The 7 Best Ingrown Hair Treatments of 2021

Smooth skin and prevent irritation

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Ingrown Hair Treatment

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First Look

Best Overall: Tend Skin at Amazon

"Can also be used as a cleanser, removing layers of makeup and reducing the appearance of wrinkles."

Best for Bikini Line: Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment at Amazon

"Infused with willowherb and lavender to soothe and moisten irritated skin."

Best Oil: Fur Ingrown Concentrate at Amazon

"Contains tea tree oil, which kills bacteria and brings down swelling. "

Best Scrub: OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub at Amazon

"It helps you prep your skin before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs."

Best for Legs: Bliss Bump Attendant Pads at Amazon

"Perfect for use between waxing and shaving sessions, these pads smooth the skin while exfoliating it."

Best Natural: Bevel Spot Corrector at Amazon

"Not only does it target ingrown hairs, but it also reduces whiteheads, acne bumps, and hyperpigmentation."

Best Brush: Dylonic Exfoliating Brush Kit at Amazon

"Includes a body brush, a facial brush, and a pair of tweezers for spot treatments."

Ingrown hairs are a common consequence of the hair removal process, whether through shaving or waxing. Medically referred to as pseudofolliculitis, an ingrown hair occurs when a hair curls back into the skin during the growth process and pierces it, usually causing inflammation. Our skin has an immune system on its own outside of our regular immune system, explains Edidiong Kaminska, M.D., MBS of Kaminska Dermatology, and it’s able to recognize that the hair entering back into the skin is foreign. This then causes a lot of inflammation, which is why the area around the ingrown hair can become sore, puss-filled, or painful. 

Anyone can suffer from ingrown hairs, but it can happen more frequently to people with curly or coarse hair because “it has coils or curls, and so with the curls it can pierce the skin and get back into the skin,” expounds Dr. Kaminska.

When it comes to helping patients treat ingrown hairs, Dr. Kaminska tends to prescribe clindamycin, to help take away inflammation, and tretinoin, which is “a vitamin A derivative that allows the skin cells to turn over, to rejuvenate, and helps with inflammation as well.” Although these are prescriptions, there are effective formulas—in the form of serums or creams—you can buy over-the-counter to address the aftereffects of hair removal.

Here are some of the best ingrown hair treatments on the market.

Best Overall: Tend Skin

Tend Skin The Skin Care Solution

Courtesy of Amazon

Not only is Tend Skin perfect for those who struggle with ingrown hairs on a regular basis, but its formula is reasonably priced. A thin layer of Tend Skin is meant to be applied after the hair removal process to reduce bumps and redness. It can also be applied to the face as a cleanser, removing layers of makeup and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Best for Bikini Line: Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment

Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment

Courtesy of Amazon

A combination of salicylic, glycolic, and phytic acids, Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment removes dead skin by exfoliating, clearing out pores, fighting bacteria, and freeing hair before it can become ingrown. The powerful formula is infused with willowherb and lavender to soothe irritated skin and moisten it. This paraben-free ingrown hair treatment is gentle enough to use on both the face and bikini area, but if you have irritation, stop using this product immediately and consult your dermatologist.

Best Oil: Fur Ingrown Concentrate

 Fur Ingrown Concentrate

Courtesy of Amazon

Made with all-natural ingredients, Fur Ingrown Concentrate helps target ingrown hairs and eliminate them. The mitt is meant to be used to exfoliate any areas experiencing ingrown hairs or can just  be used for extra buffing. Dr. Kaminska says gentle exfoliation helps ingrown hair to come out since the hair under the bump is close to the surface. She reveals you can also use a tweezer to lift the hair out, but doesn’t recommend digging in there. The ingrown concentrate, including tea tree oil and coconut oil, is then meant to be used on ingrown hairs that have already sprouted or on sensitive skin daily to prevent bumps. 

The serum contains tea tree oil, which helps kill bacteria and bring down swelling. By soothing bumps and redness, Fur helps the skin to appear clear and flatten out pores. Whether waxing or shaving, the vegan and cruelty free solution is said to make regrowth appear finer and reduce razor burns.

Best Scrub: OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub

OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you suffer from ingrown hairs or not, a reliable body scrub is always a great thing to have on hand. But, if you notice ingrown hairs popping up often, OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub is a must. This scrub helps prep skin before shaving to prevent ingrown hairs by unclogging pores, gently exfoliating the skin to remove buildup, and adding moisture to dry patches. Surface flakiness can encourage ingrown hairs, but the coconut oil in the scrub that nourishes the skin because of its fatty acids, therefore helping to reduce the number of ingrown hairs that pop up. The probiotics will also help to balance your skin’s natural bacteria levels.

