When you already have a skin condition such as acne, shaving your face can be an added irritation. Shaving over pimples, if not done carefully, can make acne worse. You'll need to follow a careful shaving routine, and you may want to consider using a shaving product that contains salicylic acid.
If you have acne along your cheeks, you'll need to be especially delicate when shaving. First, wet your face thoroughly with warm water to soften the hairs, and use a sharp blade, which will help you avoid nicks and cuts that can further irritate acne. Shave your skin lightly with the grain of the hair -- the direction it naturally grows -- and don't shave over the same area more than once [source: Lawrence].
Shaving creams and aftershaves that contain salicylic acid can help you get a closer shave and help prevent breakouts. Shaving creams with salicylic acid prevent pores from clogging while you shave, which will help you avoid razor burn. Using an aftershave with salicylic acid can also help narrow pores and tighten the skin, creating a strong barrier between your skin and acne-causing bacteria. Also, aftershaves that contain salicylic acid -- instead of alcohol -- will help keep your skin better hydrated [source: Jaret].
For more information on salicylic acid lotion and how to use it, see the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- AcneNet. "Skin Care for People with Acne." American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed 9/13/09) http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/acneguidelines_new.html
- Jaret, Peter. "Men's Skin Care for Your Face." WebMD. 7/21/09. (Accessed 9/13/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/advances-skin-care-9/men-shaving-grooming?page=2
- Lawrence, Star. "Getting a Close Shave." (Accessed 10/7/09) http://men.webmd.com/guide/getting-close-shave
- Libov, Charlotte. "Adult Acne: Why You Get It, How to Fight It." WebMD. 8/21/08. (Accessed 9/13/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/adult-acne-why-you-get-it-how-fight-it
- Mayo Clinic. "Over-the-Counter Acne Products: What Works and Why." 4/18/08. http://mayoclinic.com/health/acne-products/SN00039
- Mayo Clinic. "Salicylic Acid (Topical Route)." 6/1/09. (Accessed 9/13/09) http://mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR601247/DSECTION=proper-use
- National Psoriasis Foundation. "Treating Psoriasis." (Accessed 9/13/09) http://www.psoriasis.org/netcommunity/sublearn03_mild_otc
- WebMD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Skin Care for Acne-Prone Skin." (Accessed 10/7/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/cosmetic-procedures-skin-care-acne-prone-skin
- WebMD. "Salicylic Acid." (Accessed 10/7/09) http://www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-866-SALICYLIC+ACID+KERATOLYTIC+-+TOPICAL.aspx?drugid=18&drugname=salicylic+acid+top
- WebMD. "Salicylic Acid Preparations for Treating Warts." 9/11/08. (Accessed 9/13/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/salicylic-acid-preparations-for-treating-warts
- WebMD. "Understanding Acne --Treatment." 11/10/08. (Accessed 9/13/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/understanding-acne-treatment