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Itchy and Irritated Freshly Shaved Skin – Allergic to the Razor?

Check the manufacturer’s website for the ingredients in the lubrication strip of your razor.

I have always hated shaving my legs and my underarms. Why? Shaving caused irritated, itchy, and bumpy skin. In February, I discovered my shaving cream contained soy (most of them do). I am allergic to soy on my skin, so this was a problem! I switched to using a soy-free soap or shower gel instead, hoping my problem would go away…but the itchy skin continued. Exasperated that my skin was so sensitive, I began contemplating alternatives for my wardrobe choices…avoid wearing shorts, dresses, and skirts? Only wear pants, jeans, and leggings? I won’t be single forever(!)…and it’s warm and sunny a lot of the time here in California…I needed to get to the bottom of this.

I got to thinking about the lubrication strip on my razor. What is in that thing? The packaging doesn’t say a word about the ingredients in the strip. I searched the internet until I found my answers. It turns out my razor contained THREE different ingredients derived from soy. Basically, I got in the hot shower, which opened up my pores, shaved off a layer of hair and a thin layer of skin, and simultaneously filled all those open pores with the very substance I am allergic to. Niiiiice.

Fortunately, a friend sent me a link to a blog about how Bic “Sensitive” razors contain no lubrication strip. This is a good thing for those of us having allergic reactions to the strip! Vic Sensitive shaver is a single blade disposable razor. Admittedly, it is not an ideal solution, folks, but it does the job.

Bic Sensitive Shaver does not contain a lubrication strip, so it is free from allergens.

Some notes about this choice:

1. There is no lubrication strip, so be sure to use plenty of allergen-free soap or shower gel before shaving. If you’ve found a soy-free shaving cream/gel, please pass it along! LUSH makes a ridiculously expensive shaving cream for the upper lip/face called Ambrosia, which I like. For my legs, I use LUSH’s It’s Raining Men shower gel (also ridiculously expensive – but don’t you just love it’s name?). I found a much cheaper option for body wash (although, I must say it doesn’t even compare to the luxurious LUSH shower gel), Dove VisibleCare Softening Creme Body Wash, which does not appear to contain soy either.

2. Shave only about 3 inches at a time. This is a single blade razor. Shave cautiously and rinse often. Do not shave if you have goosebumps. Enough said.

3. I have fine hair so I can use one disposable razor for about 4-5 shavings. However, I suspect someone with thicker/courser hair may only get 1-2 shaves out of a razor. The package I bought contained 12 razors, and it only cost me about $2.57, plus tax.

One final note…as I was writing today’s blog, I found that Bic has a double bladed razor for sensitive skin: BIC 2 Sensitive. I’ll be checking this out soon.

In Wellness!

Rena

16 responses »

  1. The only store that sold the Schick razors I have used for 12 years quit carrying the kinds I love. I was distraught and was worried I wouldn’t find anything else. Now I have some options to try! Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Hi, I was diagnosed with a severe soy allergy about a year ago, (along with tree nuts, peanuts, and many many others). I love how you post which brands of makeup and razors you can use, many of them I use as well! I was wondering what razor you were using that had soy? (Venus?) and what deodorant and toothpaste are you able to use? Thanks so much! Love love love the blog!!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Rachael! Thanks for commenting and sharing the love 🙂 I used Venus and Schick razors. Since this post, I’ve discovered Bic Silky Touch, which has two blades and no lubrication. I like using a double blade far better than using a single blade – I don’t have to stroke the razor as much to remove the hair, which means my skin is less irritated afterwards.

      As for deodorant…I’ve tried and tried so many things but they all stink! So, I’m using a deodorant that contains soy…which of course makes my underarms itchy by the afternoon/evening. A friend of mine suggested using milk of magnesia to eliminate the odor (although it isn’t an antiperspirant). She swears by it. I’m using Crest toothpaste…I actually never wrote the company about whether it contains soy…I should probably do that!! Please share what you’re using, Rachael. I love to exchange ideas.

