Photo: Courtesy MGM
Hair: It is a natural part of being human. But when the temperature goes up and the skin is exposed, it’s one of those things that many of us want to control. This week, we’re tackling hairlessness, not just the hair removal process (electric razors and ingrown hair treatments and others) but also what to buy when you lose your hair, and even how to take care of a Sphynx cat.
Anyone who has shaved or waxed literally anywhere – bikini line, legs, arms, armpits, etc. – knows the pain of ingrown hairs. They occur after waxing when the hair grows back into the skin instead of coming up as it should and tends to happen because there is too much dead skin on the surface preventing the hair from coming out properly. With my super thick Indian hair (yes, that’s usually a blessing, but not in this case), the resulting cyst-like bumps can be painfully impossible to ignore. For very sensitive areas like the bikini area, ingrown hairs can constrict the jaw (not to say unsightly).
In the summer I have Brazilians every month – my skin is too dark for laser hair removal – and everyone will tell you that the best way to avoid ingrown hairs when the little whiskers come to the surface is to exfoliate that dead skin. Unfortunately, I couldn’t master this step (who has time?). Instead, I have a different MO, which relies entirely on European Wax Center Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Serum.
Here’s how it works: The serum uses extracts of Amazonian berries (smells like Crunch Berry) along with antioxidants to soften and nourish the skin. It’s infused with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to promote cell turnover (something like a mild chemical peel), and there’s also an exclusive Comfort Blend® (there’s actually a registered symbol there) that works a kind of shockproof magic. Do I know what’s inside? Does anybody? All I know is that I applied the alcohol-free berry-scented concoction via a cotton ball after showering since last summer, and all my irritating wax bumps are gone. I was a fan of Bliss Bump Attendant Pads but I found the salicylic acid a little harsh on my skin. Now my skin is hydrated and smoother than ever, and adding this step after my shower is the easiest step I’ve ever taken (I just do it while my hair is drying). It works best as prevention, but it will also help treat any bumps you already have.
I even take it with me when I’m on the go—on vacation or to the gym—as a disposable Smooth Me Ingrown Hair Wipes. Brazilian waxes aren’t cheap (at least $50 a pop), so what’s a few more bucks to keep them looking the way my wax, if not nature, intended ?
Rao may not be good at it, but the dermatologists we spoke to definitely recommend exfoliating to prevent ingrown hairs (it’s also a lot cheaper). According to esthetician Lara Kaiser: “It gives less chance for the hairs to curl up and exfoliates the area so there’s nothing clogging the pores, making them vulnerable to bacteria and dirt. inflammation.”
If you’re looking for a different type of peel, try this one from Skyn, which Freckle Owner Ania Siemieniaka raves: “I love the Nordic Skin Peel from Skyn Iceland. It was designed for acne-prone skin, but it works wonders on your bikini bumps. And if you’re lazy – er, busy – this peel comes in pads for easy application. Don’t dry out your skin.
And to keep that sensitive area hydrated, try fur oil, which Kaiser also likes: “A great way to prevent razor burn is to keep the skin around the bikini line really healthy, like with Fur Oil. This is an oil that you apply a few days before or after waxing that is antiseptic and helps soften hair and regrow hair. As far as I know, this is about the only product on the market specifically for pubic hair.
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