A Guide to Shaving with Acne

With the focus on avoiding cuts or exacerbating breakouts, you may not realize you're increasing the likeliness of damaging your skin. It's important when shaving with acne or breakouts to remember three important tips: preparation, products and technique.

I know. We get set in our ways when it comes to how we shave and changing that up sounds like work. While switching to better-for-you products and correct techniques does take time to adjust to, (we won't lie!) it is worth it in the long run when your end result is clear skin. 



When planning your pre-shave routine, it should always revolve around one main idea: how can I make my shave the easiest on my skin? It's easy to forget that you are using a sharp blade, like a knife, to cut hair in one of the most sensitive areas on your entire body - your face! No matter your skin type, having a proper routine in place will not only protect your mug but also take your entire shaving experience to the next level.

Our recommendation? Start with warm water, and if possible, in the shower. It is your best friend when prepping for a shave. The combination of warm water and steam will soften your hair while simultaneously opening up skin pores.

If there's no time for a shower, grab a damp, warm towel to prep your face and open pores. Add in a light massage to your face with the towel if you're feeling fancy.


If you haven't before, it's essential to map your beard grain. Every man's beard growth is distinct, and it's vital, especially with acne-prone skin, to only shave the first few passes with the grain. When shaving against the grain, you increase the possibility of irritation and razor bumps on your skin. For a much more detailed overview, read on at How to Map Your Beard Grain.

For your skin's next line of defense, use a shaving brush in a circular motion to apply and create a rich, protective layer, covering all of your facial and neck hair. Make sure to reapply lather generously between passes if a second or third pass with your razor is necessary. Remember, the goal is to protect your skin at all costs.



The biggest shaving mistake taught to us by multi-blade razors is the need for pressure. This bad habit tricks us into believing a closer shave is achieved by pressing down, but the exact opposite is true. The less friction between a sharp metal blade and your skin the better. More friction leads to irritation and the appearance of ingrown hairs.

When it comes to your acne, bumps or any other skin conditions, it's best to avoid shaving directly over them. By knowing the direction of your beard growth, take light strokes shaving around these areas with the grain. It may take an extra minute or two, but your face will thank you.

If you know you're prone to acne, ingrown hairs or irritation, we recommend that you stick to shaving with or across the grain. If you are predisposed to these issues, shaving against the grain will aggravate your skin and make you pay in the long run.



The most important product in your shave comes down to your razor. It's going to come as no surprise that our recommendation is a single blade safety razor like our Single Edge, but here's why.

Most cartridge razors and some safety razors have pivoting heads which encourage the use of pressure to achieve a closer shave. As we've already established, no pressure is always better, especially when it comes to sensitive, acne-prone skin. The technique required with the Single Edge has you avoid using pressure while still obtaining that super close, clean shave you long for. 

Electric razors tend to dry out skin, leading to break-outs and hydration lacking, rough skin. Some people believe that electric razors are their best option since it is the least likely to cut you. And yes, there’s logic to that. But at what cost? Using an electric razor dries out your skin, leaving it very irritated which leads to more acne. Increased friction occurs, and you have no defense against it without a safety razor’s sidekick shaving cream. 

Apart from the razor, using a shaving cream and brush is incredibly important to guarding skin from future breakouts. That being said, making sure your shaving cream has powerful, all-natural ingredients instead of chemicals and harsh fragrances is vitally important. 

It's the difference between eating solid junk food or food that nurtures your body. A shaving cream with only good-for-you ingredients will do wonders for clearing and rejuvenating sensitive skin. It's important to look for ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and other naturally hydrating elements. Have no idea where to start looking? Check out our Ultra Lather Shaving Cream.

Our shaving cream is designed to be used with a shaving brush, and we designed it that way with good reason. A good brush will whip up a thicker lather for your shave and exfoliate your skin while prepping for your shave. Plus, it makes applying that cushion of lather to your skin very simple.

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