Underarm health and maintenance certainly isn't the most glamorous of beauty topics but being dry and comfortable is a priority for all of us and a standard part of overall good hygiene. I can't say I pay much attention to my underarms other than making sure they're clean, shaven, and deodorized but as with most sensitive areas of the body, there's more too it than just that. If you tend to sweat a lot from your underarms or not, you might be interested in understanding pH and how it affects your skin.
pH stands for power of hydrogen, a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. Without getting overly technical, the pH scale is 0-14. Neutral pH is 7.0. The higher the pH (greater than 7) the more alkaline, while a pH lower than 7 is acidic. According to MindBodyGreen, which has helped me understand pH better, proper pH varies throughout our bodies but ideally it should be slightly more alkaline (7.35 - 7.45). Our bodies work hard to maintain its pH balance amid our poor lifestyle choices and toxic environmental factors.
Being conscious of these 5 steps to balancing underarm pH will not only keep us more comfortable but is important for our skin's well-being, this our overall health:
STEP 1: Gently wash with a soap-free wash. Using your hands or a gentle microfiber cloth, cleanse the underarms with an ultra-mild wash. Soap-free formulas can still deep clean while naturally conditioning and restoring skin to the ideal pH. Using your hands or a soft cloth instead of a loofah helps protect skin’s delicate barrier. Some of my personal favorites are Dove Body Washes, Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash, and AVEENO.
STEP 2: Consciously rinse and pat try. Most of us forget to completely rinse and dry the underarm area causing water and cleansing residue to linger under the arms for unwanted itchiness. Instead of rubbing harshly with a towel, gently pat skin dry, which is much less abrasive.
Step 3: Swipe on sensitive skin deodorant. Many deodorants contain harsh chemicals that can negatively affect the skin. Try a natural deodorant or look for one made with balsam, a common hydrating oil that’s plant derived and soothing on sensitive skin.
STEP 4: No need to over-apply. Apply a thin, even layer of deodorant to the full area of the armpit (about a three-inch circle) using a gentle, single up-and-down swipe.
STEP 5: Eat a more alkaline diet (leafy greens, wheatgrass, veggies, sprouts, avocados, juices, green smoothies, soups) rather than an acidic one (animal products, processed carbs, refined sugar, alcohol, coffee). As with most beauty recipes and remedies, a healthy dietpacked with fruits, veggies, and lots of water is ideal for skin health. Not surprisingly, the same goes for underarm health.