Whether you're shaving your beard, head, legs, underarms, sculpting facial hair, or going totally bare-down-there, these tips and techniques to help you shave sensitive skin should leave your skin smooth, healthy, glowing, well-cared for and free from those annoying bumps, rashes, and burns.
There are a number of ways to heal and replenish your skin that rely on time-tested herbal remedies. Many people enjoy experimenting with these remedies because they are simple, pleasant to employ, inexpensive, and bring a continuity between traditional herbs and the modern times.
In an excellent article about the History of Herbal Medicine, Thordur Sturluson states: “herbs are becoming more popular. As physicians seek new treatments for many common illnesses they are beginning to revisit the traditional remedies, using herbal medicines.… Research and clinical trials have helped to shape the field of medicine, and the future for herbal medicine looks bright.”
Here are Five Tried-and-True Favorites to be Good to the Skin that You Live In!
Native American have been using witch hazel for its soothing properties for hundreds of years. Witch hazel has astringent properties, and which draws the tissues together and aids in constricting blood flow and is great for reducing inflammation. This soothing healing aid is easy to apply topically by simply moistening a cotton ball and rubbing over the area you wish to treat. Witch hazel is readily available in pharmacies, which is an added bonus.
Calendula is considered a special flower in many parts of the world. The Greeks and Romans used the flowers in ceremonies and in India, the flowers are used to decorate shrines. You can harness this power in your own healing and health rituals. Studies have shown that Calendula products made from the oil of the plant “have antiviral, antigenotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties” Calendula in oil, cream, or tincture may be employed topically for reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding, and soothing irritated tissue, which make it a wonderful after shave treat.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is extracted through “steam distillation of twigs and leaves of Tea Tree, which is native to Southeast Queensland and New South Wales, Australia" (Source) and have been employed and enjoyed by native people as topically-applied medicine from ancient times to our own era.
Tea Tree oil has a myriad of useful properties that work on many of the body’s systems. Tea Tree oil is like a first aid kid that fits into the palm of your hand.
For soothing sensitive skin, its antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal qualities are perfect. Since the oil can be a bit strong, try mixing putting 2-3 drops Tea Tree oil into a tablespoon of olive oil and apply with a cotton ball, or put a few drops into a small spray bottle with purified water and spray.
Aloe is a beautiful plant that grows easily in tropical climates around the world. This plant is valued as much for its healing and soothing and analgesic properties as it is for its rugged good looks. It’s an instant razor burn relief wonder because it reduces swelling, aids in soothing irritation, and protects the skin from infection.
To use, simply snip an end from a leaf and squeeze out the gel and apply to the skin. Let it dry completely and rinse with warm water. No plant growing in your house or garden? Then apply aloe vera gel, readily found in most pharmacies, to the affected area and you’re good to go.
Black Tea: It's not just good for that first cup of tea in the morning, you can use black tea, which contains tannic acid, to soothe sensitive skin after gliding over it with your electric razor. Simply steep a few tea bags in hot water, and inexpensive teas work wonders just as well as more costly brands. Let cool to a comfortable temperature, squeeze out the excess water, and apply to the affected areas.
The Best of Both Worlds
Electric razors are efficient, quick, easy to transport, require no pre-shaving products, allow versatility in grooming facial hair, and may cut (forgive the pun) down on nicks, cuts and ingrown hairs, which can be a great advantage, yet you may want to use extra care by employing herbal aids to soothe and care for your sensitive skin after your close shave with an electric razor.
Electric Razor Rituals
Besides the herbal shaving remedies, here’s a few thoughts on the electric razor part of your ritual:
When you want to use an electric razor, unless you’re using a model that is made for both wet or dry usage, it’s best that the skin be dry, although if you wish, you may want to use a natural pre-shave product, free of chemicals, dyes, or scents, that’s specially formulated for electric razors.
The best technique is to hold your skin firmly with your non-dominant hand. Foil shavers have the most success with back-and-forth strokes and the rotary types work best with a circular motion (Source).
Clean Your Machine
Proper maintenance of the razor will both prolong your razor’s life, and more importantly, it will ensure peak performance of your shave.
If you’re going from wet shaving with a traditional razor to an electric razor your skin may show signs of irritation or sensitivity. However, with time, practice, and patience, this should clear up.
Using traditional herbal healing aids in conjunction with an electric razor is a wonderful merging of the modern grooming aids and with ancient herbal healing modalities. It’s like the best of both worlds combined in your morning grooming ritual. Try out these herbal remedies and pass along the ones that you love to friends and family to improve their health and well-being.