Waxing & Shaving Irritation? 9 Skin-Soothing Products That Actually Work

There is nothing worse than having painful tender skin after a wax, or getting razor burn after shaving. You know the feeling: Your skin is itchy after shavingraw, even — and actually hurts. While the easiest way to avoid pain after shaving and waxing is to avoid it entirely (which you should absolutely feel free to do, if you choose), if you prefer to remove the hair, having effective products that soothe skin after shaving and waxing is a good idea.

Melanie Gilliland, brand ambassador for European Wax Center, shared some great tips on how to soothe skin before and after hair removal. It doesn't matter if you're removing hair from your bikini area, from your face, underarms, or your legs, there are things you can do to soothe irritation in each area, and make the hair removal process less painful.

I happen to live in Florida, and when I'm not there, I'm often traveling around many different warm weather locales. I prefer to go with hair removal, and products that prevent waxing or shaving irritation are a must — excessively shaving my legs or putting up with irritated skin after a bikini wax just doesn't work for me.

1. Exfoliate Skin Before Doing Anything Else

Vitamin E Soothes Skin, While Coconut Oil Nourishes

Bikini Perfect Pre-Shave Scrub and Oil, $20, Amazon

It's important to make sure you exfoliate skin before removing hair. This is probably the step that most people forget, but it makes a huge difference. Gilliland said, "Exfoliating helps keep the hair follicles clean,"and even makes removing them easier. "It primes the skin for waxing, as the hairs will be able to slide out more easily from their roots, which can create longer-lasting results." Look for an exfoliator that is rich in vitamin E, so it really soothes skin. Gilliland said this step can help prevent future ingrown hairs, too.

Users Say This Scrub Evens Out Scarring From Ingrown Hairs, Too

GiGi No Bump Body Scrub, $12, Amazon

A scrub will eliminate dead skin cells that can trap hair follicles. In regard to No Bump in particular, one user said, "I used this product daily to prevent ingrown hairs from waxing my bikini area. It has not only prevented the problem that I previously had...it has (also) helped to heal the uneven skin tone cause by previous scars and dark spots."

2. Target Ingrown Hairs While Hair Grows Back In

bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads, $38, Amazon

Use an ingrown hair removal pad that is loaded with salicylic and glycolic acid. These ingredients are great exfoliants. Even better, these single use pads are soaked in calming ingredients like oat extract, witch hazel, and lavender oil, which will leave skin feeling refreshed and smooth after a wax or shave. One user said, "JUST BUY THEM! I have not had an ingrown since purchasing these. A little expensive yes but they absolutely deliver."

3. If You Often Get Razor Bumps, Target Bacteria Right After Shaving

Penchant Bare Ingrown Hair Treatment, $18, Amazon

If your skin gets horribly irritated after shaving or waxing, you should look for a product that soothes multiple issues. The serum prevents harmful bacteria from causing breakouts around shaving sites. The easy-to-apply serum comes in a rollerball that makes it easy to remove redness and irritation post-shave. Ingredients like witch hazel ensure that your skin feels and looks great, too.

4. Tweeze Ingrown Hairs (But Only Once They Break Through Skin On Their Own)

Tweez'em Steel Precision Tweezers, $8, Amazon

"Picking in-grown makes them 10 times worse and scars the skin," said Gilliland. If and only if hair is partially outside of the skin is when you should tweeze the hair. Gilliland said, "If it requires digging, popping, squeezing or anything of that nature, hide your tweezers and leave it alone." A tweezer with a needle point is the best option for hairs that are ready to be tweezed. This way, you aren't digging under skin and irritating it even more.

5. After Treating Ingrown Hairs, Prevent New Ones With A Gel

Shaveworks The Cool Fix (2 oz.), $12, Amazon

Introduce a treatment into your before-bed routine to prevent stubborn ingrown hairs from forming after shaving. The gel is full of exfoliating ingredients like glycolic acid and salicylic acid. What makes this gel different from the others is that it also contains phytic acid, which helps dissolve dead skin cells, allowing hairs to reach the surface. It also has a Mediacalm Complex, which works to soothe skin and reduce redness.

6. Use A Gentle Body Wash After Waxing Or Shaving

Kiss My Face Silky Soft Lavender Shower Gel & Foaming Bath, $13, Amazon

Skip the exfoliating scrubs directly after getting waxed or shaving. If you exfoliate too early, your skin will be left irritated and very red. Instead, reach for a rich, lathering body wash that moisturizes skin. This one is packed with natural ingredients like lavender essential oil, acacia senegal, aloe vera, calendula and jasmine. The all-natural product leaves skin moisturized, soothed, and refreshed.

7. Moisturize Skin With A Long-Lasting Lotion

Barr Co. Oatmeal & Shea Butter Lotion, $32, Amazon

"Moisturize! Moisturizing helps sooth dehydrated skin leaving it glowing and radiant," says Gilliland. Use a daily moisturizer to lock in hydration after shaving, and try to find a formula that has natural ingredients (like oatmeal) that acts as skin protectants. It will ensure that your skin doesn't dry out after waxing or shaving. This lotion also has ultra-moisturizing shea butter, so it will help you be on your way to soft, smooth skin in no time.

8. After You Wax, Cool Angry Red Skin With A Gel

Gigi Post Wax Cooling Gel, $11, Amazon

If you prefer to give yourself a wax at home, make sure you don't forget to smooth a cooling gel on the newly waxed skin when you're finished. A gel made with aloe vera and glycerin moisturizes and nourishes skin. Find one that also has cucumber extract, which will reduce redness, while the menthol will give you a cooling feeling.

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (9)