What Happens To Your Armpits If You Shave Them Every Day

If today you decided to throw out your razor altogether, you'd just be joining the ranks with women like Sophia Loren, Grace Jones, and Miley Cyrus. And, Sis ... that's not a bad list to be on. If underarm hair just isn't your style, however, removing it is totally fine, assuming you're doing it safely.

Despite having a most unrefined name, armpits are, in fact, delicate terrain. That's because, on top of being home to lymph nodes and glands, underarm skin is thinner than the skin on other parts of our bodies, according to the Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company. It's not too difficult to imagine how taking a blade to them every morning as part of your daily beauty regimen might make for some unhappy pits. We're not suggesting you stop the smooth-pit-train altogether if that's not what you're into, but here are a few reasons you might want to reach for that razor a little less often.

Daily shaving may cause infection

Because the skin under our arms can go for long periods of time without air and sunlight, it remains softer and more susceptible to irritation, knicks, and painful bumps. "Underarms go through constant friction and shaving them every day can escalate the above problems," Hibba Kapil, founder of hair removal salon Hibba NYC, told Bustle.

Our underarms are dark and moist as well, making them dream homes for bacteria. As explained in a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the average pH for most of the skin on our bodies is below 5. Under our arms, however, the pH is usually higher, according to a report published in the journal Skin Research and Technology. This reduction in acidity makes it easier for bacteria to thrive. When skin is irritated or cut and an abundance of bacteria is present, it makes us more susceptible to infection.

Kapil also warns that this kind of constant irritation makes you a prime candidate for folliculitis, a common condition where hair follicles become inflamed due to a bacterial or fungal infection.

How often you should shave

In order to keep the skin under your arms healthy, it's wise to take a break between hair removal sessions, according to Bustle. You don't have to let it grow out for weeks on end (although you might notice a marked difference in the softness of your skin if you do) — a week should be sufficient time for your skin to properly heal.

"The best thing you can do is grow out for a week, and then make an appointment to get it sugared or waxed," Kapil told Bustle. "Your armpits will thank you."

So, there you have it! Here is the excuse you've been waiting for to drop underarm shaving from your daily to-do list. Not only does it give you a little break from shaving, but it can also improve the quality of your skin and save you from some pretty pesky problems down the road.