Are your underarms under attack?
Fact: on average, each time you shave your underarms on average 36* per cent what’s removed is skin. That’s a lot of skin.
While we don’t normally give our underarms much thought, they’re actually one of the most sensitive parts of our body. This means they’re incredibly prone to irritation and dryness – especially since they’re constantly being subjected to skin-stressing hair removal methods like shaving.
Why is shaving harmful to your armpits?
The skin is the largest organ in the human body and its main function is to act as a protective barrier, both to prevent water loss and shield our skin from environmental damage. The skin under your arms is especially sensitive – more so than your arms and legs – so each time you shave your underarms it contributes to the breakdown of this barrier, in turn damaging your skin. Underarm damage can present itself in the form of increased sensitivity, inflammation and redness, itchiness and dryness, and/or even pigmentation in some cases. And if your underarms are already in distress, any further shaving or plucking, or the application of a harsh deodorant, is only going to exacerbate the issue.
How can you reduce the damage?
The most successful treatment for compromised barrier function and dry, irritated and damaged skin is effective hydration. Moisturisers have traditionally been classified into three key groups – humectants, occlusive, and emollients – all of which work together to provide optimal hydration. Humectants help to bind the water in your skin and keep it there for longer; occlusive help to form a barrier layer across the skin’s surface, effectively trapping water in your skin; and emollients assist in boosting your natural barrier function, ensuring it works to its optimum.
How do you maintain irritation-free underarms?
To help maintain the health of your underarms, it’s vital to use a deodorant that really nourishes and cares for your skin. Dove Original Deodorant is dermatologically tested and contains ¼ moisturising cream, enabling it to protect your underarms and help repair the damage caused by hair removal. It also provides effective 24-hour protection against sweating, odour and wetness – everything a girl could ever want in a good deodorant!
Not ready to give up shaving your underarms? Us either. What you can do however is try to minimise any damage by following these underarm-friendly shaving tips from Dove:
Not so fast. If you shave first thing in the morning, wait 15 minutes. When you wake up, skin can be sensitive, making shaving uncomfortable.
Soak before you stroke. Even if you use shaving cream, soak your skin for a few minutes before shaving, as it will give you a smoother shave.
Go for quality. When shopping for a razor it may be tempting to go for the least expensive option – but keep in mind that cheap razors can make you pay the ultimate price with nicks, irritation and razor burn.
Soothe your skin. Ditch your harsh, drying deodorant. (Did you know that only 1 per cent of your underarms is sweat glands? The other 99 per cent is actually made up of skin). Instead, choose a product that hydrates and replenishes lost moisture to reduce the potential for irritation while providing all-day perspiration protection.
*Unilever Study, Skin Debris 18-60%
Do you find that regular shaving damages your underarms? Were you surprised to learn how much skin debris was removed during shaving?