6 Powerful, Yet Gentle Exfoliants for Preventing Ingrown Hairs

Woman sunbathing in a bikini on a yacht

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Ingrown hairs are a pain, literally. They occur when dead skin cells and other impurities clog pores and block hair from growing up and out; instead, the hair curls back into the skin and grows underneath. Seriously, ouch!

The best way to avoid this issue is to exfoliate regularly, especially right before a shave or a wax. (Bonus: Doing this also gives you a smoother shave.) Whether you love scrubs or prefer chemical exfoliants, here are six excellent products to keep your skin clean and clear and prevent ingrown-hair disasters.

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OUAI Scalp and Body Scrub ($38)

Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub


A great body scrub is essential all around, but it's also invaluable as a way to prep your skin before a shave and help you avoid ingrown hairs. Formulated for the body and scalp, this sublime scrub unclogs pores and removes surface flakiness that can lead to ingrown hairs. It also harnesses probiotics meant to maintain skin's natural pH levels. Fatty acid–rich coconut oil nourishes and leaves skin soft and supple.

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Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA ($28)

Weightloss body treatment

Paula's Choice

Chemical exfoliants do the trick just as well as scrubs. This lightweight body lotion features BHA meant to dissolve dead skin cells. Two-percent salicylic acid is also in the mix to soften and refine skin. To take preventative measures, apply it a few times a week to spots that are prone to ingrown hairs. If you're going out in the sun, make sure to always layer SPF on top, as chemical exfoliants can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.

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Malin + Goetz Ingrown Hair Cream ($34)

Malin + Goetz ingrown hair cream

 Malin + Goetz 

Formulated specifically for preventing ingrown hairs, this soothing cream is perfect for slathering on right after you shave or wax. Glycolic and salicylic acids exfoliate, while vitamin B5 promotes skin health. Calming chamomile and allantoin are meant to help relieve any irritation.

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Shobha Ingrown Relief Lotion ($22)

Shobha Ingrown Relief Lotion


Shobha salons specialize in hair removal, so it's no surprise that they crafted their own potion for preventing and treating ingrown hairs. This product is completely free of parabens, color, and artificial fragrance, so it's good for sensitive skin. It's made with vitamin A, chamomile, and tea tree oil to exfoliate, moisturize, and soothe. Use daily to avoid ingrown hairs or stop small bumps. It can be used twice per day for more severe issues.

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PrinceReigns Ingrown Relief Serum ($28)

Princereigns Ingrown Relief Serum


The bikini zone is notorious for getting bumps post-shave or -wax. This calming, softening, and moisturizing serum has become a staple at swimwear photoshoots for a reason. Soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and lavender relieve bumps and irritation. The product also claims to soften and straighten hair, reducing the chances of hairs curling back into the skin.

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Whish Flawless Ingrown Hair Serum ($23)

Whish Flawless Ingrown Hair Serum


This serum is made with natural and organic ingredients. White willow bark extract fights inflammation, wheat germ extract soothes, and yeast extract regenerates skin. It works fast in getting rid of pesky bumps and redness.

Treat Your Skin

Ingrown hairs can be prevented. Keep your skin free and clear of buildup, and you won't regret it.

Article Sources
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  1. Cleveland Clinic. Q&A: expert explains best way to handle your ingrown hair. Updated February 10, 2020.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. Understanding the ingredients in skin care products. Updated October 10, 2019.

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