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Does Vaseline Help Razor Burn?

Vaseline is simple and cheap, but it’s also a remarkable skin-protectant that’s recommended for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. But does Vaseline help razor burn? If you’re a man who shaves regularly, this guide to using Vaseline for razor burn should prove helpful. 

Does Vaseline Help Razor Burn?

To cut to the chase, yes – Vaseline can definitely help with razor burn, as would petroleum jellies from other brands. Here’s why it works: 

What Is Razor Burn? 

Razor burn is a type of irritation caused by shaving in a way that’s too aggressive for your skin. It makes the skin look red or blotchy, and it can feel painful, tender, or even itchy. It can also lead to razor bumps, which don’t last very long (if they only pop up a few days after you’ve shaved, you’re actually dealing with ingrown hairs). 

How Does Vaseline Help Razor Burn? 

Vaseline is made of white petrolatum, and it’s actually classified as an over-the-counter drug. When the skin is irritated, Vaseline creates a barrier over it. It locks in moisture and prevents impurities from contaminating the compromised skin. This is one element of moisturization, and it speeds up skin healing by preventing the skin from forming a scab.  

There are a lot of other moisturizers you can use to soothe your skin after shaving, and there are also other topical OTC drugs approved for minor irritation, like dimethicone, colloidal oatmeal, and allantoin. 

It’s worth mentioning that dermatologists disagree vehemently about whether Vaseline can cause clogged pores. To save you having to do all of the research I just did, I think that if your skin isn’t acne-prone, you don’t need to worry. 

If you do suffer from acne, using a little bit of Vaseline just when you need to calm down razor burn, it’s probably fine. If you’re nervous, consider patch testing vaseline before smearing it all over your face, or using an acne moisturizer

How To Use Vaseline To Get Rid Of Razor Burn

There’s not much to it. You just gotta rub the dang stuff over the skin. 

  • When you notice that you have razor burn, splash your face with a bit of water to dampen it. 
  • Make sure that your hands and face are both clean – if you’ve just shaved recently, you don’t need to wash your face again.
  • Then, rub a good amount of vaseline over the skin. Use enough so that your fingers just glide over your skin, without any drag or tugging.
  • Apply a fairly thin layer – enough so that your skin has a bit of a sheen but without a thick, visible layer. 
  • You can just leave the Vaseline on and go about your day. Reapply throughout the day as necessary. 

Other Tips for Getting Rid of Razor Burn

Keeping the skin moist with vaseline is just one way of getting rid of razor burn. Here are a few more things you can do. 

  • Prevent razor burn in the first place by opting for a more gentle shaving technique. I highly recommend wet shaving with the grain, but if your skin is extremely sensitive, you can switch to shaving with a trimmer
  • If your skin feels hot or itchy, use a cloth soaked in cold water to calm the skin before applying Vaseline. 
  • If the inflammation is quite severe, apply a topical corticosteroid cream or take an oral anti-inflammatory. 
  • Avoid shaving closely for a few days while you wait for the razor burn to calm down. 
  • If your razor burn doesn’t subside, consider speaking to a doctor. 

Miles is a professional men's grooming analyst who believes that to look good a man just needs to take good care of himself. He’s all about wet shaving, sustainability, and evidence-based grooming - an obsession he’s ready to share. Miles is known for his in-depth analysis of men's grooming products, brands, and best practices you can't find anywhere else.