Banishing Ingrown Hairs with Glycolic AcidThey’re the bane of beauty for anyone donning a swimsuit, shorts, or hoping to put their best face forward. Unfortunately, for the majority of teens and adults, ingrown hairs aren’t merely cosmetically unpleasant and embarrassing, these bumps can also itch and cause physical discomfort.
Luckily for consumers, there’s an easy fix for the common trouble of ingrown hairs. These annoying bumps can be banished forever with the powers of multifunctional, skin-saving glycolic acid.
What are ingrown hairs?
They’re exactly what they sound like. Ingrown hairs are hairs that haven’t grown normally, i.e. rising upwards and straight through the pore. Instead, ingrown hairs have curled back around and grown down into the skin.
Ingrown hairs are often red, pink, or tan in appearance and scattered across the skin. The most telltale sign of an ingrown hair? The small bump or lump the hair creates underneath the skin. Sufferers often describe these bumps as having the same appearance as pimples, although in more severe cases, ingrown hairs can become larger sores. Although ingrown hairs are usually benign, they do run the risk of becoming infected, and should be dealt with immediately.
What causes ingrown hairs?
There are several causes of ingrown hairs, but shaving, waxing, or tweezing the skin is the most common assailant. In fact, this is why ingrown hairs are most often seen on men’s faces and necks, and typically show up on women’s legs, underarms, bikini lines, or around the eyebrows. Shaving or waxing creates a sharper-edged hair, and when this hair grows back, it is more likely to pierce the skin wall. Hair then grows inside this pierced wall, instead of going outwards, and creates that trademark ingrown bump to appear.
Additionally, skin that isn’t properly exfoliated is most commonly afflicted by ingrown hairs. If dead skin clogs a hair follicle, hair will be forced to grow sideways underneath the skin, and the bump is the unpleasant consequence. Another cause of these ugly bumps? Curly hair. Unfortunately for the estimated 65% of the population with curls, curly hairs are more prone to transforming into irritating and embarrassing ingrowns.
No matter the root cause of ingrown hairs, the solution to combating this common skincare problem is always the same: a routine use of glycolic acid-based personal care products to tackle existing bumps and prevent future breakouts.
How to deal with ingrown hairs
To stop ingrown hairs from forming, and to deal with current bumps, the absolute best method of attack is to incorporate glycolic acid based products into showering, shaving, and beautifying routines 2-3 times per week. Why glycolic acid? Glycolic acid is the most powerful exfoliative ingredient available on the market, and frequent exfoliation is the key to both reducing and warding off current and potential ingrown hairs.
Glycolic acid is the smallest of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and able to most quickly and thoroughly permeate the skin cell walls. Due to this rapid cell wall infiltration, glycolic acid forces fast cell turnover and propels healthier, newer cells to the skin’s surface. This penetrating power is what makes glycolic acid such an incredible exfoliator – and such a blessing for ingrown hair sufferers.
First, glycolic acid helps resolve current bumps by speedily shedding off the inflamed cells surrounding an ingrown hair. Secondly, glycolic acid helps reduce the buildup of dead and damaged skin cells, one of the root causes of ingrown hairs. By preventing skin cell buildup, glycolic acid also prevents future ingrown hair formation.
Formulators take aim at ingrowns with glycolic acid
Formulators and marketers have jumped into the market with plenty of would-be solutions, of course. A product like Dr. Cynthia Bailey’s Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing AHA Skin Care Kit is packed with a variety of ingredient, everything to “effectively massage out that ingrown hair,” including glycolic acid body wash, glycolic acid lotion, and a salux cloth.
Another derma-doctor product? BeautyRx’s Ingrown Hair Treatment, “We formulated them with glycolic acid to help exfoliate, plus green tea to soothe your skin while it treats, making these pads gentle enough to be used on sensitive areas like the bikini line,” says the line’s founder, Neal Schultz, MD. They also work for men coping with razor bumps on the neck or chin.
Ingrown hairs might be a common skincare trouble, but this embarrassing issue shouldn’t stop anyone from slipping on a pair of shorts or enjoying a day at the beach.
Instead, consumers are now able to take advantage of a plethora of personal care solutions using GA, so they can wave goodbye to ingrown hairs forever with the incredibly exfoliating powers of glycolic acid.