Stop Shaving Cut Bleeding
You cut yourself. It happens to all of us. Some of us more often than others, whoops! Good news, we can take care of this, no problem. Easy options? Gotchya. Here are a few ways to stop shaving cut bleeding.
What’s the most effective way to stop bleeding?
For small cuts, astringents are very effective. These are going to be a great way to stop shaving cut bleeding. Your bread and butter.
Why are they so effective? Let’s take a look at what astringents do.
What’s an astringent? It’s a substance that, on contact, makes your skin contract. It protects the skin and minimizes bleeding. It helps bind the skin together and seal up your wound. Useful for us!
These work best for smaller cuts from shaving. If you have a large cut, astringents won’t be the most effective. So unless you really goofed, they should work great for any shaving cuts we have.
Most common astringents for your face
Styptic pencil – A white, chalk-like stick. As the name suggests, it looks like a pencil.
Alum block – A block that looks like crystal. Or like a cloudy bar of soap.
Aftershaves/Rubbing alcohol – Doesn’t need much explaining but, we’ve all seen rubbing alcohol used on cuts to clean and help seal up the wound. A majority of aftershaves have alcohol in them because they are quite the effective astringent.
Witch hazel – A plant that works as a natural astringent. Witch hazel is an ingredient in some aftershaves too. It comes in liquid form.
What do astringents do to my skin?
They are going to reduce bleeding and irritation. So even if you don’t cut yourself, an astringent is going to keep your skin from feeling irritated. Some are better for that than others.
Astringents tend to be drying to the skin and that’s because a lot of astringents tend to be alcohol based. If you want something less drying, go for a toner like a witch hazel without alcohol. A toner will be much better for dry or sensitive skin than an astringent.
All astringents should be applied after you’ve completed your shave. So even if you cut yourself, wait until after you’re finished shaving to apply. Astringents will tighten up your skin which can make it more difficult to shave.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the common astringents for your face.
A styptic pencil is a great choice for one or two small cuts. It works best in small concentrated spots because this stuff itself is very concentrated. It can dry out your skin if you try to rub it all over. There are other options for that.
It’s great to stop shaving cut bleeding. That’s its only purpose. This stuff doesn’t reduce skin irritation.
It does sting a bit when you apply it though. And when I say it stings a bit, I mean it’ll bite you. It hurts. Styptic pencils also leave a white residue behind. Easy to wash off though.
To apply just wet your cut with cold water. Wet the styptic pencil and dab it on the cut for a few seconds. Just dab it. No rubbing it across your skin.
Glyder Styptic Balm – A new improvement to your classic styptic pencil. This styptic balm is quite different from your regular styptic pencil. It’s smooth and easy to apply. No skin irritation. And most importantly, it stops bleeding.
Clubman Pinaud Styptic Pencil – Your classic styptic pencil that’s been the go-to for years.
An alum block is great to use on your whole face. It will help tighten up your skin and deal with razor burn. It has antiseptic properties as well.
If you have sensitive skin you may want to avoid using this. It also dries out your face but, not nearly as much as the styptic pencil would if you rubbed it all over.
Using a moisturizer afterward is a great idea. Just apply the alum block, rinse, and dry off your face before using a moisturizer.
An alum block is very useful for oily skin. And some use it as a natural form of deodorant.
The alum block is also going to sting like a styptic pencil but, it shouldn’t hurt as much. Fun fact: They are both made from the same material.
Alum block storage
One thing to note for an alum block is that water will “melt” them. It’s very important that for storage make sure the alum block is kept dry.
So dry it off well once you’re finished with it and keep it in a dry place.
Aftershaves and Rubbing Alcohol
Alcohol is what’s found in most aftershaves as a way to clean the skin and tighten it up. Different aftershaves have different percentages of rubbing alcohol. And obviously the more concentrated the alcohol, the more bite it’s going to have.
Some men use rubbing alcohol straight, even at higher percentages but, I wouldn’t recommend that personally. It can sting pretty bad.
