9 Essential Oils For Razor Burns And Bumps (Plus Recipes)

We’ve all experienced it – you spend forever getting that perfect, silky-smooth shave only to be met with an angry razor burn.

It hurts, it’s itchy, and it’s downright ugly!

Razor burns and bumps aren’t something you have to suffer with. Read below to find out what causes razor burns and bumps, how to prevent them, and the best essential oils to use in your DIY shaving recipes.

Difference Between Razor Burns And Bumps

Although sometimes used interchangeably, razor burns and razor bumps are two different things.

Razor burn happens during or immediately after shaving. It can cause tiny red bumps, blotchy red skin, pain, and itching.

Razor bumps, on the other hand, happen as your hair starts to grow back in hours or days after shaving. Instead of growing straight upwards, hair will curl back into itself and create an ingrown hair. This causes pain, swelling, and itchiness.

Razor burns and bumps can lead to infection if left unaddressed, especially in the underarms and bikini area. Razor bumps can even lead to nasty cysts beneath the skin which may need to be lanced by a medical professional.

What Causes Razor Burns And Bumps?

Razor burns are likely to happen if you’re using an old, dull razor. When a razor becomes dull, it can no longer glide smoothly and will drag along your skin. This will cause tiny cuts that can become irritated and painful.

Shaving over one spot multiple times increases your chances of experiencing razor burns. The delicate skin of your face, underarms, and bikini area can only take so much friction before it becomes irritated.

Both razor burns and bumps can be caused by a build up of dead skin cells on top of the skin. These dead skin cells can clog pores and your razor, leading to irritation and a greater chance of ingrown hairs.

If you have curly hair, you are much more likely to experience razor bumps. This is the case whether you shave, pluck, or wax your hair. Even if you do everything possible to prevent razor bumps, you will likely still have razor bumps every so often if you have curly hair. This makes it even more important for you to take care of your skin.

Prevention Method Tips

Absolutely! The best way to prevent razor burns and bumps is to take good care of your skin before, during, and after shaving.

Make sure to gently exfoliate your skin a few times a week. This prevents the build up of dead skin cells and will improve the texture of your skin.

Always was your skin with a gentle cleanser and warm water before shaving. Pat the area dry before applying a pre-shave lotion or oil.

Keep skin moisturized in between shaves to prevent dryness and irritation. Try mixing shea butter with lavender and chamomile essential oils for a soothing, hydrating balm.

Change your razor about every 5 uses, or sooner if you notice it has become dull. A dull razor will drag along your skin and can be painful (and ineffective).

If you already have razor burns or bumps, never shave over that area until the irritation has healed. If you do, the irritation will get much, much worse! Allow your skin time to calm down and heal before shaving again.

List Of 9 Best Essential Oils

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree essential oil is a natural antiseptic that has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

This oil can prevent breakouts and infections that will make razor burns and bumps worse. This is because it is a natural astringent that has a drying effect on skin.

Make sure to mix tea tree oil with other essential oils or a carrier oil before using. Tea tree oil is very strong and can cause irritation if used undiluted.

2. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is another natural antiseptic that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

This oil is gentle on sensitive skin and will soothe irritated, inflamed areas. It is unlike other essential oils in that it can be used directly on the skin without diluting.

3. Calendula Oil

Calendula essential oil is a natural antiseptic that is a great choice for razor burns and bumps. This oil is able to soothe irritated, red skin and acts as a natural analgesic.

Before using calendula oil, make sure you are ok with its scent. Many people can’t stand the fragrance of calendula oil and say that it smells like rotting wood, even when mixed with other oils. However, the unusual smell of this oil may be worth it since it is a powerhouse for irritated, sensitive skin!

4. Frankincense Oil

This luxurious essential oil is a natural antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Frankincense oil acts as a natural pain killer that can alleviate the discomfort that comes with razor bumps. This essential oil is good for irritated, sensitive sin and is very gentle.

Like lavender oil, frankincense can be used directly on the skin without diluting.

5. Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is a natural antiseptic that has anti-inflammatory properties. It acts as a mild pain reducer that works well when combined with other oils.

This essential oil has an astringent quality that will dry out oily skin. This reduced the chances of breakouts which can happen with razor burns.

Lemon essential oil is high in Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, and is a soothing choice for irritated skin.

6. Sandalwood Oil

This earthy essential oil is another natural antiseptic with antibacterial properties.

Unlike many essential oils, sandalwood acts as a skin conditioner that can nicely balance more drying oils.

Sandalwood is a gentle oil that lends a natural, woody scent to your skincare products.

7. Geranium Oil

Geranium essential oil, like sandalwood, has the ability to moisturize and protect skin from dryness. It is especially good for itchy, irritated skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

This floral essential oil can promote healing of ingrown hairs and damaged skin. It improves circulation and blood flow to hair follicles and deeper layers of skin.

8. Peppermint Oil

This refreshing essential oil is an excellent natural pain killer. It has a numbing effect on painful skin and will cool unpleasant itching.

Be sure to mix peppermint oil with other essential oils or carrier oils before using on sensitive areas. Peppermint essential oil can cause burning if used without dilution.

9. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile essential oil, specifically German chamomile, is an excellent oil for any DIY skincare product. It is a great choice for razor-burned skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Chamomile essential oil is very gentle on irritated skin and pairs especially well with lavender.

3 Awesome DIY Essential Oil Recipes

1. Pre-shave Oil


  • 2 oz castor oil
  • 2 oz grapeseed oil
  • 1 oz jojoba oil
  • 12 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops geranium essential oil
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil


  1. Add ingredients to a small, dark-colored glass dropper bottle. Swirl to combine.
  2. Use about 5 drops of this pre-shave oil a few minutes before applying a shaving cream or balm.

2. Shaving Balm


  • 8 oz unrefined coconut oil
  • 6 oz shea butter
  • 1 T raw honey
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil


  1. Melt coconut oil, shea butter, and honey over low heat until combined
  2. Let cool until mixture is soft and pliable
  3. Whip mixture with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form
  4. Store in a dark-colored glass container at room temperature
  5. Before shaving and after using a pre-shave oil, apply balm to desired areas in a thin layer.
  6. Rinse razor with warm water every 2 to 3 passes to avoid build-up

3. Aftershave Spray


  • 4 oz witch hazel (choose one without alcohol or other added ingredients)
  • 1 t sweet almond oil
  • 2 t vegetable glycerin
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • Optional: 3 drops calendula essential oil


  1. Add all ingredients to a dark-colored glass spray bottle and shake gently to combine
  2. Spray mixture on skin 3-5 minutes after shaving to soothe skin and prevent bacteria growth
Kelli Yates
Kelli Yates
Kelli Yates is a health and nutrition writer, dietetics student, and co-host and creator of The Nutrition Nerds Podcast. In her spare time she teaches the free class Well-Fed Survival: Eating Healthy After A Disaster, which helps people build nutritious emergency food supplies and prepare for natural disasters.
Previous ArticleNext Article