Men's Life Today
“I Didn’t Realize My Razor Could … Exfoliate”
By Dr. Josh Zeichner
Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/anouchka
Your razor is a tool that affects not only the hair but also the skin. Besides cutting hairs, shaving actually exfoliates the skin. (Exfoliation is a process of removing dead cells from the surface of the skin, exposing new, healthy skin cells below.)
As the blades of a razor are moved across the skin, they can remove a thin layer of skin cells. If the face is shaved properly, with light strokes, the skin is left with a healthy and smooth appearance. On the other hand, shaving with too much pressure will take off excess skin and cause irritation. This is one cause of the condition commonly known as razor burn. With regular shaving, you can maintain a regular exfoliation of the skin. This may keep the pores clear, so that hairs can easily penetrate the skin surface. In theory, this may ultimately decrease the number of ingrown hairs, allow for closer shaves and prevent the development of pimples.
Regardless of how frequently you shave, post-shaven, exfoliated skin is sensitive and should be treated with an after-shave moisturizer. This sensitivity explains why alcohol-containing aftershaves and colognes may sting the skin!