Intimate Skin: Advice for Lingerie-Related Skincare
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Today's guest blog is the second post in as many weeks by longtime TLA reader Evija! She shared her thoughts on Lingerie for Curvy Dames last week, and this week she's back to offer some tips on lingerie-related skincare. I'm really glad she submitted this post as skin issues related to the wearing of lingerie isn't really something I think about; my skin just doesn't give me issues. However, I imagine that's not the case for many people, so I'm very happy to her perspective on the issue here. If this is a topic that's relevant to you, I hope Evija's article helps.
"Beauty is only skin deep."
We've all been there. That odd pimple, that little rash, that scratch from a cat's paw... you name it; skin blemishes and tears are incredibly common. However, since nothing will be closer to your skin than your lingerie, it's very important that you take care of both. Not only may these tips help you get or maintain clear skin, they may also help your lingerie last longer.
First of all, understand that little skin issues happen to everybody. You shed millions of skin cells each day, and the skin itself is constantly producing sebum, an oily material which helps your skin function the way it should. In addition, we move move, and so we sweat. When I noticed that I was starting to get skin issues in the exact places where my lingerie touched my skin, I knew I had to do something. So here's my guide.
Rule 1: Cleanliness does not always equal godliness, but is very handy.
I'm not calling you dirty. I'm just saying that sometimes we forget that lingerie should be rinsed very, very thoroughly and also that your skin products shouldn't come in touch with it. When washing your beautiful undergarments, it is, of course, advisable to use a delicates washing product, but you still have to rinse it very, very carefully. Also, try not to make the mistake of drying them on a heater; the extreme heat may cause the fabric to become dried-up, hard, and generally unpleasant.
When you apply moisturizer before putting on your lingerie, give it a little time. Wash your hands, dry them, and dry your skin in a couple of minutes. If there is still some residue, either give it more time to absorb or remove the excess, but please don't put your lingerie on if you don't want it to end up with oily stains. Plus, remember to check the “underboob” area. For me, body creams take forever to be absorbed there!
If you use make up for your décolletage, like foundation, it's best to finish it off with powder to make it last longer. If you do some contouring in this area, I'd suggest using a very thin layer of powder to prevent the pigments from running and ruining your bras.
Eucalan Grapefruit no-rinse delicate wash is a great lingerie wash solution, and it's only $5.
Rule 2: Pay extra care to where the (under)things are.
You wear your bra for most of the day, and your knickers for maybe even longer. That is a considerable amount of rubbing against your skin... even if they stay put. I've noticed I sometimes have clogged pores where my bra straps are. I fight this issue with a gentle tea tree wash. I quite like this one from The Body Shop, but I figure other tea tree oil-based products will do an equally great job! It sells for $12.
Rule 3: Always, always – let me stress this – ALWAYS wear your right size.
What happens when you wear the wrong size bra for your body? You get 1) awful bruises near your armpits and on your sternum where the gore is, 2) marks and rashes from where your straps dig into your shoulders, or 3) both. I'm serious about this, ladies. If you can't go braless for awhile, these issues take forever to heal... even if you do switch to a better size. If you happen to have changed sizes and don't have the time or money to renew your collection, at least get a cheap bra in a horrible colour. It may not make you feel as confident in terms of style, but it will be worth it to not have those nasty, itching bruises all around it.
What happens when you wear the wrong size of knickers? Well, I'll try to avoid all of the details, but if you happen to accidentally buy a thong that's too small, your very existence becomes a pain. I think you understand what I'm referring to. And even if it's not a thong, the knickers can still dig in and cause chafing, which is plain unpleasant. So, my dear readers, if in doubt, size up. They won't fall down :)
What if you wear the wrong size stockings or holdups? If you avoid the embarrassment of them falling down to your knees, they will stay... and dig deep into your thighs, rubbing in and being uncomfortable. If you've bought tights in the wrong size, chances are they may rip in the thigh area and cause nothing but bruises all day long. I've been there more times than I'd like to admit.
If this happens and you don't have time to change, blotting the area with baby powder will help for a while but is by no means a long-term solution. So always wear the size that fits you. Me, I'm a fairly curvy and tall gal, and I've found that the standard size range does not always fit me. But StockingsHQ has a good selection of plus size stockings and tights – give them a try!
Or you could take it up a notch with perfumed powder like this one by Jessica McClintock for $18 from Walgreens
Rule 4: When wearing a corset, wear something under it.
If you're going to wear your corset a bit longer than the sweet moments in the bedroom, you will sweat and shed skin. While corsets aren't made of gossamer and are designed to withstand rigorous wearing, it will save you time and money to add an extra layer. Corsets are fairly hard to clean and need expert care, so you can delay your dry cleaners' visit by simply wearing, for example, a nice cotton tube top under your magnificent contraption.
I think this tube top from Forever 21 is pretty – and it comes in plus sizes, all for just $8!
Rule 5: Don't stress your skin.
You know what hell looks like? Shaving/waxing your bikini line, wearing tight synthetic panties, and looking down to see a red, irritated blotch that won't go away for days. I've made this mistake a couple of times, and it was awful. So now I use a post-waxing lotion and, if I can, try to do wax on weekends when I don't have anywhere to go and can just lounge around in a cotton dress with nothing underneath it. And it's always best to find the hair removal method that works for you. Waxing is terrible for me, but I've found that hair removal creams are a miracle – the result is fabulous. Some people can't stand the smell so it won't work for everyone, but it's well worth giving a try. For those pesky ingrowns though, try this Whish Flawless Ingrown Hair Serum, $22.50 at Nordstrom.
Lastly, remember – I believe anyone can be gorgeous. Don't let your body's occasional tantrums tell you otherwise! If you have some tips to share, I'd be very happy to read them in the comments!