If you prefer hair-less armpits, then chances are you shave your armpits pretty regularly. If you remove the hair another way, you still might shave under your arms. You likely do it so often that it's pretty much second-nature. But if you've ever had to contend with underarm bumps, pimples, ingrown hairs, or razor burn, you likely know how uncomfortable it can be and are looking for some relief. The good news is that there are plenty of armpit shaving hacks to keep the bumps away and help you feel smoothly shaven, which you'll definitely want, especially in the warmer months.
Though you probably learned to shave long ago, you might not be following all the proper steps each time you shave your armpits. Skipping steps or using improper tools can result in those very bumps that you're so desperately trying to avoid. Don't worry though — your routine just needs a little readjusting. Knowing not only what to do, but also why you should do it when it comes to preparing, shaving, and recovering immediately after, can encourage you to take the time to make sure those ingrown hairs and other underarm bumps don't pop up and pester you any longer.
1. Make Sure Your Razor Is Sharp
Using a dull razor can lead to cuts and those pesky, unsightly underarm bumps. In an interview with HuffPost, dermatologist and Dove deodorant spokesperson Dr. Ellen Marmur recommended that you throw out your disposable razor after three uses or whenever you start to notice that it's worn down. If you're not using a disposable razor, keep a close eye on the blade so you can change it before it becomes too dull.
2. Exfoliate Before You Shave
In an interview with Cosmopolitan UK, Nathalie Eleni, celebrity beauty therapist and skin expert for Venus, said that salt scrubs or exfoliating gloves help prep your skin for shaving. That's because it removes the dead skin, allowing you to get right to the root of the hair.
3. Shower Before You Shave
Showering before you shave hydrates the hair you'll shave and gets rid of any sweat or oils on your skin that could interfere with getting a clean shave, according to the previously-mentioned article from Cosmopolitan UK. Instead of shaving in the middle of your shower, save it until you're just about to get out, but work quickly or your skin will start to wrinkle from the water.
4. Use Shaving Cream, Oil, Conditioner, Or Lotion
Don't just use water to shave, but be wary of using soap because it might be too harsh for everyday use. According to Life Hack, conditioner or a thick lotion is a good substitute for shaving cream. Shower oil or other body oil will also work well.
5. Make Sure You Don't Press Too Hard
You might think that shaving gently will keep your shave from being as close as you'd prefer, but in an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine, Dr. Debra Wattenberg said that pushing down too hard on your razor can cause bacteria to enter hair follicles, causing those uncomfortable underarm bumps or pimples. So take it easy.
6. Shave In The Right Direction
It turns out, there's a right shave pattern and you're likely not shaving that way. In the aforementioned interview with HuffPost, Marmur advised that you shave your underarms in an "X" pattern to get the closest shave possible with the minimum amount of skin irritation.
7. Put Plastic Over The Blades Between Uses
To preserve the sharpness of the blade, make sure you put the plastic covering that comes on disposable razors back on between shaves. According to the previously-mentioned Life Hack article, the plastic covering can also keep "debris" away from the blades, which could otherwise dull them.
Make sure you moisturize your underarms, like you do the rest of your body. According to the aforementioned HuffPost article, the skin under your arms is similar to the skin on your neck, so moisturizing is important. Marmur told HuffPost that using coconut oil at night before bed can help soften skin.
9. Consider Not Shaving
You don't have to shave your armpits if you don't want to, which will do the trick in preventing underarm bumps. You can use wax or creams to remove the hair under your arms or go for the au naturel look. Regardless of what you choose, by taking care of the skin under your arms, you can help keep underarm bumps and other skin irritation from happening in the first place.