Guys, you all know the feeling. You get up in the morning and you start your daily hygiene routine. You shower, brush your teeth, clean your tongue with your TUNG Brush and Gel. And, if you aren’t one of our bearded friends, you shave. Suddenly you feel irritated. You feel as if your skin is burning, or you may itch, swell or develop a rash. Is this discomfort worth that clean-shaven face?

What causes razor burn?

In order to beat the burn, you have to know what causes it. This isn’t the quick nick that you fix with a styptic pencil (ouch, that stings, right?). There are several causes of razor burn, such as using a dull blade, using a hard soap, shaving dry, unconditioned skin, ingrown hairs and just having sensitive skin.

So, what are the best ways to prevent it?

Here are a few tips: Lenny, the Brooklyn Barber whose tips are shared by Men’s Fitness, says that the best razors to use have three or fewer blades – the more blades you use, the more apt you are to scrape your skin. Speaking of blades – a dull blade is sure to cause razor burn – so if you find that your shave isn’t so close anymore, it is time to change your blade!

Getting into a routine of exfoliating your skin on a regular basis will also help. Use a loofah and if you can scrub your face with pre-shaving washes and exfoliants that contain alpha-hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid, you will gently remove dead skin and help with those ingrown facial hairs!

Finally, don’t forget to moisturize. Use a pre-shave oil before you shave downwards, then re-apply the oil and shave upwards. And use a nice, mild moisturizer between shaves to keep that face supple!

Too late – my face is on fire! Now what?

There are some natural and simple ways to ease the pain. First, as obvious as it may seem, using a cold compress on your face will take the burn out quickly, and it will also help reduce redness and swelling. You can even splash cold water on your face as soon as you have shaved to try to prevent razor burn!

Aloe vera is another great choice for soothing razor burn. After all, it’s good for sunburn, right? The soothing and cooling properties of aloe vera will give you instant relief from the burning sensation and inflammation. Also, aloe vera will keep the skin moisturized.

If you can bear smelling a bit like a salad (don’t use this one if you have an important meeting or date), apple cider vinegar will also take the burn out – use a little on a cotton ball and gently pat away the pain.

Most of you will splash on aftershave – while that’s ok if you don’t have razor burn, most aftershaves contain alcohol and will HURT if your face is burned, so proceed with extreme caution – smelling great is not enough of a reason to hurt more!

All in all, prevention is the best way to beat the burn! So get out there and replace your blades and invest in some moisturizer – your face will thank you!