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These 6 esthetician-approved products are best at preventing ingrown hairs and razor bumps

Whether you’re waxing or shaving any area, ingrown hairs and razor bumps are practically inevitable. But what are ingrown hairs and razor bumps, and why do they happen? With this in mind, folks are trying to figure out how to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps for good.

Quick Overview
  • First Aid Beauty Ingrown Hair Pads with BHA & AHA

    1. Best Overall Exfoliator

  • Bushbalm Hydrogel Vajacial Mask

    2. Best to Soothe Skin After Waxing

  • Topicals High Roller Ingrown Hair Tonic

    3. Go-To for Preventing Discoloration

  • Bushbalm Ingrown Hair Oil

    4. Top Moisturizer After Hair Removal

  • Bevel Bump Control

    5. Best for Men of Color to Prevent Hyperpigmentation

  • Kiehl’s Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief After Shave Cream

    6. Perfect for Men with Sensitive Skin

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Ingrown hairs happen when the hair curls into the skin and grows in the wrong direction, curling inward after shaving and waxing. As the new skin cells grow over the hair, that hair becomes trapped, causing a bump to form.

Razor bumps, aka pseudofolliculitis barbae, are more common in men who shave. It’s similar to ingrown hairs, as when, after shaving, the hair regrows at an angle and is met with resistance from dead skin cells where the pore opens. So, the hair is prevented from growing straight outward, causing it to curl back inside.

But razor burn bumps tend to be smaller in size and often appear in clusters, similar to a rash, whereas an ingrown bump is usually larger, often swollen, large and can be painful to the touch.

So now that we understand what ingrown hairs and razor bumps are, how do we prevent them? There are three crucial steps you should follow before and after waxing and shaving: exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize.

Below, I’ve listed the best products to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps — as well as when, in your hair removal routine, you should use them.

Shop the best picks from brands like Topicals, Kiehl’s, First Aid Beauty, Bevel and more.

Exfoliating two to three days before waxing or shaving helps prep the skin for the wax. It’ll help remove the dead skin cells that will unavoidably trap the hairs underneath the skin while waxing and shaving. Two days after your wax, you should continue exfoliating daily. These pads are perfect for use on either the face or anywhere on the body. It's formulated with glycolic acid to exfoliate and resurface skin, salicylic acid to smooth and unclog pores and witch hazel to soothe.

$36 at Sephora

A soothing mask for your vajayjay? A first of its kind and a must after you wax, I just used this for the first time after my last wax and was very surprised at how soothed and calm my skin felt. This cooling gel sheet mask reduces the appearance of redness while rejuvenating your bikini line with natural ingredients. It feels like you’re giving your precious area a spa-like pampering treatment.

$8 at Ulta

This lightweight serum not only exfoliates the skin with glycolic acid, which I mentioned helps prevent ingrown hairs from forming, but it’s also formulated with niacinamide. That helps target and reduce the appearance of dark spots, which develop after continuous razor bumps and ingrown hairs. It’s also formulated with zinc PCA, an anti-inflammatory that prevents excess oil from developing, which prevents your pores from clogging.

$26 at Sephora

A non-pore-clogging oil is recommended for daily use to loosen dead skin that can create ingrown hairs. This all-natural oil is formulated with jojoba, tea tree and grapeseed oils to reduce redness and inflammation, hydrate and moisturize.

$20 at Ulta

My dad swears by this brand and this product. It’s an after-shave cream that helps reduce inflammation and bumps by exfoliating the skin. Because 60% of African American men experience razor bumps while shaving their beards, which eventually leads to keloids and scarring, Bevel’s products work hard to combat that.

$11 at Amazon

If you have sensitive skin and get razor burn, this is for you! This after-shave cream is formulated with aloe vera and vitamin E to moisturize, cool and calm inflamed skin.

$30 at Amazon

If you enjoyed this story, check out this $10 shampoo that's the industry's best-kept secret for curing bald spots and dryness.

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