Underarm hair is the pits (excuse the pun). It sneaks up on you when you least expect it— like when you’re doing an overhead press at the gym and topple over at the sight of stubble, when you casually throw on a tank top and realize you have to keep your elbows locked at a 90-degree angle throughout the day, or you’re at the beach in the glaring light and suddenly notice how dark your pits are compared to the rest of your body. Here’s how to fix your most common underarm woes so you can have smooth, light pits and achieve underarm perfection. Summer is here and there’s no hiding under your bulky coats!
Why Are Your Armpits Dark?
If you’re self-conscious, because your underarms are darker than the rest of your skin and not as silky, you’re not alone — 7 out of 10 women suffer from dark underarms and share your suffering. Don’t fret. Understand what’s causing your “perma-shadow”and figure out a solution that works best for you.
- The skin is constantly renewing itself and that’s why we exfoliate and use body scrubs to buff away dead cell buildup. When exfoliating your body, don’t forget our underarms — the armpit is one of the most vulnerable body parts for the buildup (as are the knees and bum area) and if neglected will usually be darker than the rest of the body.
- Using deodorants can also cause the pits to appear darker. Some deodorants are not compatible with the delicate underarm area, causing irritations and darkening. Switch to antiperspirants, but spray from about 15cm away.
- Excessive sweating and odor-causing bacteria can result in dark underarms. Mix baking soda (cures sweaty underarms) and lemon juice (lightens skin) and use it to wash your pits daily.
Silky Smooth Armpits
- Razors: These are your armpits biggest enemy as shaving causes dark armpits. Razors don’t completely shave off the hairs, but cut them at the surface of the skin. If you have hair that is darker than your skin color, the stubble will show up as a dark stain. They also irritate the delicate armpit skin (sometimes cutting it) causing scarring and skin irritation, hence the dark appearance. Consider waxing or permanent hair removal solutions that remove hair below the skin’s surface.
- Depilatories: In some cases, depilatories (hair removal lotion) can make shadow less noticeable in the long-term, simply because the lotion absorbs into the hair follicles when applied, melting the hair away at a slightly deeper level than shaving.
- Persistent Ingrown Hairs: When shaved, hair can curl back under the skin when it grows back causing inflammation. Exfoliate several times a week to remove excess keratin buildup around the hair follicles to encourage hair to grow straight out. If you shave, do so in the direction of the hair, not against the grain.
- Nothing Works: You’ve shaved up, you’ve shaved down, and you’ve given your pits space between shaves, but things are just not working out. Try semi-permanent to permanent options that can seriously lessen your armpit animosity. Electrolysis and laser are good ways to remove underarm hair: Lasers target hair pigment; electrolysis destroys growth by targeting center of the hair follicle. Both require repeated and expensive visits to clinics.
- Make hair removal as convenient, cost-effective, and pain-free as possible. Sensica’s Sensilight Mini, for example, are a line of professional-grade, non-invasive, painless, and affordable laser hair removal devices that disables hair re-growth at the root using light and heat for permanent results. The device can be used in the comfort of your home when convenient — i.e. no expensive, repeated trips to clinics.
Now that you have lighter and perfectly smooth armpits, visiting the gym in real exercise garb instead of a baggy top with elbow-length sleeves that draw stares, or going to the pool and being able to remove your cover-all to expose your bikini, is no longer the most dreaded moment of your day!