1. Prep with oil. The night before you’re going to shave, apply a body oil to your pits to add extra hydration and bolster the skin against the razor blade. We like: .
2. Use a non-soap cleanser. “Use something moisturizing, like Dove Beauty Bar or their body wash,” Marmur recommended. This way, you won’t be stripping the skin of essential moisture and oils. If the area becomes too dry, it has a greater chance of becoming flaky and irritated. Try: .
3. Use the right razor. Marmur suggested a women’s razor with a flexible head, as it will be smaller and more responsive to the small, curved area. (Your man probably doesn’t like it when you steal his razors anyway!) Try: Venus Swirl, $13, which has a pivoting head and blades that auto adjust to contour to your body, or Bliss Trim and Bare It Grooming System ($64), which features a micro-shaver for curved areas and comes with an ingrown eliminating pad.
4. Limit yourself to four swipes. “Try to get the job done in four passes or less,” Marmur said. Over-shaving an area will just tear at the skin and cause further damage, allowing irritation, bumps and razor burn to occur. Good to keep in mind for shaving any area of your body!
5. Consider laser hair removal. You don’t even need to go for the full amount of sessions — just two sessions of laser hair removal can get rid of those big coarse hairs and make shaving what’s left way easier. If you’re someone who has to shave your underarms every single day, this will make your life a lot easier — not to mention bringing down your cost of razors and shaving cream in the long run.
When you do get ingrowns, apply something calming and anti-inflammatory, like aloe (we like Jason Soothing Aloe Vera Organic Oil). Be don’t treat your ingrowns like a pimple, Marmur warned. Many people will use something harsh like benzoyl peroxide since the bumps may look and feel like acne, but this will just further irritate the area instead of soothing it and making it dissipate. And in the meantime? Keep one of those winter sweaters around just in case!