Should Women Shave Their Faces To Achieve Better Skin? Read Part 2 Of Our Interview With Dermatologist Dr. Friedman

Thinking about shaving your face? Beware of the potential side effects of those dreaded razor bumps. If you missed Part One of our talk with dermatological expert Dr. Adam Friedman, click here:

Dr. Friedman, what causes razor bumps on a woman's skin?

There are two reasons women can get razor bumps. One is triggered by irritation around the hair follicle from the blade, not enough shaving cream or the wrong shaving cream, and pushing skin cells, bacteria and debris into the skin pore, stimulating inflammation within. Much of this can be avoided.

How best to avoid getting razor bumps and irritated skin from dermaplaning? 

The success of a shave is based on the ratio of hair removal to skin removal (hair>skin is certainly preferred). But before even going there, I recommend massaging the jawline using circular motions in order to make the hair stand up. The face should be shaved in the direction in which the hair grows, from the ears to the mouth and from the chin to the neck. I also recommend to my patients to apply a moisturizer to damp facial skin prior to shaving to protect the underlying skin and soften the hair. All these habits help to prevent razor burn/razor bumps.

And the second major cause of razor bumps for women? 

For some, when the hair grows to a certain length, it curls back and penetrates the skin adjacent to where the hair exists the skin. This ingrown hair stimulates inflammation as the body responds to it like a splinter - a foreign invader. This can be genetic, as certain hair mutations have been linked to this condition, called pseudofolliculitis barbae.

What is the difference between male and female razor bumps?

In my experience, razor bumps are usually smaller and more diffuse as the hair density is often greater than in women who have facial hair. I also have noticed women who have increased facial hair often suffer from facial acne and possibly dandruff, so it can be a compilation of findings as opposed to in men.

Tomorrow we'll share Dr. Friedman's thoughts on what a woman's razor bumps can reveal about underlying health conditions.

This article was originally published on Fashion Times

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