Woman to Woman
Outsmarting Ingrown Hairs
Stop painful, unsightly bumps at the source
We’re in the home stretch of summer, so there’s no doubt that the last few months of shaving and waxing have resulted in at least one ingrown hair – a hair that curls back on itself and starts growing beneath the skin. The redness (and occasional pus – yuck!) associated with ingrown hairs is a sign of inflammation caused by a minor infection.
One of the key ways to prevent and treat ingrown hairs is by eliminating the top layers of skin that can trap the hair, but manual exfoliation with a scrub or loofah can hurt – and make existing ingrowns worse. This is why chemical based exfoliation with glycolic or salicylic acid is a better choice.
There are plenty of products designed for ingrown hairs, and they come in many formulations such as pads, liquids and creams. Personally, I like a cream to prevent dripping and so I can control where the product is going. (Think of it this way, liquid tends to drip downward which can get a little scary in the bikini area.)
Right now I’m using Ingrown Relief Lotion, which I discovered at Shobha, the New York City spa known for its hair removal. Used nightly (wait 48 hours after waxing) it exfoliates with glycolic acid, kills bump-causing bacteria with tea tree oil and soothes irritated skin with chamomile – all without parabens or artificial color or fragrance. Just a bit of advice before showing off your beautiful bikini line at the beach this weekend: Glycolic acid causes sun sensitivity, so unless you want to replace those bumps with a burn, make sure to apply sunscreen. $22, myshobha.com