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Let’s Talk Pits…And How To Make Ours Look And Feel Prettier

Written on March 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm , by

Our underarms are often one of the most-overlooked places on our bodies. Besides shaving and swiping on deodorant, we don’t usually treat our armpits to any special skin care routine. Dove Advanced Care Deodorant is setting out to change that. They’re launching a new campaign—“Dear Armpit”—to encourage women to finally speak out about the way they feel about this mysterious place. To celebrate, they are offering women tips on how to give themselves a “PitiCure” (more on that below) and helping them to see their armpits in a new light. You can join in on the conversation, too, by tweeting your thoughts to @Dove with the hashtag #deararmpit. We recently stole some time with NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Ellen Marmur, who has partnered with Dove to improve women’s underarm care. Read on for her expert tips.

Let’s talk about how the “Dear Armpit” campaign is helping raise awareness for taking care of your underarms.
“So we’re launching this campaign by having real women put on sleeveless blouses and sleeveless tops and taking a photo in a photo booth and raising their armpits and getting a ‘PitiCure.’ As a dermatologist, I have been telling my patients for so many years how to take care of their skin, and the armpit skin has its own list of issues that no one talks about. Every time people shave, especially if they’re using an old razor, they are stripping away about 36 perent of their skin’s surface cells, not just the hair, so they’re stripping their skin and causing irritation. Then you’ve got the underarm sweat, which has salt and enzymes, and you’ve got any debris from your clothing and things rubbing in that area that can lead to rashes, which can cause the skin to get thicker, which we call alligator skin. Once you get any irritation or redness, that can lead to blemishes, meaning brown discoloration, in the underarm and I think that leads people to feel really embarrassed and ashamed about wearing certain clothing.”

So what exactly is a “PitiCure” and how can someone give themselves one at home?
“So the ‘PitiCure’ is Dove’s way of making it really lovely and easy to think about. The idea is that it’s like a pedicure, where you take special care of your feet, which also used to be considered ugly; the ‘PitiCure’ is a way to take care of your armpits. It is a three-step process, where you might do it three times a week.

1. In the shower gently wash, not scrub, the underarms to get rid of any impurities or debris using your favorite cleanser.

2. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. With my patients and in general, people forget to dry their skin thoroughly after their bath or shower and they leave water droplets under their arms that can trap water and lead to further problems with the skin.

3. Apply Dove Advanced Care Deodorant ($5, drugstores) which is a multitasker and I think this is the ‘Aha!’ moment which is that your underarm care can have a multi-tasker: a deodorant, an antiperspirant and the nutrient moisture. Swipe it on just three times and that is enough to give you 48 hours of protection.

I think it doesn’t occur to most people to actually moisturize their underarms but this is where you can prevent those issues. No one ever tells you how much deodorant to put on but if you do, say, five swipes, you’re going to end up with residue which can irritate you as well, physically, and if you do only one swipe, you’re not getting enough of the product.”

Is there any danger with deodorant penetrating the skin’s surface?
“That’s a really good question. I want to go back to the basics, where skin’s number one function is to protect. So the skin has all these myths about it, like that it breathes or that it absorbs; nothing absorbs into the skin easily. So, products that you put onto your skin, they go into the top dead surface cells, but they actually don’t penetrate down into the vessels, where the blood vessels would absorb it into the body. And even the tiny ducts, they have their own skin-lining them, so you’re still not absorbing the product. I asked that same question and I looked into the data, because I also want to be counseling in a safe way, so we’ve been looking into studies. The ingredient that has led to controversy is the aluminum ingredient and it’s found in the body, but it’s considered to be in the body because of the foods we eat, and that does make sense that you’re eating food that goes into the gut and the gut’s main job is to absorb, but they weren’t able to detect any absorption, especially around the armpit where you would get it from applying deodorant.”

And what if you have any nicks from shaving? Is there any risk from applying deodorant over that?
“The deodorant has a powder ingredient in it, and powder itself causes bleeding to stop. Like if you cut your finger and put baby powder, or even baking powder, it actually causes the blood to clot. So it is safe in that sense, it’ll stop the bleeding and the moisturization and glycerin that’s in the nutrient moisture will actually help it heal faster. If it’s a huge gash, see your dermatologist. You definitely don’t want to try to fix something like that yourself.”

