You’ve tried every aftershave product out there, yet you still have razor burn. I know the feeling. But what if I told you the best cure for razor burn was all-natural and grows in a pot by your window?
I’m talking about aloe vera. And ever since I switched to it, my itchy, painful razor burn has vanished. Read on to find out how it works.
Razor burn is a skin irritation caused by several factors, such as dirty skin, dull razor blades, and poor lubrication. The symptoms of razor burn are extensive, but they include:
- Rash Bumps
- Burning Sensation
- Dry Skin
- In-grown Hairs
For me the worst part about razor burn is ingrown hair or razor bumps. They itch and sting. Once they get infected, it takes weeks for them to heal. Like you, I tried everything on the market. There are tons of products that advertise razor burn remedies, and yet most of them seemed to make it worse, not better.
One day, exhausted from yet another let down, I tried a home remedy. Aloe vera. And you know what? It worked. Months later and I no longer have any razor burn. I’ll explain everything you need to know to relieve your razor burn, too. But first, let’s take a closer look at the plant.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera originates from the Arabian Peninsula, which comprises countries like Yemen, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, among others.
Of the 500 species of succulents worldwide, it is easily the most popular. This is because of its renown as a cure-all. The list of products that contain aloe vera is nearly endless, ranging from skin creams, topical gels, and wellness drinks.
The plant is also famous for its innate ability to withstand extreme heat. It’s a choice plant in gardens that lack steady rainfall, such as desert states like Nevada or New Mexico.
Their leaves contain a gel that can treat skin maladies, or ingested. The reported health-boosting characteristics of aloe vera leaves are both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
Because of its popularity and medical properties, it’s grown all over the world. Plus, cultures have used aloe vera throughout history to treat external and internal injuries
The ancient Chinese used aloe to treat burns, wounds, and as a fever reducer. They called it the Method of Harmony. Most homes had a potted aloe vera plant growing on a ledge.
Centuries later, Alexander the Great captured the island of Socotra because the island contained a wealth of aloe vera. The conqueror used it to heal his legions of soldiers.
Christopher Columbus swore by aloe vera plants as healing salve. Because his sea voyages would take weeks and months, the plant was a perfect solution as it wouldn’t need to be carefully stored like other remedies.
And this is just a few examples of our history with aloe vera. Our extensive history with the plant reaches back into the beginning of recorded history.
The Science Behind Aloe Vera for Razor Burn and Razor Bumps
Today, health gurus claim aloe vera cures just about anything, from indigestion to arthritis. I won’t be exploring all its possible advantages. What I’m concerned with is its benefits as a topical remedy for razor burns and irritation.
There isn’t a wealth of scientific evidence for aloe vera’s application as a razor burn remedy exactly. But we can categorize razor burn as a mild form of irritation or burn.
I got my hands dirty and dug around on various scientific portals. Sure enough, I found that there isn’t a lot of true research.
So although there are centuries of human experience with the plant, we don’t have proven scientific evidence to go on. However, what research I did find was quite positive. My end result? As long as you’re using aloe vera for minor burns like your annoying razor burn, the all-natural remedy does help.
One study suggests that the enzymes in aloe vera reduce inflammation caused by burns. And a structured review of aloe vera suggests that it does have beneficial properties as a burn treatment. This is especially true with first degree burns, like your razor bumps.
Lastly, a Pakistani study found that aloe vera was a cost-effective option against second-degree burns, which are one level worse than the kind you get from shaving.
I can’t speak to aloe vera’s other claimed benefits. But I can say it eases minor burns, especially something as minor as razor burns. Now that we know the science, let’s go over how to use it.
Choosing the Best Aloe Vera for Your Skin
So based on the science, there are three key reasons why aloe vera works on your razor burn. Let’s review:
- Its high moisture content is infused with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Because it is a natural gel-like substance, it rests on the surface of your skin longer than a cream and soothes your skin.
- It’s fragrance free and has none of the irritants in your aftershave.
Before you use aloe vera, make sure you’re not allergic. Take a small dollop and apply it to your skin and wait thirty minutes to an hour. If there are no signs of discomfort, like hives or itchy skin, then you can use it for your razor burn.
If you’re worried about allergies, then see a dermatologist before using aloe vera.
Now, it’s time to retire whatever products you’ve been applying to that sore face of yours and purchase an aloe vera gel.
What you’re looking for is a product that is 100% aloe vera. Even the best aloe vera products have some ascorbic acid to keep it fresh, so don’t worry about that. However, many products use other needless additives that can cause irritation, too. Read the labels.
I recommend this product. It has a great rating by the cosmetics industry, and only contains some agar and natural preservatives, like citric acid.
When in Doubt, Grow Aloe Vera at Home
If you want to go all-natural, you can buy aloe vera plants almost anywhere. Most outdoor gardening or home hardware stores should carry them. Like every other decision in your life, if all else fails, go to Ikea.
Remember that aloe vera needs a dry environment. It’s a desert plant after all, no different from a cactus. Place the plant near a sunny window so it gets indirect light. You only need to water an aloe vera plant once every two or three weeks. Honestly, it is one of the easiest plants to care for.
To harvest aloe vera plant for your razor burn, pluck one leaf from your new house plant and cut it in half. Then with a spoon, scoop out the gel inside, like you would a mango slice.
You’ll likely have more gel than you need for one application. Place the rest in a plastic container and store it in the fridge. You can store the gel you’ve harvested for up to ten stays.
How to Use Aloe Vera For Your Razor Burn
No matter the aloe vera you end up purchasing, store it in the fridge.
You want the gel to be cold when you use it. That’s because shaving with warm water opens your pores. Afterwards, you need to close them up again. If you use room-temperature gel, dirt and other irritants will clog your pores, leading to more problems.
When your pores are closed, nothing can get inside them and cause that annoying razor burn sensation. Another benefit of applying cold aloe is that it sooths your skin.
No matter what you do, shaving everyday irritates your face and neck. It’s just a fact. And the cold, all-natural gel helps to ease that irritation and seal up those pores.
Here are my steps on how to best use aloe vera gel for razor burns:
- Store aloe vera in the fridge so it’s cool when you use it.
- After shaving, lightly dry your face with a clean towel.
- If you haven’t done so already, wash your hands.
- Rub a little aloe vera into your hands.
- Using circular motions, apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel onto your face and neck
- Wait fifteen to thirty minutes.
- Re-apply if your irritation persists.
I suggest you apply aloe vera a maximum of two times per shave. Also, the first few days may not entirely cure your razor burn. Give the treatment at least a week before you give up on the healing properties of aloe vera.
Your Razor Burn Will Go Away
After a few days, you’ll notice the results of your aloe vera treatment. Your skin irritation will subside, and those nasty bumps will vanish. A week later, the effects will be noticeable. Soon, you’ll forget all about the dark, itchy days of razor burn.
I can’t speak to the dozens of other reasons people swear by aloe vera. But I can speak to its benefits as an aftershave. It works.
Shaving is a big part of your day. You wear the results of those fifteen minutes with you everywhere. It’s important to use that time well. By incorporating aloe vera into your shaving routine, you won’t have to worry about razor burn anymore. Instead, you can focus on what matters: your life.