10 Ingrown Hair Treatments That Keep Bumps At Bay

If hair removal of any kind — shaving, waxing, lasering — is part of your summer skin-care routine, then you've probably also encountered dreaded ingrown hairs: tiny, sometimes painful bumps where hair has essentially gotten stuck underneath the skin's surface. "Ingrown hairs happen when the hair grows out sideways or inwards, rather than straight through the skin," says New York City-based dermatologist Doris Day, MD. "Skin then grows over the hair, making it ingrown."

Now, you might fall into one of two camps when it comes to the frustrating skin issue: Either you get them pretty rarely, or you see one popping up all. the. time. Unfortunately, the beauty myth that some people are more prone to ingrown hairs that others is true: According to Dr. Day, if you have curly or coarse texture, hairs can more easily become ingrown. "This is common in the bikini area where the hair is usually coarser and curlier," she adds.

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As with anything, it's easier to prevent ingrowns from happening than to treat them once they've reared their head. Gentle exfoliation can help keep skin smooth and bump-free, and using a medicated cream or lightweight lotion post-hair removal can also keep follicles happy. (And if you were wondering, yes — your hair removal method of choice can affect your chance of getting ingrowns: "If you suffer from ingrown hairs commonly, I recommend sticking to shaving or depilatories rather than waxing or plucking," dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, explains. "When a hair has to grow fresh from beneath the surface of the skin, it is more likely to become trapped compared to a hair that is shaved at the level of the skin’s surface.")

That said, if you're ready to be done with them for good, Dr. Day recommends laser hair removal (if you're a good candidate), which eliminates the follicle altogether. As for what you can shop right now, we've rounded up our top picks for an ingrown-free summer, ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Flamingo Ingrown Spot Treatment


Like a spot treatment for a breakout, but for your ingrowns: Flamingo's serum contains lactic and fruit acids to exfoliate and soothe, and can be directly applied onto irritated bumps for relief.
Flamingo Ingrown Spot Treatment, $10.00 Buy

Bevel Spot Corrector


In addition to calming irritated bumps that arise from shaving, Bevel's concentrated vitamin C and lactic acid treatment helps gently brighten discoloration left behind from acne.
Bevel Spot Corrector, $14.95 Buy
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Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Mask


Ingrowns, meet your worst enemy. This hydrogel sheet mask isn't just a treat for underarms, bikini line, and elsewhere on your bod — it actively prevents misbehaving hairs thanks to glycolic acid and a botanical blend of aloe vera, cica, chamomile and cucumber extracts.
Flaunt Body Ingrown Hair Mask | Single Mask Treatment, $8.00 Buy

Completely Bare Calm Down


This Ulta-favorite serum can be used on face and body to calm down redness and bumps. AHAs and azelaic acid in the product both work overtime to address discoloration in the affected area.
Completely Bare Calm Down Ingrown Hair, Razor Bump & Redness Eliminator, $10.99 Buy

Malin + Goetz Ingrown Hair Cream


Keep a gentle cream like Malin + Goetz's on hand for regular use if you are especially prone to ingrowns — it's made with ingredients like chamomile and vitamins E and B5 that won't irritate your skin even if used multiple times a week.
Malin + Goetz Ingrown Hair Cream, $34.00 Buy

Bliss Bump Attendant Pads


The iconic spa brand knows a thing or two about hair removal, so you know their stuff is the real deal. A combo of salicylic and glycolic acids (plus soothing green tea) in these single-use vegan pads keeps skin smooth and bump-free.
Bliss Bump Attendant Pads, $22.00 Buy

Jack Black Bump Fix Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution


A major benefit to using an ingrown hair treatment is that many of them can also keep body acne at bay. A potent toner like Jack Black's — which is packed with ingredients like salicylic acid, plus organic chamomile, willowherb, and aloe and green tea extracts to calm inflammation — can be used to prevent and address clogged pores and follicles, resulting in clearer, less irritated skin.
Jack Black Bump Fix Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution, $27.00 Buy
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Fur Ingrown Concentrate


Finally, an ingrown treatment that you won't mind keeping in your #shelfie. Fur's skin-smoothing concentrate harnesses the power of oils (coconut, grapeseed, jojoba, lavender, and clary sage, among others) to gently clear follicles and soften skin.
FUR Ingrown Concentrate, $28.00 Buy

Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment


This gel-cream formula is gentle enough for sensitive skin types — just read the reviews for proof — and is perfect for use on face and body.
Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment, $34.00 Buy

Dove Gentle Exfoliating Beauty Bar


An apple a day may keep the doctor away, and a similar approach works for ingrowns. "I recommend using exfoliating body cleansers to help remove any dead cells from the surface of the skin to help minimize the risk of hairs becoming ingrown," Dr. Zeichner says. "Dove's Exfoliating Beauty Bar offers gentle manual exfoliation without disrupting the outer skin layer."
Dove Gentle Exfoliating Beauty Bar, $7.99 $6.47 Buy
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