It tends to be drying as well but alcohol dries quickly too. It’s a great tool for cleaning your blades because of that fact. No rust.
Although alcohol can dry out skin, some aftershaves have additional ingredients to rehydrate. Check the label for ingredients like glycerin.
If you want an aftershave with no alcohol, take a look at witch hazel toner.
Stop shaving cut bleeding with witch hazel
It’s a plant with healing properties and works great as an aftershave. There are toners and astringent versions of witch hazel. Toners are more for sensitive and dry skin and astringents work best for oily skin.
The main difference between toners and astringents are that astringents have alcohol in them and toners do not. Alcohol tends to be more drying and that’s why an astringent is better for oily skin or acne-prone skin while a toner is better for dry skin and sensitive skin.
Stop shaving cut bleeding with prevention
Stopping the bleeding is all well and good but, the best way to stop shaving cut bleeding is to prevent it completely. There are some helpful ways we can do that.
- Proper preparation
- Choosing the right type of blade
- Blade maintenance
- Shaving technique
There’s a lot to cover here so let’s start just with the preparation.
1. Proper preparation
There’s a lot that can go into preparation to get that perfect shave and eliminate any chances of getting cuts or irritation.
- Warm shower
- Preshave oil
- Shaving cream
- Shaving brush
Exfoliating is the process of removing dirt, grime, and dead skin cells from our face. How does it stop shaving cut bleeding? It helps in two different ways.
Reduce blade clogging. Exfoliating removes all of the dirt from our skin which in turn helps keep our blades pristine. A clogged blade isn’t going to shave as well. Our blade will become dull. That means you’ll have to use even more pressure to get a close shave and that’s how we get cuts.
Get a closer shave. Exfoliating will help unclog your pores and lift the facial hair off of your skin. Your shaving cream will be even more effective. That means you’ll get a smoother and closer shave.
Soap types for exfoliating
You’ll want to use a soap that has exfoliating properties. There are two ways soaps exfoliate. One is chemical. This is when the chemicals in the soap break down the very top layer of the skin to get rid of dirt and grime. The second is a physical type of soap with more texture that scrubs your skin.
I recommend using a soap with no chemicals that will be gentle on our face.
Honest Amish Extra Grit Soap – A natural organic soap that offers gentle exfoliation. Made with betonite clay, wild cherry bark, and black walnut hulls.
A warm shower
The shower is great for prepping a fantastic shave to reduce the chances of bleeding. The warm water is going to loosen up your skin and open your pores to make shaving much easier. You’ll be able to get a closer shave without using as much pressure on the blade.
Some folks are able to shave without any shaving cream because a shower helps out so much. But, for the rest of us, we’re going to use all of the advantages we can to minimize cuts.
These oils are great. They help prepare your skin for a shave in a few different ways.
They moisturize and protect your face to make the upcoming shaving experience feel much better. Minimizing skin irritation is a top priority of a pre-shave oil.
They will give your razor a slick surface to glide across and to stop shaving cut bleeding by preventing it in the first place.
Detroit Grooming Co Algonac pre-shave oil – This stuff is like a cure for nicks, cuts, and razor burn. It gives you a protective coating between the blade and your face and makes your shave extra smooth. It has a nice manly scent to it.
The Art of Shaving pre-shave oil Sandalwood – A shaving oil with a sandalwood scent to protect your face from irritation.
Using pre-shave oil
You only need to use a few drops for your whole face. Massage it into your face and let it sit for a minute or two. Then apply your shaving cream on top of the oil.
A pre-shave oil can either replace or be used in addition to your shaving cream.
Stop shaving cut bleeding with a top notch shaving cream
Shaving cream is the classic lubrication used for shaving. Another great way to minimize cuts is to use a nice shaving cream or soap. Many men are used to using a shaving foam from a can. This works great for some but, if your skin is more sensitive it can be quite drying. If you’re looking for more moisture and a smoother shave, go for a rich cream or soap.
