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From shaving to waxing to lasering, hair removal is—and always has been—quite a task. While the results post-hair-removal are squeal-worthy, the effects of the removal itself could cause unwanted issues like redness, bumps, and ingrown hairs.
To help prevent these issues from occurring, there are a few things you can do. One is to make sure that you’ve properly prepped for the hair removal process. This can mean using effective shaving cream, allowing hairs to grow to a certain length before a wax, and exfoliating the skin before any removal. Post-removal, we recommend enlisting the help of an ingrown hair treatment—it can come in the form of a serum, cream, or pad. These bump-busting formulas can penetrate the skin to help prevent and treat the aftereffects of hair removal.
Below, the best ingrown hair treatments for smooth skin.
Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that works to exfoliate the skin. Its molecule is slightly larger than glycolic acid, meaning it works a bit slower and doesn't penetrate the skin's outermost layer as easily.
Hands down, the best part of this formula is how soothing and calming it is. Thanks to the alpha-beta hydroxy acid complex in the formula, it also battles razor bumps and ingrown hairs without drying out your skin. The combo of salicylic acid and lactic acid gently exfoliates the outer layer of your skin and also prevents new ingrown hairs from forming. Reviewers love how the product disappears into the skin and leaves it feeling moisturized, not oily.
If you struggle with persistent ingrown hairs and irritation, this holy grail formula is perfect for you. Reviewers who’ve tried the product rave about its effectiveness at reducing and preventing ingrown hairs—especially stubborn ones. For best results, apply the product before and after hair removal—this process is great for those with determined bumps and ingrown hairs.
Lavender oil (aka lavandula angustifolia) is a type of essential oil that comes from the flowers of the lavender plant, which grows in various regions such as France and Bulgaria. Its main components are linalool, linalyl acetate, lavandulol, geraniol, and eucalyptol, which have antibacterial as well as anti-fungal properties.
Along with being super-convenient—simply swipe and go—these single-use pads are saturated with natural astringent witch hazel, soothing lavender oil, and exfoliating acids. Because they’re so portable, they are also travel-friendly, so eliminating ingrown hairs on the go is now possible. One reviewer loved that the formula didn’t burn her skin upon application, making it ideal for sensitive skin types.
You’ll enjoy massaging this luxurious oil into your skin post-shave, especially with the textured finger mitt. The formula soothes irritation, prevents and treats ingrown hairs, and lessens skin discoloration. Apply this to areas where redness, bumps, and irritation tend to occur. One user highly recommends applying this product right after you shower, when your skin is in its most absorbent state.
Not only does this product treat ingrown hairs, but it also reduces blemishes and bumps—all thanks to its gentle, effective formula featuring salicylic acid (to unclog pores and nix breakouts), glycolic acid (to reduce redness and dissolve dirt), and Candian willow herb (to soothe the skin). Plus, it dries clear, so it's super easy to apply throughout the day.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin and an oil often found in anti-oxidant blend topicals or moisturizers. It also help soothe the skin and protects the lipid barrier.
There’s nothing we love more than saying goodbye to skin irritation. And this ingrown hair cream does exactly that. With a slew of skin-saving ingredients—glycolic acid for exfoliation, chamomile for calming inflammation, and vitamin E for hydration—your skin is sure to soak up every last drop.
This product—which can be used on the face, neck, or body—does double duty. While salicylic acid exfoliates the skin and prevents clogged pores, the brand's proprietary brightening complex reduces the appearance of dark spots from ingrown hairs and evens out your skin tone.
This gel treatment enlists a combo of salicylic, glycolic, and phytic acids to exfoliate the skin, clear out pores, and fight infection-causing bacteria. Plus, because it's infused with lavender and willowherb, your skin will feel extra calm after applying it.
Three to four days before hair removal, spread this lightweight formula onto the skin to prep and protect it. Prepping the skin before removal helps to prevent ingrown hairs from forming after a shave or a wax. One reviewer found her razor burn gone after using this product every day for a week—and it was super gentle on her fussy skin.
Made with soothing oatmeal and moisturizing allantoin, this weightless cream glides over the skin and penetrates to help minimize razor bumps and ingrown hairs. And you only need a small amount—start with a dime-sized portion and apply over just-shaved areas. With continued use, reviewers noted that they’ve experienced less ingrown hairs and more supple, smooth skin.
Infused with organic ginger root extract and organic bark extract, this potent serum calms the skin immediately after application. It’s best used directly after shaving when your skin is freshly exfoliated and essentially vulnerable. Reviewers love that it effectively reduced razor burn and ingrown hairs, all while improving the texture and appearance of their skin.