It’s time to show some long overdue love to our underarms.
When it comes to underarms, we tend to focus on what we don’t want them to do. We don’t want them to be bumpy or to smell. We don’t want them to sweat or stain our clothes. But even those of us with an extensive face and skincare routine are happy to slather on deodorant and call it a day. For all that we expect of them, our armpits deserve more TLC than this!
Because our underarms have limited access to fresh air, they’re prone to be warm and moist — ideal conditions for inflammation, irritation and unwanted smelly bacteria. By adopting a gentle, therapeutic underarm care routine, we can lessen the chances of infection and discomfort and support the well-being of our armpits.
With these extra (easy) steps, we can enhance the health of our underarms and show them some much-deserved love.
1. Cleanse Daily and Exfoliate 1-2 times per week
Gently wash your underarms daily with a mild soap to reduce the growth of smelly bacteria. Exfoliate once or twice a week to help stimulate cell renewal and unclog pores. Underarm skin is sensitive, so choose a gentle exfoliant — one designed for the face is perfect.
We love Trilogy’s Gentle Facial Exfoliant for it’s clarifying ingredients and biodegradable jojoba wax spheres.
2. Tone and Moisturise
Your underarms deserve the same level of care and attention you give your face. After cleansing, thoroughly dry your armpits and apply a toner to sweep away residual debris. One with witch hazel is particularly suitable, it will encourage pore constriction (without completely blocking them — we’ll get to this later!) and lead to less sweating. Dr. Hauschka makes a great facial toner that contains witch hazel.
Once the toner is dry, moisturise your armpits with a gentle lotion — one for face or body will do. This supports healthy, smooth, hydrated skin.
3. Maintain your Razor
If you shave your armpits, it’s important to maintain a clean, sharp razor. Shaving creates micro-tears in the delicate underarm skin — a prime opportunity to introduce bacteria and infection. To reduce the likelihood, use a blade no more than 5 times, and store it outside of the shower where it can completely dry.
4. Use a Natural Deodorant
We’re in love with natural deodorants for so many reasons — just to name a few: they work with your underarms instead of against them; they are full of aromatic, beneficial ingredients that improve the look and feel of your skin; they don’t include any of the potentially harmful ingredients of conventional deodorants; they’re better for the environment…
But we get it, switching to a natural deodorant can be scary. It’s tempting to give up after the first week or so when the natural product doesn’t seem to be working. But this is just a transition period. As your underarms adjust to a new, less aggressive product there may be some odor issues to deal with. Give it time (and give your pits a wash and reapplication throughout the day) and see just what natural deodorant can do for you.
We can’t get enough of Warrior’s handmade deodorants that come in a beautiful, reusable tin.
One thing to keep in mind is that many conventional deodorants are also antiperspirants. They include various forms of aluminium salts which completely block your sweat ducts and pores to eliminate sweating. Over time, trapped sweat builds up in the ducts and causes bumps, painful inflammation and (here’s the kicker) bad odour — meaning you need even more deodorant. That’s not to mention the yellow stains on your clothing caused by the acidity of the aluminum. In other words — we’d rather not.
We view sweating as a natural process of detoxification. That’s why we’ll stick with our witch hazel toner to minimise our pores and use a natural deodorant with baking soda to keep dampness in check.
5. Wear Breathable Fabrics
Another way to naturally combat underarm wetness is to wear fabrics that allow moisture to evaporate. This includes natural fibers like cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp. Silk, though natural, traps moisture just like synthetic fabrics (such as polyester, viscose/rayon, nylon and lycra blends). These fabrics keep odor-causing moisture close to your skin — this is no way to feel or smell fresh.
And if you are worried about pit stains, keep in mind that very dark-coloured clothing and bright whites are the best at hiding moisture stains. It’s the shades in between that are most telling when it comes to sweat spots.
For our armpits, a little mindfulness and appreciation go a long way. It really doesn’t take long to see the benefits once we give them the love and attention they deserve. Adopting a natural skincare routine that focuses on nurturing our armpits is a simple way we can strengthen our overall well-being.