Ingrown hairs can really be a nuisance, and they can ruin your fresh-groomed look. Worse, they can look like small red bumps and ruin your bikini line during the warm season. Other than your looks, they can also ruin your health and comfort by getting inflamed and festering. Therefore, it is a necessity to get rid of them. One of the easiest ways to get rid of these dreary ingrown hairs is by finding the best ingrown hair serums, lotions, and creams.
This might seem complicated when you see the sheer amount of models currently available on the market. However, we are certain that after reading our ingrown hair serums, lotions, and creams reviews and detailed buying guide, you’ll be able to find the best choice for your type of skin.
What is Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hair is a condition when your hair curls and grows back into the skin instead of growing up to the surface. Even though anyone can get ingrown hairs, it is most frequently seen among people with curly or coarse hair rather than people with fine hair.
Sometimes dead cells clog a hair follicle. As a result of this, hair growing out of the follicle is forced to grow sideways instead of straight to the surface. Ingrown hairs generally occur after waxing, shaving, epilating, or plucking your hairs. Thus, they are most prevalent on the legs, armpits, and pubic area. They are commonly seen on the face among men, as well.
The skin gets irritated by ingrown hairs. Generally, they produce round red bumps that look like pimples. Sometimes, you can even see the hair curled up and trapped inside the bump. These bumps are usually itchy and are filled with pus. They can also be quite painful.
The follicles of ingrown hairs can sometimes get infected and consequently inflamed. This condition is known as folliculitis. In folliculitis, the hair follicles swell up and become spots filled with pus. There is also a condition called pseudofolliculitis, widely known as razor bumps. Razor bumps occur post-shaving. When you shave, since you cut the hair, it acquires a sharp edge. This sharp edge enables the hair to easily poke back into the skin and to get caught under.
Ingrown hairs are mostly not very serious and usually, the trapped hair finds its way out on its own. However, they surely are irritating and embarrassing. Therefore, it is a good idea to get rid of them as soon as you can.
How Do You Remove an Ingrown Hair?
Nobody would like to put up with ingrown hairs because they are extremely disturbing and they look really bad. However, removing an ingrown hair is not as simple as it may sound.
To start with, you should never scratch or pick at an ingrown hair. Squeezing them is also a big no-no. All this behavior can cause the hair follicle to get infected, worsen the situation, and to scar afterward. The first thing you should do is stop shaving, waxing, and tweezing the area around the ingrown hair and let it be. Most of the time, ingrown hairs find their own way out and go away on their own. This might take from one month to six months. However, if the ingrown hairs are giving you too much trouble, if they are causing pain or look too ugly and make you feel self-conscious, then you can help them a bit to heal;
- First of all, check if the inside of the bump looks white and is filled with pus. If it is so, then it means that the area has been infected. The infection may also be accompanied by redness and inflammation. In order to be able to remove the ingrown hair, you should treat the infection first.
- Use some steroids on the infected area to reduce the swelling and heal the infection. As a result, in addition to getting rid of the painful and ugly infection, you will also be able to see the ingrown hair more clearly.
- In order to clear the area and to bring down the swelling, you can also use a dab of over the counter acne medicine. The acne medicine will dry up the area and reduce the redness.
- Apply a warm compress on the area. The heat and the moisture from the compress will soften and relax your skin and allow the ingrown hair to come closer to the skin surface.
- Then, exfoliate the area to remove the dead skin cells which have accumulated and clogged the path of your hair. You can do this by using a washcloth, a finger mitten or a soft-bristled toothbrush. An exfoliating scrub or a loofah glove will also do the trick. Whichever you decide to use, move it over the area in soft and slow circular motions. Keep doing this for several minutes.
- Try not to be too harsh while exfoliating. You are supposed to exfoliate enough to loosen the skin trapping the ingrown hair, only. If you are too harsh, you may further damage the skin over the ingrown hair and cause even more skin to form on top of it.