      Reply
      • I found the Bic for sensitive skin, but it only has one blade….can’t seem to find the one with two blades. Oh well! Lol

        I should preface that I have a million allergies, but the most severe are tree nuts, peanuts and soy, so it has been hard finding products I can use… Here is what I have so far:

        I currently use secret clinical strength for sensitive skin (white and green package) for deodorant. I didn’t see any soy in the ingredients, but it could be hidden in there somewhere. My armpits itch sometimes, so I don’t know if it’s the deodorant or the razor? For shaving cream i use Gillete Satin Care Pure and Delicate (different than the sensitive skin one, which i have problems with). And I use Toms of Maine for toothpaste. Come to think of it, I should ask toms is if has soy in it, because I know their soaps do. I use dove sensitive skin soap bar, although I recently bought Lush’s “It’s Raning Men”! And I wash my face with Dermalogica (and use their facial sunscreen!)

        For makeup I use bare minerals powder makeup only and recently switched to synthetic brushes bc the horse hair ones kept giving me rashes. I use Afterglow pure soul mascara. And because I’m allergic to castor oil I can’t find many lipsticks or gloss I can use, I usually use plain Carmex. However, i recently found a store in Esty that hand makes different color chapsticks (Coldpress), and I ordered them and love them!

        For moisturizers I use California Baby, and their body sunscreen. For shampoo and conditioner I use Aveda scalp benefits (don’t think I’ve been reacting to it, but hard to tell since I’m one big histamine lately). I used AG shampoo and conditioner and had a problem after awhile, and once I stopped I felt better.

        I have also use vanicream (sold at target) and don’t recall having any problems with it.

        Ok, I think I’ve rambled on enough, that is all I can think of for now. Please let me know if you know anything more than I do about these products!! Any help is greatly appreciated!!

  3. Deanne Mattice

    Or you can take the strip off your favorite shaver. I do it all the time, and of course it ends up down the drain cause it comes out in pieces

    Reply
  4. Wow! I’ve been terribly itchy and irritated after shaving since I started shaving. It’s unbearable and sometimes I scratch so hard that my legs bleed. I have talked to my dermatologist about it several times and she has prescribed me some lotions to possibly stop the itching but nothing has worked. She mentioned at my last appointment that she might do an allergy test to see if I am allergic to the strips…with this blog I am thinking I am….and I need a solution. Where do you buy those razors without the soy? And wouldn’t I be reacting to the foods that have soy in them as well? Does this irritation sound similar to how yours was?

    Reply
    • Hi Joy!
      Yes, your reaction sounds similar to mine. It’s possible you are allergic to soy…or perhaps you are reacting to other ingredients in the strip, or both. The Bic razors can be found in most stores where razors are sold. I bought mine at Target for less than $3.

      I don’t know what to say about whether you need to avoid foods containing soy. Try seeing how you feel without eating products with soy in them for a few days (this will be a difficult job since soy is used in most processed foods and in restaurants) and then introduce soy back again. Compare how you feel and see if you notice any difference. Best wishes!

      Reply
      • Well thank you! I’m glad to know I wasn’t alone with this reaction. One more question, do you still get itchy and irritated even after shaving with the Bic razors?

      • Yes, a little bit…mainly because they’re tricky to use without getting little bump cuts. I usually don’t apply lotion afterwards because the cuts would sting. Sigh. I guess bump cuts are better than hairy legs?! For now, anyway…I’m hoping for a better shaving solution someday.

      • Bummer. Oh well! I will have to get an allergy test I would say to see if I am actually allergic. But thank you so much for your time! 🙂

  5. Glad that helped! Isn’t it great to have helpful information right at our fingertips? 🙂

    Reply
  6. Interesting! I never looked up the ingredients are the strip of my shaver. It’s really fascinating to me that they not only use soy, but (after I looked it up) they seem to be using really harsh ingredients to make the strip, which after it gets wet is put onto your skin.

    Good job figuring out that your razor strip was causing problems. Thank you!

    Reply
  7. I’m sorry, but, “It’s Raining Men”? Really?

    Reply

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