Asian woman wearing a towel looking at underarm

The year 2016 was a big year in underarm skin texture history. It was the year the media took notice of how magazines photoshop celebrity armpits, thanks to one incident with Priyanka Chopra (not yet Jonas then) called “Armpit-Gate.” The cover star of that year’s Maxim Hot 100 issue looked great, but readers quickly pointed out how her armpits were ‘shopped to oblivion.

It’s sad how recent this incident is, but it was the start of a real conversation about how women are expected to adhere to unrealistic body image standards. Skin texture on the underarms, usually caused by keratosis pilaris, is not a health issue, as the American Academy of Dermatology confirms. It’s also not contagious. It’s purely a cosmetic issue and here’s what you can do about it.

Calm Down

Firstly, chill. Having skin texture on your underarms is normal. It seems otherwise because advertisements show hyper-smooth kili-kilis without hair, lines, or pores. Actual human armpits have all of these, so there's no reason you should be ashamed. Skin isn’t supposed to look as smooth as silicone or plastic. However, if it bothers you, don’t panic. You can address it.

Give Shaving a Rest

If you have keratosis pilaris, which are small bumps usually caused by very dry skin or other conditions such as eczema, or any other type of skin texture on your underarms, avoid . If you can (like, if you’re just isolating at home), give hair removal a rest altogether, to avoid . This can also help give your skin the best chance of improving.

Gently Exfoliate

When addressing keratosis pilaris or skin texture at home, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends . The keyword here is “gentle.” So, instead of using scrubs, try a loofah or a damp washcloth. You want to avoid skin irritation under your armpits. Slough off dead skin cells in the shower using small, circular motions while the skin is wet. You could also try using a chemical exfoliator, such as lactic acid, salicylic acid, or retinoids to get rid of buildup.

Let Your Skin Heal

Since this is hardly a harmful skin condition, any "treatment" means being as gentle on your skin as possible. It also means being patient with your underarm skin, which is subject to uniquely damp and dark conditions compared to the skin on the rest of your body. Use a mild, non-soap cleanser and take shorter baths or showers. Use . Wear loose-fitting clothes that do not cause friction around the area.

Choose the Right Deodorant

In keeping with the gentle theme, try switching to a deodorant that will not give your underarm skin any more reasons to stress out. Try Dove 0% Aluminum Deodorant Aerosol for zero harshness and pure care. It contains no aluminum salts, no alcohol, and has Dove’s signature ¼ moisturizing cream. It’s as gentle as it gets, plus it moisturizes your underarm skin deeply to help smoothen bumps and rough areas.

Skin texture on the underarms is not something you should be worried about unless it comes with itching, pain, or skin breaking. If it’s a cosmetic issue, consider a gentler approach rather than trying to erase the bumps with harsh ingredients.

Moisturizing works. You should also use the right products and skip some exacerbating habits, such as shaving. These can reduce skin texture, but hey, if it doesn’t, know that you’re not in any kind of trouble. It's a-okay and so are you.