Armpit concealer is here, because beauty standards are alive and well
First they came for our eyebrows, then for our calves. And now beauty standards have reached our armpits.
The latest trend to pop up on TikTok includes covering “dark” armpits with makeup, which again makes us feel like there is something wrong with our bodies in their natural state.
Videos of the practice on the social media platform have racked up over 4.5 billion views, with influencers sharing a “hack” to help lighten and even out the area.
While some use specialty products, others rummage through their purse for regular concealer, covering their underarms with make-up and masking the signs of hyperpigmentation.
Creator Tiffany stated that she tried this method as she feels her armpits “do not photograph well” or “look attractive”, while Kailani Kyocho said, “There is something bothering me about the discoloration.”
They are certainly not alone in this. A Dove study found that 76% of women experience issues such as redness, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, or razor warts, and two-thirds (62%) are embarrassed about the appearance of their armpits.
A whopping 30% said their relationship was affected by this insecurity, and seven out of ten girls even said they were less likely to raise their hand in class because of feelings of embarrassment about their armpits.
Enough, of course, is enough, as not only are invisible underarms an unrealistic body standard that harms our self-esteem, but the tendency to slather products on them is also risky.
Kimberly Medd, head of clinic for skincare brand Face the Future, says: “It’s not a crime to hide hyperpigmentation with makeup, but using it on underarms can be too big a step…
“Directly blocking your armpit pores with anything can clog the pores and block the body’s natural and necessary way of expelling toxins through sweat.”
So while a layer of concealer seems like a quick fix, you could be doing more harm than good by making the area even more inflamed.
According to Kimberly, this technique “can unbalance the skin, dry it out, increase odor and cause excess sweat and sebum production.”
“It’s also likely that your concealer or foundation will melt, since underarm sweat is inevitable,” she adds.
Stained clothes will never look good and will certainly outperform natural (and harmless) discoloration when it comes to ruining your aesthetic.
Ideally, we would all be happier with our bodies and proudly show off the body parts we are told to hate. But if that’s what you’re struggling with, there are safer, less messy ways to lighten underarm skin.
“If you want to help with discoloration and hyperpigmentation, the main ingredient is alpha arbutin,” Kimberly says.
“Gentle to the skin, a highly effective treatment for hyperpigmentation… it helps brighten the complexion, stops melanin production to prevent further pigmentation, does not increase sun sensitivity, corrects environmental discoloration, evens out skin tone, and corrects loss of elasticity and yellowish skin tones.”
Products containing this ingredient include Face the Future Cosmelan 2 Depigmentation Cream, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, The INKEY List Alpha Arbutin 2%, and Typology Anti-Pigmentation Serum with Alpha Arbutin 2% and Lemon Extract.
Some people also find that using salicylic or glycolic acid in the area helps exfoliate and reduce pitting spots, but a patch test is always recommended as everyone’s skin reacts differently to different ingredients.
As we’ve seen over and over again, many TikTok hacks are best taken with a healthy pinch of salt.
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Contact us at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.
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