 

Favorite Find Friday: Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash

Written on January 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm , by

 

My beautiful niece, Hadley, at just nine months old. Look at all that hair!

One of the benefits to being related to me is that I hook my family up with the best beauty goodies (I like to spread the love!). What’s better is that then, when I travel to my loved ones’ homes, I can leave my massive bag of beauty “essentials” behind and bank on them having the right products to share with me. This works out best between my sister and I, as she pretty much uses everything I tell her to (which is pretty much everything I use). During my last visit to her house, I was using the guest bathroom, which has now been taken over by my 16-month old niece. Now—you might think a little baby doesn’t require many beauty products exactly, but then that would mean you haven’t seen this little girl. She was born with a full head of hair. Like, so much hair that she had to get it cut four times before her first birthday (!). So washing it is a must. My sis loves Mustela products and uses the Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash ($10, mustela.com) on my niece. I usually shudder at the thought of a 2-in-1 for hair (I need more conditioner!) but since my options were limited mid-shower, I reached for it anyways. The gel formula was so hydrating, I completely forgot about conditioner and because it’s formulated for the delicate skin of babies, it’s soap-free and ultra gentle. I liked it so much, I then proceeded to shave my legs with it! It left my skin feeling soft and smooth; not dry in any way. So the lesson to learn here is to steal from babies. Kidding! But seriously, they usually have the best beauty products.

Brooklyn Decker Dishes on Mixing Up Her Workouts, Her Best Beauty Trick and Her Facial Hair Preference on Tennis Star Andy Roddick (Swoon!)

Written on February 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm , by

Brooklyn Decker is known for her smokin’ hot Sports Illustrated spreads and acting alongside some A-list stars like Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. But when she’s not on set, she’s just like the rest of us: she splurges on sweets (especially on Valentine’s day), gets bored with her workouts and loves kissing her smoothly-shaven husband, hottie Andy Roddick. Today, she teamed up with Gillette to host The World’s Largest Shave & Kiss Event conveniently on—you guessed it—Valentine’s Day. Gillette conducted a month-long, nationwide social experiment where women were asked to kiss their guys before and after they shaved to pick their preference: a smoothly-shaven smooch or a stubbly kiss. The results are in…drum roll, please:

So what’s the verdict? Do women like their men shaven or stubbly?
“Well, Gillette traveled to 16 states and found out that 85% of women actually prefer guys to be clean-shaven, which is surprising because facial hair is so popular now so I would think that it would be around 50/50. But it turns out that the majority of women do prefer a smooth face.”

And did they prefer just the look of it or the feel when kissing? 
“Both. But how they did the study was that they had couples kiss pre and post shave. Then they took the survey with the women after the kiss, so it had a huge influence. They definitely preferred kissing the guy more when he was clean-shaven, which obviously, on Valentine’s Day is very important.”

Definitely! And which do you prefer with your husband?
“I like the look of stubble but I hate the beard burn that I get on my face. It’s almost like razor burn but on my face! It’s like these little red bumps.”

And it hurts! 
Yea! I figure, I have to shave my legs so I feel like the guy should have to shave his face. And luckily the Gillette Fusion Pro-Glide ($13, drugstore.com), is the number one dermatologist-recommended razor for sensitive skin. So a guy can protect his face and protect yours as well, which is kind of nice. So girls, if you want to do a roundabout hint to your guy, a subtle hint, give him a razor for Valentine’s Day!”

So, I love all of your active pics on Instagram. What are some of your favorite workouts? 
“Yes! I do all sorts of stuff. I’m really into weight-lifting lately because I have a trainer. A lot of people are like, “You jerk, you have a trainer!” So I know I’m lucky.  But he helps me a ton. He’s a big believer in women lifting weights because you’re protecting your bones, it’s so much healthier, you can eat more and you have more muscle mass so you don’t have to worry so much about it so I’m doing a lot of that. I’m training for a marathon, so I’m running. I’m kind of like an ADD worker-outer. I want something different all the time. So I’m always trying to find something new, whether it be hiking outdoors or being indoors in a gym working out. Just something to keep your blood moving a little bit.”

