Q & A with BB: Ugly Underarm

{Image from Allure}

Q. Hi Bre! Love your site! I have a question about my underarms. I shave them often and the skin gets so irritated and red, putting deodorant on actually stings. I’ve also noticed that my armpit skin is darker than the rest of the skin, it’s so embarrassing! Is there any way to lighten it? How do I get rid of shaving irritation once and for all? I would really like to be able to go sleeveless this summer without feeling self-conscious! Thank you! Maggie

A. Thank you for the great question! Underarm irritation and discoloration have ruined many a sleeveless moment as it is a common occurrence.  Unilever recently conducted a study of 500 women and found that 93% of women consider their armpits unattractive. Like we need one more thing to worry about, we have to add ugly underarms to the mix! Shaving and rubbing against the fabric of our clothes creates friction. This leads to inflammation and discoloration with brown or grayish patches. It’s a vicious cycle but there are ways to deal and lessen irritation and discoloration.

First things first, to prevent any shaving irritation in the first place it pays to do a little prep work. Try and shave towards the end of your shower, when the skin has softened and plumped up a bit from the warm water and steam. Exfoliate the underarm gently with a loofah or washcloth, this will help you remove dead skin cells and get a closer shave. Raise your arm above your head and hold the skin taut to get a close, comfortable shave. Use a shaving cream or lotion every time you shave, soap does not provide an adequate buffer between you and the razor. Use a fresh razor blade {dull ones can leave you with painful nicks} opt for one that has at least three blades. I like ones that pivot and move for the underarm area, my favorite is the Schick Silk Effects Plus. Change your blade every three to five shaves and wipe the blade down with rubbing alcohol in between shaves to help kill bacteria. Try and give your underarms a break from daily shaving whenever possible, I know in the summer months this can be difficult, so take advantage of cooler days when you’re more covered up!

{Image from Glamour}

Be aware of how your underarms react to your deodorant. If it’s too harsh and it stings, you want to reach for a gentler, hydrating formula instead. You can try Dove’s new Ultimate Go Sleeveless Nourished Body Deodorant with vitamins A and F, Almay Clear Gel Antiperspirant and Deodorant with aloe vera, or Secret Smooth Effects that helps reduce the visual appearance of hair with continued use.

Discoloration from friction and repeated shaving is really common. You can combat this by brightening up with a hydroquinone cream. You can see your dermatologist for a prescription or opt for an OTC lotion like Ambi Fade Cream. You can also go one step further and try DERMAdoctor Total Nonscents Ultra-Gentle Brightening Antiperspirant to help even out your armpit’s skin tone. Here’s to one less thing to worry about! I hope this helps you!

Are you one of the 93% of women who thinks her underarms are unattractive? Do you have a favorite deodorant that combats unsightly irritation?

Have a great weekend!

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6 Responses to Q & A with BB: Ugly Underarm

  1. Kelly Q says:

    Good Q&A. That’s a huge problem us woman have, but you made some excellent suggestions!

    I’m going to start doing Q&A’s too Bre…I should have made my post yesterday one since you inspired it! I learned something myself by writing up that post because of your question!

  2. Maggie says:

    Thank you Bre! I definitely need to change my razor blade more often, the rubbing alcohol is a great idea! I’m going to pick up that fade cream @ CVS. Thanks!

  3. Shane says:

    Want to make razors sharp as new and last for months? I knew you did! Simply give them a few strokes up and down a piece of denim. Old jeans work great, cut a decent size rectangle from an unworn section (back leg or shin area) and use it over and over. Go ahead and test it… Thank me later.

  4. Shane says:

    Example: 5 strokes down then 5 strokes up

  5. Jessica says:

    Yeah, I’m part of that 93% … but summer is far too fun to obsess over my underarms!

  6. Amanda says:

    I HATE my underarms! Ugh! Thanks for all the great tips, though. Maybe I’ll learn to love them with a little time. XO

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