If you're like most Americans, the subject of underarm care might be something of a taboo. From a young age, we're taught that underarm odor is something to be avoided, ashamed of, and even teased for. You might have noticed that the antiperspirant industry often exploits this social phobia in their advertising--funny how that works! That's why we put together the Official Underarm Skincare Guide. Let's get started.
1. Sweat it out!
You know the phrase “Don’t sweat it?” Well, we take issue with that. One of the most common questions we get at Schmidt’s is, “Will it keep me dry?” Good question. The thing is, our bodies are supposed to sweat—this helps remove toxins from the body. Not only that, sweat also helps cool the body and maintain your core temperature. So, sweat away!
PRO TIP: Conventional antiperspirants use aluminum to block our sweat ducts, preventing its exit. These should be avoided if at all possible.
2. Give those underarms some love
Did you know that the underarm skin is incredibly thin and one of the most sensitive areas of our bodies? Talking about our armpits might be taboo for some, but the truth is they deserve more attention than one might think. They’re prone to a variety of sensitivities, and loaded with nerves and lymph nodes that take materials directly into our bloodstream.
PRO TIP: Keep your skin moisturized and exfoliate regularly, just like with the rest of your body. We suggest using mild cleansers and exfoliators similar to what you might use on your face. Feel like spoiling your underarms? Give a gentle massage to stimulate the lymphatic tissue, which can boost immune response and allow the body to process more fluid.
3. Prevent Armpit Stains
Ever notice a stain on your t-shirt and wonder how it got there? Many people refer to these as “sweat stains,” but they’re often caused by a combination of your sweat and the ingredients in your deodorant. The biggest cause of these are probably antiperspirants, which contain aluminum-based compounds that are more likely to stain once combining with the urea found in your sweat.
PRO TIP: In addition to tossing out your antiperspirant, avoid synthetic fabrics and tight-fitting clothing that could irritate the underarms or exacerbate your sweating. Also, be sure that your armpits are dry before applying deodorant—mixing deo with water is a no-no.
4. Say Bye-Bye to Sensitivity
We don’t always think of our armpits as a “dry” area, but the thin skin under there is actually prone to dryness, partly because the antibacterial properties of certain deodorants can contribute to the drying out of our skin. Keep them moisturized!
PRO TIP: Apply your deo to dry skin, waiting until any moisturizer you’ve applied has dried after shaving. Be sure you’re shaving with a fresh, clean razor to minimize micro-abrasions.
5. Give Those Armpits Some Time Off
By now, it should be clear that the underarms are a sensitive area of our body. Now that you’re in the know, note that it can be helpful for your delicate skin to be given opportunities to “recover,” free of shaving and products that may dry or irritate.
PRO TIP: Applying deo right after shaving can be irritating. Try giving your underarms 10 minutes before putting on product, or shave before bed then let your skin relax overnight.