Important note: The type of shaving cream/soap you use makes a bigger difference than the type of razor you use.
The higher quality artisan made shaving creams and soap require a little more effort than your regular canned creams or foams. They will require a shaving brush but, will result in a closer and smoother shave.
What’s the difference between a quality shaving cream or soap vs a canned foam
- The ingredients
This is going to be the main difference between them. A can of shaving foam is going to be very convenient. You don’t need a brush. You don’t need to create lather. It’s fast and easy. But, typically these types of shaving creams have many chemicals in them. And not all chemicals are bad but, these aren’t doing a lot to hydrate your face and a lot of these don’t include any moisturizing ingredients.
A shaving soap or cream that is well made is going to have more natural ingredients. These are focused on keeping your face hydrated and the shaving experience slick. That’s how they stop shaving cut bleeding before it starts.
These types of ingredients are oils, lanolin, glycerin, and natural nut butter. Ingredients that are great for your skin and provide plenty of lubrication.
Shaving cream/soap application
As I mentioned the shaving creams and soaps that require a brush are going to take a bit more prep than your brushless shaving creams.
- Just like warming up and loosening your facial hair in the shower, you’ll want to do the same for your shaving brush. Soak it in warm water to start.
This is where the applications differ for soaps and creams.
- For a soap, you’ll want to soak it in warm water for a while before you load up your brush. For shaving creams, you can just load up your brush with a little cream for mixing in our bowl.
Yes, you’ll need a brush and a bowl for creating lather. More on that below.
- Once you have your brush in the bowl you’ll want to add water to the bowl. To create a lather you need a mixture of your soap or cream and water. That’s where the term wet shaving comes from.
How much water to add depends on the soap or cream. Some require more water. They’re thirstier than others. The perfect lather should feel very slick and shouldn’t have large bubbles in it. It’ll take some time and trial and error to learn how to make the perfect lather. If you need to add more cream, soap, or water, do so in small increments.
- Then just apply your lather to your face using your brush.
Barrister and Mann Seville Shaving Soap – Shaving soap made in the USA with a classic barbershop scent. They do have many scents you can choose from. Creates a great lather for a super smooth and slick shave. It has a lot of great ingredients that provide plenty of moisture for your face.
Truefitt and Hill Sandalwood Shave Cream – Creates a lot of lather and smells great too! Lasts a long time.
Unless you’re using a brushless type of shaving foam or gel, you’re going to need a good brush.
Key advantages of the shaving brush:
- Helps mix water into your cream or soap to produce a great lather
- Raises the hair on your face when applied making it easier to shave
- Gentle exfoliation of the face
There are four different types of brushes. Badger, boar, horse, and synthetic. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages.
My recommendation for a brush goes to the Omega boar bristle brush. It’s inexpensive and does an awesome job.
Omega Boar Bristle Brush 10049 – Omega is a well known and popular brand for shaving brushes. The brushes they make are top notch. This is a boar bristle brush made in Italy. It’s soft on your face but firm enough that it makes producing lather and applying it to your face easy.
Important about this brush. Natural brushes tend to be pretty firm and have a strong smell to start. You just need some time to break it in. Otherwise, this is a really great starting brush.
2. Choosing the right type of blade
All that just for preparation? It’s the most important part! Even more important than the type of blade. But, the razor you use is still worth talking about. So let’s talk about cartridge razors.
It’s safe to say that the most popular type of razor is going to be a cartridge razor.
There’s just about no learning curve on these types of razors. That’s the main selling point. No technique needed. Zilch. Zip. Nada. But, do they help stop shaving cut bleeding? Not necessarily.
The blades in cartridge razors are less exposed than those of a safety razor. And the razors themselves aren’t always the highest quality. This means it can be more difficult to get a close shave. And that’s why a lot of us use too much pressure and cut ourselves without thinking about it.
