'23 Intern: I can't clean shave my face.

Hi all.

Thanks in advance to this forum for helping me get my upcoming 2023 summer internship. I'll be working in IB in NYC this summer, if that matters. But here's the thing—I'm about to face a major problem. Every time I shave my face with a regular Gillette or similar razor, it breaks out like crazy. I've tried using those Manscaped-style electric razors without a guard, and while it gets me close, it's not exactly a clean shave. Back in the day, I had some pretty gnarly acne, but I managed to clear it up with accutane and now I use benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to keep it at bay. If I take care of myself by getting enough sleep, showering regularly, and eating well, I usually just get a random zit or two, nothing too serious. But the past acne left me with some scarring (not too noticeable unless you stare really hard), and I think that's why I keep getting ingrown hairs on my face, which in turn (I bellieve) leads to the horrible acne when I shave. I've tried everything over the years—exfoliating before shaving, using aftershave, moisturizer, fresh razor blades, shaving cream, even shaving right after a shower—but the result is always the same: my face turns into a pizza within a week. I know looks aren't everything in the workplace, but I go from looking like a slightly scruffy attractive guy to feeling super insecure and worried that others might judge me. So, I need your thoughts on this, especially from those who have experience in banking. How bad would it be if I showed up on the first day clean-shaven and then stuck to using the electric razor for the rest of the summer? What if I was never clean shaven? Even that poses a risk of screwing up my face for about two weeks, as it usually gets worse before it gets better once I let a bit of stubble grow. Let me know what you think—whether you have any potential solutions or if you think it's a big deal at all.

At a large firm that I believe has good culture across the board (might be a giveaway, but the firm tout's a "no asshole" policy"), but its not like I'll be working with only the same 15 chill people in a specific group in the midwest. 

It's probably because you have very sensitive skin. The way multi-blade razors work is that some blades pull your hair taut and then the rest cut them beneath their follicles. This leads to a really close shave but the tradeoff is that when the hair grows back it grows under your skin and causes razor bumps. You should try using a single blade razor that doesn't pull at your hair. You might be able to still get a close shave and not get razor bumps/acne.


Electric trimmer can really help and do 80% of the work with no inflammation. Just using it everyday helps as the cut is not as clean.

On top of it I assume you already know you can moisturise etc. To prevent the skin from being too affected.

But long term would be helpful to see a dermatologist.

Buy a Norelco Phillips shaver. I have the same issue when I clean shave, I break out (could also be your shaving cream, I buy alcohol free)Have been using the electric shaver and it leaves an almost clean shave. As long as you shave everyday shouldn't be a problem."Clean shave" isn't really a "must". However, it is important to look clean, presentable and professional. Everyone has their own look. Just make sure you look professional and don't wait too long between shaving.

I have this same problem OP. Add to the fact I drop a solid 2-3 points on the 1-10 looks scale when I have a clean shaven face. My solution has been using a beard trimmer and rocking clean-looking (shaved neck and upper cheeks) stubble. Having been in NYC FO roles, it has never been an issue and no one has ever said anything about it being unprofessional. Plenty of folks in the office of all seniority levels have facial hair nowadays. Just don't look like a slob.

If you can't get decent facial hair growth / if you're insistent on going with the clean shave look, i will echo what other folks have said re: look into getting a quality safety razor, shave soap, and brush. Even with that, I still get ingrown hairs, but its far better than using cartridge type razors. Good luck.

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