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Rockafella

95% of my acne caused by shaving HELP!

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Hello,

I'm a 24 year old guy who's suffered with acne for most of his life, but thankfully it's calmed down a lot since my teens. However, now most of the acne on my face is caused by shaving.

I usually follow the recommended precautions. I'll splash my face with warm water, and apply a layer of soap before using anti-irritation shaving gel, and shave "with the grain". Afterwards, I apply a post-shave sensitive balm, but I still have breakouts - and even sebaceous cysts. Is it a matter of refining my shaving technique or are there some other tips I'm missing out on?

If anyone has any recommendations (besides "growing a beard" :P) I'll be more than happy to hear them.

Thanks!

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how sure are you that its all due to shaving? Is it all in your beard area and is there always a hair in the middle of the pimple?

If it's not then it may be regular acne...but if not:

1. Try cold water shaving. For me warm to hot water causes my face to flush and dry out, making my shaves very drying, not to mention the hair is limp and therefore more likely to be missed or pulled by the razor. Pulling can cause irritation and a second pass can also cause irritation or an ingrown. I know most pros will advise you to use warm water, but that's a general statement for the average joe. We dont all have the same kind of hair or the same kind of skin. For some it works, for me, and others, it doesnt.

2. What do you mean by a "layer of soap"...is it shaving soap or a bar of regular soap? Are you using a shaving brush to apply it? Have you tried not using the shaving gel after? Or applying the shaving gel before the soap? I'm not sure why u'd use a soap AND gel though. Maybe a shaving oil with shaving soap or shaving gel, but soap and gel are the same thing, but in different forms. It may be overdrying you or irritating you instead of helping. I just use a shaving soap applied with a shaving brush. Also make sure the soap and gel are made for your kind of beard/skin.

3. What kind of razor do you use? Anything more than a single blade gives me severe ingrowns. I have to use single blade disposables, which seems like amateur-ish and not "manly", but its what gives me the best shave. If you use several blades try switching to a single blade.

4. What kind of shaving balm do you use? Is it too drying or too oily? Does it have any ingredients that may possibly irritate you? Do you wash your face after you shave or before? And do you use some kind of produc then as well?

I know how much it sucks to clear up everywhere else and still get acne in your beard area...im in the process of working that out. I realized that muscles knots/trigger points somehow are related to folliculitis, not sure how, and it's a long story explaining how i came to that conclusion, but you may want to consider researchign trigger points, specifically around the jaw area, neck, and upper body.

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Hey there, thanks for replying.

Yes, I'm certain it's caused by shaving, since it affects my shaving area and breaks out a day or so afterwards.

1. Many websites I've visited (including this one) recommend using hot/warm water because it helps unclog the pores. I don't see how cold water would be of benefit in that respect.

2. I'll massage a bar of soap around my face before applying the shaving gel. I believe it was my father who told me waaaaay back that this gives you another layer of protection. Seeing as I'm using a anti-irritant shaving gel anyway, I could definitely drop this.

3. I use Gillette Fusion, which is five blades.

4. Nivea For Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm. As for the ingredients, I really couldn't tell you since it's all Greek to me. I apply this as soon as I've towel-dried my face and although my face can get a little dry, I moisturise daily.

I was thinking about investing into an electric razor. Do you think this would be something worth looking into?

Thanks.

Edited by Rockafella

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I heard that razor blades could spread bacteria. Maybe do what the barbers do and soak your blade in barbicide or rubbing alcohol to kill possible bacteria?

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Hey there, thanks for replying.

Yes, I'm certain it's caused by shaving, since it affects my shaving area and breaks out a day or so afterwards.

1. Many websites I've visited (including this one) recommend using hot/warm water because it helps unclog the pores. I don't see how cold water would be of benefit in that respect.

2. I'll massage a bar of soap around my face before applying the shaving gel. I believe it was my father who told me waaaaay back that this gives you another layer of protection. Seeing as I'm using a anti-irritant shaving gel anyway, I could definitely drop this.

