Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Underarm Care

There was a time when skin care talk just focused on the face and visible parts of the body. Today, what used to be hidden has gained equal attention -- the underarm.

When I hit puberty, the only thing my mother told me was to wash my underarm thoroughly and wear a deodorant to always smell fresh. From friends, I learned that that plucking hair out gives you chicken skin. So I religiously used deodorants and shaved for couple of years until I opted to switch to plucking because I noticed that shaving started to irritate my skin.

So I got chicken skin -- no big deal! I never really thought there was anything wrong or embarrassing about my underarms until a deodorant commercial claimed to make it whiter and smoother. I rushed to the mirror, closely scrutinized my underarms, and thought, "Hmm... they do look slightly darker."

From that moment on, I started obsessing about it. I see other women raise their arms and in my mind, I shout. "Wow! Nice underarms!", "Ok, I'm normal." or "Put down those arms! Put down those arms!!!"

I have yet to find the perfect solution for flawless underarms without resorting to peels and laser hair removal, but here are a few things that have improved the color and texture of my underarms:

1. Apply virgin coconut oil.

Before every bath, apply a few drops of virgin coconut oil to your underarms to help remove deodorant residue. Twice a week, add a little brown sugar to that coconut oil and apply to the underarms in a light, circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Yes, you need to exfoliate it just like the rest of your skin.

After 2 weeks of doing this, your underarms will feel softer and smoother. After a month, the appearance of chicken skin will improve.

2. Refrain from using a deodorant.

I heard from several dermatologists that deodorants contain chemicals that can irritate and darken the skin. They recommend not to use deodorants, but growing up in a society where body odor is of great concern, it took me a while before I finally tried it.

If you're just spending the day at home, opt to use a deodorant powder instead. I use Milcu and it keeps me fresh the whole day.

If you're going out and need to use a deodorant, opt for one with a mild formula. I've tried Dove and Nivea whitening deodorants which were both good. But my favorite is Rexona Sensive because aside from giving the best antiperspirant protection, it's the one that works best on my skin in terms of fragrance at the end of a long, sweaty day, and improvement on the skin color. Note that I used this before I discovered the coconut oil regimen so I can attribute the improvement to this deodorant.

3. Refrain from shaving your underarms.

A lot of people say that waxing is the best hair removal method for the underarms. It exfoliates the skin, takes the hair off from the roots, and leaves you hair-free for a longer period of time. Veet Wax Strips leave me hair-free for about 3 weeks. I don't know if it's because my threshold for pain is higher than most, but I think the ouch factor of this method is very tolerable. Of course, it would still be best to have it professionally done if you have the time and can spare a little money.

If you cannot or would not want to wax, plucking would be better than shaving.


Diva In Training said...

I just started waxing and I do it at home myself. I think I have a low tolerance for pain but the waxing actually did not hurt too much.

After the first time it seems that it hurts less each time I do it.

vanity kit said...

yes, i agree, it does hurt less the more you do it :)

micAh said...

Oooh... iLL go buy some Virgin Coco Oil.
Thanks for the tips. :)

Anonymous said...

doodoop doodoop.. after trying plucking and waxing I now have been epilating for 5 years. The result is better, and for people for low threshold for pain, this is it baby! I too have dark spots in the underarm and I am gonna try the coconut oil brown sugar exfoliation.


underarm wetness said...

I think I have a low tolerance for pain but the waxing actually did not hurt too much.
I just started waxing and I do it at home myself.

Anonymous said...

what will i need for waxing? im afraid it will irritate my skin.. i have a lot of hair on my underarms since im a hairy person..i also wanted to get rid of this chicken skin..

Anonymous said...

and i just bought a bunch of new razors too ... i guess i should start waxing then.

Anonymous said...

I'm black with a light-medium complexion so I scar so easily, PLUS my tolerance for pain is low. I bought some wax strips once before but 1 I was too scared to rip it off & 2 I couldn't wait for my hair to grow in long enough, it starts itching as soon as stubble comes in. I've been unemployed since december & don't use deo unless I have company or go out but underarms are still dark & I hate it, they look like their so dirty. I'll definitely try that scrub! Hope it works

Anonymous said...

You can try sugar waxing. It's affordable and you can do it at home. :)

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