T Nation

Shaving and Acne


About a month ago, I ended my Accutane treatment. Doc had me on full dosage for 5 months. Well what do you know, my acne is flaring up again.

But it's no where near as bad as it was and I'm only breaking out on areas of my face that I shave. I switched up to Gillette's Ultimate Skin Care shaving gel about a week ago to no avail.

Since I'm not getting zits anywhere else (before accutane, I'd get them on my back and other areas of my face), I'm guessing I'm doing something wrong when I shave. I have no idea what.

Can anybody offer some tips to control this? Maybe some shaving products that I can use, or whatever, anything?

Yours truly,
Pizza Face


dude arent you like 30?


Adult acne isn't uncommon... and dumbasses like you make it one of the most embarassing things to have to face.

Why don't you go back onto the previous treatment?


Stay away from complex shaving crap. Honestly, the more it is supposed to do the worse it is.

Here is what you need:

Gilette Sensor 3 Razor
Aveeno Shave Gel

Don't put a ton of shit on your face either.

I use the LOreal Clean Face Wash and the Oil Control Lotion. No complex aftershave crap or anything beyond that. Same goes for exfoliants, etc.

That alone is metro enough. It should work sounds like you are irritating your skin more than anything.

Also I dissolve some Epsom Salt in the water that I use to shave and pre-rinse/rinse with. Whether it helps, I have no idea, but I've never looked back.


Dude aren't you like 10? I actually just turned 22 but please don't Oogie me.

Dan, I don't want to go back on accutane if I can avoid it. It's not the funnest stuff to be on.

TriGWU, thanks for that. I'll definitely have to give it a try.


Hey man,

I've had the same problems with shaving, and I think most guys do too. Whenever I don't need to look presentable, I just use a beard trimmer and keep the stubble look. When I shave I get ingrown hairs like it's nobody's business, but since I started using this I rarely get any zits in that area.

It sort of goes without saying, but also if you're shaving up, that could be the main culprit too.

Other than that, stay away from oil moisturizes, try not to touch your face all day long, and most importantly... don't stress out over it. I've always found that makes it worse.

Good luck, and I hope this helped.


Aveeno products are great for acne prone skin. One thing that works for me is not shaving against the grain, if you have thick facial hair you won't get as clean a shave but you won't get as many breakouts


I would also make sure you are shaving after a shower. If I just slapped some shaving gel on and started shaving without showering first it would really irritate my skin.


All good tips,

here is a nice site on shaving.


Hope it helps,


I was thinking of putting the shaver in that anitiseptic solution, maybe it would last longer, i have found mach3 is the best shaver.


My skin is also pretty darn sensitive to shaving. I have used accutane and have lovely scarring.

The best thing I've found is to apply some wet non-greasy moisturising cream (not lotion, the thick stuff works well) and then lather up with shaving cream. I get very little irritation from shaving with all that goop on my face, and still a suprisingly good shave.
I have tough facial hair and the mach3 does crap all except draw blood, the shick 4 bladed razor works much better for me.


Il have to try the shick4, i have also been on accutane and it has got better than before but it hasnt totally gone, my main problem area is on the back, the face is not bad.


I would go with some Apricot face wash. I can remember the name of the shit. St Ives or something. I think that is how you spell it. But, it works good. Hell, you could try an electric razor. Its rough at first but it doesnt break my face out. When I would shave with a razor I would get them all the time. And im in the military so I have to shave everyday. Just get some aftershave with no alcohol in it. Hope this helps.



Im 15 so i know all about acne. Stopping it is simple though. I use

You will need
A soft cleanser
A good moisturiser.
Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (you can buy all this at any good pharmacy, don't go for the normal acne treatment, they use salycic acid which is cack.)

Mornings: apply a gentle cleanser. (wash off in shower.) As soon as you get out of the shower apply the moisturiser.

about 16:00 or whenever you get home from work: Give your face a hot water wash in the sink.

Before Bed
Clean your face in water then
Apply the benzoyl peroxide. This stuff is strong and may sting, but it does a great job. Leave on for a couple of minutes then rinse off. Follow up with the moisturiser, and then rinse that off with cold water to close the poors.

Also, eating healthy, especially getting enough vitamin c & e are essential, and try not to touch your face too much. It also helps if you wash your hands before you apply the cleanser, e.t.c.

The problem is people who just buy the shelf products like clearisil or just use the peroxide dry out their skin, causing it to produce more oil! By using the moisturiser you prevent this.

BTW don't blame me if you follow this and turn into a women by lowering your t levels so much. I haven't. Yet.



I highly recommend talking to your doctor about continuing the Accutane treatment. I know it sucks ( I have gone through 3 full cycles since I was 22) I am 27 now and my skin is perfect.

It is possible that you just didn't get enough medicine in you (based on body weight) or that you just need another round.

Trust me....you do not want to let it get as bad as it was before you went on Accutane. For me, it came back in full force. The legislation is about to become even more stringent about getting a script for the stuff too...so you might want to get it before then.

As far as shaving goes.....I find that the more often I shave the better my face takes it. I use a light exfoliating scrub in the shower and shave right after while my pores are still opened from the heat.

A generous about of Nivea sensitive shave gel and a Mach 3 turbo and I'm good to go.

Sorry to hear about your acne coming back....I would get back on Accutane ASAP (I'm talking from experience)


Smart Kid.


Yeah this is really annoying. Shaving actually helps your skin, as it removes the dead layer on top. You just have to take care of it when you're done.

If you don't do it right after a shower, take a washcloth and stick it under some hot water. Press the hot washcloth onto your face for a bit. Then, apply your shaving cream (there are some anti-bacterial ones that I'm trying right now that seem to work pretty well). Shave down on your face, and up on your neck with one firm steady stroke. Rinse your blade after each stroke.

Rinse your face with cold water, then apply your lotion. Molton Brown has some good after shave lotion that gets rid of some redness after you're done.

Thats my method.


alot of people are suggesting mach3s or quattros, however those may actually be worse for you. with 3, even 4 blades, they pull the hair up and cut it below the epidermis level of the skin, leaving the pore more vulnerable to clogging. try using a single blade, or switch to an electric. if you thing you skin is senitive...you are preaching to the choir...made the "mistake" of a dermabrasion for the scarring i had last year, after a round of accutane as well back in 99. and life has been wonderful ever since.. i dread shaving!!!!


it may just be "curley" beard hairs digging into the surrounding skin and irritating it

try using some barbers clippers instead so you still have a mild stubble.


I can vouch for this method. I have found that no matter what else I do, my neck gets irritated as hell.

I find that the mild stubble is actually "hair", as it does not itch, nor is it as coarse and bristly as new stubble.

I realzise this is not the solution if you want/need to be perfectly clean shaven, but it does work.



Okay, as I read this again, I am not sure if I am speaking of a "Barber razor" in the true sense of what it is...

What I use is but a cheap electric razor made for cutting hair, as if you were to get a buzz cut. Is this the same thing?

-FC redux