Can I Use Salicylic Acid After Shaving?

Believe it or not, the question “Can I use salicylic acid after shaving?” comes to many people’s heads since it is hard to find the exact answer. If it happens to you, do not ignore this post!

BHA is a chemical exfoliator that has a number of beneficial effects on your skin. However, it also has certain drawbacks, such as itching, burning, acne swelling, and so on. 

To avoid these unexpected accidents occurring, you must exercise extreme caution. In this case, there will be questions for those who shave on a daily basis, specifically “Can I use salicylic acid after shaving?” 

This article will provide helpful information regarding using salicylic acid, also known as BHA after shaving. Let’s have a look at it!

What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is obtained from willow bark and falls into the salicylates family of substances.

It is also a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), which means the hydroxy and acid halves of the molecule are divided by two carbon atoms, in contrast to one in an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). This composition is significant since it allows salicylic acid to be more oil-soluble, permeating skin pores.

Salicylic acid, also known as a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), is an oil-soluble exfoliant. 
Salicylic acid, also known as a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), is an oil-soluble exfoliant.

So what benefits does BHA provide for your skin?

Lee's Razors
Lee's Razors

First, it helps dissolve the skin debris clogging pores, works as an anti-inflammatory, and makes pustules and inflamed, red pimples go away quickly when it enters the skin.

Second, salicylic acid acts as an exfoliator, removing your dead skin cells. BHA assists in curing and minimizing acne by cleaning and unclogging blocked pores. It also reduces the amount of sebum produced.

In addition, salicylic acid can also penetrate under your skin’s surface to clear out excess oils from the pores and lessen oiliness because BHA is oil-soluble. As a result, the visibility of pores may also improve.

Can You Use BHA After Shaving?

The answer is yes but you had better not use it immediately after shaving. 

Salicylic acid is an exfoliator, so using it after shaving will eliminate your dead skin and make it easy for your hair to enter through. It also helps with concerns like razor bumps, razor burns, ingrown hair, irritation, and acne that occur after shaving.

Exfoliating after shaving is not bad, but there are two main types of exfoliants and only one of them is suitable to be used after shaving.

Physical exfoliants often include crystals to peel off dead cells, which are recommended to be applied before shaving to prep a smooth skin

Chemical exfoliants (including BHA) penetrate the pores, dissolves the links between skin cells, soften the top layer of skin, and encourage its shedding. They disrupt and loosen protein connections between cells on the skin’s surface.

For this reason, using salicylic acid after shaving is preferable since they do not produce somewhat more significant irritation than physical ones.

How Long After Shaving Should You USe Salicylic Acid?

The answer is that you should consider using a BHA after shaving based on how close your shave is. It is a good idea to wait for one day to use BHA after shaving.

Although it is advisable not to use it immediately after shaving, you can still use salicylic acid if you have not shaved too close and believe your skin is fine and healthy enough. However, adopting this method is highly dangerous, so think about the hazards before attempting it.

Furthermore, your newly shaved skin may be sensitive (and potentially cut) in some areas after shaving. So, using BHA to exfoliate immediately can irritate your skin and generate additional redness, in addition to causing everything to burn.

To ensure shaving is more pleasant, you should exfoliate your skin the night before shaving using an AHA. Then, use a BHA to avoid redness, irritation, and ingrown hairs the following day after shaving.

For the best result, use it the next morning when you shave at night or use it at night if you shave in the morning).

You can use salicylic acid after shaving your face.
You can use salicylic acid after shaving your face.

What products containing BHA should you use after shaving?

Paula’s Choice PC4MEN Aftershave Treatment & Exfoliant

This mild, leave-on exfoliator is ideal for use after shaving.

It instantly soothes irritation, unclogs pores, and minimizes ingrown hairs and red bumps thanks to the presence of 2% BHA (salicylic acid). It also eliminates dead skin cells, making the skin softer and younger-looking.

Serious serum: body, face serum

This solution is soft enough for even sensitive skin, so you may use it on a daily basis to treat ingrown hairs in the pubic region, underarms, beard bumps, or anywhere else you shave. 

It contains Salicylic Acid 1%, Glycolic Acid 3%, BHA Exfoliant 2%, and Lactic Acid 6%, which have numerous applications for the entire family, providing a soothing and bump-free skin.

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

This gentle composition contains 2% salicylic acid, an acne medicine that cures and prevents outbreaks without drying or irritating your skin. It also aids in the treatment and elimination of body rashes.

This pleasant oil-free body wash is created with glycerin to considerably lower skin dryness and is ideal for acne-prone skin. This simple to use daily body wash is non-comedogenic, meaning it may not clog the pores and will leave your skin sensation clean and rejuvenated.

Are There Any Substances You Can Use After Shaving?

Hyaluronic acid

You had better apply a product with hyaluronic acid after shaving. The reason for using hyaluronic acid after shaving is because it acts as a humectant, attracting water molecules to your skin’s surface to keep it moisturized.

After shaving, specialists advise rinsing their skin with water to eliminate remaining skin cells and hairs since one hyaluronic acid molecule can accumulate a large number of water molecules, assisting in water retention and skin-soothing. 

After that, apply hydrating products coming with hyaluronic acid to maintain the skin hydrated. 