3. I use Gillette Fusion, which is five blades.

4. Nivea For Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm. As for the ingredients, I really couldn't tell you since it's all Greek to me. I apply this as soon as I've towel-dried my face and although my face can get a little dry, I moisturise daily.

I was thinking about investing into an electric razor. Do you think this would be something worth looking into?

Thanks.

1. From what i understand, the "warm water opens up pores" idea is a myth. At least that's what i think you're refering to. Pores can't open or close. It's the little muscles at the hair follicles that contract, and that makes the pore iteself look like it's closed/open. I can't see how else warm water would help unclog pores. If anything it dries you out, which is the last thing you need if you're using exfoliating products. The reason cold water works is because it leaves the hair stiff and up, rather than limp and soft like warm water does. Now if you have light stubble then it may not make a difference, but if you havd a thicker beard it should. If the hair is stiffer and up the blade will cut it in one swipe as it will directly make contact. If the hair is laying down and soft the razor may glide over it or just pull it. If you've ever mowed a lawn imagine what grass looks like after a large rock or something has been sitting on it. It's bent over and the mower will have trouble cutting it.

2. If it's not a soap intended for beard shaving i suggest you drop it. The ingredients may be causing trouble for you. Not to say your dad was wrong, but his facial skin/hair could be different enough where it's no problem fro him, but a problem for you.

3. Five blades, huh? That alone may be the problem. It's similar to making one too many passes over the same hair. Sometimes it's cut with the first blade and the rest of the blades just bury it under the skin.

4. That's the balm i just started using and i think it's great. It's got some good stuff to heal your skin and keep it soft/moisturized. Im familiar with the ingredients, so i think that it's safe to stick with it.

An electric is definitely an option, but it may not work. I have one that i use every other day, the days i dont shave, just to clean up my goatee area, since that area is thicker for me, so using the elctric just evens it up with the rest. Doesnt give me any problem, but i also never had issues with ingrowns in that area. I did try it all over a while back and it worked ok, but since you're going against the grain doing it every day may just leave you sore and irritated. I dropped it because i figured if i could get shaving with a blade down then i'd be shaving AND exfoliating at the same time, two birds with one stone, and the less i mess with my face the better. Using a scrub and then an electric later may be too much for your skin.

I suggest first trying cold water shaving. You can test it out on you neck first for a week or two and compare. That's what i did and realized how much better my neck was looking. If that works better, but it's not perfect yet, then i'd suggest switching to a single blade and see if it improves more. Whatver you decide to try first just remember to only switch one thing at a time and give it a good week or two, then you'll know exactly what is working or not. First try out the water temp, then the blades, then without soap, etc. Just keep testing until you're happy with the results.

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Hey there, thanks for replying.

Yes, I'm certain it's caused by shaving, since it affects my shaving area and breaks out a day or so afterwards.

1. Many websites I've visited (including this one) recommend using hot/warm water because it helps unclog the pores. I don't see how cold water would be of benefit in that respect.

2. I'll massage a bar of soap around my face before applying the shaving gel. I believe it was my father who told me waaaaay back that this gives you another layer of protection. Seeing as I'm using a anti-irritant shaving gel anyway, I could definitely drop this.

3. I use Gillette Fusion, which is five blades.

4. Nivea For Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm. As for the ingredients, I really couldn't tell you since it's all Greek to me. I apply this as soon as I've towel-dried my face and although my face can get a little dry, I moisturise daily.

I was thinking about investing into an electric razor. Do you think this would be something worth looking into?

Thanks.

1. From what i understand, the "warm water opens up pores" idea is a myth. At least that's what i think you're refering to. Pores can't open or close. It's the little muscles at the hair follicles that contract, and that makes the pore iteself look like it's closed/open. I can't see how else warm water would help unclog pores. If anything it dries you out, which is the last thing you need if you're using exfoliating products. The reason cold water works is because it leaves the hair stiff and up, rather than limp and soft like warm water does. Now if you have light stubble then it may not make a difference, but if you havd a thicker beard it should. If the hair is stiffer and up the blade will cut it in one swipe as it will directly make contact. If the hair is laying down and soft the razor may glide over it or just pull it. If you've ever mowed a lawn imagine what grass looks like after a large rock or something has been sitting on it. It's bent over and the mower will have trouble cutting it.

