How do I Choose the Best Ingrown Hair Cream?

Amanda Livingstone

There are many varieties of ingrown hair cream and lotions, and choosing the best product can often be expensive, frustrating and time consuming. Before deciding on an ingrown hair solution, there are many factors to consider. Take into account the severity of the issue, any skin sensitivities, the rate of hair regrowth and the price of the product. If the ingrown hair problem is severe enough, a medicated cream prescribed by a doctor might be necessary.

An ingrown hair.
An ingrown hair.

Many people experience ingrown hairs because of various hair removal methods, such as shaving, tweezing, waxing and electrolysis. Assess the causes of ingrown hairs to figure out whether a simple home remedy solution will solve the issue. Typically, exfoliating with mild abrasive scrubs, gels, wash cloths and creams will remove dead skin cells that trap the hair, which causes the formation of ingrown hairs. A lack of moisture in the skin is another cause that can be remedied at home with non-specialized lotions.

One way to remove ingrown hairs is by using exfoliating scrubs.
One way to remove ingrown hairs is by using exfoliating scrubs.

When home prevention and treatments fail, the use of an ingrown hair lotion and creams might be necessary. If the skin that is being treated is sensitive, seek out creams with sensitive skin formulas. Usually if a product is geared toward those with sensitive skin, the information will be displayed on the product packaging. A desirable ingredient for ingrown hair creams is aloe vera, which is used for its smoothing and antiseptic qualities. Avoid creams that might contain alcohol, fragrances and pore-clogging oils.

Exfoliating with a wet sponge may help prevent ingrown hairs.
Exfoliating with a wet sponge may help prevent ingrown hairs.

Another consideration when choosing the best ingrown hair cream is the rate of hair regrowth. The faster the hair grows, the more often that hair removal methods and ingrown hair creams will have to be used. Naturally, people whose hair regrows faster will tend to consume and spend more on ingrown hair creams than those with a slower rate of hair regrowth. If you fall into the former rather than the latter, it might be better to choose an ingrown hair cream that is lower in price. Also, make sure to purchase a cream or lotion that contains an adequate amount of cream and/or lotion, ensuring that multiple applications can be made to the area without interruption.

Sometimes, over-the-counter creams and lotions fail to produce relief from ingrown hair. Medical conditions such as extreme inflammatory reactions seen in those who suffer from pseudofolliculitis will most likely need a prescription-strength ingrown hair cream and antibiotic gel. The most common prescribed creams usually contain glycolic acid and tretinoin. Active infections that sometimes accompany pseudofolliculitis will require topical or oral antibiotics, such as benzamycin.

Over-the-counter topical antibiotics may help treat infected hair follicles.
Over-the-counter topical antibiotics may help treat infected hair follicles.

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Discussion Comments


@ankara-- You can try a cream with salicylic acid (it should be 2% salicylic acid) to prevent ingrown hair. It's often labeled for acne prone skin. It works great for me.


@ankara-- There are creams especially made for ingrown hair on the market. I personally don't use them because I think they do little despite the high price tag.

I've also been dealing with ingrown hairs for quite a while. The best ingrown hair treatment I've found is a combination of exfoliation and moisturizing the skin. You must exfoliate your skin after shaving to help the hairs break through the skin while growing. Using an exfoliating scrub, followed by a moisturizing lotion will do the trick.

You can basically use any cream that moisturizes skin. Try and get something with natural oils or ingredients like vitamin E, aloe vera or oatmeal.

Aloe vera gel or cream is a great choice because it moisturizes while cooling and soothing the skin. So it will reduce the redness and pain that comes with ingrown hair. Just make sure that it has a high content of pure aloe vera.

I get a lot of ingrown hairs after shaving. The hair that grows can't break out of the skin and causes red, painful and itchy bumps. I've tried several different after-shave creams, two of which were for sensitive skin. It did soothe my skin a bit, but it doesn't treat ingrown hairs or prevent new ones from developing.

Does anyone have any cream recommendations for ingrown hair? I'm tired of scratching my beard.

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