Do you Exfoliate Before or After Shaving? Which is Best?

Do you Exfoliate Before or After Shaving? Which is Best?

Do you exfoliate before or after shaving? Now that you’ve started your exfoliation routine, you want to reap all the benefits and still do it safely. Using the power of exfoliation in conjunction with shaving can help with the appearance of longer-lasting, smoother skin without worrying about seeing pesky ingrown hairs or razor burn. 

Keep reading to find out how to combine shaving and exfoliating and how to achieve your smoothest feeling shave yet! 

Do You Exfoliate Before or After Shaving?

It might seem counter-intuitive, but exfoliating before shaving is the best way to reap the benefits of a longer-lasting shave. Doing this before shaving helps buff away any dead skin cells and clear the way for razor blades to leave your skin feeling silky. 

Additionally, depending on the exfoliant you use, it can cause stinging and irritation after you’ve run a razor over the skin because of the micro-tears razors cause. 

Start with a nice, warm, 10-minute shower to prep the skin, keep your shaving experience pain-free, and reduce the risk of seeing any pesky razor burn. If you don’t have ten minutes, try wetting the area with warm water for a few minutes before starting to prep the skin. If you experience any tugging or resistance, it might be an indication that you need a new razor.

Then, begin with your exfoliation routine to clear any trapped dead skin cells in your hair follicles and buff away any dirt that may be clogging your pores. This ensures that the hair follicle is cleared and ready to grow after you shave. 

Exfoliating First Offers Better Results

Exfoliating before shaving also results in a much closer shave. This technique always lifts the hairs to attention so that it won’t be missed. 

Lather on a shaving gel or cream and let it sink into your skin for a minute or two before starting the shaving process. Consider running the area you shaved in cold water to close the pores after you’ve achieved a hairless surface. When you hop out of the shower, pat your skin dry with a soft towel and begin your moisturizing routine. Avoid rubbing the skin as this can cause your skin to appear irritated and red. 

If you prefer, two to three days post-shave could be a great time to exfoliate again to make sure you don’t get any ingrown hairs or razor bumps. Keep exfoliation to a maximum of twice a week as it is enough to reap healthy skin benefits. 

Additionally, it’ll help your skin maintain looking silky, smooth, and radiant. 

What Are Ingrown Hairs? 

Ingrown hairs are a common skin condition that occurs when hair grows back into the skin. Often, if you shave with a dull razor or shave improperly, you may experience ingrown hairs. 

They often appear as red, itchy, raised bumps on the site where you last shaved. They are commonly found on the face, neck, legs, armpits, chest, back, and public area. You are typically more likely to experience ingrown hairs if you have coarse or curly hair. 

There are ways you can try to reduce ingrown hairs in addition to exfoliation and warm water. For example: 

  • Use a moisturizing shave gel 
  • Shave in the direction of your hair growth 
  • Try to limit the strokes of your shave
  • Rinse the razor after every stroke 
  • Use a cold compress on your shaved skin after shaving 

Ingrown hairs can also become infected and be filled with pus. Try to avoid touching, scratching, or picking at any ingrown hairs. 

What Is Razor Burn?

Razor burn is skin that appears to be red and irritated after shaving. This is caused by the friction of the razor blades on the skin and can look uncomfortable. 

Typically it happens when you shave improperly, like dry shaving or shaving against the direction of the hair growth, or using an old razor. The same techniques are used to reduce razor burn to avoid ingrown hairs. 

Additionally, remember to have a light touch when shaving. Meaning, don’t press too hard on the skin when going over it. Other symptoms of razor burn are: 

  • Burning sensation 
  • Rash 
  • Itching 
  • Swelling 
  • Tenderness 

These symptoms usually go away on their own, but consider avoiding shaving over the area again until it heals and don’t touch the area to avoid infection. 

Using a cold compress on the area helps the symptoms and relieves discomfort. To make a cold compress, simply take a soft washcloth and run it under cool water for a few seconds, wring it out so that it is damp, and leave it on your face for 20 minutes. 

Natural oils such as olive, avocado, almond, and coconut oil help the appearance of irritated or red skin associated with razor burn. 

Should You Use Exfoliators?

There are specific exfoliators that may be too harsh to incorporate during shaving because shaving in itself does very microscopic damage to the skin while you are removing the hair. Consider avoiding mechanical exfoliators such as scrubs or exfoliation tools on sensitive areas. 

Chemical exfoliators, like an AHA or BHA, are commonly used to remove dead skin cells if you have introduced these to your skincare routine. If you have oily skin, BHAs are best because they are oil-soluble and love to target oils trapped in the skin. 

Meanwhile, mechanical exfoliators can be used on skin that isn’t fragile, like the back, legs, and arms. That’s where MicrodermaMitt comes in.

Our Exfoliating Body Mitts scrub away dead skin cells and rid pores of any dirt and debris. To use this method properly, avoid using too much pressure or over scrubbing. Use gentle, circular motions and rinse clean with warm water. 

MicrodermaMitt Exfoliating Body Mit 

For best results, we suggest using the Ultra Body Mitt before shaving as they offer a comfortable way to cover large surface areas. All you need is water, and use gentle motions until you’re ready to shave. These tools can be used without any additional products to achieve smooth, radiant skin. 

Post-Shave Care 

Always moisturize the area you shaved with oil to help the skin appear smooth, soft, and calm. After shaving, rinsing the skin in cold water can help close hair follicles and reduce post-shave irritation. 

Also, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing or underwear after shaving to prevent the risk of causing razor burn or ingrown hair. If you experience any irritation, avoid shaving that area until it looks normal again. 

How To Perfect Your Exfoliating Routine

Now you know that the best shave comes from the exfoliation routine that comes right before you shave. Always remember to moisturize and use SPF to keep your skin looking healthy and balanced. 

Suppose your shaving and exfoliation routine is causing you discomfort that affects daily activities or sleep. In that case, you may notice rashes and burns that don’t go away for weeks. 

If you see signs of redness and infection, such as pus or blisters, visit your doctor or dermatologist for treatment and medication. 

Go Forth Towards Silky Skin

Shaving is the most convenient way to remove unwanted hair, but it can be a process to achieve long-lasting hairless, bump-free results. 

Luckily, exfoliating is your new best friend because it can help achieve a longer shave while also aiding in the appearance of smooth, shiny, bump-free skin. Remember to incorporate exfoliation before shaving to help clear hair follicles, remove dirt, bacteria, or debris, and prep the skin for a closer shave. 

Opt for the Ultra Body Mitt or sponge when shaving your legs, back, torso or arms. They can be the difference between irritated-looking skin or smooth, bump-free skin. 

If you experience razor burn or ingrown hairs, don’t worry. They are common and can appear until you perfect your exfoliating routine. 

Moisturizing after shaving and using cold water to seal the pores help reduce the appearance of bumpy skin. Cold compresses and some natural oils can help with comforting the skin after shaving. 

To learn more about exfoliating techniques that could enhance the appearance of your skin and keep it looking healthy, check out our blog for more information and tips. 



What Can I Do to Prevent Razor Burn? | Kids Health 

Ingrown hairs | NHS 

Effects of Facial Threading on Female Skin Texture: A Prospective Trial with Physiological Parameters and Sense Assessment | NCBI