How to Get Rid of Dark Underarms in 6 Steps
Wondering how to get rid of dark underarms? Underarm skin is especially delicate and easily irritated which can lead to hyperpigmentation. Luckily, you’re not short of brightening treatments that can help fade discoloration.
Ahead, we answer all your questions including why do underarms get dark and the best treatment options. You’ll also learn how to prevent dark armpits in the first place along with our recommended products for brighter pits.
What Causes Dark Underarms?
Dark underarms, also known as axillary hyperpigmentation, is a temporary skin concern caused by either trauma or irritation to the skin. In some cases, however, it may signal an underlying medical condition.
Exposure to harsh deodorants, shaving, and other irritants along with excessive friction and rubbing can all lead to irritation and ultimately, underarm hyperpigmentation. This happens because irritation stimulates melanocytes, leading to increased melanin production—the pigment responsible for the color of your skin. When there is an excess or uneven distribution of melanin in certain areas, it can lead to hyperpigmentation.
Other causes of dark underarms can include a buildup of dead skin cells, razor burn, melasma, hormonal changes, and medical conditions such as diabetes and Addison’s disease.
Sun exposure can also encourage melanin production. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, melanocytes produce more melanin in an attempt to protect the skin from UV damage. This is a natural defense mechanism, but over time, excessive sun exposure can lead to uneven pigmentation and dark spots.
All skin tones and colors can experience dark underarms. However, dermatologists say patients of color are more prone to developing underarm discoloration because of the melanin already produced in their skin.
How to Get Rid of Dark Underarms
Dark underarms are a common skin complaint but also easily treatable and preventable. You just need to stay consistent and patient. How can you get rid of dark underarms? Ahead, a step by step guide on the best dark underarm treatments.
Step 1: Exfoliate
Exfoliation can help to treat hyperpigmentation under the arms. Exfoliating removes the accumulation of dead skin cells and product buildup caused by deodorants and other products which sometimes leave behind residue. What’s more, it can help get rid of pigmented skin cells, in turn, promoting a more even skin tone.
Try incorporating a gentle scrub or chemical exfoliant such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid into your skincare routine. These will help to lift dead cells and product buildup for smoother, brighter underarms.
Truly’s Moon Rocks Whipped Body Scrub
Step 2: Apply a Pigmentation Serum
How to get rid of dark underarms fast? Try a pigment treatment. These formulas work by resurfacing and regenerating the skin to encourage healthy cellular turnover and fade dark underarms.
Look for ingredients like pomegranate extract, niacinamide, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. These all help to soothe inflammation while boosting cell regeneration for smoother, brighter skin. Make sure you apply it daily or three times a week if you have sensitive skin.
Truly’s Jelly Booster Pigment Treatment
Step 3: Switch to a Brightening Deodorant
What deodorant is best to prevent dark underarms? Since irritation can cause hyperpigmentation, you’ll want to avoid using a deodorant that’s potentially causing the problem. Switch to a gentle deodorant with brightening properties to alleviate dark underarms. It’s also best to look for an aluminum-free formula, as aluminum is known for clogging the sweat ducts and irritating the skin.
Most of us use deodorant on a daily basis, and it’s something that consistently comes in contact with the underarms. For that reason, you want to make sure you’re using a deodorant that will both treat and prevent darkness under your arms.
Truly’s Unicorn Fruit Skin Brightening and Soothing Deodorant
Step 4: Upgrade Your Shaving Routine
Poor shaving techniques can cause razor burn and irritation which can lead to dark underarms. If you shave, make sure you do it properly. That means always using a hydrating shaving cream or butter to avoid friction from your razor. Let the shaving cream sit on your skin for at least 15 seconds before shaving.
It’s also important to change your razor blades frequently to prevent dull blades from irritating your skin. And always apply a post-shave serum or moisturizer to hydrate and soothe the skin.
Truly’s Pit Perfecting Set
Step 5: Reach for Retinol
Retinol isn’t just for anti-aging. According to dermatologists, retinol can help treat hyperpigmentation under the arms and other areas of your body. It helps to boost cellular turnover to reveal newer, fresher, and brighter skin.
That said, retinoids can be irritating—especially if you have sensitive skin—so use it sparingly and start with a low concentration. Otherwise, you could end up making your discoloration worse. You’ll find retinol in all kinds of products ranging from creams to serums and cleansers. It’s a powerhouse ingredient for improving skin tone and texture.
Truly’s Vegan Collagen Booster Body Polish
Step 6: Soothe Irritation With Antimicrobials
Antimicrobial ingredients, such as tea tree oil and lavender, can be helpful for getting rid of dark underarms. That’s because antimicrobial agents help prevent infections that can cause redness and irritation, which can exacerbate hyperpigmentation.
Alongside this, antimicrobials have anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing inflammation, these products can help soothe the skin and minimize the risk of underarm discoloration. Inflammation is often associated with increased melanin production, which can contribute to hyperpigmentation.
Truly’s Antimicrobial Cooka Routine
Natural Remedies for Dark Underarms
If you’d like to take a natural approach to brightening your underarms, there are several natural remedies you can try. How to get rid of dark underarms with home remedies? Here are some to try.
Coconut Oil: Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, coconut oil can help fade dark armpits. It also boasts hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties to nourish and soothe irritated skin. Apply a few drops of coconut oil onto your underarms. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then wash your underarms with soap and water. Repeat three times per week.
Tea Tree Oil: Dark underarms can be associated with inflammation. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe irritated skin and reduce redness or discoloration. Mix several drops of tea tree oil with ten ounces of water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on your underarms every day after showering.
Milk and Rose Water: These two soothing ingredients help to quell inflammation and promote skin healing. Mix one tablespoon of milk and one tablespoon of rose water, and apply to your underarms. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with cool water. For best results, repeat twice a week.
While you can use lemon and baking soda for dark underarms as natural treatments, most dermatologists advise against it. Both of these ingredients can be quite irritating to the skin, leading to redness, peeling, and dryness.
How to Prevent Dark Underarms
Now you know how to get rid of dark underarms quickly and efficiently, let’s take a look at some preventative steps. The best way to prevent dark underarms is to be extra gentle with the skin in that area since it’s especially delicate. If you feel burning or any signs of irritation from your deodorant or shaving, it’s a sign you need to make a switch.
Switch to a gentle, aluminum-free deodorant with brightening effects. Optimize your shaving routine by always using shaving cream, replacing razor blades often, and applying a post-shave serum or lotion.
Avoid harsh products that can inflame and irritate the skin, as irritation is one of the leading causes of dark underarms. It’s also important to stay consistent with your routine to see the best possible outcome.
What’s more, always make sure you apply plenty of SPF before heading out the house. Sunscreen protects your skin against harmful UV rays which can contribute to premature aging and hyperpigmentation.
Can Underarm Discoloration Go Away on Its Own?
Dark underarms can go away on their own if you discontinue using irritating products and poor shaving techniques. However, if you have an underlying medical condition that’s causing the discoloration, the darkness will not go away on its own. In that case, consult with your dermatologist.
How to get rid of dark underarms? Dark underarms are treatable and preventable. However, you will need to be patient as it can take several weeks to months before you see an improvement.
Watch our how to get rid of dark underarms tutorial :