The skin on your underarms is very thin, fragile, and sensitive, so do a little more to care for your pits. Proper underarm care is a multi-step process that entails cleansing, smoothening, and (believe it or not) moisturizing.
Between the shaving, waxing, chafing, and sweating they go through regularly, your underarms need moisture. Here’s why you should moisturize them:
1. To brighten your underarms.
Dark underarms are caused by a few factors, including regular shaving (which can lead to excessive production of pigment cells) and the build-up of dead skin (which are not removed by simply washing). To keep your underarms bright, exfoliate them with a gentle body scrub and moisturize when your skin is dry—this can help reduce underarm irritation.
2. To smoothen chicken skin.
Shaving may be the quickest and most convenient way to remove underarm hair, but it’s quite abrasive and can lead to chicken skin, or keratosis pilaris, which is characterized by tiny bumps that form on the surface of the skin. These bumps are caused by plugged hair follicles or ingrown hairs.
To smoothen chicken skin, cleanse with a mild, non-drying soap, lightly exfoliate the area, then finish off with a gentle moisturizer—dry skin can exacerbate the condition. Adding moisture to the skin can also help minimize inflammation. Those with coarse and thick hair should moisturize more often as they are more prone to ingrown hair.
3. To avoid dry, flaky skin.
The things we do to our armpits—regular shaving, plucking, using harsh deodorants—can easily dry out the skin, which is why you should apply moisturizer to the area every day or, better yet, a mild deodorant with emollients. A quick swipe of moisturizer on your underarms goes a long way toward keeping them healthy and hydrated.
4. To prevent and soothe rashes and chafing.
Areas of the body, such as the underarms, where the skin rubs against itself frequently, are especially prone to chafing. With prolonged friction, rashes are likely to occur. Avoid this by applying a gentle moisturizer that can prevent further chafing or soothe the rashes already present.
5. To prep your skin for waxing.
For optimal waxing experience, moisturize your pits days leading up to a waxing session. Healthy, well-moisturized skin lets the wax release more easily, reducing skin-tearing and discomfort. (FYI, never moisturize right before waxing; it could interfere with the wax's grip.)
You don’t need to go to a fancy clinic or go for intensive treatments to keep your armpits bright and smooth. Moisturize your pits with a gentle, moisturizing deodorant like the ones from the Dove Nourishing Secrets line. Available in two variants, these deodorants combine Dove’s 1/4 moisturizing cream with natural extracts to help retain moisture while giving you 48-hour protection.
Dove Healthy Glow Deodorant has pink lotus flower extract and rice water that help restore underarm skin's healthy glow and tone.
Dove Calm & Soothe Antiperspirant Deodorant has lavender and rose extracts that help soothe and smoothen irritated underarms.
Learn more on Dove's Facebook page.