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An Investigation: The Cost Of Getting Perfect Armpits

May your kilikili be as bright as your future.
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Admit it, CGs. You constantly aim for the perfect kilikili. We’re talking about even-toned, baby-butt-smooth, and hair-free pits. We listed down the tools and treatments available for this mission, from the most basic to those that require time, endurance, and not to mention, a dent in your wallet. How much are you willing to spend to get commercial-worthy armpits?

How to get rid of armpit discoloration at home

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1. Deodorants with skin-brightening ingredients: These deodorants keep melanin production at bay. But here’s a secret we learned from dermatologists: Skin-brightening antiperspirants and deos won’t give drastic results as compared to derma treatments. 

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How much: Around P60 and up 

How often you should apply: Daily

Best for: Girls (and boys) on a budget

Try: Belo Essentials Whitening Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Roll-On, P59.75 (25ml), NIVEA Anti-Perspirant Extra Whitening Roll On, P62 (25ml), Rexona Advanced Whitening Roll On, P88 (50ml), Dove Advanced Care Ultimate White Roll-On, P99 (40ml)

2. Skin-brightening creams: To be used separately from the deodorant, it’s an underarm cream that evens out skin tone after weeks to months of use.

How much: Average of P300 per product

How often you should apply: Once daily after taking a bath. For best results, read the label and follow instructions properly!

Best for: Those with extra money to spare on top of a deodorant. Results vary per person and depend on the potency of the brand.

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Try: Fresh Formula Sgt. At Arms Lightening Duo, P399 (50ml), Belo Essentials Underarm Whitening Cream, P349.75 (40g), Dermax NanoWhite Intensive Underarm Cream with Retinol, P495, available at Skin Station, White Plus Skinlite Cream, P730, available at Flawless Face and Body Clinic

How to get rid of hair

1. Basic Disposable Razor: When used properly, it can give a quick, easy shave.

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How much: Around P45 to P79 per razor

How often you should use it: Weekly. Increasing the shaving frequency can cause irritation and darkening of the skin.

Best for: Those looking for a cheap and easy hair removal method

Try: Schick Exacta Sensitive, P45 (1 pc.), Gillette Daisy Plus For Women Twin Blade, P48 (1 pc.), Watsons Double Blade Disposable Razors P79 (6 razors)

2. Reusable Razor: The handle is sturdier and thicker than disposable razors, so only the blade cartridge needs to be replaced regularly.

How much: P479 to 509 per set

How often you should use it: Weekly. Increasing the shaving frequency can cause irritation and skin discoloration.

Best for: Eco chicks who want to lessen their trash

Try: Gillette Venus Spa Breeze, P509, Schick Intuition Renewing Moisture, P479

How to keep the fuzz away longer

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1. Plucking: You pluck each hair strand from the base, one by one. Some tips to prevent ingrown hair and irritation: Keep your tweezer clean, bathe before plucking, and don’t apply anything on your kilikili post-plucking.

How much: Varies per brand  

How often you should do it: Every two to three weeks, depending on your hair regrowth

Best for: Budget girls who are physically flexible, can tolerate the pain, and have time to DIY

Try: Generic Tweezer, Around P50, Tweezerman, P700 and up

2. Threading: An ancient Indian hair removal technique where a trained therapist twists thread and then rolls it over your hairy areas to pluck each strand at the follicle level. If you’re a threading virgin, expect some pain and discomfort.

How much: P250 per session

How often you should do it: Every two to  weeks, depending on your hair regrowth

Best for: Those who want to avoid the side effects of shaving and plucking

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Try: Let’s Face It Underarm Threading, P250, Powder Room Beauty Lounge Underarm Threading, P250

3. Depilatory Cream: Unlike shaving, depilatories dissolve the hair at the skin’s surface, and you simply wipe it off.

How much: Around P180 to P500

How often you should do it: As often as you like, but do a patch test first to see if your skin is allergic to the product

Best for: Those who can’t stand the pain of plucking, threading, and waxing.

Try: Veet Hair Removal Cream for Normal Skin, P265 (50g) (also available in Sensitive Skin variant)

4. DIY Waxing: It’s a form of semi-permanent hair removal. A thin layer of wax (cold or hot) is applied on the hairy area, and then a paper strip or cloth is pressed on the waxed layer. In a swift movement, the cloth is ripped off in the opposite direction of the hair growth, quickly removing the unwanted hair from the root.