- You can see a dermatologist ask them to prescribe retinoids for you. Retinoids help to clear off dead skin cells and they also help to clear dark patches formed because of ingrown hairs.
- Check if you can see the loop formed by the ingrown hair that has curled back into your skin. If not, leave it alone for a bit longer until it finds its way up and gets closer to the surface of your skin. If you can see the loop, get ready to act.
- Sterilize a needle and tweezers by rubbing alcohol on them. Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Use the needle to loosen the tip of the ingrown hair. Try to pass the needle through the curl lightly, do not dig in too deep or you may end up drawing blood.
- Once the tip of the ingrown hair is loose, catch it with the tweezers and gently pull it out.
Best Ingrown Hair Serums, Lotions and Creams Comparison Chart
Tend Skin – The Skin Care Solution
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Kerah Lane Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Formula
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Princereigns Ingrown Hair and Razor Bump Gel
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Fur – All Natural Ingrown Hair Concentrate
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Sally Hansen Zero Bumps Bikini Spray
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Best Ingrown Hair Serums, Lotions & Creams Reviews (Updated List)
1. Tend Skin – The Skin Care Solution
Whenever you shave or wax your body hair, you risk irritating your skin. The skincare solution produced by Tend Skin minimizes this risk. If you want to get rid of your body hair and experience the best, razor bump free results. You only have to make sure you apply the solution before and after shaving, waxing or epilating or laser treatments. However, if you want to benefit from all its effects, you should apply it twice a day, even when you’re using any hair removal procedure.
Tend Skin solution will reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs and thus, it will improve your skin’s appearance after shaving, waxing, epilating, etc. The solution will leave your skin supple and calm at all times. It is suitable for both and women and can be used on almost all parts of your body including arms, legs, hands, bikini line and groin, underarms, neck, chest, stomach, upper lip, chin, and cheeks.
In addition to being a great ingrown hair serum, Tend Skin is also a perfect after shave lotion. When used after shaving or waxing, it will take away the redness and irritation on the skin. Furthermore, it works as an effective underarm deodorant. With Tend skin, you see results in 24 to 48 hours.
Some users have complained that Tend Skin dries one’s skin like alcohol. On the product’s instructions list, it is recommended to use a moisturizer, after about 10 seconds of letting the lotion dry. If you follow this instruction, especially if you have dry skin, your skin will be kept moist and soft as ever.
2. Kerah Lane Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Formula
The organic treatment produced by Kerah Lane comes in a user-friendly container that will allow you to apply the solution with ease. The solution is suitable for all types of skin, whether it’s oily, dry, or sensitive. This serum is made out of natural and organic ingredients, and it doesn’t contain paraben or alcohol, making it more suitable for sensitive skin than other products.
Its natural ingredients include witch hazel known for being a natural skin improver and toner, aloe vera which leaves the skin well-hydrated, stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, and ward off the aging process, lemon essential oils which cleanse the toxins and nourish the skin. and lavender which reduces acne.
The solution provides mild exfoliation, and it will improve the skin’s aspect by removing the dead skin pores. You should apply Kerah Lane directly to wet skin. If your skin is very sensitive, you can apply the solution and then rinse it. It is a whole-body solution and can be applied on your legs, groin, bikini line, and even on more sensitive areas, like your neck or your face. The solution can be used by both women and men.
On top of everything, Kerah Lane products are vegan-friendly and animal cruelty-free.
3. Princereigns Ingrown Hair and Razor Bump Gel
Princereigns Ingrown Hair and Razor Bump Gel offers effective relief of razor burns and ingrown hairs. Moreover, it helps to heal acne. It has an organic formula that does not contain alcohol or oils that can burn skin or clog pores. The formula is also cruelty-free and combines all-natural ingredients like aloe vera, eucalyptus, chamomile, sage, lavender, vitamin E and citrus oils to create a nutrient-rich blend.
