How To Avoid Ingrown Hairs

Know Your Skin Type
You may not think that your skin type has anything to do with you getting ingrown hairs, but it does make a serious difference. There are four main skin types: Normal, Oily, Dry and Combination. With the exception of Normal, each skin type requires its own special cleansing and care regimen. For example, if you have oily skin, you will want to avoid cream-based or oil-based cleansers which run the risk of clogging your pores and creating ingrown hairs. Conversely, those with dry skin need to avoid products that will aggravate the stripping of oil and moisture from your skin – soap is one of the biggest culprits. Combination skin, in which you have an oily T-zone (your forehead, nose, and chin) and dry cheeks, you will need to combine these two approaches to treat your face effectively.

Cleanse Thoroughly
Once you know your skin type, you need to buy products that will help you avoid any oil overproduction, since clogged pores will exacerbate irritated facial hairs and, while trapping dirt and oil, can easily lead to ingrown hairs. So take a closer look at the bottle of face wash you’re purchasing next time: be sure that it’s right for your skin type, and above all don’t use a bar of soap just because it’s available; even with the oiliest of skin, soap tends to be much too harsh and drying.

When you want to shave, you should always start by washing your face and hands. Wet your face with warm water – if you have extremely dry skin, use lukewarm water – and squeeze a small amount of cleanser into your palm. Rub your hands together until a lather forms, and gently rub the product into your face and neck in small, circular motions. Make sure that you cover the entire area that you will be shaving: under your chin, your neck down to your collarbone, around your ears and sideburns, and the back of your neck. When you are finished, wipe your skin with a wet washcloth or use your hands to splash warm water on your face until all of the cleanser has been washed away.

Exfoliate
No matter how clean your face is, you run a high risk of getting ingrown hairs if you don’t first clear away the layer of dead skin on the surface of your face by exfoliating. You can purchase a commercial exfoliant, which uses microbeads or small grains of sand or salt to rub away dead skin. You can also make your own by mixing 1 part sea salt or granulated sugar to 1 part olive or other essential oil. Warm up the mixture in the microwave until it is lukewarm, then rub in small circular motions over your entire face and neck. Rinse thoroughly; your skin should feel much smoother now.

Use A Sharp Razor Blade
You absolutely must use a sharp enough razor blade to shave your face. Even though it’s tempting to try to save some money by using each razor blade in the cartridge for longer than a week or two, you will end up paying for it through the discomfort of ingrown hairs. After two or three uses, look closely at the blade and see whether there are cuts, grooves or nicks in the metal, or if the blade has been severely dulled. Once this occurs, discard the razor blade.

Be sure to use the razor properly: lather up with shaving cream and slowly draw the razor against the direction of hair growth, working on one small area at a time. After each pass, rinse the razor in hot water.

Use Toner
After rinsing and drying your face, use an oil-free, alcohol-free toner to close your pores. Apply the toner to a cotton ball and gently rub it all over the area that you shaved. If you find that your skin is very dry after this, apply a light moisturizer.