Bumpy, scratchy, painful, unsightly... we've all been there when it comes to ingrown hairs. Whether they be on your underarms, legs, face, or in your nether regions, they're certainly no fun. While ingrown hairs are common and often nothing to worry about, it goes without saying that we'd get rid of them if we could. Here are the proven ways to prevent and reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs.
What causes ingrown hairs?
Showing up as tiny, discoloured bumps on the skin where you shave, wax or tweeze, they occur when a hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin, causing inflammation, redness, and sometimes even infection. While they can affect anyone, they're more common in individuals with curly or coarse hair.
To prevent and treat ingrown hairs, do:
The key to preventing ingrown hairs is also the simplest: exfoliate the skin regularly. Exfoliation resurfaces the skin, clearing away debris such as dead skin and other impurities that block the hair follicles. Regular exfoliation prevents the buildup of dead skin cells and excess oils, making it easier for hair follicles to break through and grow out correctly.
Another vital part of preventing ingrown hairs is hydration: keeping your skin soft and smooth will make it easier for hairs to grow freely instead of getting blocked by a rough, dried surface. After exfoliating, apply a moisturiser to replenish moisture.
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Use a sharp razor
When shaving, always use a sharp razor to minimise the risk of ingrown hairs. We're all guilty of reusing old blades into oblivion because they look clean and hey, they still get the job done. In reality, dull blades can cause the hair to be cut unevenly, which increases the risk of getting ingrown hairs. Get into the habit of throwing out old blades – after 5-10 shaves if you're using a disposable razor. Cartridge razors last a little longer, but *not* forever! Each blade lasts more or less 15 shaves depending on its quality, so switch them out accordingly.
Shave in the direction of hair growth
A super-simple one to know: always shave in the direction your hair grows. This reduces the changes of them curling backwards into the skin afterwards!
What to avoid
Avoid tight clothing
Yes, we're talking about spanx, and most of the skintight garments Skims puts in the virtual store window. Wearing tight clothing can increase friction and irritation, making ingrown hairs more likely to occur. Opt for loose-fitting clothes, especially after exfoliating or shaving. (ie. air your bits)
Stay away from dry shaving
Dry shaving can cause the hair to break unevenly, increasing the chances of ingrown hairs. Always wet the skin and use a shaving cream or gel to lubricate, soften and protect the skin!
Don't pick or scratch
Super tempting! We know it's hard to resist the urge to scratch the itch or go in with tweezers to yank the hair out (despite how satisfying it can be), but this can worsen the condition and lead to infection. Instead, apply a warm compress to the affected area to soothe inflammation and coax the hair to the surface.
Get rid of ingrown hairs for good with these products
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An exfoliator that has all bases covered, combining physical and chemical exfoliators to eliminate all dead skin and buildup. Fine bamboo and macadamia particles gently work off surface debris while AHAs from finger lime exfoliate within the pores. It doesn't stop there – Australian Pink Clay absorbs all pore congestion to leave them squeaky clean and blockage-free. The cherry on top the light and luxurious veil of moisture from virgin macadamia oil.
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Not just any body scrub, Smoothing Body Scrub is also enriched with Australian Pink Clay to give your physique the detox it deserves. A gorgeous blend of fine coconut and macadamia shell granules resurface the skin with macadamia oil replenishes. For an added oomph to your look, a dash of 100% biodegradable mica glitter makes you shimmer as you scrub.
Written by: Celeste Lee