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You know how they say summer bodies are chiseled out in the winter? Well, I’d like to argue that smooth, photo-worthy underarms are made during the winter as well. Now before you start questioning me on who takes a pic of their armpit, think about it and I’m sure at least one photo of you has been ruined by a sweaty or dark armpit stealing your spotlight. Once odor is challenged and stamped down by a deodorant, hyperpigmentation and perspiration are the main problems with underarms, but they don’t have to be. Fortunately, board certified dermatologists like Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, who is also an expert on Black beauty, are revealing the secrets to treating pigmentation issues and excessive sweating … and it could be as simple as spraying a moisturizing antiperspirant onto your pit.

Last month, I met with Dr. Ingleton and some of the top beauty editors and bloggers in the business to discuss all of our concerns with underarms. Coincidentally, we all had similar issues about hyperpigmentation and over-sweating. And then Dr. Ingleton let us know that the average person can perspire more than a liter in a day. That’s nearly 34 ounces. That’s more than a typical water bottle. That’s half a gallon. That’s more than we could comprehend or combat with simple deodorant. Dr. Ingleton dropped some gems of advice on us, and now I’m sharing all her tips for getting smooth, even-toned, photogenic armpits during the fall and winter, so you’ll be ready come spring and summer.

Removing Hair Leads to Underarm Care: The forms in which we remove our underarm hair are an easy giveaway into what may be causing your pigmentation issues. Constant ripping and pulling coarse hair from the skin during shaving, creates friction and makes your underarms susceptible to inflammation, ingrown hairs, and darker skin. The skin can have an inflammatory reaction, which stimulates pigment-making cells to generate more pigment and make the skin darker. While some issues may go away on their own with appropriate care and attention, others may still linger around or worsen over time. If the problem you’re dealing with hasn’t gone away or is getting worse, you should see your dermatologist to seek the appropriate treatment you may need.

Moisturization is Key: If you haven’t tried them yet, or are already a big fan, Dove Antiperspirants aside from offering 48-hour protection, are also known for providing the brand’s one-quarter moisturizing benefit, so underarms feel soft and smooth. They have both the Dry Spray and the Advanced Care stick for your disposal. I love the Cleartone variants, which are formulated with calendula to help restore skin to its natural tone, combatting uneven skin tone issues.

Keep it Under Control: Hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive sweating, is very common among women, especially some of us who may be on the curvier side, the extra weight can cause us to be prone to sweat more. This can easily get in the way of our daily lives, from work, when you’re out on a date, or other important events in your life. Even the added layers we wear in the colder months can contribute to added sweat! Sweat is a natural process that allows us to regulate body temperature and flush impurities from the body. For many women, an antiperspirant/deodorant is the best option for controlling sweat and odor. I usually recommend using an antiperspirant that provides 48-hour protection. But if this is not working, I would always suggest consulting a dermatologist for help.