The 7 Products a Dermatologist Suggests to Get Rid of Razor Burn in Armpits

Updated: Jun. 30, 2022

Smooth and soothe delicate underarms with these pre- and post-shave gels, creams, and oils—recommended by a dermatologist, and loaded with natural ingredients.

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Sleeveless tops and swimsuit season usually mean a little more regular attention in the grooming department—such as more frequent armpit-shaving. And while the underarm is a relatively easy area to reach with a razor, it’s also somewhat sensitive, as well as a contoured body part that can feel tricky to navigate with a blade. In any case, shaving your armpits might be a chore you race through to get it done…and when it comes to experiencing armpit pain, razor burn is high on the list of reasons for discomfort.

What is razor burn?

“Razor burn is small bumps on the skin and irritation that can occur after shaving,” explains Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified NYC dermatologist, assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and author of the book, Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. Dr. Jaliman adds what many of us know too well—that this type of irritation “commonly appears on underarms, face and neck, and the bikini area.”

Your underarms, she says, are particularly susceptible, which she notes could be due to the texture of your hair, using old razor blades, or using the wrong technique when shaving. “Many people shave armpits quickly and don’t shave in one direction,” says. Dr. Jaliman. “This tends to cause irritation and razor burn in armpits. Also, people tend to shave armpits more often, even on a daily basis, and this causes razor burn.”

Shaving tips to prevent razor burn in armpits

There are a number of products to help with razor burn in armpits (more on those in a minute!), but following Dr. Jaliman’s five tips will also help reduce your chances of discomfort.

1. Start by exfoliating. “Exfoliate the area you are shaving to bring the hair completely out of the follicle,” she suggests. Exfoliation is also one way to get rid of ingrown hairs. 

2. Avoid waterless razors. “Even if they have some sort of ingredient that is released while shaving, you will usually get some discomfort after you have shaved.” Shaving cream is your friend.

3. Use a razor with multiple blades. “This helps with the number of times you’ll have to pass the razor on your skin, reducing chances of irritation.”

4. Shave while you bathe. “Along with making sure hair is well hydrated before beginning, I recommend shaving against the growth of your strands and using warm water. It opens the pores, making it easier to shave.”

5. Change your blades. “Replace them often,” Dr. Jaliman advises. Unsurprisingly, this is one basic when it comes to the best ways to shave your legs.

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Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel

“Aveeno has this shaving gel, which is great for those prone to razor bumps,” says Dr. Jaliman. “It’s ideal for underarms.”

This Aveeno shave gel contains oat and vitamin E, which help to moisturize and relieve dryness. Oats have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and help treat dry skin and remove dead skin cells. Finish off pits withe one of the best natural deodorants, or better yet, crystal deodorant.

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eos Shea Better 24H Moisture Shave Cream

“One of my favorite brands is eos, and this shave cream contains shea butter, aloe, and oats,” says Dr. Jaliman. “These are all ingredients I recommend and look for myself in shaving creams or gels. It also contains vitamins E and C, which are antioxidants and help revitalize the skin. Vitamin E helps with inflammation from already irritated armpits.”

Read on to discover more dermatologist skin care tips that some docs follow themselves.

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Rainbow Smooth Hydrating Shave Butter

How beautiful is this rainbow swirl of coconut and vanilla shave butter? It almost looks good enough to eat (but please don’t!).

Glycerin tops the list of ingredients in Rainbow Smooth Hydrating Shave Butter, and that’s a good thing because Dr. Jaliman says glycerin is a humectant that’s super hydrating. This entire line is vegan, too.

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Tree Hut bare Coconut Lime Moisturizing Shave Oil

You may be used to creams and gels, but oil-based shave products are worth considering, too. “This one will provide for a very close shave,” says Dr. Jaliman. “Your razor will glide effortlessly without any friction because it’s an oil.”

She says the ingredients—including shea butter and several vitamins—help to moisturize and protect the skin, while the jojoba and sesame oils condition the skin to prevent dryness. Finally, the oats help calm razor burn in armpits.

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DeoDoc Pre-Shave Oil

Dr. Jaliman says to look for products containing shea butter, because it’s extremely moisturizing due to its natural vitamins and fatty acids. Reach for DeoDoc’s Pre-Shave Oil, which uses shea butter ethyl esters to help create a protective barrier against your razor. This is step one in the brand’s three-step shaving series (which also includes a Shaving Foam and After Shave Balm).

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Completely Bare Completely Smooth Moisturizing No-Bump Shave Gel

The word jojoba is not only fun to say (it’s pronounced “ha-HO-bah”), but it’s also a powerful ingredient to help prevent razor burn in armpits. Why? “Jojoba oil acts as a natural skin conditioner,” says Dr. Jaliman. “It can seal in the moisture and form an effective barrier to external elements, such as cold weather, which generally dries out the skin.” It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe irritated skin.

This shave gel has jojoba and aloe vera gel for bump-free armpits.

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Urban ReLeaf Razor Bump Soothing Salve

If you’re already suffering from armpit razor burn when you read this, Dr. Jaliman suggests you apply an after-shave product that’ll help calm things down. “The ingredients in this salve help to soothe rash and bumps caused by shaving,” she says of the Urban ReLeaf Razor Bump Soothing Salve. “Essential oils help calm razor bumps, and tea tree oil has healing properties.”

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IntiMD Coochy Plus Intimate After Shave

This little aftershave bottle has everything you need to prevent armpit razor burn: jojoba oil, avocado oil, shea butter, maca root, and aloe vera. “Aloe is great for skin irritation and inflammation,” says Dr. Jaliman. “It’s cooling and soothes the skin, plus it’s anti-inflammatory, so it gets rid of redness.”

This fragrance-free version is safe for all skin types and can be safely used on even the most intimate body parts—including armpits.

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