2. If it's not a soap intended for beard shaving i suggest you drop it. The ingredients may be causing trouble for you. Not to say your dad was wrong, but his facial skin/hair could be different enough where it's no problem fro him, but a problem for you.

3. Five blades, huh? That alone may be the problem. It's similar to making one too many passes over the same hair. Sometimes it's cut with the first blade and the rest of the blades just bury it under the skin.

4. That's the balm i just started using and i think it's great. It's got some good stuff to heal your skin and keep it soft/moisturized. Im familiar with the ingredients, so i think that it's safe to stick with it.

An electric is definitely an option, but it may not work. I have one that i use every other day, the days i dont shave, just to clean up my goatee area, since that area is thicker for me, so using the elctric just evens it up with the rest. Doesnt give me any problem, but i also never had issues with ingrowns in that area. I did try it all over a while back and it worked ok, but since you're going against the grain doing it every day may just leave you sore and irritated. I dropped it because i figured if i could get shaving with a blade down then i'd be shaving AND exfoliating at the same time, two birds with one stone, and the less i mess with my face the better. Using a scrub and then an electric later may be too much for your skin.

I suggest first trying cold water shaving. You can test it out on you neck first for a week or two and compare. That's what i did and realized how much better my neck was looking. If that works better, but it's not perfect yet, then i'd suggest switching to a single blade and see if it improves more. Whatver you decide to try first just remember to only switch one thing at a time and give it a good week or two, then you'll know exactly what is working or not. First try out the water temp, then the blades, then without soap, etc. Just keep testing until you're happy with the results.

good posts here guys, i am interested to know more about trigger points that you mention

I seem to only get spots in my beard area to..

i get plugged hair folicles and trapped sebum under the skin, which leads me to beleive i have folliculitus as the area goes red to, even if I DONT touch it.

I am seeing a derm on the 17th so I will let you know the outcome.

any ideas?

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I've never used an electric shaver. Do you have to apply creams to use them too? I hate shaving... I use Dan's cleanser for that and I have to get the whole thing done in 10-20 seconds otherwise it will dry my skin. An electric shaver would be perfect...

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How often you shave could also have an effect. If you wait a long time and let the hairs get long shaving could be more irritating. For me anyway, Its hurts alot more to shave after I miss a few days. I try to do it every other day, this way Im not constantly scraping my skin but im not letting it get too long either.

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I cant wet shave or i get insane ingrown hairs.. why is this?

oh i would shave with the grain, over it once not twice. after ive had a shower, with my shaving gel that i use normally that dosnt irritate my skin..

something isnt right

Edited by want2beme

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good posts here guys, i am interested to know more about trigger points that you mention

I seem to only get spots in my beard area to..

i get plugged hair folicles and trapped sebum under the skin, which leads me to beleive i have folliculitus as the area goes red to, even if I DONT touch it.

I am seeing a derm on the 17th so I will let you know the outcome.

any ideas?

Sounds like the problem i had. I could go a year without getting any major zits from my nose up, just minor ones that a stridex pad takes care of...yet my beard area would get some deep ones, wether i treated aggressively or hardly treated it. I didnt touch my face during the day and was extra careful when washing it, but they still got red/infected....

So my theory is trigger points in your muscles throughout your body, especially upper body, affect hair follicles in at least 4 ways:

1. Each follicle has small muscles attached to it that make it stand up or lay down. Although most people believe muscles to be individual of each other, they're not. they are actually connected by something called fascia. Therefore it's possible the follicle muscles are affected by the bigger muscles (biceps, pecs, abs, etc). So lets say you have a neck muscle that's tight and therefore has a trigger point in it, since the fascia connects that muscle to certain face muscles, then that facial muscle or muscles too will be tighter than normal, which would affect the follicle muscles on it, which are within your beard, since again, muscles are connected. So i believe this makes those hairs too sensitive, as in they have less "give", so anything is likely to irritated them easily leading to redness, swelling, trapping of sebum/cells and eventually a full blown pimple.

