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Whether you're partial to wax, lasers, epilators, razors, or plucking, hair removal can be a tricky feat. And even when you're past the discomfort (or wincing pain), the battle might not be over quite yet. For many, saying goodbye to peach fuzz and stubble means saying hello to ingrown hairs.
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So, is there anything you can do about it, or are bumps and irritation just the name of the game? We chatted with some estheticians to find out. "To prevent ingrown hairs, I recommend exfoliating three to four times a week," offers Orange County-based esthetician and wax specialist Beka Hussong. According to Bay Area esthetician Draci Gomez, exfoliation can also help treat the ones that have already popped up.
With these pointers in mind, here are the best ingrown hair treatments for banishing bumps.
Best Overall: Fur Ingrown Concentrate
Packed with nourishing and calming oils
Includes exfoliating cloth mitt
Safe for sensitive skin
Needs to be used regularly to be effective
Who else recommends it? Cosmopolitan, Best Products, and Verywell Health all picked the Fur Ingrown Concentrate.
What do buyers say? 79% of 1,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Fur Ingrown Concentrate comes with a little dropper bottle containing a blend of soothing oils, like castor, grape seed, coconut, lavender, and jojoba, plus a textured cloth mitt. This genius combo allows you to control the pressure as you exfoliate while targeting your irritated skin with gentle yet effective ingredients.
Type: Oil with exfoliating mitt | Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, tea tree oil, tamanu oil, chamomile extract | Size: 0.5 fl oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Budget: GiGi No Bump Solution
Contains soothing sea buckthorn oil
Can be used on all common areas of concern below the chin
Gigi No Bump is a great option for babes on a budget. This topical solution uses salicylic acid and sea buckthorn oil to address existing bumps, ingrown hairs, and razor burn while preventing more from forming.
Type: Chemical exfoliant | Key Ingredients: Acetylsalicylic and salicylic acids | Size: 4 fl oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Drugstore: Gillette Venus Skin Smoothing Exfoliant
Free of fragrance, dyes, parabens, silicones
Not clean or cruelty-free
If there's one drugstore brand you can trust on your journey to smooth skin, it's Gillette. Since the 2001 launch of its Venus line, our legs have been ever-silkier, so it's no surprise this gentle exfoliant is one of the best options for preventing ingrown hairs. We like that it kicks dead skin to the curb and is pH-balanced for your most delicate areas.
Type: Physical scrub | Key Ingredients: Coconut, olive, and jojoba oils, glycerin | Size: 6 fl oz | Byrdie Clean?: No | Cruelty-Free?: No
Best Splurge: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment Peel
Formulated with a blend of AHAs and BHAs
Contains bakuchiol and squalane
If you want to pull out the big guns, you might consider springing for a box of Dr. Gross's Exfoliating Body Treatment. Part of the cult-loved Alpha Beta line, these peel pads call on AHA and BHA exfoliants to improve the look of ingrown hairs and help to prevent future pustules, according to the brand.
Type: Chemical exfoliant | Key Ingredients: Glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids, enzymes, bakuchiol, squalane | Size: 8 textured towels | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best for Face: Skin Buttr Exfoliatr
Packed with natural plant oils
Contains antioxidant-rich green tea extract
For those dealing with ingrown hairs on their face or neck, we suggest Skin Buttr Exfoliatr, a natural and ultra-gentle solution that claims to soothe while keeping bumps at bay. Standout ingredients include aloe vera, shea butter, avocado oil, green tea extract, vitamin E, and jojoba oil.
Type: Physical scrub | Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, shea butter, avocado oil, grape seed oil, green tea extract, vitamin E | Size: 3.4 fl oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best for Body: Anne's Apothecary Turmeric Body Scrub
Contains skin-brightening turmeric and lavender
Physically exfoliates with organic sugar
Anne's Apothecary Turmeric Body Scrub is ideal for treating skin from the shoulders down, though it's gentle enough for your face, too. It contains organic sugar, which works as a physical exfoliant to slough off dead skin and fend off ingrown hairs.