Best for Legs: Bliss Bump Attendant Pads

Bliss Bump Attendant, Ingrown Hair Eliminating Pads

Courtesy of Amazon

Perfect for use between waxing and shaving sessions, Bliss Bump Attendant pads smooth the skin while exfoliating it. They can be used daily to smooth areas of the skin, but should only be used at a minimum of 12 hours after shaving and 24 hours after waxing. Each container comes with 25 single-use pads saturated with salicylic and glycolic acids, natural astringent witch hazel, and lavender oil, making for a powerful, yet gentle solution that prevents ingrown hair and leaves the skin bump-free. Since the container is relatively thin, it’s super-convenient to carry with you wherever you go.

In addition to serums and creams, Dr. Kaminska says another effective way to prevent ingrown hairs when shaving is to use sensitive shaving foam “because it softens the hair and when the hair is softer, it’s less likely to pierce the skin.”

Best Natural: Bevel Spot Corrector

Bevel Spot Corrector

Courtesy of Amazon

This spot corrector from Bevel is the perfect all-in-one ingrown hair solution. Not only does it target ingrown hairs, but it also reduces whiteheads, acne bumps, and hyperpigmentation.

“Ingrown hairs can cause hyperpigmentation, especially in skin of color. So, the best way to treat that is prevention,” explains Dr. Kaminska. Salicylic acid and tretinoin, along with hydroquinone—which can be found in over-the-counter creams—are known to help prevent hyperpigmentation. Although Bevel Spot Corrector doesn’t contain these exact ingredients, it does include Vitamin C and nine percent Lactic Acid; together they aid in controlling ingrown hairs, smoothing rough skin, and evening out the complexion. Additionally the serum incorporates shea butter, green tea extract, and is free of alcohol, parabens, sulfates, dyes, artificial fragrance, and much more. Something to note is that while Bevel is a men’s grooming company, this product is unisex and can be used on all skin types. Ideally, it’s meant to be used at night daily after washing your face or body. 

Best Brush: Dylonic Exfoliating Brush Kit

Dylonic Ingrown Hair

As mentioned before, ingrown hairs are often a result of dead skin buildup. A soft, silicone brush like this one from Dylonic is a great way to manually help to remove dead skin that could add to ingrown hair growth. The kit includes a body brush, a facial brush, and a pair of tweezers for spot treatments. Use after showering to help prevent dry skin buildup.

Final Verdict

Fur Ingrown Concentrate (available on Amazon) heals, exfoliates, cleans, smoothes, moistens, and relieves redness all at once, making it a great first choice when looking for an ingrown hair treatment. If you're new to battling ingrown hairs and want to start with something that gives you general, well-rounded treatment, Tend Skin (available on Amazon) is another great place to start.

What to Look for in an Ingrown Hair Treatment

Salicylic Acid

This is key to look for in ingrown hair treatments, especially over-the-counter ones. Salicylic acid helps to allow the skin to turn over, making ingrown hairs less likely. This ingredient is included in a lot of ingrown hair products, but those with sensitive skin should be wary of its effects. If the product you're using is irritating your skin, stop using the treatment and contact your dermatologist.

Retinoids

A derivative of vitamin A, retinoids help the skin turnover, similarly to salicylic acid. It also decreases inflammation, which is common when hair curves back into the skin. This is another ingredient to look out for when selecting an ingrown hair treatment. However, retinoids can cause sun sensitivity, so use sparingly when spending excessive amounts of time in the sun.

Area of Usage

Ingrown hairs on your bikini area should be treated differently than ingrown hairs on your legs. When looking for an ingrown hair treatment, think about the area of your body where you'll be using it and select accordingly. For your bikini area, a harsh, highly exfoliating treatment may cause irritation that it wouldn't on another area of the body.

"Products with salicylic acid can help smooth the skin to help the skin turnover. We get new skin cells every two weeks approximately, and so, when you use something like salicylic acid, it helps those cells on the surface shed faster, helps the skin to stay clear, and prevents those ingrown hairs from forming.”Edidiong Kaminska, M.D., MBS of Kaminska Dermatology

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Having been raised by two medical professionals, Amari Pollard understands the importance of health literacy. As a seasoned health writer, she is committed to producing well-researched and well-sourced product reviews to help people make informed medical decisions.

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