What You Need to Know About Shaving With GoosebumpsNovember 11, 2020
I love the feeling of freshly shaved, smooth-as-can-be moisturized legs. Recently though, goosebumps have been getting in the way of achieving a silky finish. When they pop up in the shower, I can say goodbye to a clean, close shave — it’s all stubble, cuts and knicks. And I swear that my goosebumps have been making my leg hair grow back faster. To get to the bottom of this shaving dilemma, I turned to board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant Dr. Hadley King.
Why Do I Always Have Goosebumps After Shaving?
Small bumps on the legs post-shave may be goosebumps, but there’s a good chance that the bumps are actually a result of razor burn or ingrown hairs. To spot the difference, note both the duration that the bumps last and their color. Dr. King says that goosebumps will be more transient, skin-toned and disappear quickly, while razor burn or ingrown hairs will linger for a few days post-shave. “Razor burn can cause irritated red bumps or rashes in areas that were shaved and usually show up directly after shaving, particularly if you did not use a shaving cream or gel,” she says. “Ingrown hairs are skin-colored or red bumps, can be painful and occur when a hair starts to grow back down into the skin.”
To prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn, it’s important to use a shaving cream, like the Schaf Skincare Shaving Cream, and a clean razor blade. “Shave in the direction of the hair growth using short, light strokes and don’t increase pressure,” says Dr. King. “Always use a moisturizing cream or oil to moisturize afterwards.” We recommend the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.
Do Goosebumps Make Hair Grow Back Faster?
Whether you’re genuinely cold after stepping out of the shower or you have goosebumps popping up for unknown reasons, your smooth legs will probably feel stubbly a lot quicker. “Sympathetic nerves next to hair follicles are wrapped around tiny arrector pili muscles, which contract to make hair cells stand on end and cause goosebumps,” says Dr. King. She explains that when this contraction occurs and the hair follicle is stimulated and the hair will grow back at a faster rate.
While there’s not necessarily a whole lot you can do in order to prevent goosebumps post-shower, proper precautions can ensure a closer, cleaner shave. Dr. King’s number one tip? Don’t shave over goosebumps. “Shaving over them will increase the risk of cutting yourself and causing irritation,” she says. “Spend about ten minutes in warm water to help soften the outer layer of the skin to make it easier to remove hair.” It’s also recommended to gently exfoliate with a warm, wet washcloth or a gentle scrub like the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Body Scrub Luxe Polish. Exfoliation can help release ingrown hairs and remove dead skin cells prior to shaving.