Most of us have been there: Showering in a rush with razor in hand, blindly going over your stray pubic hairs while hoping and praying you don't end up with a red, bumpy result or an ingrown hair. It's the beauty equivalent of a fender bender that will ruin your morning and leave you with a headache to deal with later.
So what's the solution? "You should always be shaving in the direction of hair growth (not against the grain like most people do), using a good lathering product to protect the skin, and using a sharp, clean razor," board certified dermatologist Monique Chheda, MD, reminds us. Still, ingrowns can happen. She adds that if things get bad — and your ingrown turns cystic — you should go see a professional. "Boils can sometimes result from an ingrown that has been chronically irritated, " explains Dr. Chheda. "These can be treated with a small steroid injection in a dermatologist's office to help reduce the inflammation and calm it down."
Luckily, you can cut an ingrown off at the pass if you treat it properly with exfoliating, antibacterial products. In an effort to dodge the worst case scenario, our staffers put bikini products to the test and are sharing their unfiltered opinions, ahead.
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1 of 5
"These pads kind of remind me of those paper-thin, medicated acne wipes I used when I was in eighth grade. They also have that same familiar chemical smell and tingly burn when I wipe them over my freshly-shaved skin. I have a no pain, no gain philosophy, so the slight sting doesn't bother me much. What also doesn't bother me is the fact that since wiping my area with one of these guys post-shave, every shave, I've noticed that I have zero previously omni-present little red bumps or razor burn down there. So, I'm into 'em." —Megan Decker, Beauty Assistant
2 of 5
"I recently found out that the easiest way to ward against ingrown hairs along my bikini line is to use a different razor, so one single blade isn't working double or triple duty (shared with my legs and armpits). This tiny trimmer is precise, which is great because it lets me get in and around down there, plus I found it makes me spend a little more time with my grooming, which may be even more helpful since I'm using a lighter touch." —Decker
3 of 5
"The first thing to know is that this product stings. Like, after I shaved my legs and bikini line (admittedly, with a very old razor) and put this on, it felt like both of those parts of my body were on fire. I yelped. It wasn't great. But luckily, that feeling only lasted for 3 seconds. If you can get over the stinging, I did find that it was remarkably good at preventing razor bumps, and it even cleared up two ingrown hairs I've legit had for years." —Rachel Lubitz, Senior Beauty Writer
4 of 5
"I gave up my extensive pubic hair grooming routine about a year ago, but I do like to maintain what I've got going on when I find the time or when the occasion strikes. This portable hair remover is appealing to me because it makes it easy to groom on the go, like a beach weekend vacation when I only want to bring a small carry-on. Pop it open and you get a tiny water mister (for shaving when you're truly on the go), a bar of soap (it softens the skin and makes the hair easier to shave), and two razors (one to remove the hair and the other as a replacement head). It's cute and discreet, but it would work better if you give yourself a short trim ahead of time, but nonetheless, it gets the job done. Bottom line: It's cool for traveling, but it's better at removing random hairs or touching up your bikini line than it is delivering a full, smooth shave." —Sam Sasso, Beauty Writer
5 of 5
"I loved these Buff & Brighten Pads because they didn’t make my bikini line feel like it was smeared with sticky product. Instead, these textured cloths are soaked in glycolic acid, papaya, and pineapple enzymes to brighten and exfoliate bumpy skin. I used one cloth per day for a few days and was impressed with how smooth and calm my bikini line felt. The best part? I didn’t feel sticky, irritated, or like there was any product left over on my skin."—Aimee Simeon, Beauty Writer