How To Stave Off Ingrown Hairs & Razor Burn

*applause* Let’s give it up for summer — warm weather, outdoor festivals, and plenty of after-hours cocktail parties to attend. The season, however, does come with two big bummers — razor burn and ingrown hairs — and if you haven’t embraced lasers or waxing, and you’re at all committed to smooth, hair-free legs underarms and bikini lines, you’re not immune.

If you have any intention of donning summer’s sexy shorts and swimwear, you should know that closely shaven hair happens to have sharp little edges that can penetrate back into your delicate dermis and lead to inflammation and swelling. Note: this is where we call your quick-as-lightening shower routine of swiping your body hair with a questionably fresh razor to task. It seems the key to a warding off unsightly and uncomfortable ingrown hairs is the condition of your skin prior to shaving.

Wave goodbye to your bar soap and your typical foam shaving creams — they are simply not emollient enough. Your body hair and the hair follicles need to be conditioned before you shave, which requires that you use an emollient-based shaving cream that softens the aforementioned areas so that the razor glides smoothly across the skin. Look for gel-based shaving creams for the best lubrication and skin softening agents.

Summer is also the prime time to embrace all-over-exfoliation, particularly around the bikini area. If the skin isn’t properly exfoliated and conditioned, then the hair doesn’t have a chance at a clean cut. A great way to do this is to apply a thin coat of exfoliating serum with glycol acid, followed by a hydrating body lotion. The acid in the serum will start to dissolve dead skin cells that can cause hair to be trapped under the skin, and the lotion will keep your skin looking hydrated and supple, and ward off any dryness caused by the sun.

Now get out there and show off those smooth, hair-free gams.

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