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How much: Around P200 to P500 per kit

How often you should do it: Every two to four weeks, depending on your hair regrowth

Best for: Those who want less regrowth and can tolerate waxing pain

Try: Glam Works Hair Removal Cold Wax Cream, P99 (5 strips),  J Tomas Solution No Hair Wax Kit, P299 (250g), Beauty Formulas Vitamin E Wax Strips Hair Remover, P479 (40 strips), Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit, P495 (30 strips) 

5. Professional Waxing

How much: Average of P250 per session

How often you should do it: Every two to four weeks, depending on your hair regrowth

Best for: Those who can’t DIY

Try: Dermcare Underarm Wax, starts at P299 per session, Lay Bare Waxing Salon Underarm Wax, P200 per session, Let’s Face it Underarm Waxing, P200, Flawless Face and Body Clinic Underarm Wax, P280, Strip Manila Underarm Hard Wax, P898

6. IPL Hair Removal Treatment: IPL is short for intense pulsed light. It’s a cosmetic procedure that beams highly concentrated light into the hair follicles. Pigment in the follicles absorb the light, and in turn destroys the hair. Note that “permanent hair removal” is a misnomer. “Significant reduction in hair” is the more accurate phrase. It takes about five sessions before you see significant results, and it’s normal to see some regrowth after a few months. Expect to do touch-ups every six to 12 months or so.

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How much: Around P3,500 per session. Most dermas and skin centers offer bundle and promo deals, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

How often you should do it: Every four to six weeks, a minimum of five sessions to see results

Best for: Those who want long-term results

Try: Skin Station Painless Diode Laser Hair Removal, P1,500 per session, Flawless Face and Body Clinic Underarm Laser Hair Removal, P3,500 per session, The Aivee Clinic Lumenis Infinity Hair Removal, P3,500, Belo Medical Group Laser Hair Removal, around P5,600 per session, Facial Care Centre LaserLight Soprano (3-in-1 hair removal, skin lightening, and smoothing), P6,000 per session 

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How to smoothen underarms at home

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DIY Peeling or Scrubbing: Exfoliates skin to get rid of dead skin cells on the outermost surface. This causes friction so you have to be careful when doing this method. Friction can trigger discoloration. You may try at-home chemical peels to be safe.

How much: Varies per brand and product size

How often you should do it: Check the label for full instructions

Best for: Budget babes and DIY queens

Try: Ellana Keep Clean and Calm Oatmeal Face and Body Soap Pack of 3, P405; Pixi Glow Tonic To-Go Exfoliating Toner Pads 60 pcs, P1,395

Professional treatments that can even out underarm skin tone

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1. Underarm Brightening Done By A Dermatologist: A procedure that uses a combination of dermatological machines and cosmetic products to treat the skin

How much: Varies per type and intensity of treatment

How often you should do it: Every two to four weeks at 5-10 sessions, depending on the derma’s assessment of your skin

Best for: Those with underarm skin issues that can no longer be solved by over-the-counter creams and treatments. It’s best to consult a licensed dermatologist first.

Try: Skin Station Maxilite Intensive Underarm Whitening, P7,000 for 5 sessions, Belo Medical Group Revlite, starts at P5,600 per session, Belo Medical Group Picosure Laser Procedure, starts at P8,000 per session, The Aivee Clinic Picoenglighten, P10,000 per session, Wink Laser Studio Laser Whitening for Underarms, P2,500 per session

2. Salon Scrubs: A more professional scrub done in a spa-like setting, using cosmetic products you may not easily find in stores

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How much: Varies per salon and depends on area covered

How often you should do it: Weekly or depending on your skin sensitivity

Best for: Those who want to go a notch higher than DIY exfoliation

Try: Dermcare Underarm Whitening Treatment, P300 per session, Let’s Face It Underarm Bleaching With Scrub, P485 per session, Barenaked Body Sugaring Salon Glutathione Body Scrub, P800, Barenaked Body Sugaring Salon Salt Glow, P900, Flawless Face and Body Clinic Body Scrub, P2,000 per session

3. Advanced Derma Treatments: A procedure that uses a combination of dermatological machines and cosmetic products to treat the skin

How much: Depends on the type of treatment and skin condition

How often you should do it: After a consultation and assessment with a derma, he/she will suggest the treatment type and the number of sessions. Treatments to consider: chemical peel, laser skin treatment, and LED treatments.

Best for: Those with deeper skin issues like scarring and pigmentation that can no longer be solved by over-the-counter creams. It’s best to consult a licensed dermatologist first.

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Try: Skin Station TCA Peel for Underarms, P1,200, The Aivee Clinic Target Peeling, P3,000 per session, Flawless Face and Body Clinic Signature Body Peel, P4,500 per session

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