If there’s anything in the world that’s as annoying as spotting a red, big pimple on your face, it’s sleeping with a perfectly clear skin one moment and waking up with ingrown hair, completely out of the blue. If you’ve ever had the (dis)pleasure of dealing with them, I don’t even need to tell you how itchy and painful these pesky little things can be. If you haven’t witnessed them already, well, lucky you! But since precaution is always better than cure, check out all the things that you should do to prevent ingrown hair from forming on your skin or the simple ways to get rid of them, in case they pop up uninvited, someday.
When your hair grows normally, it rises straight from the follicle to the surface of your skin. But an ingrown hair ends up curling right under your skin and starts growing inward. This inward growth creates a little bump on your skin, which eventually leads to swelling, redness, pain and sometimes, even a potential cause of skin infection.
Ingrown hair can occur almost anywhere on your skin, be it legs, underarms, bikini line, chin, cheeks, etc. So, if you don’t want to roam around with huge bumps on your skin (as if pimples weren’t enough of a pain already), here are 7 simple things that you can do to prevent them from occurring as much as possible.
One of the simplest things you can do to prevent ingrown hair is to exfoliate your skin regularly. Most of the time, ingrown hair occurs when your hair follicles get trapped within a layer of stubborn, dead skin cells which could force your hair to grow inwards. Through exfoliation, these dead skin cells are gently scraped away, revealing softer and clearer skin underneath. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the ingrown hair also gets pulled upwards and out of the surface of your skin where they can grow normally. For best results, you should ideally use an exfoliating body scrub with a good quality loofah or exfoliating mitts, at least once or twice a week, to say goodbye to your ingrown hair for good! Our personal favourites are POPxo’s Coffee Body Scrub Gel and Balinese Borch Face Scrub.
You may have scrubbed and scrubbed, but there it is again--an angry, red bump of ingrown hair follicle staring right at you. In this case, dry-brushing is exactly what you need. Since its a bit harsher than a scrub, you might as well skip this technique altogether if you’ve got sensitive skin. But if not, limit its use to a weekly basis as this exfoliation is more than enough to remove all the dead skin cells out of your way and release your clogged ingrown hair, easily.
Did you know that one of the biggest culprits for your stubborn ingrown hair may just be the fact that you shave way too often? In fact, the more you shave, the higher are your possibilities of ending up with fresh growth of hair that has a sharper edge and is more likely to poke back into your skin. So, if your hair grows back way too quickly, try opting for subtle, hair removal creams which are much gentler on your skin. And restrict shaving to only once a month or two!
It’s almost as necessary to be kind to our skin the way we are to others. So, make sure that you are always 100% sure of the products that you decide to use on your skin. Especially if it involves a substance as sharp as a blade! If you consider shaving to be your most convenient means of hair removal, the first and foremost rule is to find a razor that suits your skin. The first sign of a good razor is that it glides smoothly across your skin without leaving behind any missed or half-shaven hair. However, if you find the razor difficult to handle or feel like its pulling your hair and causing pain, stop using it right away before it cuts your skin. You must also remember to replace your razors, regularly to avoid friction on the blades.
Never and I mean NEVER shave your body hair on bare skin. Your skin needs a certain amount of moisture as too much friction between the blade and your skin can cause inflammation, irritation and burns. Plus, you wouldn’t your skin to be filled with small cuts and scratches, here and there, would you? The smartest way to avoid this pain is by using chemical-free shaving creams or gels that gently lubricate your skin and allow the razor to shave your hair effortlessly. Another point that must be kept in mind is to always shave in the direction of your hair growth as that’s where your hair is likely to grow again. Shaving in the opposite direction can, again, cause your hair to have sharp ends, thereby making it easier to grow inward.
One of the golden rules of ensuring that your skin remains absolutely clear and free from dead skin cells or ingrown hair is by moisturising it well after shaving or waxing. How does that work? When you apply a moisturizer or lotion on your skin, it helps to bind the water molecules together which soften your skin barrier and make it more flexible. This moisturized skin further allows your hair to grow out more easily without curling back into the surface of your skin. We recommend POPxo’s Orchid Oil & Papaya Body Lotion for a smooth and supple finish.
No matter how tempting it seems, you must resist the urge to squeeze or pluck your ingrown hair with a tweezer. While a pimple might be easier to pop, this, on the other hand, is way tougher and can do more harm than good. You may even end up pushing the hair deeper into your skin, scarring that particular portion or worse, spreading the bacteria and getting your skin infected. Relax. Ingrown hair is normal and may just heal on its own if left all alone after trying the above tips. But if you find your ingrown hair occurring frequently, thereby filling your skin with red scars, it’s best to consult a dermatologist.
So are you ready to say goodbye to your stubborn ingrown hair?
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