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Ask A Barber: How To Prevent Adult Acne In Your Shaving Routine

Ben Phillips, Wahl Master Barber

By Megan Collins | Apr 9 2015

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In our “Ask a Barber” series, we seek out expert intel on Style Girlfriend readers’ most pressing grooming questions. Got one of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Ben Phillips, Master Barber Wahl Clipper Corporation

With over 28 years of hair cutting and styling experience, Ben Phillips owns a salon in Springfield, IL, working with high profile clients including NFL legend Dick Butkus and UFC world champion Andrei Arlovski. Through his partnership with Wahl, Phillips has been featured in USA Today as a men’s grooming expert as well as on TV and radio stations around the country.

Ask a barber:

I have adult acne. Could something in my shaving or grooming routine be causing it?

Adult acne affects 25% of men, so you’re not alone. There are many reasons you could be experiencing acne as an adult: stress, changes in medication, hormone levels… You’ll of course want to look at all possible problems when combatting your skin issues; here are a few tips to ensure shaving isn’t one of them.

Make sure your shaving tools are clean

I recommend using a clipper cleaner like Wahl’s clipper/trimmer Total Care or Clippercide disinfectant cleaner, which you can spray your tools with before and after every use.

An electric or battery-operated facial trimmer needs to be both oiled and cleaned after each use. I recommend a light, mineral oil based product. Or 3 in one oil brand. Apply one drop of oil to the blades while the unit is on; this helps the oil to circulate across the blades. Also spray the trimmer blades with a clipper cleaner.

Replace disposable razors regularly

At my barber shop we replace razors after each client use to prevent the spreading of viruses and bacteria. Home-use disposable blades are different because there’s no set time frame that dictates how often you should replace your wet blades. To prevent irritation on the skin, follow these tips:

  • Make sure you rinse the blade with hot water after every use to get rid of any hairs or shaving cream in the blade. Dry the blade using a clean towel. Be sure the blade is very dry after cleaning; this will help keep the blade from rusting. A barbershop method that we use also is to clean the razor blade with Isopropyl Alcohol, also used to clean and disinfect hospital equipment.
  • A razor blade should move smoothly across your skin, when going with the grain of your hair, this depends on your hair texture. If your razor feels like its pulling then it’s probably a good time to replace your blades. A dull blade can cause skin irritation and cuts on the skin.

Use the right aftershave lotion

In my barbershop, we use Pinaud Clubman aftershave lotion. Whichever brand you select, make sure it is non-comedoginic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores.

Don’t share blades

In addition to cosmetic hygiene issues at play, there are many viruses and diseases that can be spread by sharing a razor. Never share a razor with a friend! Bacteria can easily be spread from one person to the other; infections like Hepatitis C & B, Staph, and HIV are just a few of the highly dangerous viruses that can be spread through cut skin.

SHOP THE STORY

TELL ME:

HAVE YOU EVER DEALTH WITH ACNE (AS AN ADULT OR OTHERWISE)? WHAT MADE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IN CLEARING IT UP?

Want more grooming guidance? Check out all the “Ask A Barber” articles here.

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