Dear Ingrown Hairs, Who the hell invited you?

Dear Ingrown Hairs, Who the hell invited you?

This Lady Lowdown article is by Autumn Mergel-- oncology trained Advanced Esthetician who specializes in clean and sustainable self-care. Connect through Instagram via @portland_aesthetic

hey ingrowns! ya, we see you lurking in the darkness....

Which got us thinking, what is your origin story and how can we use that to stop you in your tracks? These pesky bumps can be formed from a few factors, however the most common include the following:

Dead skin build up which blocks the hair from exiting the pore and the second reason which is also most common following any hair removal is inflammation of the skin. Whether you shave, wax or grow free, anyone can be affected by this side effect of the human condition.


For you shavers out there ingrowns are often caused by inflammation, see that nifty 5 blade razor can often over-exfoliate the skin. As you press down each blade of your razor glides across your skin and as you do so the blades cut deeper and deeper taking off slightly more skin with every millimeter. By the time you make a full pass across your target your skin has been scraped raw, which results in redness, heat, itching and the ingrown’s favorite, inflammation. That inflammation causes those cute little pores to slam shut like an iron door, sealing the hair inside a tome of doom. The fix? Try a safety razor with high quality shave cream or non-comedogenic shaving oil, one well made blade used properly can often reduce the risk of developing your unwelcome guest. 


When we think of waxing we rarely think of exfoliation, however waxing, especially soft wax (strip wax) causes trauma to the skin by forcibly ripping away layers of the epidermis. While the result is smooth it can often leave your skin raw and over-exfoliated causing once again more inflammation i.e. swelling. This seals that growing hair inside a swollen skin prison. Instead opt for hard wax (stripless wax) when possible, estheticians often have both on hand but some just prefer one wax type over the other. Trust us your skin will thank you for the use of hard wax and so will your pain level!

all natural

So you like to let that hair grow free, but are still suffering from these painful monsters? Don't worry, that is most likely caused from a buildup of dead skin around the pore and not inflammation, exfoliating ingredients like willow bark, witch hazel and lactic acid, that are effective without the typical irritation from harsher acids or physical scrubs. Muslin cloths also work great as well to exfoliate the entire body and face gently and they often come at a cheaper cost!



want ingrown free intimate skin?


Combat chronic ingrown hairs, razor bumps, blemishes, and rough texture for intimate skin that looks brighter, clearer and more even toned.

Yes, I want to banish ingrown hairs!





Most importantly and no matter how you wear or care for your hair, keeping the skin underneath your hair healthy is imperative, healthy skin is hydrated skin! My personal go to for skin hydration is non-comedogenic oils. Using a great oil on a regular basis like the will often give you a closer more comfortable shave or wax as the skin and hair has been softened and well maintained which will result in fewer problems down the line and as an added benefit it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients to cause unneeded inflammation.

Try a more gentle non stripping cleanser as well, our down south cleanser is perfect for the bikini area as it is non stripping while very lightly exfoliating thanks to micro rose quartz particles. If you are treating the body or non-bikini area aim for lighter, more dry oils (high in linoleic acid) and cleansers without SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) which strips the skin of its natural moisture.

Most importantly if you are planning on removing any hair don't exfoliate a day or so prior to the procedure. You wouldn't scrub your face twice and one day right? So use that same logic when treating and removing hair as all hair removal methods are inherently exfoliating. 

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