Sup Super Spiffy Sparklers?
I know I have been neglectful. So I'm here to make up for it with a full report post! Summer is coming, so is the season for sleeveless tops. This week's topic might be a little bit TMI, but really, this is a thing. Many girls with more pigment in their skin worry about the skin under their arms being darker than the rest of their skin. Yes, I know, this sounds insane to some but it is a major source of insecurity of others. As someone who didn't even know this was an issue, I didn't even realize I had darker under arms until I read about it on another blog (lets not talk about the "thigh-gap" thing...I'll rant your head off about how silly that one is...)
This other blog had a ton of crazy DIY tips like "put baking soda paste under your arms every other day", and "rub lemons on them every day" and a gamut of other steps to get the skin color under your arms to match that of the rest of your skin.
While I personally believe that I have other more important things to worry about (like a huge zit in the middle of my face), I did become interested if I could make my underarms lighter if I tried. And low and behold, it is possible! Who knew?! And it was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. What are the 3 magic steps that I take to achieve matching under-arm skin color? Things I would do for hygiene purposes anyway. Having nice healthy skin under your arms is good for not only your skin, but also helps you not smell bad. Win-win.
#1: Epilate My Under Arm Hair- Yes, this is the number one thing that changed the appearance of my under arms. Basically, when I used to shave my under-arms, it would leave a little black dot of hair below the surface of the skin. This is mainly what gave the look of darker under arms. I bought an Emoji Soft Caress Corded Epilator ($60USD), and this had 2 major benefits. A) It quickly pulled the hair out at the root; B) I only have to remove my underarm hair with it once every 2 weeks or so. This can also be used on legs and they say face, but honestly, I feel it works best for me on my under arms. Other areas will depend on the thickness of your hair and pain tolerance.
For those who do not know what an epilator is, it is many electricity powered tweezers that quickly pull out hairs. I went with the corded one because it was the least expensive and I don't use it enough or long enough to care about cordless charging or bothering with batteries.
I'm not going to lie to you, the first couple of times I did it, it was a little painful, but after that, it doesn't really hurt at all. I will say that if you are very sensitive to pain, it might not be for you. Also, if you are more tolerant than I am, you might be able to use it to remove every hair on your body. But not I--said the Susan Sparkles, not I.
Mini-Tip: I like epilating because it is much more affordable than getting my underarms waxed at a salon. However, if you would like to wax your under-arms, it should give the same results. If you want a totally pain free method of getting rid of hair below the surface of your skin, you can try chemical hair removers such as Nair.
#2: Exfoliate- Nothing crazy, no weird products. Just make sure you take some sort of abrasive bath object (body brush, exfoliating loofa, even an old tooth brush) and use your regular body soap to exfoliate any dead skin cells from your under arms 1-2 times a week. You could also try using a mega batch of my DIY Lip Scrub, it will work on your body too! No biggie, but it keeps the area nice and clean, free of dead skin cells. Hooray! Really, no need to use steal wool or sand paper guys, just exfoliate.
#3: Tone/Moisturize- If you have a toner for your face (which I highly recommend as part of your skin care routine-I talk about mine in my dealing with oily skin post) use it on your under arms as needed. If you don't have a toner or you want a cheaper option, drugstore isopropyl alcohol can also work. Do this after exfoliating to remove any dirt/impurities/leftover deodorant in the skin. It will also help with body odor. Hooray! After this, take your favorite lotion and put some under your arms as well.
So there you have it, basically, take good care of the skin under your arms and it will most likely be lighter in color. If this does not work, it is possible, that genetically, your skin is just darker under your arms. My tip if this is the case is to be comfortable and confident. Do not let something small like the color of your under-arms dictate your life. Wear sleeveless shirts and reach for the peanut butter on the top shelf. Wear a swimsuit and play volley ball on the beach! I'm sure that if you carry yourself with pride and are living life to the fullest, nobody will be worried about the color of the skin under your arms. While in the beauty world we try and alter and enhance ourselves so that we are the most confident in ourselves, I think it is important to embrace what we have and try not to be too critical of ourselves.
Shine & Sparkle!
*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post. These are my honest feelings and opinions