As humans, we tend to spend a lot of time taking care of our skin, mostly our face. Why don't we give more consideration to the skin all over our bodies in not-so-traditional places? There are parts of our body that go unnoticed, and it's time for us to give them some extra attention. We are glad that society is moving in the direction of body awareness because our bodies are designed to be loved.
First up: underarms. They can be sweaty and a pain to maintain, but they do so much for us. For one, they hold 20 lymph nodes in each crevice, an essential part of your body's immune system as it filters toxins. While societal expectations say that women should shave their pits, we believe that's between you and your body. Do you, sis! Just make sure you're keeping your underarms happy.
Below, we've rounded up some must-haves guaranteed to do just that. And let's just say, they aren't best-selling products for no reason. Keep scrolling for the deets!
Bella Skin Beauty
I didn't know underarm toner was a thing until I tried this product from Bella Skin Beauty. According to the brand, it eliminates bacteria, gently cleanses the skin, protects against environmental aggressors, and maintains its pH. Best of all, it reduces body odor. My favorite part is the plant-based ingredients: pure watermelon extract, ylang-ylang, lemon balm, aloe, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A, making for a divine smell and soothing feel.
2.Glossier Body Hero Cleanse + Exfoliate Duo
We don't exfoliate enough, and we definitely don't exfoliate under our arms enough. This duo by Glossier was designed to give your skin the one-two punch you need. The daily oil wash gathers the dirt and grime that don't belong and washes it away like Jesus washes away our sins while the exfoliating bar combats dryness and dead skin like your fairy godmother. Using this under your arms will create the soft, silky skin you deserve.
Oui The People
Of all of the acids, polyhydroxy acid (PHA) is said to be the least aggressive compared to alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid and lactic acid. Don't get it twisted, PHAs hold their own, especially when it comes to fighting glycation; that's when digested sugar attaches to the collagen in your skin, won't let go, and makes it weak. By using The Big Reveal, you'll notice brighter and smoother skin with less irritation in weeks.
Say hello to the new spa treatment for your pits, sis. Between the essential oils and antibacterial ingredients, your natural pH balance will be supported like never before. PiperWai suggests you "massage 1-2 drops per armpit before bed, or daily followed by deodorant if desired. If you are using the oil with the deodorant, use sparingly as a little bit goes a long way."
Native Deodorant is a firm believer that we have to take care of our bodies because it's the only place we have to live. This antiperspirant glides on like butter and keeps you dry throughout the day. Most importantly, it is aluminum-free which means it's natural enough not to harm you but strong enough to tackle your stress sweat.
6.Pacifica Coconut & Charcoal Underarm Detox Scrub
Keeping it 100% vegan and cruelty-free, Pacifica wants you to free your pits. And you can do so with this holy grail of a product because it unclogs your pores and makes them like new. If you're thinking of transitioning to natural deodorant, you'll want to use this detox scrub. The thickness is just right and isn't too harsh like other similar products.
You know what they say, "Good things come in threes!" The Smooth Skin Trio is made up of Cloud Shave Foam, Dewy Body Lotion, and Creamy Body Wash — all determined to keep you soft, smooth, and dewy. The shaving cream supports moisture, the lotion serves as a multivitamin, and the body wash cleanses and protects.
I've recently become a superfan of Paula's Choice products because they give what they need to give. You can count on their products to provide you with all-over smoothing. "Ongoing use banishes dullness and promotes resilient skin that's touchably soft and ultimately smooth. This is a customer favorite, suitable even for skin prone to keratosis pilaris." Keratosis pilaris is a common yet harmless skin condition that causes dry, rough patches and tiny bumps.
9.Thrive Market Baking Soda
"I'm in love with the CoCo." If you're not, you should be because this natural remedy contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Not only does it tighten pores, but it also fights body odor. Baking soda and lemon juice even lighten your underarms.
Using one tablespoon of baking soda and juice of half a lemon, you can combine both the ingredients in a bowl to create a paste. Once you have achieved your desired consistency, apply the paste to your armpits and massage for a minute, then let it dry for 20 minutes. Finally, wash off with cold water. Complete this application 2-3 times a week to see results.
