Dark spots from shaving can affect your self-esteem. Because black men have coarse hair that curls, they are more prone to ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs and cuts from shaving can trigger dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation. When caused by shaving, the discoloration disappears over time, but can reoccur if you don't use proper shaving tools and products. Treating the discoloration and adjusting your shaving technique can eliminate the dark spots.
Use a preshave facial wash or scrub to cleanse your skin. Look for products made especially for black skin or products for oily skin. Apply the preshave cleansing product while taking a warm shower. The steam from the shower helps open facial pores and makes facial hair stand up while the preshave cleansing product removes excess oil, dead skin cells and softens facial hair.
Apply a moisturizing shaving cream to your face. Avoid alcohol-based shaving creams, because these dry the skin and make any irritations worse. Massage the cream onto, and in between, your facial hair with your fingertips, or use a shaving cream brush to get an even distribution of the cream. Wait three to five minutes before shaving, so the cream can further soften your facial hair.
Shave your skin with a sharp, new razor blade in the direction of the hair growth. Avoid going against the hair growth because this can trigger ingrown hairs. If you're reusing a blade, disinfect it beforehand with rubbing alcohol. Minimize the amount of times you shave over the same area, because frequently doing so may cause irritation. Avoid shaving over bumps, ingrown hairs and other skin blemishes, because this may cause bleeding, inflammation and create more dark spots.
Apply a cooling, moisturizing aftershave lotion to your face. Avoid aftershaves with alcohol. Look for an aloe-based aftershave.
Apply pigment lightening cream to your dark spots. Commercial bleaching creams often contain 2 percent hydroquinone, a chemical often questioned for its safety. Look for creams with ingredients such as kojic acid, papaya extract and vitamin C, instead.
Make your own dark spot bleaching solution. Juice one half of a lemon and apply the lemon juice to the dark spots on your face. Leave the juice on your face overnight. Citric acid in lemon juice has a natural bleaching affect on dark spots.
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Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.