Let's face it, there are a billion articles on skincare for your face but what about down below? For those of us, that struggle with hyperpigmentation & discoloration in the nether regions the lack of information out there can be extremely frustrating. Natural glowing skin everywhere radiates good health. It can make or break our confidence. Glowing skin tone down there makes us feel sexy, confident and if you're like me, it determines whether the light will be left on or turned off! Transform a skin tone that looks drab and dull "down there" to luminous, glowing & sexy with these expert tips, tricks and product picks on how to make your skin glow head to toe and down below, no matter how little time you have!
1. Ditch The Loofah!
When I see clients daily, this is the number one method of exfoliation used and the WORST thing you could do to your skin if you have hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and ingrown hairs! You wouldn't scrub your face with a loofah so why have we all done this down there? You cannot scrub away the dark areas. Scrubbing creates an inflammatory response that triggers melanin that leads to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and the discoloration that you were trying to get rid of in the first place. Loofahs also tend to sit in a damp, dark environment like the corner of your shower making them host to bacteria, mold, and fungi. Scrubbing your skin with a puff or a loofah daily can cause dead skin cells to get caught in the mesh netting or holes of the loofah. Combine this with the warm, moist, dark conditions of your shower and there's a good chance for bacteria, fungi, and mold to appear. Treat your nether regions with the same love and care you would your face and you will see vast improvements to your complexion.
I always recommend an exfoliator with zero scrubbing for clients struggling with Hyperpigmentation. My favorite is Pinxxx "My Brazilian BFF" Ultimate Skin Perfector Pads. These pads will truly become your new best friend. My Brazilian BFF contains Organic Certified Aloe Vera & Witch Hazel that cools & soothes while calming irritated skin & bumps. Remember, reducing & eliminating inflammation is the first step in reducing hyperpigmentation and discoloration. It also contains Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid which prevents new breakouts by exfoliating dead skin buildup, deep cleaning pores and promotes a smooth skin texture. Glycolic Acid is often referred to as the holy grail for exfoliation. It effectively removes the outer layer of dead skin, revealing brighter, glowing, healthy-looking skin. Because of its small molecular structure, Glycolic Acid is able to deeply penetrate the pores making it also one of the best products for skin prone to breakouts, lacking luster and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Lastly, it contains Green Tea which has antimicrobial properties that help banish breakouts & brighten skin. This multifunctional pad eliminates the need for multiple products saving you both time and money.
If you just can't part with your washcloth, mesh or natural loofah;
Clean them thoroughly after each use.
Dry them completely OUTSIDE the warm, damp conditions of your shower.
Don't store them away — this can cause mold, fungi, and bacteria to grow.
Always replace them every 3 weeks and always use a new one post hair removal
2. Stop Shaving
Shaving is one of the WORST things you can do if you have issues with discoloration, and most of us shave every day or every other day. Shaving causes micro-cuts to the skin which causes irritation, inflammation & post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. In certain areas where there is high friction like underarms, the undercarriage, thighs, and butt crease shaving coarse hair will cause daily irritation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from constant rubbing. It's like rubbing sandpaper on your skin daily, over time these areas will thicken and discolor. The thick, dark, coarse hair from shaving also creates a 5 o'clock shadow on the skin that highlights any discoloration you already have. Try a hair removal method that is less irritating to the skin like laser hair removal, electrolysis, sugaring, waxing, or epilation. These methods of hair removal are not done as frequently as shaving, assist in reducing overall hair regrowth and cause hair to grow in finer and softer, which is ideal for anyone struggling with an uneven skin tone. Waxing also gives some minor exfoliation, which also helps give areas an instant boost in radiance.
3. Toss the Chemical Depilatories
Although many of the chemical depilatories out there state they are safe for the skin, keep in mind these are chemicals that are melting your hair down. I've seen numerous clients over the years that have shown me chemical burns from these products, typically from incorrect or overuse of their own doing. Those chemical burns will create post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation & since these products are only melting hair down the result is a coarser, thicker hair just like shaving creates, and the 5 o'clock shadow that acts as a highlighter for any discoloration you have. Over time coarse, thick hair in high friction areas will cause the discoloration you're trying to avoid. Stick with hair removal methods that destroy or pull the hair out from the root and create softer regrowth like laser hair removal, sugaring, waxing, epilation or tweezing.