This gel softly exfoliates the skin cells, softens the cell membranes so that hair can penetrate through them and makes the ingrown hairs rise above the skin where you can shave or wax them. If you want to experience the best results using this gel, you should apply it twice a day for at least two days before the hair removal. After the removal process, you should apply the gel daily to prevent skin irritation.
Princereigns can be used on your whole body including the bikini line and the face. It features post-anti-inflammatory properties to gently exfoliate and clarify clogged pores and includes camphor which cools burning and prevents infection, without irritating the skin.
One thing customers have complained about is the packaging. Some have received leaked bottles. Therefore, remember to check your product thoroughly when you receive it.
4. Fur – All Natural Ingrown Hair Concentrate
Fur Ingrown Hair Concentrate has all-natural ingredients. To start with, there is coconut oil that deeply penetrates the hair follicles to moisturize them and speeds up the skin’s healing process by softening ingrown hairs and allowing them to easily slide out of the skin. Secondly, there is tea tree oil which is a powerful antimicrobial essential oil. Tea tree oil basically eliminates excess sebum in the pores to prevent ingrown hairs. Then there is tamanu oil which is packed with moisturizing omega fatty acids and antioxidants which soften the skin and promote new, healthy cell growth. Finally, there is chamomile extract which is a natural antioxidant that calms the skin to soothe redness and irritation.
Fur can be used on any part of the body including the armpits, pubic area, upper lip, chin, and eyebrows. It comes with a finger mitt that you can use to exfoliate your skin 3 to 5 times a week. Fur is recommended to be used after a shower. You can apply it on specific spots with ingrown hair, redness, or irritation. People with sensitive skin can use Fur daily as a preventative measure. One bonus feature of Fur is that it can also be used on scars that feel particularly dry and itchy to soothe them.
Fur has been dermatologically and gynecologically tested and has been proven to be safe on all skin types. Its formula is free of phthalates, parabens, silicones, and artificial colors or fragrance. Furthermore, this all-natural concentrate is both gluten-free and vegan. One downside of Fur Ingrown Concentrate is that it is a bit pricey but quality always comes with a price.
5. Sally Hansen Zero Bumps Bikini Spray
Sally Hansen Zero Bumps Bikini Spray is quite an innovative product in terms of its container. A spray bottle is a touch-free applicator, meaning that you can simply apply the product to the target area without getting your hands dirty. Furthermore, it is small enough to fit into your palm and make-up pouch which makes it very suitable for traveling.
Sally Hansen Zero Bumps Bikini Spray is dermatologically tested. It instantly soothes skin, eliminates bumps and heals redness and irritation. Furthermore, it prevents the formation of ingrown hairs when used regularly.
This product contains aloe vera, orange flower extract, soybean extract, and witch hazel to provide moisture and comfort to the skin. Its formula is so natural that it is even safe to use on children older than the age of two. You can use Zero Bumps after waxing, shaving, or using hair removal creams. You can trust it not to stain lingerie, swimwear, or clothing. Moreover, many users agree that the product smells pretty good.
Homemade Remedies for Ingrown Hairs
Although you can buy topical creams and such to treat your ingrown hairs, you can also try some at-home remedies to get rid of them. Here are a few natural and easy recipes;
Essential oils are filled with antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can apply an essential oil directly onto the ingrown hair with the use of a piece of cotton. However, if you have sensitive skin it might be a good idea to dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or simply with some water.
Some of the essential oils that you can use include tea tree oil, peppermint oil, orange oil, and lime oil. When you rub the essential oil on your skin, wait for about 30 minutes before sensing it with warm water.
Baking Soda/Sea Salt
Baking soda and sea salt both have exfoliating properties. Therefore, when you mix half a teaspoon of baking soda or sea salt with 2 spoons of olive oil, which is a natural antibacterial agent, you get an exfoliator.
