Men: Shaving with Sunburn
Sunburn. We’ve all been caught out. Whether you forgot to reapply the SPF, or you nodded off by the pool after one too many mojitos, it happens to the very best of us. So if the summer sun has turned your face into a fetching shade of lobster red, what can you do to minimise the damage? And for the smooth-faced men among us, is it still a good idea to shave your scorched skin? Gents, we’ve got the answers.
When you’re left red faced
Us guys are quick enough to slap sun cream on our backs, arms, legs, and chests. But many of us neglect our faces – after all, a greasy face isn’t a good look. The problem is, if you’re not wearing a cap, sunglasses, and hiding behind a magnificent beard, you stand a very good chance of burning your face…and that’s not a good look either.
But what happens when you’ve been burned, and you really need a shave? Needless to say, it’s not advisable. Burnt skin is already irritated and needs time to repair; possibly even to shed. Even with the most soothing lotions and potions, shaving can still irritate your skin – so it’s better to let it fix itself first instead of irritating it further. For most mild sunburns, the pain and irritation takes around 3 to 5 days to settle down. For anything more severe it can take quite a while longer. So try embracing a slightly more rugged look for a while.
Fast-tracking your way to healed skin
In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to speed up the healing process.
- Cool it: Immediately after burning, take the heat out of sunburned areas by applying cold water, a cold damp cloth, or a bag of frozen peas to the affected area. After-sun products can also help.
- Hydrate: Throughout the healing process make sure you’re rehydrating your skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of water.
- Apply aloe vera gel: Its shining reputation as a sunburn healer is well earned, thanks to compounds that reduce skin inflammation, stimulate repair, and moisturise.
- Apply coconut oil: Raw coconut oil is also fantastic for soothing and moisturising damaged skin, and it smells pretty good too.
- Oatmeal baths: If your sunburn begins to peel and get itchy, then numerous skin gurus, including American dermatologist Dr Rosalyn George, recommend taking a lukewarm oatmeal bath to keep the discomfort to a minimum.
Shaving recently sunburned skin – handle with care
Once your skin has adequately healed, you’ll still want to baby it. Use lukewarm water instead of hot water, and to use aloe vera gel instead of your regular shaving foam. This will cool the skin while ensuring your Dorco razor glides nice and smoothly. It’s also important to use less pressure with your razor than you usually would, and to pat your skin dry once you’re done, rather than rub it.
How about shaving the body?
Because it’s a larger surface area, the worst sunburn us guys usually experience is on our shoulders and torsos. Fortunately, the skin there isn’t quite as delicate as it is on the face – however the same rules still apply. Give the sunburn time to settle down.
Prevention is better than cure
We can’t give you the lowdown on how to deal with sunburn without throwing in a few words about avoiding it in the first place. There’s really not much to it: Be wary of the afternoon sun, cover up if you’re particularly fair, and slather on and keep reapplying the SPF – especially when you’re swimming. When it comes to sunscreens, the higher the SPF the better the protection. Remember, there’s nothing unmanly about wanting to protect your skin. The burn is for the gym, not the beach.