People Are Swearing By This Viral Product That Gets Rid Of Ingrown Hairs After Shaving, So I Tried It For A Month, And Here's What Happened

Hi! I'm Ajani, a writer here at BuzzFeed, and I've barely clean-shaven my face in the last three years because I would get a bunch of unflattering ingrown hairs. Many of you may relate, especially if you're Black, since our hair tends to be coarse and curly, which can cause us to have ingrown hairs more than other people.

Person posing in a room, wearing a black t-shirt with a circular logo and the text "Crescent City Jazz Band."

I've tried the common tips like exfoliating beforehand and shaving with the grain instead of against it. While that advice has definitely helped, it hasn't been effective enough for me to be able to clean-shave on a weekly basis without getting the ingrown hairs.

Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

I trim my beard hair every couple of weeks, but I really only clean-shave my face maybe once or twice a year, which is a lot less than I'd like. Even when I trim it really low quite often, I'll experience razor bumps. It's not that I want to constantly have a hairless face, but I'd like to have the option to do so more often.

Person holding up peace sign with short hair and sleeveless top, poster on wall behind
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

Recently, on TikTok, I've been seeing people rave about Topicals High Roller Ingrown Hair Tonic. First, I saw the product on TikTok used by NotWildin, who claimed that the product has helped him with his ingrown hairs and experience less razor bumps. Since then, I've seen a lot of other people on TikTok, mostly Black users, also sing praises about this tonic and how it's helped them experience smoother skin after shaving a part of their body or eliminating existing ingrown hairs.

A bottle of Topicals Faded Brightening and Clearing Gel

The product itself says that it "softens, soothes, and reduces discomfort caused by ingrown hairs." The directions simply say "Roll onto clean, dry, affected area."

Packaging of topical treatment with usage instructions and ingredient list
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

Its active ingredients are salicylic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide, and zinc PCA.

Packaging for a skincare product listing active ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Niacinamide, Zinc PCA. Labels "Cruelty-Free" and "Vegan" are also present
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

Of course, I had to try this product for myself. So, over the course of a month, I clean-shaved about every 10 days and applied this tonic afterward to see if I would experience fewer razor bumps than in the past. Here's what happened:

Hand holding a container of "Zit Roller", an ingrown tonic by Topicals. The label mentions it targets ingrown hairs and lists the volume as 50 ml (1.7 fl oz)
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

Just for reference, this is how much facial hair I had before the first shave, which was way too much for my preference.

Close-up images of a person's face, showcasing patchy beard growth on the side and under the chin. The person has short hair and is wearing gold hoop earrings
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

FIRST SHAVE: To start, I washed my face and exfoliated the beard area. After I dried my face, I shaved.

A person in a white shirt holds a phone and shaves their beard with an electric razor

I've been shaving with the Philips Norelco OneBlade for a couple of years because it also helps me experience fewer razor bumps.

Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

This was my face afterward. Smooth and ready for the tonic.

Two images of a man. The first image shows a front view of his face. The second image is a close-up profile highlighting his jawline and earring. He is wearing a white shirt and gold earrings
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

The actual product is a little plastic ball that's thinly layered in moisture and rolls when you rub it on the skin. I rolled it on the area I had just shaved and waited a few minutes for it to dry before I moisturized my face and neck.

Person holds skincare product, applies it to face in mirror
Ajani Bazile / BuzzFeed

This was how my skin was doing one day after that first shave. No bumps or inflammation yet.

Close-up images of a person's jawline and neck, showing skin texture. The person is wearing a blue shirt and a hoop earring
Ajani Bazile / BuzzFeed

Though six days afterward, I got this little bump on the left side of my face and applied some tonic on the area after washing my face.

Close-up of a person's jawline and neck, showing facial hair growth and a gold earring. The person's head is turned slightly, revealing skin texture and a necklace
Ajani Bazile / BuzzFeed

The next day, the bump decreased in size and was no longer noticeable.

Close-up of a person's jawline and neck, with partial view of an ear with an earring, wearing a sweater
Ajani Bazile / BuzzFeed

SECOND SHAVE: Nine days after that first shave, it felt like it was time for a second one. After I shaved again, I discovered there were a handful of bumps on the left side of my jaw that had been hidden by the hair.

Close-up side-by-side comparison of a person's face showing progress in beard growth
Ajani Bazile / BuzzFeed

I applied the tonic to the area, as well as the rest of my beard area, and the next morning my face looked significantly smoother.

