Unsightly shaving bumps caused by ingrown hairs rear their ugly heads in areas we repeatedly shave: faces, underarms and bikini line. The bikini line, in particular, tends to be the bane of many’s existence; it is especially prone to ingrown hairs since hair in those nether areas tends to be coarser. Those who already have curly hair, therefore, may be staring at the hateful little map of bumps wondering if anything can be done to be rid of them once and for all.
You’ll hear and read about any number of pieces of advice that prevent you from getting bumps in the first place. Shaving in the direction in which the hair grows works, presumably, because the hair won’t curl up in the wrong direction and get trapped under your skin. Doing so doesn’t always guarantee a close shave, and while it’s great advice for those with straight, fine hair, it’s kind of moot for those with thicker, curly hair. The temptation to shave against the grain is great, but this just makes things worse. Follow these skin-friendly tips to a smoother bikini line:
Try to deal with the ones you have, but also put in a bit more time to prevent further outbreaks. Taking a hot shower — as hot as you can stand it without burning yourself! — can help because the steam opens up your pores and will help you get at the trapped hairs. Whether you decide to soak the bikini line with a hot towel, hop into a hot bath or let stand under a hot shower, give your pores 15 minutes to open up.
Massage the bikini line for a few minutes with a gentle exfoliant to scrub away dead skin and give your pores the chance to drain out and expose the trapped hair. Baking soda is ideal, cost-effective and probably already in your kitchen cupboard. Rinse the bikini line after you are done exfoliating, and grab a clean, fresh razor. Use a moisturizing cream or gel, preferably one that contains aloe, which helps heal bumps. Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel works nicely, but using it alone without doing some soaking and exfoliation first will only minimize bumps, not make them all go away. Dry the area thoroughly and keep it clean.
Tend Skin, which runs from $17 to $20, is designed for use once you are done shaving your bikini line or any area prone to bumps. You simply soak a cotton ball and apply the product to the area. It contends that it eliminates bumps once and for all, which is fine, but it’s up to you to be consistent. At that ticket price, it can get expensive. Consider using acne creams that contain benzoyl peroxide or salycic acid instead, since ingrown hairs are similar to pimples. If you don’t already have some, you can find them at your local drug store without suffering from sticker shock.