4 Tips on How to Shave Oily Skin Without Breaking Out

Shaving with oily skin can pose a challenge as it may lead to breakouts, inflammation, or irritation. Follow these steps to achieve a comfortable shave that does not aggravate your oily skin.

1. Cleanse and Exfoliate Your Skin

Preventing shaving cream from clogging your pores requires thoroughly cleaned and exfoliated skin.

Begin your shaving routine by washing your face with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Opt for non-comedogenic products, which won’t block your pores. Certain ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can combat excess oil and prevent breakouts by cleaning out your pores and eliminating acne-causing bacteria.

Twice or three times a week, use a mild exfoliant to remove dead skin cells that can accumulate on your skin’s surface and block your pores. Although shaving acts as a form of physical exfoliation, an additional step dedicated to this process can help minimize clogged pores. If your skin can tolerate it, exfoliate on the days you shave to lift dead skin cells and make the shaving process smoother and more effective.

Chemical exfoliants penetrate deeper into your skin, reaching beneath the surface to dissolve dead skin cells and excess sebum. These typically contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid.

???? Need Skincare Help? Here’s a Basic 5️⃣ Step Skincare Routine to Follow

2. Use an Oil-Free Shaving Cream

Companies like MDacne, Edge, and Casewell-Masey offer specially formulated shaving creams for oily skin. These products usually contain emollients and humectants to moisturize the skin without adding excess oil.

While everyone’s experience with these products may differ, they are less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts compared to conventional products.

Consider adding a shaving brush to your routine. A shaving brush can distribute the cream evenly, lift the hair up and away from the skin, and allow for a cleaner, closer shave.

Rather than using your hands, which may introduce additional oils and bacteria to your skin, a brush provides a more hygienic application method.

3. Shave in the Direction of Hair Growth

Regardless of your skin type, always shave in the direction of your hair growth. This technique, also known as shaving with the grain, reduces the likelihood of razor burn, ingrown hairs, bumps, and cuts. This process involves less resistance from the hair and less tugging or pulling on the skin.

Need help identifying the direction of your hair growth? Here’s a guide on identifying the shaving grain.

4. Apply an Alcohol and Oil-free Aftershave

Finish your shaving routine with an alcohol-free and oil-free aftershave. Although alcohol-based products might provide an immediate “cooling” sensation, they tend to dry out the skin and can lead to increased oil production as your skin tries to compensate for the sudden dryness.

Conversely, oil-based aftershaves can worsen acne-prone and oily skin types by clogging pores.

Consider a lightweight aftershave splash with a witch hazel base. This natural astringent can soothe your skin and tighten the pores without any harsh side effects. Look for products that contain calming ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, tea tree oil, or green tea extract, as these can offer additional anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits.

Other Factors to Consider

Keep the following in mind:

Use Pre-Shave Oil Wisely

While pre-shave oil effectively provides a protective barrier between your skin and the razor, it can also block pores depending on the types of oils used.

Choose a non-comedogenic pre-shave oil. Unfortunately, not many brands advertise their pre-shave oils as non-comedogenic, so check the ingredient list and counter-check it against known comedogenic oils. Grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, and safflower oil are examples of non-comedogenic oils that won’t clog your pores.

Rinse Your Blade Thoroughly

Whether you use a cartridge razor, double edge safety razor, or straight razor, ensure you rinse your blade thoroughly with clean, warm water after every few strokes.

This action helps to remove accumulated hair, dead skin cells, and excess oil from the blade, which can otherwise clog it and affect the quality of your shave.

A clogged blade not only impedes the effectiveness of the razor but could also lead to nicks, cuts, and irritation.

Rotate Your Blades

Regular rotation and changing of your razor blades ensure that the hair is cut in fewer passes, which will minimize the likelihood of skin irritation and razor bumps.

Remember that dull blades can cause tugging or snagging, which not only results in an uneven shave but also promotes skin inflammation and acne breakouts.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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