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Shaving with Acne


Shaving with acne can be a testing experience to say the least. Whilst the simplest solution is of course to forgo shaving entirely, opting instead to cultivate a mane that would make a lion proud, this may not always be practical or desirable.

For those that must brave the perils of shaving with acne, Modern Day Duke is here to help you to get the best shave possible whilst minimising flareups.

The trick to achieving these twin goals is to minimise bacterial contamination whilst keeping friction and pulling to a minimum as well. Thankfully, the two go hand-in-hand.


  • Pop the question.

  • Before you start you must decide how you will answer something both crucial and gross.  “To pop or not to pop, that is the question”.

    Conventional wisdom - most of the time - is of course to leave white heads alone. However, shaving complicates matters. Leaving the whitehead alone runs the risk of your razor slicing the fragile skin layer covering it, which will cause its contents to leak out. If this gets onto the razor, you will inevitably spread bacteria around as you continue to shave. Considering this, it may be wise to pop that zit before you start. If you choose to do this, ensure you wash thoroughly, and wait until the popped zit has stopped weeping before starting to shave.


  • Pre-shave.

  • Exfoliate with a warm water and a mechanical exfoliant, such as a loofah. Avoid chemical exfoliants as these will be far too harsh on acne prone skin, especially skin that is about to be shaved. Once exfoliated, your follicles will open wide and the hairs will stand up on end, ready for a zero-irritation shave.

    Consider combining this with your shower for maximum results. Alternatively, hold a warm and wet flannel or towel to your face. Warm facial hairs are more pliable than cold ones, and so can be cut with the minimum of pulling when shaving. Less pulling = less irritation = a happier shave.


    Lather up well with a high-quality, all natural ingredients shaving cream, such as Modern Day Duke’s luxurious shaving cream with citrus and neroli. For a richer lather, combine this with a shaving brush, such as the Kent Wet is Best Shaving Brush with stand. This will help the hairs to stand on end and allow the cream to get underneath.

    NB - Avoid canned shaving creams as they contain chemicals such as isobutane and propane, along with various preservatives, all of which can irritate sensitive or damaged skin.


  • The Shave.
  • Avoid the danger zones!

    Where possible, try to avoid shaving directly over a pimple, as this runs the risk of either breaking the surface of intact whiteheads, or removing the newly grown protective layer over pre-popped pimples.


    The blade itself - avoid multiple blade razors!

    Whilst they offer a closer shave, they do so by increasing friction. Inflamed or damaged skin is too delicate and sensitive to cope with this. Instead, invest in a high-quality single blade razor with a pivoting head. When shaving, use a light touch and remember to shave with the grain. This will minimise friction and irritation.


  • Post-Shave
  • The two main culprits of post shave irritation are the tiny under skin infections caused by ingrowing hairs, and skin that has become too dry. A comprehensive sensitive skin routine will combat both of these, and is a must for acne prone skin.


    This should include;


    • Rinsing with warm or hot water to clean out the pores.

    • Rinsing with cold water to close the pores up again, preventing dirt and oils from getting in.

    • Consider applying a toner with natural anti-inflammatory properties, to reduce inflammation.

    • Apply moisturiser to hydrate the skin and thus combat dryness.

    By following these simple steps, you too can master the arcane art of shaving with acne.

    Best of luck!


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