Twice a day, use your fingertips to exfoliate your skin with this mixture. Rub it onto your skin in circular motions but avoid being too vigorous since you can end up damaging and scarring your skin. When you have finished, rinse it off with warm water and pat dry. Continue this treatment until the ingrown hairs clear off.
Honey has antibacterial properties and sugar is a natural exfoliator. Mix sugar, organic honey and olive oil to make a natural exfoliator. Rub it onto your face in circular motions. Try not to be too harsh, but rather be gentle in order not to irritate your skin. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs?
Most of the time, getting rid of ingrown hairs take a lot of effort and time. However, this does not have to be so. You actually can reduce the risk of getting ingrown hairs and take some precautions to prevent them. Here are some basic rules to follow;
- Daily, rub your face and the other areas that you often shave with an exfoliating scrub. This way, the dead skin cells will not accumulate on your hair follicles.
- Wash these areas with warm water and a mild soap every day to keep them clear.
- Shaving dry skin often leads to ingrown hairs. Therefore, use a shaving gel or cream and after you apply it, let it sit for a few minutes before you start shaving. Another option is to shave right after you have showered because your skin will then already be moist.
- Try not to shave too closely. Instead, use a single-bladed razor or electric shaver and shave in the direction of your hair growth. Shaving in the opposite direction to the hair growth will give you a more precise shave and smoother skin. However, it also means that each hair will be cut at a sharper angle, and is, therefore, more likely to grow back under the skin.
- Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream onto your skin after shaving or waxing.
- Use a topical solution regularly as a preventative measure against ingrown hairs.
- Change your razor blade frequently and avoid dull blades at all times.
- If you are pestered by ingrown hairs often no matter what you do, consider alternative ways of getting rid of unwanted hair instead of shaving and waxing. Laser hair removal, electrolysis and using depilatory creams are just a few of these alternative options. You might be interested in our reviews on best at-home laser & IPL hair removal devices, highly effective home electrolysis hair removal tools, and top-rated permanent hair removal creams.
Are Ingrown Hairs Dangerous?
Ingrown hairs are mostly disturbing but yet, harmless. Generally, you do not even need to do anything for them to clear off. They just disappear on their own. However, they can also cause very serious health problems and can even become deadly on certain occasions. In spite of what you might think, this happens more often than you might expect.
Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria that can be found on the skin surface of about 30% of healthy people. These bacteria are completely harmless when they live on your skin. On the other hand, if they manage to enter your skin through a small cut, they can cause serious health issues. You can get these small cuts from shaving, waxing, or picking and popping your ingrown hair. That is why you should not scratch or fiddle with your ingrown hairs.
When an ingrown hair is infected, it appears red and irritated, feels warm to the touch, itches, and swells. In the case of staph, this swelling gets worse and worse and can turn into an abscess which grows until drained. Moreover, depending on the severity of the case, if this abscess is not drained within days, the infection can spread internally and lead to a deadly blood infection called sepsis.
When you see a doctor and are diagnosed with a staph infection, your doctor will probably numb the area first. Then, he/she will make an incision and squeeze out all the pus. Even though it sounds both painful and disgusting, you would prefer this treatment to a deadly blood infection at any time. Later, most probably you will need to use oral antibiotics along with a topical antibiotic cream to complete your treatment.
To sum up, in spite of being generally harmless, ingrown hairs can be extremely dangerous at times, even life-threatening. In order to avoid a serious case like staphylococcus infection, please visit a doctor immediately if you suffer from the following symptoms on your skin;
- A large red bump that continuously grows in size
- Hot to the touch
- Fever and chills
Some of the other inconveniences ingrown hairs can cause are as follows;
- razor bumps
- permanent scarring
- hair loss
- hair follicle destruction
There are a lot of ingrown hair serums, lotions, and creams on the market. So, finding the best one might not be as simple as it seems. All the products are advertised as being the most efficient, but can you really believe the ads? In the following section, we take a closer look at how good serums, lotions, and creams differentiate from the bad.
