Whether you are just shaving your face or your entire body, chances are at one time or another, you have experienced the nasty affects of an ingrown hair. Unattractive, and often painful, ingrown hairs are tricky to get rid of....but there are steps you can take to prevent them in the first place!
Ingrown hairs are caused by skin cells forming over the follicle after the hair has been shaved, causing the hair to grow back under the skin, trapping the hair and other bacteria under the surface of the skin, resulting in painful red bumps. The only cure for an ingrown hair is to fish it out with a surgical blade or sharp pin.
You can reduce the occurrence of these pesky blemishes by taking a few steps during your shaving routine.
STEP 1: EXFOLIATE before you shave with a coarse scrub (sugar or salt) or a loofah. This sloughs away dead skin cells allowing for a smoother, more comfortable shave.
LEAF & RUSHER Rapid Resurface
$50 - Leaf & Rusher www.leafandrusher.com
STEP 2: PREP with a shaving cream that uses calming ingredients such as aloe, chamomile, and licorice extracts.
KORRES Absinthe Shave Cream
$22 - Korres www.korres.com
STEP 3: SHAVE using a high quality, sharp razor. If you have especially coarse hair, or tend to get a lot of ingrown hairs, shave with the grain. The resulting shave won't be silky smooth, but it will leave the edge of the hairs above the surface of the skin, preventing skin growth over the follicle.
STEP 4: TONE using an anti-bacterial toner including witch hazel and salicylic acid. Apply to area with a cotton ball or cotton pad and allow to air dry.
MENSCIENCE Post-Shave Repair
This one is especially great because it sprays directly on the area. No cotton required!
$28 - Menscience www.menscience.com
STEP 5: TREAT the area with a soothing aftershave balm, which will calm irritation and act as an anti-inflammatory for the follicles that have just been opened up.
WHISH BODY Flawless Ingrown Hair Serum
$22.50 Whish Body www.whishbody.com
You are going to want to repeat steps 4 and 5 twice a day for the next 3 days or so, to ensure that you are preventing skin growth over the hair follicles. If you shave every day, then you are going to want to do steps 2-5 daily, and reserve exfoliating to 1-2 times per week.