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Shaving with Acne (The Ultimate Guide)

Shaving can be a challenging ritual, even more so if you're dealing with acne-prone skin. The intimidating dance of the razor with the topography of pimples can seem like an unwinnable war.

However, understanding the right methods and products can turn this battleground into a field of triumph. Today, we will delve into the do's and don'ts of shaving with acne, sharing tips and tricks to help you attain a smooth and satisfying shave.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Shaving with acne is achievable by applying the right techniques, choosing suitable tools, and following careful pre and post-shave practices.

  • Taking care of your skin, specifically washing with warm water and using acne-appropriate products, can significantly minimize the risk of irritation and flare-ups.

  • Daily shaving isn't recommended for acne-prone skin; less frequent shaving can reduce the risk of irritation and further breakouts.

  • Exposed Skin Care products can effectively manage acne by controlling existing breakouts, suiting different skin types, reducing irritation, and preventing new pimples from forming.

Man shaving in front of a mirror

Shaving with Acne: Is it Possible?

Absolutely! With the right precautions and preparations, you can safely shave acne-prone skin without causing further irritation or exacerbating your acne.

The key is to be gentle and patient, and use products formulated for sensitive, acne-prone skin.

The Art of Shaving with Acne: Step-by-Step Guide

Pre-Shave Preparations

Warm Up Your Skin

Begin by taking a warm shower or applying a warm washcloth to your face. The warmth from the shower or washcloth helps soften your facial hair and opens up your hair follicles, preparing them for a less irritable shave.

It is important to note that hot water can cause more irritation, so keep the water temperature warm.

Cleanse Your Skin

Proper cleaning is the first line of defense in preventing acne breakouts and the spread of bacteria. Use a gentle facial cleanser instead of harsh bar soaps, which can strip the skin of its natural oils and aggravate acne. The cleanser will also help rid your skin of dead skin cells and oil, which could potentially clog pores during shaving.

Shaving Acne Prone Skin

Apply Pre Shave Oil

Pre-shave oil is a protective layer between your skin and the razor blade, reducing friction and offering a smoother glide. Opt for a pre-shave oil specifically designed for sensitive skin, as these are usually non-comedogenic and won't clog pores.

Lather Up with Shaving Cream

Next, apply a generous amount of shaving cream using a shaving brush. A brush helps lift the facial hair for a closer shave while gently exfoliating dead skin cells. Make sure to choose a shaving cream suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin.

Young man is squeezing shaving cream onto the palm

Choose Your Weapon Wisely

Choosing the right tool for the job is paramount in shaving with acne. Avoid multi-blade razors, as more blades can mean more irritation. A single-blade safety razor, or even an electric razor, can provide a close shave without the additional risk of cuts and abrasions.

Ensure your razor blade is sharp; a dull blade could lead to improper shaving, causing more friction and irritation.

Shave With Care

Shave with light, short strokes, and avoid passing the razor over acne breakouts and existing pimples. Always shave in the direction of hair growth to lessen tugging on the hair follicle and prevent ingrown hairs, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae. Remember, the goal here is to minimize irritation, not to achieve the closest shave possible.

Post-Shave Care

  • Rinse and Hydrate: After shaving, rinse your face with cold water to help close the pores and reduce skin irritation. Apply a non-comedogenic, alcohol-free aftershave lotion or balm to soothe freshly shaved skin.

  • Clean Your Tools: Once you're done, cleaning your shaving tools is important. Razors and shaving brushes can harbor bacteria, making acne worse if not properly cleaned after each use.

Man cleans electric razor after shaving

Shaving Tips to Reduce Acne Flare-Ups

Here are some shaving tips to help minimize irritation and the likelihood of acne breakouts:

  • Shave less frequently: Shaving daily can cause more irritation to acne-prone skin. Try to limit shaving to every other day or less.

  • Use products for acne-prone skin: From pre-shave oil to aftershave lotion, use products formulated for acne-prone or sensitive skin to minimize the risk of irritation.

  • Avoid shaving over active breakouts: Shaving over pimples can not only cause pain and irritation but also spread bacteria, potentially leading to more acne.

  • Avoid aggressive shaving techniques: Shaving aggressively against the grain or using a dull blade can lead to razor bumps and worsen acne.

Embracing Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

Exposed Skin Care offers a range of products tailored to different skin types and specific acne issues.

Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

Its impressive benefits include the following:

  • Controls existing breakouts: Exposed Skin Care products are specially formulated to target and reduce current acne breakouts, allowing your skin to heal.

  • Suits various skin types: Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, there's a product designed to cater to your specific skin type.

  • Promotes less irritation: Gentle on your skin, these products aim to cleanse and treat without causing additional irritation, a common issue with many acne products.

  • Prevents new pimples: Regularly using the Exposed Skin Care line products can help keep pimples at bay, effectively preventing new breakouts.

  • Ensures proper cleaning: Their facial washes cleanse your skin and help maintain a healthy pH balance, keeping acne in check.

With a holistic approach to acne management, Exposed Skin Care addresses the root causes of acne, providing a comprehensive solution to this common skin problem.


Navigating the act of shaving when dealing with acne doesn't have to be a daunting chore. You can ensure a smooth and less irritating shave by incorporating the right methodologies, selecting the right tools, and maintaining meticulous pre and post-shave care.

Furthermore, keeping your skin clean and healthy by regularly washing, using warm water, and choosing products tailored for acne-prone skin can make a significant difference in curbing irritation and preventing acne flare-ups.

While it's key to remember that shaving daily may not be the most beneficial approach for those with acne-prone skin, opting for less frequent shaving can minimize the chance of irritation and aggravation of breakouts.

Lastly, implementing a product line like Exposed Skin Care into your routine can offer a comprehensive solution to acne management by targeting existing breakouts, catering to different skin types, and preventing the onset of new pimples.

As you take these steps to better skin care, may your shaving routine transform into an act of self-care, leaving your skin smoother, fresher, and healthier than ever before.


Can I shave if I have acne?

Yes, you can! However, shaving with acne requires patience, precision, and the right tools to prevent further skin irritation and the spread of bacteria.

Does shaving worsen acne?

Improper shaving techniques can worsen acne. Using a dull razor, not properly cleaning your skin or tools before and after shaving, or using products that clog pores can all contribute to acne flare-ups.

Should you shave every day if you have acne?

Shaving every day can cause more irritation to acne-prone skin. If possible, limit your shaving to every other day or even less frequently.

Should I pop a pimple before shaving?

No, you should never pop a pimple before shaving. This can lead to more irritation, spread bacteria, and potentially cause scarring.