INGROWN hairs are the scourge of shavers everywhere. In some cases, they can be extremely uncomfortable and even become infected, but instead of squeezing or picking at them, there are many more efficient, and much less painful, ways to stop them from rearing their ugly heads.
Ingrown hairs can crop up when the hair follicle is obstructed by dead skin cells, which is where exfoliation comes in. Exfoliation helps to prevent this from happening by speeding up the removal of dead skin cells on the surface.
Somewhat of a saviour for those ingrown hairs, as well as acne, glycolic acid breaks down the mixture of sebum and dead skin cells that cause obstructions to hairs, so that they can reach the surface much easier and without the area becoming inflamed.
Salicylic acid is great for preventing and treating ingrown hairs. A BHA (beta hydroxy acid), it penetrates deeper into the pores to dislodge the paste-like combination of dead skin buildup and oil, resulting in fewer blockages. Its powerful antibacterial properties are also helpful in reducing the risk of infection.
Exfoliation is key to helping reduce ingrown hairs. As we get a little older, our skin becomes less efficient at this whole detox/elimination process and less effective at naturally shedding the layers of dead skin cells that clog up the surface.
A quick scrub before each shower improves cell turnover, which means fewer clogged pores so that hairs can grow out normally.
Body scrubs, just like acid exfoliators, uncover newer, softer skin cells that hairs can penetrate through easily, but they have a more stimulating effect on the skin, so you can rely on them to wake you up in the morning.
If you tend to get ingrown hairs on your thighs or bikini line, invest in a scrub packed with sugar, which is much gentler on sensitive areas than microbeads or pumice.
If ingrown hairs are the bane of your life and you’ve tried more or less everything to get rid of them, make laser hair removal your next step.
Instead of targeting the skin, it makes a beeline for the hair follicle, damaging it at the root. It’s an effective, long term method of preventing unwanted hair but it’s important to note that hair is only ever reduced, not permanently removed.