There are several reasons to care for armpits, but summer time is when we bare ‘em! Whether you’re looking to improve the smell, well-being, or the attractiveness of your underarms, here are natural beauty methods to keep them healthy.
Photo by Bekir Donmez on Unsplash
I start any skin regimen with the question, “What are you eating?” Everyone’s body reacts differently to foods, including how it makes us smell. Some foods can alter that. The healthier the diet the better we digest and use the nutrients appropriately; unhealthy foods can cause an imbalance. Foods that naturally work with the body are leafy vegetables, sprouts, fresh fruits, and raw nuts. Drinking plenty of water keeps your body functioning properly as well. Water hydrates the lymphatic system and helps boost sweat glands. Yes, sweating is a good thing, it expels toxins and cleanses pores from within.
Without getting too funky here, the smell coming from under there isn’t sweat, it’s bacteria. Deodorant is another funk-fighter, but it only contains a small amount of anti-bac that eliminates those stinky bacteria; D.O. is mostly masking the smell. To assist, there are many organic deodorant sticks and pastes. If you’re someone just switching from commercial antiperspirants to the natural thing keep in mind there is a “detox stench” period. This is a time when the built-up chemicals are being released and unblocking sweat glands and increasing bacteria. Usually this purging lasts two to three weeks. After that, onward with useful ingredients that are gentle on the body like charcoal, vinegar, green tea, and essential oils.
Give those pits some air! Being trapped in clothes in a dark, damp place increases the unfavorable scent. Wear clothing made from breathable natural fibers. Additionally, after a shower or a workout put your arms over your head and let the fresh air calm and cool the area.
Keeping armpits clean starts with a good scrub. I suggest exfoliating once a week to slough off dead skin cells and residue. Exfoliating shower gloves or an organic body scrub work well.
Nothing is more effective than good ol’ soap and water to keep your underarm area clean and remove some bad bacteria (there are good bacteria doing upkeep so over-washing isn’t ideal). Read your labels on body washes, especially when going the all-natural route. Stay away from harsh chemicals and known allergens. Find products with vinegar, tea tree, or coconut to use as an antibacterial.
You may be someone who lets the underarm hair grow or you’re considering it. Good news, not removing hair keeps hair follicles intact and prevents possible infection or dirt and debris from entering the body. So, feel free to let those hairs go!
If you’re a hair-free person, I recommend waxing. It’s quick and the hair doesn’t grow back for a few weeks. Plus, over time there’s less hair regrowth and the ones coming in are softer. Be sure to find a reputable salon or spa for hair removal services. After any type of hair removing don’t apply deodorants or lotions, this could cause irritation. Allow 24 hours for the hair follicle to shrink and skin to heal.
For the shavers, find a chemical-free shaving cream or something with coconut oil that helps to nourish the skin while creating a sleek surface for smooth shaving. Don’t use soap, it can cause itching and inflammation. Always use a new blade to remove hairs in one swoop, over-shaving the same spot can cause irritation. Be sure to position your arm in a way that opens up the pit and creates a flat surface to limit cuts. Rinse the area well, before and after. Don’t apply deodorant for at least half a day since shaving removes the superficial layer of skin and anything applied can irritate fresh skin.
By keeping the underarms free of any harsh and questionable chemicals you lower the risk of infection and disease. Avoid products that do not work naturally with the body and can cause residue buildup and block precious lymph nodes and sweat glands.
There are other techniques that aid in underarm wellness. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells. Applying organic lotion softens and soothes. An underarm massage stimulates blood and lymph circulation; a healthy lymphatic system helps to remove waste and regulates the immune system.
Now grab your summer gear and bare those healthy, attractive underarms confidently!