As you dig out your swimsuits from the back of your dresser, a painful reminder of one of summer’s less-than-ideal facets emerges: razor burn. If you are someone who shaves, then the red bumps dotting your bikini line, your legs, and/or your armpits (and your warmer-weather memories) can really be an inconvenience but wanting to shave or wax
shouldn’t mean you should have to suffer from irritation, razor burn, ot red bumps. As much as you may try to prevent it, if you do find yourself dealing with razor burn and irritation, there are tons of products you can use to get rid of razor bumps for good.
“Razor bumps are also known as folliculitis,”
Dr. Tiffany Clay, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Elite Daily. “This may occur when the hair curls under the skin when it is trying to find its way to the surface after a shave or waxing/tweezing, causing an ingrown and then a bump. Razor bumps may also occur as irritated and inflamed follicles, which may occur after hair removal if the skin is exfoliated too much and tiny nicks are made in the skin, allowing bacteria to enter the skin and make pustules or papules.” It’s not exactly what you want to be happening around such delicate skin.
Before reaching for your credit card to buy products to solve your problems,
Dr. Shari Sperling, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical, cosmetic, laser and surgical dermatology, suggests that the next time you shave, you shave in the direction of your hair’s growth; use a clean, sharp razor; and “splashing cold water on [the] area can also help as soon as you see the red bumps appear as it will shrink the pores and can be soothing.” If that doesn’t help, or relief doesn’t come soon enough, then it’s time to try one of these products. We at Elite Daily only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 01 Moisturizers, Oils, And Serums To Use On Ingrown Hairs Bushbalm’s Nude Ingrown Treatment Oil ($25, Amazon) is one of Dr. Clay’s most recommended products due to its sensitive-skin-safe formula and hero ingredient of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil helps minimize inflammation. You can use it on your entire body, but definitely use it anywhere you’re prone to razor burn as soon as you step out of the shower.
If you’re looking to free up your follicles and ditch the ingrown hairs,
Major’s Ammonium Lactate Lotion ($13, Amazon) should be your go-to. “Moisturizing lotions that contain ammonium lactate, which is related to lactic acid, help remove dead skin cells,” Dr. Brendan Camp, double board-certified doctor of dermatology and dermatopathology at MDCS Dermatology, says. Since, according to Dr. Clay, ingrown hairs “occur when the hair curls under the skin when it is trying to find its way to the surface after a shave or waxing/tweezing,” ammonium lactate helps let your re-growing hair come back without getting stuck under your skin. Plus, it’ll make your skin super soft once it’s soaked in.
If you want to focus on soothing your skin, colloidal oatmeal is what you should be looking for, according to Dr. Sperling, due to its calming qualities. It’s an anti-inflammatory that also seeps into your skin to protect it from future shaves and waxes. Apply a product like
Acure’s Everyday Lotion ($9, Amazon) after shaving. According to some reviewers, it even works on summer’s other enemy: chafing. “I cannot say enough good things about this lotion. It locks in moisture so well (maybe because aqua/water isn't the first ingredient *applause*) and absorbs into skin so quickly, it's crazy,” one reviewer wrote. “I love that it's unscented and nothing unnecessary is added — super clean!”
However, if your skin is super sensitive, you need to take extra care with the products you use.
Dr. Marisa Garshick, board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology and assistant clinical professor of dermatology and Cornell - New York Presbyterian Medical Center, suggests you avoid harsh fragrances and try Vanicream’s Moisturizing Skin Cream ($17, Amazon) as it is dye, paraben, and formaldehyde free as well as super gentle on your skin. 05 Exfoliating Products To Use On Razor Bumps
“Gentle exfoliation prior to shaving can help remove any debris or plugs from hair follicles,” Dr. Clay says. “It also helps to release any hairs that are trapped under the skin so they can be removed before shaving/trimming.” By using a product with salicylic acid, you’re helping your body get rid of irritation bumps before they even appear. This
Cerave Body Wash ($13, Amazon) also boasts hyaluronic acid, which keeps the thin skin around this area super moisturized.
Really unclog your pores by going in deep with
Dylonic’s Exfoliating Brush ($10, Amazon). Use this brush before shaving or waxing against your hair’s grain (which is the direction it grows) to exfoliate deeply. This tool is super easy to clean, too, so your skin will be bump-free in no time. “Gentle exfoliation prior to shaving can help remove any debris or plugs from hair follicles and it also helps to release any hairs that are trapped under the skin so they can be removed before shaving/trimming,” Dr. Clay says.
Rife with delicious ingredients,
Lumanere’s Razor Bump Solution ($18, Amazon) is soothing, cooling, and healing to your poor, irritated skin like salicylic acid. “Salicylic acid ... can help to eliminate dead skin cells and prevent build-up and clogged pores and can help the skin feel soft and smooth,” Dr. Garshick says. Meanwhile, both Dr. Clay and Dr. Camp highlight the gentle yet exfoliating properties of both lactic and glycolic acids. 08 Cleansing Products To Use On Razor Bumps
Interestingly, Dr. Garshick suggests you fight your bikini line irritation before you even think of picking up the razor. “Cleanse the area using a gentle cleanser ... to wash away the dirt and reduce the chance of infection and make sure skin and hairs are damp which helps to soften the hairs and reduce the friction between the blade and the skin,” she says. For this, she advises using
Andalou Naturals’ Soothing Shower Gel ($10, Amazon) as it also has “aloe vera to help hydrate and support the skin barrier.”