How to Choose the Best Ingrown Hair Serum, Lotion & Cream?
Ingrown hair can really be a nuisance, especially during the warm season when you wear lighter clothes. Getting rid of it and reducing the inflammation it produces can be a long process, but using a good serum, lotion, or cream can shorten the period and make it more comfortable. Every product has its own characteristics, but even so, the best ones have some things in common.
Ease of Appliance
One of the most important characteristics of serum is how easy it is to use it. Even if the serum is very effective, you might not choose to use it frequently if the process is messy, or if the solution is oily and difficult to wash off.
Most manufacturers try to make their products user-friendly, and they manage to do so in various ways, usually using smart containers.
- Simple Tubes – These containers are easy and straightforward to use. You simply pour some solution in your hand, then you spread it where it’s needed. The containers can either be colored or transparent so you can see how much solution is left after an application.
If the serum comes in a simple tube, it needs to be easy to apply and wash off. Nobody feels comfortable having an oily substance on their hands.
- Spray Tubes – Some solutions come in spray-like tubes. Instead of pouring the substance in your hand, you can simply spray it where you need it. This makes the application process smoother, and most often cleaner.
Serums that come in a spray tube usually don’t have to be washed off, and they’ll enter your skin quickly. However, if you know you have very sensitive skin, you should still rinse off after a couple of minutes or so.
- Roll-On Sticks – Some ingrown hair serum manufacturers really got creative when it came to storing their substances in containers. Instead of using a normal container, they used roll-on sticks. These sticks have a roll-on head which will spread the solution directly against your skin where you need it. This makes the serum easy to apply, and you won’t have to rinse it off unless you have sensitive skin.
You might be wondering what differentiates the good ingrown hair serums from the bad. Well, to understand that, you need to know how they work.
- First of all, these serums act as an exfoliating cream. They exfoliate your dead skin so the ingrown hairs will be closer to the surface. Most manufacturers recommend using the serum for at least twice a day for two days before the hair removal process, and that’s because a fair amount of dead skin has to be exfoliated to reveal the ingrown hairs. If you exfoliate enough skin, the tip of the hair will exit the skin, and you’ll be able to remove it.
- Second, these creams also play a crucial role in reducing the inflammation caused by the ingrown hairs. When they grow under the skin, the hairs trigger an immune response from your body, which tries to eliminate them as it would a splinter. This creates an inflammation that should push the hair towards the surface of the skin, only that doesn’t happen as it would with a small splinter. The serum lowers the inflammation, making your skin smoother, and having a relief effect.
- Third, the serums act as a protective agent against further inflammation after you remove the hair. This will lower the chances of your skin getting red and itchy after you remove the hair, and it keeps the skin nice and smooth.
Effective ingrown hair serums, lotions, and creams have active ingredients that will help with all the steps of the process. They will remove a good amount of dead skin without causing a rash or major discomfort. They will reduce the inflammation caused by the ingrown hairs, and they will also protect your skin against further inflammation.
Since you use the serum directly on your skin, finding a product that feels good, and makes your skin feel good in turn is very important. Ingrown hairs can feel uncomfortable, and they tend to be itchy and red. Not only will a good serum reduce the inflammation, but it will make your skin feel good as well.
You might not notice it at first, but efficient ingrown hair serums make your skin smoother after they exfoliate it, and you don’t feel any discomfort in the process. People who have sensitive skin might want to rinse the solution off their skin after appliance to lower the chances of prompting an inflammation.
If your skin is sensitive, you should look for a product that doesn’t contain alcohol. While alcohol is still one of the most efficient substances at keeping irritation at bay, it can lead to inflammation on the sensitive skin.
Cost is a factor you have to take into account when you’re looking for an ingrown hair serum. Keep in mind that it’s better to apply the serum at least twice a day for two days before the hair removal process and that you should apply it for the day or two after the process has ended. This means you’ll rub a good amount of serum into your skin every time you want to shave or wax, so the solution might run out sooner than you expect.
