Skin Experts Reveal The Best Products For Razor Burn And Bumps

If your skin is constantly irritated and bumpy from shaving, you might want to try these post-shave creams, toners and more.
La Roche-Posay therapeutic cream, CeraVe ceramide cream and Thayers alcohol-free witch hazel toner.
Ulta, Amazon
La Roche-Posay therapeutic cream, CeraVe ceramide cream and Thayers alcohol-free witch hazel toner.

Maybe it’s the uncontrollable itch, those troublesome bumps, the noticeable redness or simply a combination of all three, but no matter your symptoms, post-shaving razor burn can be a truly disruptive condition.

Fortunately, skin care professionals assured us that you don’t have to choose between irritation and unwanted hair. You just have to employ good shaving practices and enlist the help of some useful aftercare products — but more on that later.

Dr. Navin S. Arora, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Borealis Dermatology in Garden City and Syosset, New York, said that razor burn is primarily caused by the friction of the blade against the skin during shaving.

“Using a dull or old razor blade can increase the likelihood of razor burn as it may pull on the hair rather than cutting it cleanly,” Arora said, adding that improper shaving techniques like applying too much pressure, shaving against the natural growth of the hair and not using creams or gels while shaving can all make matters worse.

He also said that aside from the discomfort, razor burn left unattended can lead to infection and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in more severe cases.

Let’s say even after doing everything right during the shaving process, you’re still dealing with irritation. Arora and other experts shared the best products and ingredients to use in your care routine, whether you’re shaving your bikini line, face or underarms.

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An alcohol-free witch hazel toner
Dr. Navin S. Arora, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist, said that witch hazel is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce skin tenderness and redness caused by razor burn.

We picked this non-drying alcohol-free witch hazel solution by Thayers because it's been formulated to maintain skin's moisture barrier and also contains aloe vera, an ingredient also recommended by Arora. It can help razor burned skin feel more calmed, smoother and more hydrated.
A colloidal oatmeal gel cream
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, said razor burn can be helped by colloidal oatmeal, an ingredient often found in eczema-focused products because of its ability to soothe irritated skin. He mentioned that brands like Aveeno are good resources for oatmeal-based therapies, so we selected this Rescue Relief Treatment that claims to immediately address flare-ups.

This skin protectant boasts a 2% colloidal oatmeal concentration, shea butter and other emollients to calm skin and stave off dryness in a unique gel-cream formula that's instantly cooling upon application.
A salicylic acid post-shave roll-on
Kristin Gunn, a medical aesthetician with Beaux medical spa in Austin, Texas, said that salicylic acid is a great ingredient to use when treating razor bumps, and if you're experiencing particularly stubborn irritation on your underarms or bikini area, this roll-on after-shave by Megababe can keep things smooth. Not only does the solution contain salicylic acid which can remove dead skin cells that lead to ingrown hairs, but it also features glycerin for softening and hydrating skin and witch hazel for calming power.
An aloe-infused hydrocortisone cream
Both Arora and Hartman suggested using a hydrocortisone cream, preferably one in a 1% concentration.

"Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help alleviate itching and inflammation associated with razor burn," Arora said. "Use it sparingly and as directed, as prolonged use can have side effects."

We found this popular and maximum strength cream that claims to provide lasting relief from itch and irritation. It also contains aloe vera, a known soother that you'll see highlighted multiple times on this list.
A benzoyl peroxide cream cleanser
Gunn called the combination of corticosteroids (like the cream above) and benzoyl peroxide a "superhero" team when it comes to treating post-shaving irritation. She said benzoyl peroxide fights inflammation and bacteria to help heal current razor burn flare-ups and prevent new ones from occurring the next time you shave.

Although there are many benzoyl peroxide products available over the counter, we selected this cream-based cleanser that can be used to clear up razor burn on the face. Aside from the 5% benzoyl peroxide, the Naturium cleanser is made with a special type of amino sugar that can help maintain healthy skin and remove impurities without being too harsh or drying.
A CeraVe skin barrier-restoring cream
"Choose a body lotion with moisturizing ingredients, like ceramides," Hartman said. "CeraVe Moisturizing Cream can be used all around the body, and it comes in a fragrance-free option that is ideal for razor burn."

Frequently endorsed by dermatologists, this custard-like cream features the brand's signature formula of hydrating hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides fundamental to maintaining the skin's natural barrier, something that's compromised with razor burn. I have used this cream for several years and it's never failed to deeply hydrate my skin and fight off post-shaving irritation, especially on my legs and bikini area.
A 100% aloe vera gel
According to Arora, classic aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, and just like it will calm your sunburn, it can also reduce redness and irritation from your razor burn. This particular gel is made from freshly cut aloe leaves grown organically in Texas.
A rich therapeutic cream by La Roche-Posay
Board-certified New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick suggested La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm, a therapeutic cream that can relieve dryness and irritation anywhere on the body.

"Designed to soothe and calm the skin, this cream also contains shea butter and panthenol to soften and smooth the skin, while also using glycerin to help draw moisture in," Garshick said. "It contains madecassoside, which is derived from the centella asiatica plant, helping to heal and calm the skin."
A classic skin protecting jelly
Garshick also suggested the ever-classic Vaseline skin protectant, a product that seems to have a near-endless array of beauty uses from slugging to lip care.

"Containing 100% pure petrolatum, this ointment helps to provide a protective barrier to protect the skin from worsening irritation while also allowing the skin to heal," Garshick said, adding that it can be applied as needed.

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