And in the same vein as cutting yourself, cartridge razors can definitely cause some skin irritation. We’re talking razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Especially for those of us that have more sensitive skin.
That’s because cartridge razors use multiple blades and that’s where our problems come in. We don’t really need 3 or 5 blades dragging across our face. That takes off extra layers of skin causing irritation. And it doesn’t always contribute to a closer shave either!
So what are the other options?
Safety razors and straight razors are two very popular tools for wet shaving. They can both give you a closer shave and reduce skin irritation. The cost is a little bit of time extra time to learn the technique.
Safety razors are a bit easier to jump into than straight razors so for today, we’ll cover safety razors.
Pros and Cons – Safety Razor vs Cartridge
Cartridge Razor Pros:
- No learning curve or technique makes them easy to use
- Low chance of cutting yourself
- Fast and convenient
Cartridge Razor Cons:
- Skin irritation from multiple blades
- Can be costly to buy more razors
- Might be difficult to get a close shave resulting in more pressure used which = cuts
Safety Razor Pros:
- Saves a lot of money compared to cartridge razors
- Minimize skin irritation with just one blade and no pressure
- Much sharper blade for a closer shave
Safety Razor Cons:
- Takes time to learn the technique to not cut yourself
- Needs more time for shaving to avoid cuts
Should I use a cartridge razor or a safety razor?
Neither option is a full proof way to stop shaving cut bleeding. However, if you frequently have irritated skin, it may be worth the time investment to learn proper technique to shave with a safety razor.
The reason I mention the difference between these two razors is that cuts often occur as a result of too much pressure from trying to get a close shave. A safety razor will help you get the closest shave possible at the cost of a little time.
3. Blade Maintenance
Keeping your blades sharp is super important to avoid cuts. Dull blades can cause all kinds of damage.
How long do blades last? It depends on what kind of blade and how often you use it. As soon as you start to feel any tug, you should change the blade.
Safety razors stand out here because the blades are so cheap to replace that you don’t have to worry about the cost. With a cartridge razor, you kind of want to get the most out of each blade because they tend to be expensive to replace.
Keep your blades clean too. Rinse the blade each time you run it across your face to get rid of everything your blade picks up.
4. Shaving Technique
We’ve established that cartridge razors are the most user-friendly. Safety razors take some time to get the technique down but can give a fantastic shave.
With both types of razors, there are a number of different passes commonly used. They are:
- With The Grain (WTG)
- Across The Grain (XTG)
- Against The Grain (ATG)
- Touch Ups
These are most commonly used when talking about wet shaving. Each different type of pass takes some time to learn. That’s more specific to a safety razor than a cartridge razor. Good shaving technique requires both becoming proficient at using these passes without cutting yourself but, also using what works best for your skin.
Some men choose to do two WTG passes. Others do a WTG and XTG pass. And others still choose to do each type of pass.
A few shaving techniques to stop shaving cut bleeding
- If you choose to shave ATG, make sure you’ve gotten the hair as short as possible before you do. If you feel any tugging, stop.
- Hair doesn’t grow in the same direction everywhere so adjust the way you shave on different parts. For example, WTG on your cheeks may be a different direction than WTG on your neck
- You may not be able to do ATG everywhere. Places like your neck may be too sensitive. Do what works best for you.
Aftershave is another great way to stop shaving cut bleeding. I’ve mentioned a few aftershaves above which work great. Here they are again:
- Alum block
- Aftershave with alcohol
- Witch hazel
Proraso After Shave Lotion – A refreshing liquid that cools and refreshes your skin after a shave. It has a great smell to it. It has a lot of great ingredients for skin hydration too. Including witch hazel, oils, and glycerin.
Gentleman Jon Alum Block – Works like a charm to stop cuts and razor burn. Comes with a nice storage case to keep it dry and it lasts a while!
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner – This witch hazel is a toner. It contains no alcohol so it’s great for sensitive skin that dries out more easily. Witch hazel is a great astringent to stop shaving cut bleeding.