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Dr. Debra Jaliman’s tips for preventing ingrown hairs and razor burn

Whether it’s your bikini, underarm, legs or face, hair removal can be an uncomfortable job when it’s done with a razor, especially if you have sensitive skin. The most common complaints: Cuts, razor burn and ingrown hairs. Waxing is an alternative to shaving that lessens your risk for irritation, but rest assured – it is painful both through the process and in your pocket book, if done at a professional salon.

If you insist on shaving because it’s both convenient and cheap, a few best practices can help you enjoy smooth skin sans irritation. NYC dermatologist and author of “Skin Rules” Dr. Debra Jaliman says it is possible, but with a little extra attention and care.

Bye, Bye Razor Burn
Cause: Razor burn comes from irritating the skin.

Prevention: The best way to prevent razor burn is to shave after the shower when the hair is hydrated. It is also important to use a shaving cream or shaving foam. It’s best to use a new razor every time you shave. When you must use a razor that has been used before, soak it in rubbing alcohol for 5 minutes before you use it.

Treatment: If you find you are red and have irritation post-shave, apply a topical steroid preparation like hydrocortisone 1% after you shave.

Tricia’s Tips: Shaving always causes irritation on my delicate skin. After some time in warm shower, I use the BodyVerde EZ Waterless Shave lotion and follow with Tend Skin solution, once I’ve toweled off and for a few days afterward.

Out with That Ingrown
Cause: Ingrown hairs happen when curly hairs turn in on themselves and get under the skin.

Prevention: The best way to prevent ingrown hairs is good exfoliation, and my favorite way of doing so is with sonic cleansing systems. Some popular options include Miracle Skin Transformer’s Microsonic Facial Brush, Clarisonic, Neutrogena Wave and Olay. “These devices help to gently exfoliate the dead skin without any irritation, making it easier for the hair to go to grow through your skin,” Jaliman explains. She says you can exfoliate with grainy products, like a scrub, washcloth or loofah. Also, when you shave do so with the grain of the hair, not against it.

Tricia’s Tip: I recommend the creamy scrubs from OrganicaPure, they’re formulated with organic aloe, cocoa and honey cultivated in Mexico.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing