and improve your overall health.

I began experiencing acne breakotus as a sophomore in high school, but unlike most of my friends, my acne actually got worse as I got into my 20s. I exercised regularly, ate healthy (or so I thought) and spent hundreds of dollars a month on high end skincare products and supplements to help clear my skin. Despite these measures my acne breakouts and scarring only got worse as the years wore on.

This greatly wore on my self confidence and mental health. Simple things like taking pictures or going out with a large group made me feel self conscious. So I avoided these situations whenever I could help it.

As a last ditch effort I decided to try an extremely restrictive diet recommended by a close friend with an autoimmune disease. After following this diet for about two months my skin started to clear for the first time in over 8 years. The good news is that this restrictive diet is not actually necessary for 99% of people to permanently clear their skin, and over the course of a few months I was able to add back about 90% of my “normal diet”.

After clearing my skin I spent the next 4 years self experimenting on myself with different diets, supplements, skincare products to try and find a pattern for what was triggering my acne breakouts. I even tried different meditation, ice baths, and accupuncture to try and isolate the root cause of the breakouts.

In the end I realized that an extremely restrictive diet was not necessary for clear skin. The most important thing to do is to avoid inflammatory foods in your diet. Some common examples of this are fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and dairy.

Most impoirtantly I stopped reading trendy websites for skincare advice and began reading medical journals authored by dermatologists and nutritionists. Although the information in the articles was great the information was not easily understandable to most readers (including me). I spent hours dissecting individual posts and looking up terms I did not understand. Over the next 6 months I gradually began to understand these journals and started self experiemting some of the research on myself.

After experiencing quite a bit of success personally, I started sharing my research on forums and with close friends struggling with acne. When I shared the research it was in easy to understand, plain English. Everyone I talked to loved what I had to say and kept asking more and more questions. So I decided to start a blog so I could just send someone a link when they asked a question instead of rewriting something I had sent 100 times before 😅

While the same directional principles apply to everyone, acne is very personal and should be treated on an individual basis. That’s ultimately why I created GoodGlow. To help everyone reverse engineer the root cause of their acne and clear their skin permanently.

To date I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their skin using a natural, holistic approach. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in any of the articles my team has written please reach out and I will do my best to guide you to the proper information and resources so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision. Read more of Sam's articles.

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