We’ve all experienced it. The pesky, red bumps that appear on our legs, bikini line, and even eyebrows. They can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and painful in some cases. Although many of us have accepted these inconvenient bumps as a part of life, we’re left wondering: can we prevent them? Read on to find out.
What are ingrown hairs?
After waxing or tweezing, a new hair follicle forms in the hair bulb and pushes its way to the surface. While this new hair begins to grow out, it can sometimes get trapped under the skin and grow inward. As the hair continues to grow, it creates more pressure under the skin causing redness and swelling.
Why do we get ingrown hairs?
There are some risk factors associated with getting ingrown hairs. Those with curly or wavy hair have more of a chance of the hair spiralling inward and getting stuck beneath the skin.
Clogged hair follicles can also cause ingrown hairs by blocking the natural hair pathway with dirt, dead skin cells, and other impurities.
How to treat ingrown hairs
Although ingrown hairs are common and totally normal, they can be annoying to deal with. While you’re waiting for the hair to turn around and break through the skin, here are some ways that you can calm and soothe the area.
- Use a warm compress
Grab a washcloth and run some warm water over it. For ten minutes at a time, gently press the warm washcloth on the ingrown hair to calm the area. Repeat this morning and evening until the swelling and redness subsides.
- Wear loose clothing
The number one thing to avoid with ingrown hairs is irritation as it can cause infection. While you have an active ingrown hair, try to avoid tight clothing or anything that will cause friction on the area.
Note: if your ingrown hair has become infected or increasingly swollen/sore, please reach out to a medical professional.
Can they be prevented?
The simple answer is yes! In most cases, you can avoid ingrown hairs by taking a couple of preventative measures.
Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis can remove the dry skin and congestion that often causes ingrown hairs.
We recommend using a scrub 3-4 times per week on your affected areas. We love Wildcraft’s Buff Scrub for smoothing and detoxifying. It contains rhassoul clay to purify and chamomile to calm and soothe skin.
Dry brushing is another great option since you can do it before showering, or even on non-shower days. Try the Buff Experts' SRSLY Buffed Dry Brush on the bikini line and pubic mound to prevent and treat ingrowns.
Alternatively, in shower you can try Bathorium’s Konjac Walnut Shell Exfoliating Body Sponge with your existing body wash. It gently removes dry skin and buildup while creating a foamy lather and extending the life of your wash. Or the Buff Experts' SRSLY Buffed In-Shower Exfoliating Gloves to scrub away dull, dead skin and dark spots on your underarms. The exfoliating gloves remove the surface layer of skin-clogging buildup to reveal fresh, soft and healthy skin underneath.
Like a physical scrub, chemical peels remove dead skin cells and increase cell turnover, minimizing the chances of a new hair turning inward.
Sahajan’s Brightening Mask uses glycolic acid and bilberry extract to remove congestion and improve skin texture. Begin by using this mask on the area 1-2 times per week for 10 minutes. It’s normal to feel a slight tingling sensation while this mask is working its magic.
Buff Experts' Turmeric & Papaya Brightening Deodorant helps protect against BO and evens out your natural armpit skin tone using plants, like papaya seed oil and papaya enzymes which gently exfoliate.
After you’ve exfoliated the area, hydrate your skin with a body moisturizer. This helps to strengthen the skin, prevent dry skin congestion, and soften new hairs as they appear.
Try a nourishing body lotion like Corpa Flora’s Nutritive Botanical Moisturizing Body Treatment. The natural blend of rosehip and camellia oils gently soothe irritated and sensitive skin.
For your intimate area try Buff Experts' Carrot & Calendula Intimate Salve. It helps to prevent ingrown hairs and cracked skin with cold-pressed carrot seed, olive, and sea buckthorn oils a for soothing, gentle moisture. A touch of zinc oxide and ethically sourced beeswax helps relieve redness and shaving bumps down there. Bonus: this salve is perfect for ALL intimate bits 🍑🍆