Type: Physical scrub | Key Ingredients: Turmeric, lavender, vitamin E, shea butter, organic sugar | Size: 7 oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Post-Shave: Jack Black Bump Fix Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution
Contains AHAs and BHAs
Packed with soothing ingredients
Prevents future ingrown hairs
After shaving, apply a thin layer of Jack Black Bump Fix with a cotton pad, and continue using it as often as every day to prevent razor burn and bumps. This AHA-BHA combo claims to remove dead skin cells to expose trapped hairs before they have a chance to grow inward.
Type: Chemical exfoliant | Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, lactic acid, aloe leaf, chamomile extract, allantoin | Size: 6 fl oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best for Razor Bumps: Tend Skin Razor Bump Solution
Uses topical aspirin to soothe and calm skin
You'll want Tend Skin Solution on your side in the battle against razor bumps. This toner-style product uses topical aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA) to soothe the skin, unclog hair follicles, and calm inflammation.
Type: Toner | Key Ingredients: Acetylsalicylic acid | Size: 8 fl oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best for Bikini: Completely Bare Bikini Bump Blaster Ingrown Hair & Bikini Bump Eliminator
Contains AHAs and BHAs
Infused with antioxidant-rich green tea extract
Formulated specifically for the bikini area
Removing hair around your bikini area is supposed to make your skin more presentable, and ingrowns really throw a wrench in things. To tackle the issue, try these pre-moistened pads from Completely Bare. Glycolic acid and salicylic acid exfoliate, while, according to the brand, green tea extract helps to soothe your delicate nether region.
Type: Chemical exfoliant | Key Ingredients: Witch hazel, salicylic acid, glycolic acid | Size: 50 pads | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Preventative: Sweet & True Botanicals Body Polish
Exfoliates with walnut shell powder
Packed with hydrating ingredients
May be irritating for sensitive skin
"My go-to product would be from Sweet & True Sugaring Co. I am obsessed with their body polish," Gomez tells Byrdie. "The natural body scrub is made with coconut oil and shea butter as the main ingredients. It leaves my skin feeling amazing and definitely helps ingrown hairs stay away."
Type: Physical scrub | Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, shea butter, lemongrass, green tea | Size: Not listed | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Spot Treatment: Alleyoop Spot Me All-In-One Blemish Treatment
Formulated with AHAs and BHAs
Contains calming Canadian willow herb
Great for blemishes, too
With one or two ingrown hairs, you don't necessarily have to exfoliate the entire area. Instead, reach for Alleyoop Spot Me, a brilliant formula that delivers a concentrated dose of AHAs and BHAs to the bump in question.
Type: Chemical spot treatment | Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, Canadian willow herb, essential oils | Size: 0.5 fl oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Polish: The London Grant Co. Honey Coco Body Polish
Exfoliates with natural sugars
Packed with nourishing oils
Natural, sweet fragrance
Leaves behind slight residue
This brilliant body polish physically exfoliates with Brazillian cane and coconut palm sugars. Then it calls on plant-derived oils and a dose of raw honey to moisturize.
Type: Physical scrub | Key Ingredients: Apricot, jojoba, and sweet almond oils, honey, coconut and palm sugars | Size: 7.6 oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Scrub: Nubian Heritage Patchouli & Buriti Infused Shea Butter
Packed with soothing natural oils
Contains essential oils and may irritate sensitive skin
Give yourself a good rubdown with this body scrub from Nubian Heritage. Exfoliating sugar addresses ingrown hairs and prevents more from popping up while natural oils, butters, and extracts moisturize the skin.
Type: Physical scrub | Key Ingredients: Rosehip seed oil | Size: 12 oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Pads: 3BWaxing Acne & Ingrown Pads
Soothes with aloe
Contains AHAs and BHAs
"I recommend the 3BWaxing Acne & Ingrown Pads I created for my clients," says Hussong. "They are a jar of pads that gently exfoliate the skin and have no alcohol in them, so they aren't drying. They have glycolic, lactic, salicylic, and mandelic acid, which are really good for removing dead skin so ingrown hairs can come out, as well as preventing future ingrowns."
