Today's advice was requested by a woman from the U.S. who we'll refer to henceforth as L. L asks:
"So I see all these models and actresses posing with their arms up and they all have these flawless armpits. When I lift my arms mine are anything but! The skin under my arms is dark, sometimes yellowish, and whether I've shaved or not looks stubbly. Silly as it sounds how do I get model armpits?"
First of all most editorials are heavily Photoshopped these days, with the exception of make-up ads because they've recently passed a law forbidding the use of photoshop for cosmetics (it now falls under false advertising). No one has follicle-free porcelain white perfectly smooth pits. You can however considerably improve the look of your under arms. Now that we have realistic expectations, the solution is actually pretty simple!
There are two reasons for the appearance of your pits and they are actually extremely common. I'd say easily 3 of 5 women suffer from the same problem. The first is bacteria. The second is a build up of dead skin.
What's the ideal environment for bacteria? Dark, warm, moist places. What's life like under your arm? Dark, warm, and moist. To get things under control in there you need to reduce the bacteria population. When you shower (ideally at least once a day), use antibacterial soap under your arms, such as Dial. It's pretty unnecessary to use it anywhere else so one bar should last you quite a while. You don't need to go out and buy it in bulk or anything. Once you've tamed the bacteria you shouldn't need to use antibacterial soap anymore, but you may continue using it once or twice a week just to be sure if you want. Bacteria can not only discolor the skin, it can also cause bad odor and nobody wants that!
How long do you spend on your armpits in the shower? I'm betting you lather up head to toe and rinse off in under two minutes. Most people do. We've all got better things to do. I'm betting however aside from shaving, barely any of that attention is paid to your armpits. Next time you are in the shower, and every time thereafter, use a loofah or shower poof lathered with soap to scrub under your arms. Spend at least thirty seconds on each armpit. This exfoliates wonderfully, getting rid of the excess dead skin that is clogging your pores and making your pits unsightly. Dead skin builds up over time and can cause discoloration, dark follicles, and encourages bacterial overgrowth.
Overtime the combination of these two things will solve your less-than-ideal pits. How long? Depends on the severity of the issue. I'd say anywhere between 2-4 weeks. If the problem persists despite your efforts you may want to consult a dermatologist. I am almost certain these two simple additions to your shower routine will have you spaghetti strap ready in no time though.