Underarm Skincare: They Need TLC, Too!Rachel Matos
I recently worked on a campaign with Dove and learned all about underarm care. It was a bit of challenge tying in beauty with, well, armpits, but it makes perfect sense. We tend to neglect parts of our body that aren’t easily visible. However, if you live in warmer climate areas and your wardrobe consists of tank tops and strapless dresses, your arms are exposed more, which means you shave more, you sweat more, and the chances of your skin becoming irritated is higher. Even if you don’t live in a warm area, you may have sensitive skin or deal with the challenges of skin pigmentation.
Have a wedding or special event coming up? Would you like to be strapless dress-ready after winter is over? Here are few tips to try for underarm beautification! Wear your strapless dress and dance the night away without worry!
When showering, make sure you have a loofah (I prefer a loofah mitt) handy. Sounds silly, but make sure you scrub well to remove that dead skin and deodorant residue. You can also follow with a gentle pumice stone. Be careful, as you don’t want to cause irritation.
To keep your underarms smooth and light, many suggest having them waxed. I, on the other hand, barely have time for a proper haircut so I don’t see waxing on my current to-do list these days. It’s good old fashioned shaving for me, which unfortunately makes your arm area darker. But I have a few tricks for keeping them light (see below). If you’re a “shaver,” invest in a really good shaving cream. In fact, there are great shaving creams designed for men that work just as well, especially because many of them are made for facial skin. Shaving cream works an an exfoliant, and it’s best to use when your skin is soft from the heat and moisture of your bath or shower. Do not shave on dry skin (ever) and do not use soap.
I’m still experimenting with razors. So far, I’ve been pretty happy with Gillette Venus Razors. If you get a razor like this, it’s very important that you update your razors and replace cartridges regularly to avoid irritation and possible cuts. And never borrow your husband’s or boyfriend’s razor.
It’s also believed that too much deodorant can be the reason for darker underarms. The chemicals found in them can lead to pigmentation, so it’s important to find one that is gentle and made for sensitive skin if you’d like to avoid discoloration.
If you’d like to lighten up your underarms, there are few natural things you can try:
Lemon works wonders. I have olive skin, so my knees and elbows tend to be a shade darker as well as my underarms, especially during the summer. I’ve used lemon to even my skin out most of my life, and it works well for the underarm area as well. Rub lemon juice right before bathing, and after a few weeks you will start to notice the difference. Be careful though! Rinse thoroughly before shaving.
Potato also works as a natural bleaching agent. In fact, my family often used the inside of potato peels to prevent a mild burn from scarring. You can rub the peels under your arm for about 10 to 15 minutes before your shower.
As if I didn’t love coconut oil enough, it’s also great for tackling skin discoloration. Coconuts contain Vitamin E, which can help lighten underarms and works as a natural deodorant. If you follow the exfoliating step listed above, you may not need something really strong and may be able to get by the natural route. Like the lemon and potato suggestion, just rub coconut oil onto your skin for about 10-15 minutes prior to showering or bathing.
If you really want to delve into the world of natural solutions for getting rid of dark underarms, here’s a great list which includes everything from rose water, yogurt, papaya, and saffron!