There’s nothing pleasant about an ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into your skin instead of rising up from it. They can often look and feel like painful pimples. While ingrown hairs aren’t serious, they can be unsightly and irritating. An ingrown hair will often go away on it’s own. However, if it doesn’t go away, an ingrown hair can become infected and even leave behind a scar. Treatment will also help prevent you from scratching or picking at it. You can find a ton of at-home remedies for ingrown hairs on the internet. However, as we learned from these dangerous tips, not all beauty advice found on the internet is safe.
We asked a dermatologist which of home remedies for ingrown hairs actually work. Are they safe for your skin? Dr. Kally Papantoniou, a board certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC, had the following advice:
Sugar scrubs: Sugar scrubs can help prevent and clear ingrown hairs with gentle exfoliation, and are safe to use. Exfoliating with a sugar scrub before is you shave is also a great way to prevent ingrown hairs from developing. We’re a fan of using this French Girl Organics Body Polish ($38)while we are in the shower.
Baking soda paste: A baking soda paste is safe to use as an exfoliating agent. This should have similar results to using a sugar scrub. Find out how to make a baking soda past here.
Tea tree oil: The application of diluted tea tree oil can help inflamed or infected ingrown. However, Dr. Papantoniou recommends recommend diluting 3-5 drops in a teaspoon of coconut oil or another preferred oil. Putting undiluted tea tree oil on the skin can be an irritant.
Apple cider vinegar: Diluted apple cider vinegar is also safe to use on the skin with a cotton ball, dilute the vinegar 1:3 parts water. According to Dr. Papantoniou, putting undiluted vinegar on the skin can cause irritation if there is any broken skin.