Do you ever workout with Andy?
“I do! I do, actually. It’s usually me, desperately trying to keep up but yea, occasionally. My ego takes a little bruising so it’s a rare occasion.”

Does he make you play tennis?
“No! Not even in the slightest.”

That’s good! Okay, so Valentine’s Day usually involves lots of sweets and sugar. What are some of your strategies for staying on track with healthy eating? 
“I think you should indulge! I think that’s the fun in Valentines Day. I mean, for as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid, you give each other little circle lollipops and candy. There’s something really fun and nostalgic about that and I don’t think that should be ignored but I also don’t think it should derail any fitness or health goals you have. I love sweets. I think the biggest thing is just eating what you want, not everyday, not all the time, but as long as you’re staying physical and you’re staying active, you can allow yourself to indulge on Valentine’s Day because you deserve it and it’s fun. But I think the more women obsess over it or the more people obsess over it, the worse it gets, the harder it gets to stay on track.”

Any great insider beauty tips you want to share?
“I think some of the best beauty tips probably involve multi-purpose products— products that can be used for several things. Makeup artists are constantly doing that. You can use a razor to shave; or you can also use it to exfoliate your skin before a spray tan. There are all sorts of things you can do. You can use a lip balm for example on you lips, cheeks and eyes for a glow. I constantly find, because makeup artists are usually in a rush, they’re trying to get you out the door and looking really good fast, so multi-purpose products are always a big secret that they use.”

Favorite Find Friday: EOS Moisturizing Shaving Cream

Written on January 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm , by

Shaving cream isn’t really something I put much thought into. I usually just use whatever I have in the shower, even if that means using hair conditioner or even soap (don’t tell!). But when I recently used EOS Moisturizing Shaving Cream ($4, store.evolutionofsmooth.com) I was instantly hooked. The formula comes out rich and creamy and creates a whipped-like lather. It was so hydrating, I didn’t even need to use a body lotion afterwards—my legs felt so smooth and silky, even my boyfriend noticed the difference!

Weird-But-Works-Wednesday: The Not-So-Dry Shave

Written on July 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm , by

Underarm stubble is no match for breezy summer tanks and sundresses.

As masters of procrastination, we’re often rushing out the door with just seconds to catch the bus to work or meet our friends. Unfortunately, beauty irks like unsightly underarm stubble tend to rear their heads at these inopportune times and make us late(r).

When there’s no time to shower, or even crouch over the bathroom sink, here’s what to do: Grab a stick of deodorant—creamy ones like Dove Go Sleeveless Nourished Beauty Deodorant work best—and slick on a generous coating. Then, grab your razor and shave away. The deo takes the place of shaving cream and water, and allows you to drag the blade down your pits without worrying about razor irritation that usually results from dry shaving. Give your razor a good rinse to get rid of any residue.

Tell us: What unusual beauty shortcuts save you in dire situations?

—By Cody Marick, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Eco-Armour Shaving Foam & Body Wash in Soothing Citrus

Written on March 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm , by

We’d always been indifferent to shaving creams— until we found one that could double as body wash: Eco-Armour Shaving Foam & Body Wash in Soothing Citrus. The fluffy, light as air formula comes in an easy-to-use pump bottle, rather than a bulky can, and is based on a cocktail of natural ingredients like coconut oil, glycerin and aloe that leave skin smooth. And we can’t get enough of the refreshing bergamot and grapefruit essential oil-derived scent.

Tell us: Do you use a shaving foam, cream or gel? If so, what’s your go-to?

What Guys Think About Your Beauty Routine

Written on March 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm , by

From experience, we know that guys think eyelash curlers look like torture devices and bold makeup hues are more fit for clowns than women, but our friends at Pure Silk delved even deeper into the male brain when they surveyed 100 men to get their thoughts on ladies’ beauty routines. Here, the funny—and surprising—info they discovered:

  • 66 percent of guys hate when their significant other uses their razor (paws off, girls!)
  • 72 percent of men care if you leave your legs hairy (Note: A little stubble is fine, they said, but no cactus-like legs)
  • 46 percent of men prefer you use beauty products with fruity scents
  • 32 percent love florals (really?!)
  • 22 percent like no fragrance at all

Tell us: What does your guy think of your primping regimen?