2. Personally i broke a lot in my sinus areas, which is bascially right above the unibrow area and your cheeks, which takes up part of your upper beard. Since releasing my trigger points i realized it cleared up my sinuses, which were chronically stuffy and i just blamed on allergies. If your familiar with the human body, the contraction of muscles helps the body a lot, especially it helps move along blood and also wastes. It's a fact that fascia restrictions cause triggr points, which causes muscles not to fire properly, if at all. So i think when facial muscles are affected, they fail to contract correctly and push toxins throughout the body, especially in your face and sinuses. So there's more toxins than normal flowing around and your sinuses get stuffed. So what does your body do? Try to eliminate it through your pores, causing acne.

3. If muscles south of your face are tight, that means they'll pull on your face some, you may not notice it or feel it much, but it's there. What happens when dry skin is stretched? you get more irritation, possibly cracks in the skin, which can be infected. Also existing small pimples can be stretched to where they empy back into the skin, causing a bigger pimple. If you dont have dry skin then this may not be an issue, but as well all know a lot of us have dry skin from abusing it with acne products.

4. And the last one is lack of oxygen. the more knots in your muscles throughout your body the more likely you'll have poor posture. Poor posture screws up the proper flow of oxygen throughout your body, but mainly it can keep your lungs from expanding as large as possible. This means you inhale less oxygen than you should, so you have less oxygen circulating and therefore a weaker immune system, which means you can't fight off infections, like acne, well. That alone could be the difference between keeping a pimple small and gone in 3 days or having it swell up, last a week, and leave a big blemish.

I can tell you that as i started releasing my trigger points i broke out after most of the bigger triggers were released. Almost like a purge, but not a lot. As i got closer and close to getting rid of all the knots there was less "purging" and quicker healing. Im no scientist, but i do have a kinesiology degree and have researched trigger points extensively, so i have some credibility, but i know this could just be a coincidence or the relation may not be as big as i think...initially i was just trying to rehab back from a knee injury and that's where i got interested in trigger points, which led to me connecting it to my acne...hopefully this helps!

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I've never used an electric shaver. Do you have to apply creams to use them too? I hate shaving... I use Dan's cleanser for that and I have to get the whole thing done in 10-20 seconds otherwise it will dry my skin. An electric shaver would be perfect...

I've heard of some elctrics you can use with shaving gel, but there's not alot of them, most are used on dry skin, no gels or creams.....for some it may be a solution, but for others it will cause irritation because you go against the grain and because of the friction .

I cant wet shave or i get insane ingrown hairs.. why is this?

oh i would shave with the grain, over it once not twice. after ive had a shower, with my shaving gel that i use normally that dosnt irritate my skin..

something isnt right

how many blades? try using one if you're using a mutli blade razor, that alone took me from multiple ingrowns every shave to just one or two.

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Thanks for sharing your advice and experiences. Today I started shaving with cold water as one of the gradual changes, and I also used tea tree oil to cleanse my face afterwards. I'll keep you posted on my findings.

I've heard people say that shaving regularly is also beneficial, but I always assumed it would further irritate the skin?

Edited by Rockafella

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Thanks for sharing your advice and experiences. Today I started shaving with cold water as one of the gradual changes, and I also used tea tree oil to cleanse my face afterwards. I'll keep you posted on my findings.

I've heard people say that shaving regularly is also beneficial, but I always assumed it would further irritate the skin?

I would suggest only making one change at a time. it's possible that the cold water may actually help you, but the tea tree may not work for you, or vice versa. It would make it difficut to know what to cut out and often we end up cutting both out and miss out on a good thing.