Citric acid

For the best results, apply this type of acid after shaving. Citric acid is derived from citrus fruit extracts, as the names imply. Its primary function is to balance the skin’s pH and smooth out rough spots. 

Before using a moisturizer, applying a toner or serum-containing citric acid is a great idea.

However, citric acid can irritate the skin after shaving, especially around the pubic area. Thus, it is the potential to get a burning sensation from these substances. If you notice any stinging or burning, wash it off right away.


Once again, it is best to moisturize right after shaving to heal and nourish your skin. After shaving, use one with niacinamide to help rebuild the skin barrier and reduce inflammation, just as hyaluronic acid.

Niacinamide is a vitamin B3 variant that provides focused sustenance for the skin. It includes anti-inflammatory properties and may help treat inflammatory acne or rosacea problems. Also, it is suitable for regular shavers who suffer from razor burns.

Many of these disorders necessitate more intensive, focused treatments, but adding niacinamide to your routine to combat their appearance is beneficial.

Vitamin C

After shaving, using a vitamin C boost can help fight inconsistent skin pigmentation and wrinkles.

So, you should go for a vitamin C serum the next morning after shaving under moisturizer for the finest results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Salicylic Acid In Pubic Area?

The answer is yes

Although BHA is among the most effective techniques to treat and avoid acne, it may cause skin purging at first. Also, your pubic area is one of the most sensitive parts of the body. 

As a result, you should use a low concentration BHA or products containing BHA. 

BHA deep-cleans pores, removes excess oil, soothes inflammation, and diminishes post-acne blemishes, in addition to exfoliating dead skin on the surface.

For this reason, stop using it and consult your doctor when the product you use is hurting the skin.

Is Salicylic Acid Effective For Ingrown Hair?

BHA effectively treats and prevents ingrown hairs, not just for acne sufferers.

A BHA goes a lot deeper into the pores to loosen the paste-like accumulation of the oil and dead skin, leading to reduced blockages. This softens your skin and allows developing hair strands to penetrate more easily.

In addition, it is an excellent anti-inflammatory; thus, you may say goodbye to the burning redness coming with ingrown hairs. Furthermore, the potent antibacterial qualities aid in minimizing the danger of infection.

Can Salicylic Acid Purge The Skin?

For several people, the answer is yes. 

Since it is oil-soluble, BHA exfoliates the skin’s surface and the pore lining. This type of exfoliation may cause a mass outflow of inflammatory chemicals and oil, leading to additional breakouts in some cases.

BHA helps skin cells change rapidly, so a powerful BHA solution may quicker drive pimples to the surface. It may seem strange, yet it may happen to some people.

Can You Use Acne Treatment After Shaving?

The answer is yes. Regular acne treatments may help reduce razor bump inflammation since they include antimicrobial components, including tetracycline, macrolide, and others. 

You can use acne treatment after shaving, but not immediately. 
You can use acne treatment after shaving, but not immediately.

Keep in mind that several acne treatments might cause the skin to become dry, which may be solved while treating the skin with a solution created to stop and heal razor bumps.

Using acne treatments right after shaving may be uncomfortable. So, the best solution is to offer your skin a rest. 

If you must complete everything at once, do not forget to follow these steps:

  • Clean using a cleanser carefully.
  • Shave using a good razor and shaving cream, being careful not to use too much force.
  • Wash and pat your skin dry.
  • Use a toner to the portions of your face that have not been shaved.
  • Use your acne treatment.
  • Use moisturizer.

Can You Use Lactic Acid After Shaving?

While shaving, the build-up of your dead skin cells may cause ingrown hairs and irritating razor bumps. Thus, exfoliating them away using lactic acid before shaving prevents them from developing and improves the general skin’s texture.

Lactic acid, the mildest of the alpha hydroxy acids (also known as AHA), is a gentle exfoliant that helps to reduce the presence of hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

If you intend to shave your beard, exfoliating before shaving may help prevent beard dandruff, enhance the skin’s structure beneath the beard, maintain the hair follicles healthy and clear, and promote vigorous beard development.

Can You Use Glycolic Acid After Shaving?

The answer is no. 

Glycolic acid (also known as AHA), like salicylic acid, helps exfoliate the dead skin. However, AHA is water-based, so it will clean the surface easier and faster. As a result, you should use it before shaving to prep your skin for a better shaving experience.

Specifically, this kind of acid breaks down the connections holding the dead skin cells together, allowing new cells to rise to the surface. After a shave, healthy skin cells take up healing and moisturizing formulas best to minimize razor burn.

Furthermore, because glycolic acid is water-based, it will clean the surface of your skin more effectively and quickly, assisting in the better preparation of your skin for other treatments and allowing them to achieve their intended goals.

In addition, using it before shaving helps your skin better absorb moisturizing products if all barriers, including dead skin and grime, are removed.

You had better use glycolic acid before shaving.
You had better use glycolic acid before shaving.

Bottom Line

Let’s look over the title question again: “Can I use salicylic acid after shaving?”.

Again, exfoliating after shaving is not bad. BHA can be used both before and after shaving to make your skin smoother and prevent ingrown hairs. 

In case you intend to apply a kind of acid after shaving, glycolic acid, citric acid, and others are great alternatives.

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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