Beauty Lesson: How To Banish Ingrown Hairs

Tips for ridding your legs and bikini line of painful red bumps

Ingrown hairs: We’ve all had them. Often caused by shaving or waxing, the unsightly pink or red bumps develop when hairs break off at their follicles and grow back into the skin. Luckily, they can be treated. Read on for five easy steps to remove and treat these buzz kills so they never crash your party again.

1. Exfoliate

When skin is dry, gently exfoliate dead skin cells with a bath mitt or scrub. Rinse in the shower, allowing skin to soften in the heat and humidity. Towel off.

FLARE pick: The Body Shop Exfoliating Bath Gloves, $5,

Tip: Make your own homemade scrub with sugar and olive or coconut oil. Try 1/4 cup of sugar for each teaspoon of oil.

2. Tweeze

When skin is still supple from the shower, examine your legs and/or bikini line. If you see a hair that has become embedded, gently tease it out from under the skin with a pair of pointed tweezers. Do not pluck out the hair, as it will likely result in another bump. If you cannot see the hair, resist the urge to pick at your skin. You will only create a scab, which will take even longer to heal!

FLARE pick: Tweezerman Point Tweezers, $24,

3. Medicate

The ingredients found in many acne medications are useful for treating ingrown hairs because they reduce swelling. Apply a product that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to your bumps twice a day for a few days. Your ingrown hairs should rise to the surface.

FLARE pick: Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel, $16,

Tip: In lieu of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, crush some aspirin and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply to your ingrown hairs and leave on until dry.

4. Moisturize

Choose a body lotion that contains alpha hydroxy acids and apply liberally. It will remove dead skin cells daily and help to release the buried hairs. 

FLARE pick: Philosophy Hope In A Jar For Body, $25,

5. Skip Shaving (for a few days)

The easiest step of them all, because it requires you to do nothing! Don’t put a razor to your legs or bikini line for a couple of days to allow swelling and irritation to subside. The next time that you do shave, use a fresh razor.

Read our top five picks for having the smoothest legs at the beach