Why You Shouldn't Dry-Shave Your Underarms (Unless You Want Bumpy Skin)

Unless you are someone that embraces their natural body hair, chances are that your underarms are one of the frequently shaved areas of your body. Armpit care is essential for healthy and odorless underarms, especially when temperatures rise higher in the summer, and you are reaching for sleeveless or strappy tops and dresses. After all, you do want your underarms to appear at their best. In other words, smooth and bump-free.

In the interest of achieving the latter, our best advice is to avoid shaving your underarms while bone dry. Don't believe us? Take it from the experts. "I talk to my patients about their skincare habits all the time, and I am always surprised to learn how often [they] skip shaving cream or gel," board-certified dermatologist Blair Murphy-Rose told Byrdie. According to her, this is the reason for your skin to be irritated and bumps to appear on the sensitive skin of the underarms. Therefore, she points out, "Avoiding shaving irritation and bumps will help you achieve smoother underarms."

The pitfalls of dry shaving your underarms

The skin under your arms is not quite the same as the more hardy skin on other parts of your body, such as on the arms or legs. Its extra sensitivity means that you must be more careful when taking care of this part of your body, as per Healthline.

When you decide to shave this area without soaking it in warm water or applying shaving gel or even just plain old soap to lubricate the skin, you increase your chances of developing bumps on the skin. Even worse than bumps are the increased chances of irritating that area leading to it becoming red in appearance. In some cases, a dry shave could result in unwanted nicks and cuts that bleed and hurt. Additionally, the possibility of dry shaving leading to the appearance of ingrown hairs is also very real and should be taken note of.

Interestingly, though it may seem tempting to shave your underarms while they are dry as a potential time saver, dry shaving may not be the most effective method of removing hair. In other words, you may spend more time dry shaving the same area than you would with some lubrication added to aid the process. In fact, when the hair under the arms is wet and pliable, it becomes three times easier to remove, according to King of Shaves.

Alternative methods of grooming your underarms

We get it. There could be situations where you find yourself with no shaving gel at hand, and you really want to get rid of your underarm hair. Instead of resorting to dry shaving, we suggest you try other methods to avoid the after-effects of a dry shave.

The simplest thing to do would be to use regular soap. However, shampoos, conditioners, and body washes will also provide lubrication, though not at the same level as a shave gel, a product made entirely for that purpose. Other lubricants such as body oil and moisturizer may also be used in a pinch, shares Healthline.

If, however, none of these appeal to you, you may want to explore other methods of grooming your underarm area. Instead of using a razor, invest in an electric razor, which forgoes the use of a shaving gel, soap, or cream, as it works on the basis of an electric motor, according to Executive Shaving. Using a depilatory product or getting your hair removed through laser treatment over a number of sittings are other methods you could try to avoid shaving with a regular razor. Some people prefer waxing or threading the underarm hair, though be warned, these methods may be more painful than shaving.