Let's not beat around the bush here: Ingrown hairs are the worst. Not only are they itchy and painful, but they can also have a major impact on confidence levels, too. Sadly, though, if you prefer a smooth and hairless surface, ingrown hairs can be unavoidable. The good news? There are many different ways to treat the pesky pimple-like bumps—one of which is an easy-to-execute sugar scrub that exfoliates, moisturizes, and soothes the area all at once. We like to think of it as a triple threat treatment.
Now without further ado, read on to learn more about the ingrown hair-fighting scrub and how you can make it. (You'll thank us later.)
But first, how do ingrown hairs even happen?
Ingrown hairs are most often the result of aggressive or incorrect hair removal, as shaving and waxing super-frequently can cause hairs to curl into the skin rather than growing back out. (This is why you can usually see a tiny hair follicle under or inside the lesion.) Clogged pores are another culprit, too, because if there's an excess of dead skin and debris, it can trap the hairs underneath the surface, causing them to grow sideways under the skin.
Ingrown hairs tend to be more common in coarse and curly hair types, though they can happen to anyone regardless of texture.
Making an ingrown hair-fighting sugar scrub
Sure, you could hit up your local CVS or Target for a body scrub, but why not get a little crafty and make your own for a fraction of the cost? To make this simple-but-effective scrub, you just need a few basic ingredients you might have at home already: sugar, jojoba oil, and essential oil.
The hero ingredient in this scrub is obviously sugar, as it makes for an amazing gentle exfoliator that's safe for almost every skin type—even those prone to sensitivity. Jojoba oil is added to nourish the skin and make it more pliable, as this makes it easier for the ingrown hair to get released. And finally, adding an essential oil like tea tree oil is key because it has antiseptic properties that prevent and fight-off infected ingrown hairs while also calming inflammation and redness.
Actually making your scrub couldn't be easier. It's fairly self-explanatory, but you just need to mix the ingredients together until the concoction looks ready. Trust your eyes and your gut on this one, my friends. Typically, a half cup of sugar and oil will suffice, while 10 to 20 drops of your preferred essential oil is the way to go. That being said, you can also totally tailor this recipe depending on how you like your body scrubs to be.
How to use your DIY scrub
Once you're happy with the state of your scrub, you can go right ahead and use it in the bath or shower. To target your ingrown hairs, you'll want to use the scrub daily on the infected area for one week (unless your skin gets red or irritated) for best results. After you've seen an improvement, you can then use it two to three times a week to help ward off more hairs. Didn't notice a change? Definitely see your doctor to figure out an alternative solution together. Ingrown hairs are annoying, but they can be avoided—and treated—so don't give up.
Jasterzbski TJ, Schwartz RA. Pseudofolliculitis cutis: a vexing disorder of hair growth. Br J Dermatol. 2015;172(4):878-884. doi:10.1111/bjd.13427