Solutions for a no-bumps bikini line — even if you have coarse or tightly curled hair
Products that promise to prevent and even coax-out ingrowns, fade scarring and more
High cut, high waisted, one piece, retro... there are so many cute swimwear trends to get excited about. But for many of us the thought of our blemished bikini lines is definitely kills the vibe. A smooth bikini line is a challenge regardless of your hair type and skin colour — hair removal of any kind can lead to ingrown hairs, which can cause scarring, hyperpigmentation, redness and lots of problems that make boy shorts a very attractive option. However, having tightly curled hair increases the chances of ingrown hairs, because the curved hair follicle may encourage hair to grow in the direction of the skin.
Here are some products that when used in combination with exfoliation and proper hair removal techniques, can help eliminate ingrown hairs, lighten dark and red spots and ease irritated sensitive skin.
If you remember to use this product twice a day and… can get past the fairly strong alcohol smell… it works wonders. It really does straighten out stubborn hairs that curl back under the skin and cause problems.There's a reason so many estheticians recommend it. As for scarring, it's particularly great for preventing future blemishes but you'll have to be extra diligent with it to fully remove existing dark spots, especially if you have darker skin and hyperpigmentation issues.
Tend Skin, $29, walmart.ca
A good fix for soothing pesky red bumps and irritated skin after shaving or waxing. It doesn't smell like medicine and is not oily so it won't stain your clothing. It might sting a little when you first use it. It's pretty easy to find at local drug stores and is definitely a good option for less severe bikini line concerns.
Bikini Zone Medicated Creme, $28.85, amazon.ca
This product is supposed to be for men, but it has been known to find its way into the cabinets of many women. It's creamy to the touch with a built-in exfoliator, so it hits you with the one-two punch of sloughing while it soothes. It also has ginger, willow herb extracts and other anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help ease redness and discomfort.
Kiehls Razor Bump Relief, $38, kiehls.ca
It looks like something you might see in Harry Potter or some other wizarding world. But once you use this stuff, you'll become obsessed. It's boasts all natural ingredients, is sulfate, paraben and alcohol-free, and is ideal to use after exfoliating or post wax or shave. If you don't want to get this serum online, Waxon Bars across Canada and a few other salons carry this product in-house. It has great soothing properties but is also awesome at getting rid of dark spots. Be sure to let it dry before dressing. It's not cheap, but lasts for a long time.
Princereigns Organic Ingrown Hair & Razor Bump Serum, $32, waxon.ca
This is great for both men and women. It's got a combo of salicylic acid and lactic acid, two ingredients you normally see in acne treatments. Which makes this a good one for actually clearing up scarring and dark spots that can form even after ingrowns are gone. It also helps with preventing ingrown hairs and does a great job of calming super-irritated skin, thanks to ingredients like aloe leaf and organic green tea extract. Plus no need to worry about any strong synthetic fragrances or colorants.
Jack Black's Bump Fix Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution, $30, sephora.com
You'll love that this product comes in a roll on. So easy to apply! You can use this after shaving, waxing, tweezing, electrolysis and also laser hair removal. It's a gel but it's moisture-packed and helps to heal the skin around ingrown hairs. PFB Vanish also has strong exfoliating ingredients. This a favourite at many salons.
PFB Vanish, $21.75, beautysense.ca
This product goes to battle on bacteria that cause ingrown hairs to get inflamed and infected. It has glycolic, salicylic and phytic acid that helps get rid of those dead cells that ingrown hairs like to call home. It is, however, a small bottle and is on the pricey side. But it's for sure a favourite when it comes to preventing ingrown hair from popping up.
Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment, $44.11, shop.nordstrom.com
As the name suggests this Derma E Scar Gel focuses on diminishing scars. It's not for getting rid of ingrown hairs, but good for clearing up the minor marks they leave behind.Those who use this product say it takes time to perform, but swear by its healing properties. It contains avocado and chamomile which can help to bring much needed relief to irritated skin right after hair removal. You'll also appreciate it's non-greasy formula and the fact that it's gluten free, paraben free and hypoallergenic.
Derma E Scar Gel, $24.99, well.ca
This is an exfoliating lotion that's very popular, particularly in the U.K. Despite a bit of a strong smell, it really does a good job of coaxing out ingrown hairs that burrow under the skin. It's got lots of antifungal and anti-inflammatory ingredients that encourage a bump-free bikini line. Try not to use too much however, as it's prone to leaving a film.
Skin Doctor Ingrow Go, $14.75, amazon.ca
No matter how dedicated you are about applying ingrown hair creams and serums, don't use old razors, wear non-restrictive underwear after a wax... it means nothing if you don't slough off dead skin in the area with a good brush. The grand-daddy of these brushes is the Wizker. It looks harsh but it's really not. It works for typical razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Not recommended for keloid or folliculitis bumps.
Wizker Wet & Dry Exfoliator Brush, $11.77, amazon.ca
Nneka Elliott (@nnekaelliott) is a lifestyle blogger, host and actor. She shares her adventures with fashion and beauty in her pursuit of a gutsy life. nnekaelliott.com