Ingrown hairs are quite a nuisance that many people struggle with. They can be particularly problematic for Black women due to the unique texture of their hair. The pain, irritation, and hyperpigmentation that accompany ingrowns can be incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, Lily Njoroge, founder of Skin Wins in NYC, recently shared her top product recommendations for combating ingrown hairs on Twitter.

Why Do Ingrown Hairs Form?

Ingrown hairs occur when hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin, causing inflammation, pain, and sometimes infection. This is especially common in people with curly or coarse hair, which is why Black women are more prone to this issue. The natural curl pattern of our hair means that it is more likely to bend back into the skin, leading to these pesky ingrowns.

Best Cleanser

Cera Ve Acne Foaming Cleaser

Photo Courtesy of CeraVe

This gentle, non-irritating formula is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic. Its key ingredients include 4% Benzoyl Peroxide to clear and treat acne by eliminating excess oil and impurities, while penetrating deep into pores to tackle active breakouts. Ceramides are included to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier, Hyaluronic Acid to attract hydration and help the skin retain moisture, and Niacinamide to calm the skin.

Njoroge’s Take: “Wash with a 4% benzoyl peroxide cleanser daily (kills bacteria, reduces inflammation). The one I use is the @cerave Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser. I also use their 10% one (Acne Foaming Cream Wash) when I have an active ingrown or HS flare-up. These reduce the pain overnight.”

Best Dark Spot Reducer

PFB+ Chromabright

Photo Courtesy of PFB+

PFB+ Chromabright includes Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate to lighten dark spots and is 45.9% more effective than Kojic acid and Hydroquinone. It works well for dark spots in areas like the inside thighs, bikini area, underarms, chin, and nape of the neck. Results in skin lightening can be seen in 6-8 weeks with consistent use.

Njoroge’s Take: “Use PFB Vanish 2 days after shaving/waxing and for 1 full week after. Then once I feel the hair start growing back in, I start using it again. This is still the TOP intimate ingrown/dark spot serum on the market. It’s like a chemical peel for your coochie. You WILL peel.”

Best Toner

SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

Photo Courtesy of Tower 28

This pH-balanced facial toner from Tower 28 is designed to soothe and purify the skin, offering quick relief for irritated skin. Formulated with hypochlorous acid, it helps calm the skin, support the skin barrier, and reduce redness and flare-ups. It is safe for all skin types, non-toxic, free of sensitizing irritants, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Njoroge’s Take: “Spray hypochlorous acid (it kills bacteria) whenever I feel an ingrown coming, it almost always stops it for me within 1-2 days! I love the @Tower28Beauty SOS spray, I’ve used it for years (search my @) and it’s been super effective at getting inflamed ingrowns/pimples down.”

Best Hydration

Super Saturated

Photo Courtesy of Experiment Beauty

Experiment Beauty’s Super Saturated is a barrier support serum packed with 30% glycerin, which provides intense hydration and supports the skin’s natural barrier. It also includes ingredients like prickly pear extract and niacinamide to help prevent irritation. The serum increases the skin’s resilience and natural hydration over time, making it an excellent choice for maintaining healthy, hydrated skin.

Njoroge’s Take: “I only addressed the actual treatment steps in this thread, but you should also be hydrating to prevent irritation and dryness. I hydrate with the @experimentwrld Super Saturated, it’s a glycerin-based serum that’s really lightweight and SUPER hydrating.”

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