4. No Bar Soap
Soaps and cleansers are designed to remove debris, sweat, oils, and dead skin cell buildup.Chemical agents found in soaps and cleansers called surfactants are often added to help dissolve dirt & oil making it easier to wash away. They also aid in exfoliation by removing dead skin from the outermost layer of skin (epidermis). These chemical agents found in soap are meant to leave skin feeling fresh and squeaky clean, but that's not all they do. Some surfactants have an adverse effect on the outer layer of the epidermis (stratum corneum) causing dryness, redness, and irritation and also undermine the skin’s natural barrier function. A breakdown in the barrier allows invaders like toxins, bacteria, and other violators able to penetrate into the skin where they can cause harm and damage. Not only does this breakdown dry out the skin, accentuate lines & wrinkles but If you struggle with acne, ingrown hairs and discoloration the bar soap you are using could be one of the main contributing factors.
Just as you would your face, you want to treat your most delicate areas with the same amount of love & attention. You wouldn't use a dirty loofah and bar soap on your face, would you? Next time you wash, put down the bar soap and reach for a true cleanser instead. The main key to radiant skin "down there": cleanse the area and any areas of discoloration daily and gently by thoroughly removing surface debris like dirt, oil and pollution particles that can cause the skin to be dull and clog pores. Wash the area morning and night by massaging a small dollop of cleanser lightly with fingers in gentle, circular motions. Don't scrub! Scrubbing your skin causes an inflammatory response that triggers melanin and leads to the hyperpigmentation and discoloration you are trying to get under control. Try 100% soap-free cleanser Pinxxx Illuminating Ginger Cleanser enhanced with Ginger Root. The Antioxidants Present in Ginger, increase collagen production, soothe skin irritation & banish blemishes. Ginger has also been known to reduce the appearance of both hyper & hypopigmentation. $45
A quick way to give your skin a boost in radiance "down there" is to exfoliate. Exfoliation dissolves the top layer of dead skin cells resulting in skin that is smoother, softer and clearer, reflects light and gives you that healthy, sexy glow. The key is choosing the right products for the area and what you are wanting to achieve. When dealing with discoloration you want to choose a mild exfoliant, nothing that involves scrubbing that will increase irritation. Use a mild exfoliant like Pinxxx "My Brazilian BFF" as directed. This multi-functional pad eliminates the need for multiple products. If you struggle with bumps, ingrown hairs & discoloration, this is the product for you! Organic Certified Aloe Vera & Witch Hazel cools & soothes while calming irritated skin & bumps. Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid prevents new breakouts by exfoliating dead skin buildup, deep cleaning pores and promotes a smooth skin texture. Green Tea's antimicrobial properties banish breakouts & brighten skin. Kojic Acid & Licorice Extract naturally lightens dark spots & suppresses melanin production for a more even skin tone.
6. Use A Brightener
Struggling with discoloration can lead us to try everything and anything out there in an effort to see results. I've heard of clients using everything from rubbing lemons to baking soda to no avail in an effort to brighten up their bits. For issues with discoloration, you have to be diligent about using a product for the areas to continue to "lighten" and brighten. Consistency is the key! Your discoloration didn't happen overnight so improving your area of concern won't happen overnight either. Good things happen to those that are consistent. Although Cleansing and exfoliating will help, it is simply not enough if your goal is a more even skin tone. You have to use a brightener with inhibitors. A brightener is a product when used as directed target's areas of discoloration, and some prevent new melanin formation. My favorite is The Pinxxx Illuminating Pads HP(High Potency). This is the most "potent" of all the Pinxxx brightening products. Pinxxx Illuminating Pads HP dramatically improves the appearance of discoloration. Best of all, it is Hydroquinone free! It contains a multi brightening cocktail consisting of Arbutin; Alpha Arbutin is a natural derivative of hydroquinone. It is known to be one of the best alternatives to HQ as it provides the skin-lightening effect without some of the risks. , Ascorbic Acid; Most commonly known as Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which is an important quality that plays a role in combating areas of discoloration. Vitamin C assists in inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps to prevent melanin production. It is also known to significantly lighten skin without lightening the normal surrounding skin. Kojic Acid; Kojic Acid is another safe and effective skin brightener that absorbs into the skin and stops melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that plays a role in the production of melanin formation. This makes it ideal for targeting areas of discoloration. Phytic Acid; Phytic acid is a plant-based antioxidant that can help to defend your skin against sun damage while brightening hyperpigmentation. It works as an exfoliator, and assists in blocking melanin formation.