Type: Chemical exfoliant | Key Ingredients: Glycolic, lactic, salicylic, and mandelic acids, aloe | Size: 50 pads | Byrdie Clean?: N/A | Cruelty-Free?: N/A
Best Scent: The Luxxstrous Dulce Cafecito Whipped Body Polish
Exfoliates with ground coffee and brown sugar
Packed with nourishing plant oils
Can be somewhat messy
"I would also recommend body scrubs from The Luxxstrous—coffee flavor is my go-to," says Gomez. This scrumptious-smelling body polish contains a foaming base of plant oils and exfoliates with ground coffee and brown sugar.
Type: Physical scrub | Key Ingredients: Avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and olive oil | Size: 6 oz | Byrdie Clean?: Yes | Cruelty-Free?: Yes
Best Tweezers: Tweezerman G.E.A.R. Ingrown Hair Splinter-Tweeze Stainless Steel Tweezer
Precise, tapered tips
Stainless steel prevents rusting
To remove existing ingrown hairs, reach for Splinter-Tweeze tweezers. The sharp tip is designed to grab those pesky little offenders with precision and pull them out from the root.
Type: Tweezers | Size: 0.75 x 2.54 x 6.65 inches
The best ingrown hair treatment overall is Fur Ingrown Concentrate, which combines oils and a cloth mitt for excellent exfoliation and moisturizing benefits. However, if you can swing the price tag, you really can't go wrong with Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment.
Meet the Expert
- Beka Hussong is an Orange County-based esthetician and wax specialist.
- Draci Gomez is a licensed esthetician in Salinas, CA.
What to Look for When Buying an Ingrown Hair Treatment
When buying an ingrown hair treatment, you'll want to look for exfoliating ingredients, which can be in the form of physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants physically slough off dead skin cells, either with grainy particles like coffee grounds or sugar or a textured cloth.
Chemical exfoliants include AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids), which essentially dissolve dead skin cells. AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid, and salicylic acid is the most common BHA.
Some ingrown hair treatments are intended for specific body parts, such as the face, bikini area, or neck. If you typically get bumps in one place, you might want to look for an option formulated for that area. However, many options can be used on your entire body, and you'll find some that can be used from head to toe.
You'll also want to consider the application. Ingrown hair solutions come in the form of pre-moistened pads, toners, creams, concentrates, scrubs, polishes, and spot treatments. Whichever format you prefer, get something easy to use between hair removal sessions, and be sure to follow the directions carefully to avoid further irritation.
How do you treat an ingrown hair?
According to Gomez, the best way to treat ingrown hairs is to exfoliate two to three times a week as this keeps irritation, dead skin buildup, and pustules at bay. Additionally, she recommends switching to waxing or sugaring instead of shaving. "With these methods, the hairs are pulled from the root and can clear the follicle better than with shaving since it just cuts the hair on top of the skin and doesn't allow a new hair to grow out," she explains.
What topical ingredients can help ingrown hair heal?
To help existing ingrown hairs heal, you want something powerful enough to be effective but also gentle enough that it won't cause further irritation. Your best bet is plant-derived oils, like jojoba, tea tree, coconut, castor, avocado, lavender, and sea buckthorn. Additionally, ingredients like niacinamide, witch hazel, aloe vera, green tea extract, acetylsalicylic acid, and colloidal oatmeal can help to soothe.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
Theresa Holland has been writing for Byrdie since 2020, where she covers makeup, haircare, wellness, and skincare. As an aficionado of the latter, she's tried many exfoliating treatments and is a big fan of Dr. Dennis Gross and Bliss—and always keeps a pair of Tweezerman tweezers nearby. You can read more stories by Theresa on MyDomaine.
9 Best Ingrown Hair Treatments to Prevent and Remove Ingrown Hairs Safely. Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/g39315423/best-ingrown-hair-treatments/
12 INGROWN HAIR TREATMENTS THAT WORK LIKE A CHARM, ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS. Best Products. https://www.bestproducts.com/beauty/g23610496/ingrown-hair-treatment/
The 7 Best Ingrown Hair Treatments for Safe Removal. Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-ingrown-hair-treatments-5113936
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