Close-up of a person's cheek, showing a before and after comparison of skin texture improvement. The person is wearing a small hoop earring
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

That area of my face stayed clear for the three days after that second shave. On the fourth day after, I noticed another bump. So that night, after I washed my face, I applied the tonic again, but the bump was still kind of there the next morning and remained for a couple more days.

Close-up images showing the left side of a person's face with a healing scar circled in red. The left photo shows the scar more prominently, while the right photo shows the scar partially healed
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

THIRD SHAVE: 12 days after that second shave, I shaved for the third and last time. Again, after shaving, I noticed a bump that had been hidden by my facial hair and also one on my neck. I applied the tonic to those areas as well as the rest of the freshly shaved area.

Close-up images showing a person's face before and after beard grooming. The left image shows a thicker beard, while the right image shows a well-trimmed beard
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

FINAL RESULTS: So, this time, the bumps didn't disappear in the days that followed despite me applying the tonic each morning and night after washing my face. But still, I noticed through this monthlong experiment that I had gotten a lot fewer ingrown hairs and had shorter-lasting inflammation than I used to before using this hair tonic.

Close-up comparison of a person's jawline and neck before and after skincare treatment, showing noticeable improvement in skin texture and reduction of blemishes
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

To learn more about ingrown hairs and how to avoid them, I spoke with Dr. Ife Rodney, a board-certified dermatologist and founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics in Fulton, MD. According to Dr. Rodney, ingrown hairs are caused after shaving because the hair is cut really sharp at an angle with "each strand of hair becoming like a little knife that makes it easier for it to break the surface of the skin and puncture and grow inward."

She explained it's believed that the reason Black people experience ingrown hairs more is due to the curved shape of the African hair follicle. "So even when you look at the hair follicles and curly hair, they come out of the skin at an angle, and then the follicle curves, the hairs curve. So the entire angle just makes it so much more likely for the hair to turn and grow straight back into the skin versus, let's say, a straight hair type or wavy where the hair just sort of waves or protrudes away from the surface of the skin," Dr. Rodney told BuzzFeed.

Man in a bathroom grooming his beard with an electric trimmer, wearing a blue shirt
Getty Images

To avoid ingrown hairs, Dr. Rodney suggested gently massaging a warm washcloth in a circular motion once a day while showering, specifically in the areas where someone is prone to getting ingrown hairs. "And what this does is that it just helps to dislodge any hairs that will just about to grow into the skin and just sort of free them up and pull them away from the skin so that they grow outwards," she explained.

A person with short hair wipes their face with a towel in a bathroom. The background shows a window and mosaic tiles

"The absolute biggest mistake is that people try to pick at the [ingrown] hairs or pull them out on their own," Dr. Rodney revealed. "What happens most of the time is you just, first of all, traumatized the skin, leading to more inflammation, more pus, more scarring, and more discoloration; especially Brown and Black people get those dark spots. And the areas which sometimes look worse than the little ingrown hairs themselves is the hyperpigmentation or dark spots that remain for sometimes months and more after the actual little ingrown hair is gone."

A man stands in front of a bathroom mirror using tweezers to groom his beard

Dr. Rodney also recommended seeing a dermatologist if you suffer from ingrown hairs. They can prescribe medication or perform procedures like laser hair reduction, which can eliminate the hairs and the root of the issue.

Robin Gentry / Getty Images

Finally, Dr. Rodney said the Topicials Ingrown Hair Tonic could be very useful because of its active ingredients. She told BuzzFeed the salicylic acid is great because "that's a beta hydroxy acid that can penetrate the oil glands and really unclog the pores and remove dead skin from the surface that could all contribute to the ingrown hair." According to her, glycolic acid is also great for brightening up dark spots and skin discoloration. She also mentioned that zinc could help with inflammation and skin irritation.

A person sitting on a counter, wearing a towel on their head and casual clothing, shaving their leg with a razor
Delmaine Donson / Getty Images

FINAL THOUGHTS: All in all, while using this product, I experienced significantly fewer ingrown hairs and inflammation compared to when I used to clean-shave this often in the past. It also seemed that the tonic helped smooth over the skin when I did experience a lot of bumps and inflammation. Though I won't be doing this close of a shave going forward (as per Dr. Rodney's words of wisdom), I'll still definitely be applying this tonic after every shave to further avoid razor bumps.

Close-up of a person's cheek showing a before image on the left with acne scars circled in red and an after image on the right with clearer skin and an arrow pointing from left to right
Ajani Bazile-Dutes / BuzzFeed

Have you ever tried this tonic? What are your best tips to get rid of or prevent ingrown hairs? Let me know in the comments below!