If you happen to prefer shaving your legs — because it’s more convenient or faster or you just like it better — a common problem can be nasty red bumps on legs otherwise meant to be shown off, particularly in summer shorts and minis. A surprising solution can be found in products you might normally associate with men’s-only shaving. Facial shaving can be such a problem that a multitude of specialized products exist to address everything from razor burn to, yup, bumps. But before you go raiding your guy’s medicine cabinet, make sure you’re dealing with shaving bumps.

Are these things pimples? As a general rule, no…but don’t rule out the possibility either. Laura, VMV Hypoallergenics CEO, told me of a “horrifying” experience with steroid acne on the legs. “It was the 80s and I’d been playing tennis with sauna pants (a real thing) because I wanted to be tougher, sweat more, and lose more weight. This genius idea of training with my legs encased in an airless, soggy sauna clogged the follicles in my legs. This led to a rash and some topical steroids…and then the worst, most disgusting, pus-filled, inflamed and painful acne all over my legs, from mid thigh to ankle.” Barring steroid acne from an unfortunate encounter with a 1980s torture outfit (in which case, see your dermatologist), your bumps could be “sweat acne” or pityrosporum folliculitis. In this case, the fungus pityrosporum which lives naturally and happily on our skins with other healthy microbes goes bananas because you happen to be sweating a lot more and this charming fungus feeds on sweat. This is a relatively easy fix with Id Monolaurin Gel, an anti-fungal and helps control sweating. But true shaving bumps are actually “ingrown” hairs: coarse or curly hairs that loop under and grow back upwards to the skin’s surface.

Shaving bumps, ingrown hair…a rose by any other name, is a condition called pseudofolliculitis. Pseudo because it’s not a true inflammation from bacteria or fungi. It can mimic such conditions (which is why it sometimes looks like acne) and inflammation can also occur, but the cause is physical, not fungal or bacterial.

If you have shaving bumps — raised, uniform bumps, normally without visible infected matter (pus) — on areas where you shave, men’s shaving products such as an anti-inflammatory shaving regimen like 1635 Gentle Men’s Therapeutic Shaving could be your solution. We’ve always said, we don’t formulate for men or women, we formulate for skin. Pseudofolliculitis can occur on any skin, male or female, and 1635 has an entire regimen to help deal with it and other shaving issues.

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How men’s shaving stuff can help you:

– Two of the most important factors to a good, painless, bump-free shave are heat and water. Try the Pre-Shave Soft Scrub before shaving to make sure the area is cleansed but not stripped of important oils which can happen with soaps, particularly hard soaps. This cleanser contains hydrophobic ingredients to lubricate the skin, lock-in moisture and soften the hair, and massaging it on the skin while in a hot shower takes care of the warming part. The fine scrubs help dislodge ingrown hair and remove dead skin and debris which can clog up your razor. This simple step can do wonders for preventing bumps, nicks and cuts.

– The Pre-Shave Barber “Oil” ups the heat-and-water factor even more. This traps in moisture, keeps the hair warm and makes for an easier shave (guys get a wet, hot towel in a barbershop for the same reason). This is also a great option for very precise shaving or shaping.

– Choose from 3 shave cream options to best address your hair type, from fine to coarse and in-between.

– End with one of 3 aftershave options. Each will help with inflammation, but the Aftershave Salve soothes very sensitive skin that tends to experience razor burn, and the Aftershave Solution is made specifically to help prevent various bumps, from clogged pores to shaving bumps. Pair it with Id Monolaurin Gel if you think you might also have sweat acne.

If your dermatologist diagnoses your bumps as pseudofolliculitis, you could also opt to not shave at all — ask your doctor about laser hair removal, for example. As with most skin concerns (for most things health-related, for that matter), an accurate diagnosis is fundamental to achieving clarity. See a properly-boarded dermatologist.

Two other major pluses to using your man’s shaving products:

1. Because 1635 is made for hair and skin, your shaved areas get treated to a whole bunch of skin-enhancing, antioxidant formulations normally reserved for “fancier” areas like your neck or arms (your calves deserve some love, too), and…

2. Like the top photo of our CEO and her husband’s stash shows, you can gift your guy with awesome shaving products that you can use, too (I don’t know why you keep running out so quickly, honey, and you’re welcome!)

 

 

Read more in Shaving Bumps: Pseudofolliculitis on Skintelligencenter.com.

Curious about safer, gentler waxing, check out: The “Wax” Of My Tears

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