The Anatomy of Razor Burn
Razor burn is one of those pesky facts of life that anyone who has ever shaved has had to deal with. Simply put, human skin really doesn’t like it when you run a blade too close to it. We all know that razor burn hurts and looks unattractive, though. That’s true for anyone and wherever the burn is. Yes, some places where you can get razor burn are easier to hide than others, but that still won’t remove the pain of the actual event. What is razor burn, though? Most of us know, but don’t know. The anatomy of razor burn is actually quite easy to understand overall as long as you have a clear understanding of how your skin is arranged. Each layer contributes to the greater health of the whole skin. Razor burn is somewhere where you’ve compromised that balance by over exfoliating.
Wait, Over Exfoliating?
Yes, over exfoliating is technically the cause of razor burn. Think about the various kinds of exfoliating products. Chemical products are among the most common. We simply apply those and leave them on for thirty seconds to a minute and then rinse them off before moving on with our day. However, scrubs and similar physical exfoliating products are ones that we apply and carefully massage across our skin repeatedly to have proper coverage. Razor are doing much the same job whenever you’re using them. They are also capable of removing those clumps of dead skin and oil that can build up on your skin. That is why people who shave their facial hair generally have very smooth skin on their face. The regular exfoliation helps keeps the skin healthy. However, being a bit too forceful or shaving too often opens you up to skin irritation we call razor burn.
Understanding Your Skin
Your skin is composed of roughly three large layers. The innermost layers generally help convey nutrients from the rest of the body and nurture the roots of your hair to keep them healthy. You need them to do this if you want to look healthy. The circulation in these areas is also responsible for you having a healthy skin color most of the time. Your outermost layers of skin are different, though. Many of them aren’t even alive at all. This is because your skin has a natural shedding process when it, in effect, creates a natural protective layer of dead skin cells between the outside world and the inner layers of skin. The dead skin takes damage so that nothing living needs to be repaired. Everything has a downside, of course, and this natural process simply doesn’t work as effectively as most of us would like. It builds up debris and can lead to unhealthy skin. That’s why we exfoliate to keep our skin healthy.
Why Does My Skin Hurt?Over exfoliating, razor burn, in particular, tends to expose the living skin beneath the outermost layers of skin. That’s why your skin feels so raw and painful to the touch. All that living skin expects there to be protection between it and the outside world. It isn’t meant to come in direct contact with anything. As a result, you’re exposing the area with both blood flow and nerves to all the potential issues that the outer layers of skin deal with every day. This is why you need to take proper care of your skin when you’ve got razor burn. Apply soothing products to the area such as aloe vera or specialized after shave gels. Don’t shave the area for a little while either. Your skin needs time to seal any damage and cover the area again properly. Overall, be gentle with the razor burn and it should heal itself nicely within a few days.
Razor burn is really just another manifestation of skin irritation from over-exfoliation. The blade of your razor, much like a scrub, strips away things you don’t want clinging to your skin, but that does come with the same risks of any exfoliation. It does make understanding razor burn as gaps in your skin’s natural defenses a little easier, though. Remember to shave while your skin is warm and moist, such as in the shower, to minimize your chances of razor burn.