When your razor burn is beyond stubborn and you’re at your wits end, there’s only one product left that Dr. Garshick suggests:
PanOxyl 4% Wash ($10, Amazon). It has benzoyl peroxide in it, which really digs deep into your pores to kill off bacteria. However, since it’s only for your most persistent razor bumps, use it sparingly. 10 Shaving Products To Use On Razor Bumps
“It’s best if you can prevent [razor bumps] to begin with,”
Dr. Debra Jaliman, an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist, tells Elite Daily. “So it’s important to shave at the end of a shower when the hair is hydrated ... Also, use a sharp razor not a dull razor. I recommend that people use a disposable razor and throw it out each time.” While she’s not picky about which razors provide the best shave, Amazon Basic’s 5 Blade ($7, Amazon) comes with one handle and two refills, so you can throw out just your razor head and waste less plastic.
“It is very important to use shaving cream and not to use soap when you shave. It helps the razor to glide across the skin,” Dr. Jaliman says. “Ingredients that I like include oatmeal, glycerin, Shea butter, and aloe.” With shea butter, aloe, and oatmeal,
eos’ Shaving Cream ($6, Amazon) checks practically all of the dermatologist’s boxes.
Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel ($5, Amazon) is also an excellent product,” Dr. Jaliman says. “It contains aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, so if you have a razor burn and you’re irritated, it will definitely soothe your skin and get rid of the red irritation. It also contains soy, which helps to even out skin discoloration. Another good ingredient is that it has glycerin, so it’s very hydrating.” The product even touts letting you go longer between shaving, so what’s not to love?
Dr. Evans also recommends shaving with
Proraso Shaving Cream ($10, Amazon) for myriad reasons. It “contains lactic acid, a form of alpha-hydroxy acids and glycerin to moisturize the skin. It is also free of mineral oils, artificial colors, silicones and parabens.” The alpha-hydroxy acids are especially worth highlighting as they “an be used to help smooth the skin” both before and after shaving, according to Evans.
Say goodbye to your razor bumps before your ever even shave.
Cremo’s Shave Cream ($6, Amazon) has a thick consistency that protects your skin from nicks, hydrates to fight bumps, and still lets your razor glide through, but not too close to the skin. It may sound counter intuitive, but sharp shaves aren’t ideal for avoiding irritation. “Shaving very close to the skin to make the skin as smooth as possible also predisposes to razor bumps; leaving some hair sticking out of the skin reduces the risk of a bump forming,” Dr. Camp says. “Friction in the bikini area may also contribute to razor bump formation.” So a thicker product like Cremo’s Cream will keep you from getting too close to the skin. Even better, it’s supposed to last up to a full 90 days, so that’s pretty much going to take you through your entire summer without needing to buy another product. 16 Calming Mist To Use On Razor Bumps
Once you’re shaved and moisturized, if pesky red bumps are still plaguing you, a calming mist like
Mad Hippie’s Nutrient Mist ($17, Amazon) can help you find relief throughout the day. “[It] has a great formulation that contains hyaluronic acid to help moisturize skin, antioxidants that help irritation, and green tea that is anti-inflammatory and will help with any redness,” Dr. Jaliman says. 17 After-Shave Products To Use On Razor Bumps
One container of
Completely Bare’s Bikini Bump Blaster ($10, Amazon) boasts 50 pads, so you can use one per day to reduce your ingrown hairs and razor burn. According to Dr. Camp, the witch hazel addition to these pads will fight any inflammation struggles you’re trying to avoid. Two jars of these will have you covered for the whole summer.
“I cannot emphasize how well [
Shavework’s Aftershave ($12, Amazon)] product works. Every time I shave ~down there~ I get horrible razor burn, so painful that I can't wear any tight clothing. I ordered this based on the good reviews, and I was not disappointed. After just one use (applied directly after shaving) I had ZERO razor burn, and no irritation or pain,” one satisfied customer wrote. Just note that the inclusion of mint in its formula will lead to a very light tingling sensation. 19 Spot-Treatment Gel To Use On Razor Bumps
When you have a few difficult ingrown hairs or bumps that won’t face no matter what, a more targeted approach is necessary. Get up close and personal with
Alba Botanica’s Treatment Gel ($9, Amazon). “A spot treatment containing salicylic acid can be applied, but be careful as it may sting,” Dr. Evans says. 20 A Start-To-Finish Do-It-All Razor Burn Set To Use On Razor Bumps
Start your razor burn treatment with
Parissa’s Ingorwn Rescue Kit ($10, Amazon). You can launch into this new routine by using the tea tree soap to cleanse, the walnut sponge to exfoliate, and once you’re out of the shower, you can finish it up with the Ultra Soothe Oil. When it comes to exfoliating, you need to be careful. “It is important to not scrub the skin too roughly and not too often when using a physical exfoliant like this so you avoid making tiny cuts/scrapes on the skin,” Dr. Clay says. That’s why the Konjac sponge is made from moisturizing walnut husks and konjak mannan that are soft enough not to cut your skin while getting all your razor bump ickiness out of your pores. Experts: Dr. Tiffany Clay, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling, board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical, cosmetic, laser and surgical dermatology Dr. Brendan Camp, double board-certified doctor of dermatology and dermatopathology at MDCS Dermatology Dr. Marisa Garshick, board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology and assistant clinical professor of dermatology and Cornell - New York Presbyterian Medical Center Dr. Debra Jaliman, NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tracy Evans, board certified dermatologist and Medical Director of Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology Don't miss a thing
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