I think the only reason why it would be irritating is if you have curly hair, since that makes it very easy for ingrowns to happen. Other than that i think a lot of other people who claim it's irritated arent shaving properly or using the right products. I remember when i was younger and used a mach 3 with shaving gel, no preparation other than splashing water on my face...well it always felt like i was literally scraping my skin, ingrowns regularly and dryness....but now i shave with less blades, have more facial hair, and yet get less problems. There was a time i would only shave every 3 or 4 days out of fear that frequent shaving was cauing my folliculitis, but i realized shaving (and therefore exfoliation) actually kept me clearer, but again, as along as i used the right stuff for me.

Every one is different, so just keep at it and eventually you'll fine what works for you. You'll be tempted to change something that works. For example, i know a single blade is perfect for me and works, yet i'm still tempted to go for a fancy razor because that's what other guys use and it feels more manly, cooler, etc., but i rather stay clear than follow the crowd, so stick to what works and change what doesnt and eventually you'll have a complete shaving regimen that works.

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good replies. so how the chuff do you release these trigger points?

You have to first find them, then apply constant pressure to them for a few seconds, while breathing deeply, and that should release them. That's the basic procedure. Not that i don't want to explain it further for you, but i think it's best if you just google trigger points and myofascial release and read some of the results. That way you'll absorb more and get a better idea than what i could write in a reply. Triggerpoints.net has a nice guide on how to find most, but doesnt go into a lot of detail as how they happen or how to release them, so for that just google and read up some

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You may have a problem with ingrown hair. When you shave and your hair grows back, it may be growing into your skin, sideways, etc. basically improperly and not straight out of the follicle. This can cause irritation and makes your skin react to the ingrown hair like some infection, and it causes bumps that look like acne. How to check this is to inspect your acne bumps. If you can see a hair "inside" the zit, then you know that an ingrown hair is the problem.

I used to have annoying breakouts on the jawline and finally realized that ingrown hairs were causing all of them. If you can afford it, I suggest getting laser hair removal on your face. You won't have to shave no more and it eliminates ingrown hairs and all the problems associated with that. It's an investment but it works. I had the same problem with my facial hair but now my face is pretty much smooth and breakout free.

Edited by lightersUP

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I would consider looking into getting a good/expensive electric razor. I used old school shaving equipment before starting isotretinoin, and changed to electric. This was just cause I read somewhere that it's less irritating. I do not know if the statement is true, but it sounds somewhat meaningful. You should at least look into investigating it further.

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Hello,

I'm a 24 year old guy who's suffered with acne for most of his life, but thankfully it's calmed down a lot since my teens. However, now most of the acne on my face is caused by shaving.

I usually follow the recommended precautions. I'll splash my face with warm water, and apply a layer of soap before using anti-irritation shaving gel, and shave "with the grain". Afterwards, I apply a post-shave sensitive balm, but I still have breakouts - and even sebaceous cysts. Is it a matter of refining my shaving technique or are there some other tips I'm missing out on?

If anyone has any recommendations (besides "growing a beard" :P) I'll be more than happy to hear them.

Thanks!

Hm. You may have an infection, such as folliculitis (staph), from bacteria. Google it.

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Hello,

I'm a 24 year old guy who's suffered with acne for most of his life, but thankfully it's calmed down a lot since my teens. However, now most of the acne on my face is caused by shaving.

I usually follow the recommended precautions. I'll splash my face with warm water, and apply a layer of soap before using anti-irritation shaving gel, and shave "with the grain". Afterwards, I apply a post-shave sensitive balm, but I still have breakouts - and even sebaceous cysts. Is it a matter of refining my shaving technique or are there some other tips I'm missing out on?

If anyone has any recommendations (besides "growing a beard" :P) I'll be more than happy to hear them.

Thanks!

Hm. You may have an infection, such as folliculitis (staph), from bacteria. Google it.

true but not if he is getting cysts surely?

laser hair removal on the face!! i like my stubble. would hate to not have facial hair, although it can be a pain i admit

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