Operation Underarm Detox
Talking about underarm care isn't very sexy, definitely a lot less sexy than talking about all of the luxurious face cleansers and creams and serums we might want to buy. But the truth is underarms are a sensitive area that we actually put under a lot of stress every day, between shaving, applying deodorant, and contact with irritating fabrics. The skin there is delicate and requires a special beauty regimen all its own.
The benefits? A better-feeling, less smelly pair of arm pits.
Wanting to get into the groove of a healthier routine and knowing traditional antiperspirants can block icky toxins from making their way out of your body, I decided to try making the switch to the natural stuff. I was inspired by Tata Pelletier, a co-founder of body-care brand Meow Meow Tweet, who suggested I give my pits a detox facial treatment before switching back to natural deodorant. The benefits? A better-feeling, less smelly pair of arm pits, which I can totally get behind, so of course I had to try.
Step No. 1: Exfoliate
After I cleanse in the shower, I often turn to a body scrub to make sure my skin is extra smooth. This time around I focus on my underarms, which I usually tend to ignore because the idea of rubbing salt and sugar over that sensitive area makes me cringe. However, I pick a less-intense scrub and apply a dime size of scrub to each pit. Once I rinse, I run my hands over the skin a couple of times because I can't get over how smooth they already feel. Wow, the power of exfoliation!
Stress sweat is a killer and sometimes I just want something to put a damper on that awful phenomenon.
Pelletier recommends this first step as it clears away any dead skin that could've been blocking your pores, which can cause irritation and weird smells. Additionally, it lifts hair so your razor can slide over skin without it nicking or catching onto the surface.
Sugar Crush Body Scrub by Soap & Glory, $15, walgreens.com.
Mammoth Minty Scrub Bar, $18, blissworld.com.
Detox Body Scrub with Tea Tree and Grapefruit, $44, palermobody.com.
Step No. 2: Shave (optional)
If you're not into shaving, then don't worry about it. I seldom groom that area as my hair grows at a truly glacial rate, which is good for my pits and legs but annoying for the hair on my head. But since this is the start of a new regimen, I opt for a clean shave. The exfoliation must have helped, because it feels like the razor is just gliding across the skin.
Shaving Cream Tube by Proraso, $10, urbanoutfitters.com.
Stellar Shave Cream by Ursa Major, $14, dermstore.com.
Shaving Gel: Sandalwood and Sage, $49, grownalchemist.com.
Step No. 3: Prime
OK, remember how I said that pits need a similar routine to your face? Meow Meow Tweet's newest product is a pit primer that works like a toner and moisturizer would for your complexion. The mix of witch hazel, aloe, and jojoba oil penetrates the skin to balance pH levels, replenish hydration, and like a makeup primer, it helps your deodorant last longer and work harder. That all, to say, that your pits will be able to free themselves of toxins and gross buildup.
Underarm Primer, $22, meowmeowtweet.com.
I use two pumps on my first try and realize that is entirely way too much for one pit, so I suggest using one full pump under each arm. It takes a little bit to fully rub in, but it isn't too much of a pain. I anticipate a burning feeling, but I don't get that at all—it provides a nice moisturizing layer instead. Finally, I apply a stick natural deodorant after I let it dry for a couple of seconds.
Rose + Vanilla Deodorant Stick, $9, shop.schmidtsnaturals.com.
Activated Charcoal Deodorant by PiperWai, $14, shopfollain.com.
Natural Deodorant, $14, milkmakeup.com.
In the end, my pits do feel better than usual, and I love the idea of giving those tiny spots a little blast of luxury, since they don't get love on a normal basis! I'm committing myself to this newfound regimen (minus the whole shaving every day thing) and I hope to see a big change in, well, the way I smell, I guess.
What's your experience with natural deodorant? Let me know on Snapchat @chanelinezp!