Dark underarms affect many people! Many Latin and darker-skinned people have beautiful skin, but one issue that might affect them, as well as lighter-toned individuals, is a slightly darker skin tone in certain areas of their bodies. The underarms are one of these places, and they may be more exposed during the summer months, on the beach or at the swimming pool. The causes are various, not just genetics. If this issue affects you, you might have been wondering how you can lighten the area naturally. Here’s how to do it.
Dark underarms: what to know
There are a number of habits that can cause dark underarms. They include:
- Shaving: sometimes the hairs that are cut off at the surface or just under the skin’s surface can make the skin look darker than it really is. This problem affects people with thick underarm hair, and those with darker hair in this region. Luckily, it’s not difficult to fix this issue. Just stop shaving! Try waxing, instead! I know, it’s painful, but it may solve the problem completely.
- A build-up of skin cells. Dermatologists claim that when dead cells don’t get removed from under the arms, they build up and look darker. If you think this might be you, exfoliate your underarms with a product that contains lactic acid. Don’t do this right after you have your underarms waxed, though! Try doing it just beforehand.
- Antiperspirant and deodorants. If you have sensitive skin, your skin might react to some of the ingredients found in your deodorant. Some people have tried cutting out antiperspirants, and their dark skin has lightened! Try going for brands with a light scent, natural deodorants, or silicone-based deodorants.
- Acanthosis nigricans. This funny-sounding condition causes brown or black markings on the neck, under the arms and around the groin. It often affects people who are overweight. The best way to get rid of it is to improve your diet, and then try Retin-A, 20% urea, alpha hydroxyacids or salicylic acid prescription products to lighten the underarm.
Homemade remedies for underarm whitening
Natural bleaching agents include fruits and vegetables like potatoes, cucumbers and lemons, which have acidic, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. Just make sure you moisturise the area twice daily when using these natural products, as acids dry out your skin and the drier the area, the darker it may become!
The potato lightener
Slice a potato and then gently rub a slice on the underarm area (before you apply your deodorant!). Alternatively, try grating the potato to get some of the juice out. Apply the juice, let it dry, then wash it the area.
Rubbing slices of cucumber on the area or grating and using the juice in the same way as you did the potato can help lighten your underarms.
Cutting a lemon into halves and then rubbing it into your clean underarm helps exfoliate and lighten the skin. Don’t do this right after a waxing session, or it will sting! Wash your underarms after the treatment, and moisturise, since lemon is an astringent fruit and it will dry out your skin.
Gently massaging in a little egg oil and leaving it on overnight can gently lighten dark underarms naturally. The omega-3 oils promote cell renewal, smoothing the skin, and lightening it. Wash your underarms with soap or shower gel come morning.
Milk contains fatty acids and vitamins that help lighten your skin. Make a paste by adding two tablespoons of milk to one tablespoon of flour. Add a little cream, too, if you like. Otherwise, use full-fat milk! There aren’t many fatty acids in fat-free varieties. Blend with a spoon, then apply it to the skin and leave it on for around 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water. This treatment is great for exfoliating and lightening at the same time.
Mix some vinegar with a little rice flour and mix it into a paste you can apply easily to the skin under your arms. Put it on after you’ve just had a nice hot shower. Leave it on for a quarter of an hour, then rinse it off. Vinegar deodorises, and lightens.