It may seem obvious when it comes to your face, but when it comes to glowing skin tone down below, moisturizing is just as important. Dry skin is dull, so using hydrating ingredients can help restore glowing, supple skin. This is especially true in areas of high friction. In areas of high friction, skin becomes extremely dry, thickened, rough and dark due to the constant friction. I LOVE Pinxxx Brightening Cookie Oil. Not only does it like sugar cookies, it instantly calms irritated skin after waxing, shaving and gives skin a boost in hydration. Its soothing ingredients relieve inflammation, irritation, and redness resulting from hair removal. Formulated with certified ORGANIC Calendula, it is deeply hydrating and healing. Calendula has spectacular skin brightening and anti-aging benefits. Calendula oil also has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties that make it helpful in keeping acne & ingrown hairs at bay, soothing eczema, and relieving itchy, rashy skin. It is also known to decrease melanin found in the skin to help brighten skin and reduce areas of discoloration. Studies have shown that calendula can also increase collagen production which is important in keeping skin taut and supple.
A lack of hydration can make your skin look dry, flaky, tight and dull. Not only does keeping skin hydrated help it appear more plump, supple & youthful, but it also helps address surface dullness by combating the buildup of dead skin cells. Stay hydrated!
Aerobic Activity increases overall blood flow and oxygenation giving your skin that post exercise glow. Your perspiration also aids in the removal of toxins making you glow from the inside out. Get moving!
10. Foods That Make Your Skin Glow
Omega 3 is beneficial in reducing inflammation while Omega 6 assists white blood cells prepare to fight off invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other foreign objects. Omega 3 and 6 are EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) that help the body and work synergistically to achieve balance and promote overall health & wellness that you can see in your skin.
Foods high in Omegas 3 & 6 include:
Fatty Fish i.e Salmon
Avocados are not only known for being amazing for skin; they are high in Omega 9 , help skin look taut and dewy, help regenerate damaged skin cells, and reduce inflammation. The omega 9’s keep your top layer of skin (epidermal layer) hydrated, which gives you noticeably supple, healthy-looking skin. Avocados are also packed with antioxidants that not only fight off free radicals but also help your skin stay hydrated by assisting in maintaining its water content. Guac on!
Lemon is incredibly good for the skin, it’s chock full of vitamin C, which helps fight off free radical damage and assists the body production of both collagen and elastin (which keep our skin firm and youthful-looking), but it’s also high in alkaline despite their acidic taste. Lemons help alkalize the blood and balance our bodies’ natural pH with certain minerals found in them. When our pH levels are off balance , our skin becomes overly sensitive, dry and irritation-prone. Lemon water is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated, balance your pH and will make your skin glow from the inside out!
Tumeric is possibly, the most powerful herb on the planet. Packed with amazing goodness the herb that is popular in many tasty Indian dishes has Anti Inflammatory properties, is a natural antiseptic with acne-fighting properties, helps reduce dark circles and can help improve the appearance of discoloration. The curcumin in Tumeric allows your skin to stay youthful and glowing as it kicks in to restrict the ACTH hormone that supports a protein called MC1R. MC1R is a key protein responsible for the production of melanin. Add a few dashes to your favorite foods for a quick boost in Tumeric.
Milk Not only does milk do a body good, but it also is great for the complexion. The lactic acid in milk is very helpful in lightening and or brightening the skin.
Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 daily in any area exposed to sunlight to reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays, sun damage, and sunspots. Studies recommend using a sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF, which blocks 97 percent of the sun's UVB rays and helps limit exposure to harmful rays.
12. Salon "Brightening" AKA "Bleaching"
Sounds scary... intimate "bleaching" also known as skin brightening. It's not actually bleach that is used, it's a skincare service similar to a facial for any area lacking its glowing radiance. The Pinxxx "Bleaching" Brightening Salon System is a 10 step system that utilizes only the highest quality medical grade products formulated to be gentle and safe enough for intimate areas. This service has shown some amazing results after just one visit. There is no pain or discomfort felt by any of the products, most just report feeling squeaky clean! If your skin needs a boost in the brightening department to help with uneven skin tone a salon session for intimate "bleaching" is ideal. Skin cells take approximately 3-4 weeks to move through the full life cycle of growth and exfoliation and getting some assistance in the brightening department will help your skin maintain its glow all month long. Be sure to use at least one maintenance product at home to prolong your results.
In closing, always be sure to check with your physician before starting any new skincare routine and of any changes to your skin color or texture. Skin changes can be a sign of an underlying health issue. Any tips or advice given in this article are strictly for beautification purposes only and should never be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.