Secret’s out: your underarms are pretty high maintenance. At least for most of us, anyway. They’re constantly shaved, tugged at, covered in layers of deodorant, and go through quite a lot on a day-to-day basis. That said, they’re are also one of the most delicate and sensitive areas of the body, which begs the question—how well are you treating your armpits?

If yours are sporting signs of bumpy texture, ingrown hair, ashy color, or a weird smell, chances are: not enough. So to ensure that your pits get the extra TLC it needs, we thought it might be best to start your own armpit care routine. We know, we know—who has the time? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be super time consuming. In fact, you can tweak it yourself so it’s as extensive as you want it to be. Just like your skincare routine, what matters is that you come up with a process that works best for you and your concerns. (Even if it is the bare minimum!) Though of course, the more time and effort you dedicate, the better the results!

So if you’re with us so far, great! Glad to have you on board. Below, we went ahead and broke it all down for you—steps to try, when each works best, why it’s important, and a suggestion to ease your way in. All that’s left is our never-ending reminder to patch test first. (Better safe than sorry!) Now let’s get to it.

1. CLEANSE

WHEN: Preferably morning and night
WE USED: Skin Genie Apple Cider Vinegar Soap, P150

When your underarms get all nice and sweaty, it becomes easier for germs and odor-causing bacteria to thrive where you least want ‘em. But before you swipe on some deo and call it a day, try freshening up with plain ol’ soap and water. It doesn’t have to get any more complicated than that, but we like this local favorite from Skin Genie because it’s antibacterial, clarifies skin, and frees your pits from stinky B.O. Take it a step further by massaging it in with a cloth or exfoliating gloves!

Shop it here.

2. SCRUB

WHEN: After cleansing, 2-3 times a week
WE USED: Some By Mi Cereal Pore Foamcrub, now on sale at P790 (limited time only)

If you’ve seen this guide, then you might have an idea as to how exfoliating can help remedy some of your underarm concerns. So please, do your armpits a favor and give them a nice, good rub. Physical ones, such as non-abrasive scrubs made with the usual salt, sugar, beads, and shells, already work wonders on its own, but we especially like Some by Mi’s Cereal Pore Foamcrub because it cuts two steps down to one. Chockfull of natural grain extracts in a cleansing-exfoliating duo, this thoroughly sloughs away any excess buildup that could be congesting your pits. To unleash some major kili kili power (and stubborn ingrown hair), gently massage this onto damp skin at least twice a week.

Shop it here.

3. MASK

WHEN: After cleansing or scrubbing, 2-3 times a week
WE USED: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (454g), P525 and Bracha Apple Cider Vinegar, P178

Planning to switch to natural deos? Or already have but can’t figure why they aren’t working? Well, the antiperspirants you’ve been using could be the culprit. Turns out, sweat-suppressing aluminium and other chemicals in the formula can plug sweat ducts if you haven’t been washing your underarms properly. So, to purge your pits and help them adjust, try giving your armpits the detox it needs by mixing two equal parts of bentonite clay and ACV. (Just swipe on a thin layer so it doesn’t crumble while it dries!) Done routinely, there’s a chance you won’t even need a deodorant to stay fresh.

Shop it here and here.

4. TONE

WHEN: Preferably morning and night, after cleansing, scrubbing, or masking
WE USED: Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Toner, P990

Cleanse, smoothen, balance, brighten—a toner can do a whole lot for your underarms with just a cotton pad and a swipe. Of course, some toners work better than others, but most are great at removing bacteria and chemical residue left by your antiperspirant. This one from Acwell is a popular choice because it’s packed with licorice water and a low pH formula that reduces hyperpigmentation as well as calms irritated skin. It’s Charlotte Cho approved, too! Can’t get any better than that.

Shop it here.

5. DEODORIZE

WHEN: Ideally day-time use only and as the final step
WE USED: Skin Genie Pit Perfect Whitening Deodorant Spray, P250

Say it with us—sweating is normal. It regulates your body temperature, flushes out toxins, it even keeps skin from breaking out. (It happens.) So hold off on the antiperspirants for a sec (or forever), because it’s time you let your body do its job. Instead, reach for natural deodorants that’ll keep your pits fresh and protected from bad odor. For those with sensitive underarms that easily itch and burn, try going for an aluminium-free formula! This deodorizing spray from Skin Genie is light, gentle, nourishing, brightening and odor-absorbing with a spritz. We can’t get enough!

Shop it here.

6. TREAT

WHEN: Ideally night-time use only after toning as the final step
WE USED: V&M Naturals CPC+G Oil (30ml), P350

No matter what your armpit concerns may be, a treatment solution can help restore problem areas back into shape. Be it smoothening rough texture or lightening shadowy underarms, try looking into serums, oils, and creams loaded with powerful ingredients that’ll target what your skin needs. V&M Naturals’ CPC+G Oil is a popular example, as this cocktail of oils has been known to naturally brighten ashy hyperpigmentation all over the body, especially your pits! Chuck it in your cart and thank us later.

Shop it here.

7. MOISTURIZE

WHEN: Ideally after a hair removal session as the final step
WE USED: Cosrx Centella Blemish Cream, P1,000

A strange concept, some might say! Though if you’ve been frequenting waxing salons or have your pits regularly lazered, then a calming or antibacterial cream is pretty standard. It’s there to prevent itchiness, soothe redness, smooth away bumps and fine lines, you know, the works! But it doesn’t have to be a cream. Aloe vera gel works just as good as, perhaps, Cosrx’s Centella Blemish Cream. Both are antibacterial, reduce redness, and are well suited for sensitive skin. Whatever your pick, glance over that ingredient list and double check whether it’ll help you achieve your armpit goals.

Shop it here.

What steps will you include in your armpit care routine? Share it with us in the comments, below!

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