10.Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream
Meow Meow Tweet
We love that this natural deodorant comes in a glass jar and can be refilled. Mama Earth would be proud! Both gentle and productive, this cream nourishes your underarm like a conditioner. Essential oils are always a vibe, and when you mix the various butters and plant oils included in this product, you are sure to have a frosting that your pits will adore.
Au Naturale and oh, so soothing should be the tagline for Fur's Ingrown Concentrate. Name a better spot treatment that slays annoying bumps and redness while also ailing sensitive skin. It's also the mitt for us because it's the key to buffing out those stubborn ingrown hairs.
Featured image by Getty Images
Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Decisiveness is arguably a trait of nature vs. nurture. When you’ve been brought up in an environment that penalizes children for taking pride in themselves, it can manifest in your adult life in ways that fly under the radar. You may find yourself avoiding the spotlight, having the fear of being the center of attention, or shrinking yourself to make others feel more comfortable.
If you’ve found yourself adopting an agreeable, self-sacrificing personality, there may be a psychological reason behind it, and it’s called “echoism.”
What Is Echoism?
Echoism refers to a concept in psychology related to the patterns of behavior and traits exhibited by individuals who may be on the opposite end of the spectrum from narcissism. While narcissism is characterized by an excessive focus on oneself and a desire for admiration, echoism is considered the opposite, where individuals tend to be excessively focused on others, often at the expense of their own needs and desires.
The term was introduced by clinical psychologist, Craig Malkin, in his book Rethinking Narcissism and delved into the topic through additional articles for Psychology Today. As the author explains, “Where narcissists are addicted to feeling special, echoists are afraid of it. In the myth of Narcissus, Echo, the nymph who eventually falls madly in love with Narcissus, has been cursed to repeat back the last few words she hears. Like their namesake, echoists definitely struggle to have a voice of their own.”
People who exhibit echoist traits often prioritize the needs and feelings of others over their own to an extreme degree and can struggle with asserting themselves, setting boundaries, and may be overly accommodating to others.
Traits of an Echoist
The fear of coming off as “too needy” or expecting too much are driving forces in an echoist’s life. Echoists may go to great lengths to avoid conflict, even if it means suppressing their opinions. This can result in the individual having low self-esteem and regularly downplaying their own worth since they may not feel deserving of attention or recognition.
According to Healthline, individuals with elevated levels of echoism may:
How To Heal and Work Through Echoism
Identifying the cause of one’s echoism is an important step to healing the behavior. Experts say that this trait can develop in childhood when dealing with parents who struggle with emotional regulation or pass down their self-effacing values to their children.
In your early years, you may have coped with stress by soothing your parents at the expense of expressing your own needs. The constant focus on meeting others' needs could then leave little room to voice their own desires, leading to a loss of connection with one’s own aspirations.
Fearful that asking for things might upset the parents, young echoists may have found that avoiding burdening their parents was the best course of action, even at their own expense.
Taking the necessary action to heal echoism means developing a more balanced and assertive approach to relationships, where you prioritize your own needs without completely sacrificing your consideration for others. While it may take time to adjust to the change in behavior, there are steps to take in the process:
1. Set Healthy Boundaries
There’s nothing fun about setting boundaries, but they’re necessary to determine what is and is not okay in our relationship. When you set boundaries, we’re nothing just teaching others how to treat us, we’re teaching ourselves what we deserve. Practice saying "no" as a complete sentence and learn to establish and communicate healthy boundaries with those around you.
2. Practice Being Assertive
Take small moments throughout your daily interaction to practice speaking up for yourself and expressing your opinions and needs in an assertive, yet respectful way. Put your communication skills to the test and work to effectively convey your thoughts and feelings with close friends, family, or even co-workers when the situation presents itself.
3. Embody A “Star” Mentality
Going years denying yourself the joy of prioritizing your own needs and desires can take time to correct. Through your process to heal your echoism, remember that you are worthy of being seen and having your needs and desires heard. Gradually expose yourself to positive and affirming attention. When someone pays you compliments, hold it and say thank you without feeling the need to diminish it.
4. Learn To Love What You Like
An aspect of echoism is adopting people-pleasing tendencies, but it’s okay to be disagreed with if your preferences don’t match those around you. Our differences are what makes us who we are, and altering that to appease others only makes us feel smaller in the long run. Take time to identify and pursue your own personal goals, and have fun exploring your own interests and passions.
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Featured image by David-Prado/Getty Images