However, you should also consider that some expensive serums are simply better than cheaper ones, and using them will have more beneficial effects
How Do You Get Rid of an Ingrown Hair Cyst?
When hair grows back into the skin and becomes an ingrown hair, a lump filled with fluid can develop around it, forming a cyst. A cyst causes the area around it to become red and swollen. Ingrown hair cysts can be small or large, hard or soft, deep under the skin without a head or close to the surface of the skin with a yellow or white head.
In spite of the fact that ingrown hair cysts can develop on any part of your body, they are more likely to occur in areas that you shave or wax. These areas include the armpits, legs, pubic area, neck, and face.
Cysts are painless unless they are infected. Infected cysts, however, are usually tender, itchy and red. In case your ingrown hair cyst keeps growing and is too painful, you should definitely see a doctor. However, if it is tolerable, you may take some actions to speed up its disappearance. Here are some tips on ingrown hair cyst treatment;
- Do not finger or squeeze the cyst. This may lead to an infection.
- Do not shave or wax the area around the cyst. Always keep this area clean.
- Apply warm compresses onto the cyst 3-4 times a day for around 10 minutes.
- If you can see an ingrown hair close to the surface, remove it with sterile tweezers. If it is deep down, do not break in as this can cause bacteria to enter your skin. Instead, leave the ingrown hair alone.
- Use an antiseptic solution on the area like tea tree oil to prevent infection.
On the other hand, schedule a doctor’s appointment if you notice the following;
- The cyst does not disappear on its own.
- The cyst is red, painful, inflamed, and oozes.
- It has become so large that it affects your everyday life.
- Fever and chills accompany the cyst.
How Long Does It Take an Ingrown Hair to Go Away?
Most of the time, ingrown hairs clear off on their own. However, how long it takes for an ingrown hair to go away depends on how long it takes for the ingrown hair to find its way to the surface and grow out. Unfortunately, this is not a very predictable process. In some cases, the ingrown hair can disappear in only a couple of days while in other cases it takes weeks for it to clear.
In order to speed up the healing process, you can take some actions, though. As we have already mentioned above. Exfoliating, moisturizing, and using ingrown hair serums, lotions, or creams are just a few of them.
Why Do I Keep Getting Ingrown Hairs?
Any person can develop ingrown hairs but it is a fact that some people are more prone to getting them than the others. People with coarse and curly hair are the ones most prone to getting ingrown hairs. Since curly hair naturally curls, it is very likely for it to curl back into the skin after growing out of the hair follicle.
In addition to the quality of hair, the quantity plays a role as well. People with high levels of some sex hormones tend to have excessive hair growth and this makes them more likely to get ingrown hairs.
People who prefer to shave or wax are prone to getting ingrown hairs when compared to people who use hair removal creams or laser hair removal methods. The reason is that both shaving and waxing give a sharp edge to hair and this sharp edge makes it easier for hair to pierce through the skin and move sideways instead of up to the skin surface.
Ingrown hairs are surely a nuisance. They give you discomfort, they look bad and make you feel self-conscious. Anyone can get ingrown hairs and it is almost impossible to avoid them entirely. However, you can always treat them to get rid of them as soon as possible and take preventative measures.
Ingrown hair serums, lotions or creams provide you both with healing ingrown hairs and preventing them from developing. Nonetheless, there are so many brands and types on the market that it is a tedious task to choose the one you can trust.
We hope that our ingrown hair serums reviews have helped you to get an idea of how to find the best one for yourself. Also, we believe that our buying guide is informative enough to show one what to look for when trying to choose the best ingrown hair serum, lotion, or cream. Furthermore, we have tried to answer the most frequently asked questions.
If you have already decided, it is time to act and clear your skin off from all the unpleasant ingrown hairs!