How to Shave Chest Hair Without Breaking Out

Man's bare torso

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From personal preference to reducing rubbing and irritation during vigorous activities; there are a number of reasons for men to shave their chests. Acne generally occurs when pores are clogged with excess oils, bacteria and dirt. Improperly shaving an area can aggravate the hair follicles, causing excess oil production and unwanted acne.

Before You Shave

Prepare your chest to prevent irritation and the production of acne. Begin by cleansing the area with a body wash formulated for oily or acne-prone skin. Rinse off the wash with lukewarm water, which helps open the pores and stimulates the release of any oil, dirt or bacteria clogging them. If the chest hair is thick, trim to a manageable length with an electric razor before beginning. If you’re suffering an acne breakout, wait for it to clear before shaving. The irritation caused by shaving can aggravate the existing acne and lead to future breakouts.

Shaving Your Chest

Moisten your chest with lukewarm water. Apply a liberal layer of shaving cream, then begin to shave with a fresh disposable razor in the direction of your hair’s growth. If you aren’t sure which direction your chest hair grows, wipe away the shaving cream and take a look. In general, chest hair grows downward. Continue to shave until your chest hair is gone. If necessary, grab a new disposable razor half-way through the process to prevent any cuts or irritation. Rinse the cream away and pat -- don’t rub --your chest dry. Rubbing your chest irritates your sensitive, newly shaved skin.

Post-Shave Care

Wipe down your completely dry skin with a cotton swab soaked with a product containing either benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or both, or use witch hazel or tea tree oil -- they are natural, effective products that won’t dry out your skin as much as over-the-counter medications. Apply a layer of moisturizing lotion to help prevent your skin from drying out.

Treating Chest Acne

If acne breakouts occur, treat the individual spots with an over-the-counter acne medication containing benzoyl peroxide. Never pop or squeeze the acne on your chest, as this could lead to future breakouts or cause the same type of pitting and scarring that can occur on your face. Wash your chest daily with a product formulated for acne-prone skin. If the acne is not controlled by over-the-counter products, seek assistance from a dermatologist.