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Ana Curbelo
Ana Curbelo
Lifestyle

Banish Bikini Bumps Once And For All

Read these tips and tricks for zapping them away.

I was 41 when I came across a TikTok video mentioning that rubbing Head & Shoulders shampoo onto your bikini line directly after shaving will rid you of any and all bumps.

It worked like a charm. But this led me to wonder — what else am I missing about my bikini line? Is it actually possible to make that area as smooth as a baby’s bottom post-shave? Could my nether region be free from ingrown hairs, nasty red rashes, pimply-looking bumps and painful itching? I asked dermatologists for help. 

Why we get ingrown hairs and bumps on our bikini line

Bumps are common on your bikini line, as it’s an area where you wear tighter-fitting clothing such as underwear and jeans. The friction from these can prevent new hair from growing, and the hair coils back inward, causing ingrown hairs and skin bumps, says Alison Angold, an aesthetician from the United Kingdom. “The thicker the hair, the more it is likely to become ingrown, due to friction,” Angold says. When you wax, the hair grows back softer and finer, which is why you don’t typically see bumps or ingrown hairs following waxing. Short of walking around nude post-shaving, you can wear looser clothing to avoid the friction, but this will help only until you’re forced to wear underwear again. Fortunately, you have other options.

Make sure it’s a sharp blade

A sharp blade will cut through the hair quickly, while a blunt blade will cause you pain as you struggle to go over the same spots again, says Tabitha Cranie, M.D., a family physician in St. Petersburg, Florida, and an editor with NWPH. With that sharp razor, shave in the direction that the hair is growing. 

Use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid

Instead of shaving gel, use over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for your bikini line, which will help your skin shed dead skin cells, Cranie says. “This can aid in the prevention of blocked and inflamed pores,” she says. “Make sure you’re using items designed for your bikini line since they’ll help protect sensitive skin from razor burn.” 

Wash your skin

After shaving, wash your skin and apply aloe vera lotion, says Ksenia Sobchak, a cosmetologist and owner of a dermatology clinic in London. This will calm your skin and provide relief. 

Apply a moisturizer

As soon as you hop out of the shower, apply a moisturizer followed by cortisone cream to reduce irritation (no need for a prescription for either one). Any moisturizer will do, but you’re better off with a simple one without a scent and without many added ingredients. The fewer ingredients, the less of a chance of irritation. Coconut oil or aloe vera are also smart options.

Exfoliate the day after shaving

Using an exfoliator is a great way to avoid skin bumps and ingrown hairs, Angold says. Start using a body scrub the day after shaving, and use it gently on your bikini line daily. “This will get rid of surface skin cells, which allows the hair to grow through more effectively,” she says. An exfoliator is also a good way to get rid of existing bumps, and it releases ingrown hairs. Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream is a great exfoliator to use because it’s not too gritty but will do a good job cleaning the area. Rub Rub Rub by Lush is another great option, as it doesn’t have many ingredients (translation: won’t hurt down there).

Apply product

There are various products aimed at calming your skin post-shaving, and the results will vary depending on your skin type and sensitivity. We’ve had wonderful success simply with Head & Shoulders shampoo — regardless of scent. We have also tried other products, and they work similarly. Fur Oil is made specifically to target razor bumps, and it’s a mix of various oils that have antimicrobial ingredients to moisturize, cleanse and smooth the area.

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