While indulging in hand care, most individuals focus solely on their arms and fingernails, inadvertently neglecting the underarms. Consequently, these areas can darken over time, becoming aesthetically displeasing. The discoloration of the armpits can lead to embarrassment, especially when donning sleeveless attire on hot summer days. However, selecting the appropriate underarm whitening product can address or mitigate this issue. If dark armpits are causing you distress, here’s a comprehensive guide to the problem, accompanied by a list of the best underarm whitening products available.
What is Underarm Darkening?
When the skin in the underarms does not have the same shade as the skin in the rest of the body, the condition is known as the darkening of the underarms. Race, health, and family history are common factors that increase the likelihood of developing underarm darkening. The darker hue of armpits is generally not a cause for concern. Many other body areas, including the back of the neck, elbows, knees, and groin, may also turn dark over time. However, a specific skin condition called acanthosis nigricans (AN) may also discolor the underarms by making the skin thicker and folded. In this case, you must consult your doctor for the suitable treatment options.
According to a 2014 report, acanthosis nigricans (AN) is experienced by anywhere from 7% to 74% people around the world (1). Those with darker skin tone are more prone to develop it than those with lighter skin tone.
Causes of Underarm Darkening
Anything that stimulates the production of melanin (skin pigment) in the underarm skin makes it darker. Some of the most common reasons lying behind the discoloration of armpits are listed below:
- Frequent shaving with a razor
- Accumulation of dead cells
- Too much use of deodorants and antiperspirants
- Hormonal imbalances caused by certain medications
- Friction and irritation caused by tight clothes or sagging skin
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin issue often faced by pregnant women. The same may also turn the armpits darker. However, they usually become normal after giving birth. (2)
How to Prevent Underarm Darkening?
Prevention is always better than cure. So, if you are yet to develop dark underarms, try to prevent them from getting discolored in the future. There are many simple ways to help you steer clear of the issue. Let’s have a look at those (3):
- Say ‘NO’ to shaving. Instead, try other hair removal methods, such as waxing or laser treatment for your underarms. These will remove the hair strands from their roots, reducing the frequency of hair removal and significantly reducing the dark appearance.
- Keep your underarms clean by removing dirt, oil, and grime regularly. But ensure you do not use soaps with harsh chemicals, as those will cause darkness.
- Exfoliate your underarms frequently to keep them free from dead skin cells. Exfoliating at least thrice a week is recommended for the best results.
- Try natural home remedies to keep your sweat under control.
- Replace your tight outfits with loose and breathable ones.
White toothpaste has bleaching properties and it can be used to whiten dark armpits too. The colored ones may contain chemicals, which cause irritation to sensitive skin.
Is Underarm Bleaching Safe?
Bleaching underarms with natural ingredients is delicate. But if you use over-the-counter bleaching products, ensure they do not contain skin-lightening agents like ammonia and hydroquinone (not more than 2%). Also, frequent bleaching may lead to pigmentation, thus worsening the condition of the underarms.
Choosing Underarm Whitening Products
The market is flooded with synthetic skin-bleaching products that claim to lighten, brighten, and whiten the underarms effectively. However, the long-term use of a chemical-laden product is not recommended. Hence, you must review the ingredients used in a product or contact your dermatologist before selecting the right solution for your dark armpits. Pick something containing natural bleaching ingredients and not more than 2% hydroquinone. Also, be extra cautious about the ingredients of your underarm skin whitening product, especially if you have sensitive skin.
9 Best Underarm Whitening Products to Consider
So, what are some reliable products intended for underarm whitening? Well, we have curated the list of 9 best underarm whitening products for you that can give you the desired results:
1. Qraa Advanced Lacto Dark Underarm Whitening Cream
The Qraa Advanced Lacto Dark Underarm Whitening Cream is one of the most affordable creams for even-toned armpits. It treats the cause of darkness by reducing the production of melanin.
- An all-natural, uniquely formulated product sans potent bleaching agents
- Loaded with licorice extract, aloe vera extract, witch hazel extract, lemon oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, kojic acid, vitamin B3, and vitamin E
- Brightens and smoothens the stubborn dark and patchy underarms
- Gives visible results within ten days
- Keeps the skin moisturized and well-nourished
- It makes it hydrated, soft, and supple
- It has soothing and relaxing effects on the skin
- Effective in treating black spots, mild pimples, rashes, and warts
- Free of parabens, colorants, fragrances, and other synthetic additives
- Do not leave a white patch
- It suits all skin types
Price: Rs. 390 for 100 gm.
2. Dot & Key Skincare Underarm Detox & Color Correction Mask
Try the Dot & Key Underarm Detox & Color Correction Mask when you need a specialized solution for your dark armpits. It is a quick detox formula that lightens dark underarm skin and fights terrible odor.
- A revolutionary product
- Enriched with the goodness of activated charcoal, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and calcium-vitamin complex
- Removes dead cells, dry sweat, and accumulated impurities
- It makes the skin brighter, smoother, and softer
- Eliminates pigmentation and discoloration
- Restores the natural, even tone of the underarm skin
- Fights odor-producing microbes with antibacterial properties
- Deodorizes effectively for long-lasting freshness
- No nasty chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, alcohol, etc.
- Dermatologically tested
- 100% safe and gentle on the skin
Price: Rs. 695 for 100 gm.
3. Tjori Underarms Skin Brightening Pack
Enjoy the natural benefits of Ayurveda and get remarkably fairer armpits with the Tjori Underarms Skin Brightening Pack. It is gentle on the skin, purifies with 100% organic ingredients, and is safe to use.
- A gentle and safe ayurvedic detox treatment for underarms
- Infused with kaolin clay, fuller’s earth, glycerin, papaya pulp, lemon juice, and orange extract
- Lightens and brightens with natural bleaching properties
- Exfoliates and detoxifies thoroughly
- Provides moisture and nourishment
- Keeps the skin soft, supple, and smooth
- Minimizes pigmentation and signs of aging
- Soothes sensitive and irritable skin
- Contains no hazardous chemicals
- It has a refreshing lemon aroma
Price: Rs. 499 for 50 gm.
4. Bella Vita Organic DeoWhite Natural Roll-On Deodorant
This Bella Vita Organic DeoWhite Natural Roll-On Deodorant is designed for women and claims to lighten your dark armpits while keeping you fresh throughout the day. In addition, it is a natural formulation with zero side effects.
- An ayurvedic underarm-lightening deodorant recipe
- It contains cucumber extract, comfrey extract, vetiver extract, castor oil, coconut oil, and essential oils
- Shows solid and effective skin-lightening properties
- Moisturizes the skin profoundly and instantly
- Minimizes pigmentation and dark spots
- Provides moisture to dry and dead skin
- Exhibits anti-aging properties
- 12-hour odor protection with long-lasting fragrance
- Free of alcohol, aluminum, parabens, SLS/SLES, petrochemicals, mineral oil, and synthetic dyes
- Suitable for all skin types
- It does not clog skin pores
- No sticky residue on skin or clothes
Price: Rs. 199 for 50 ml.
5. SANCTUS Underarm Whitening & Sweat Reduction Cream
The SANCTUS Underarm Whitening and Sweat Reduction Cream is a one-stop solution for all darker areas in your body. It lets you lift your arms confidently and keeps your armpits fresh the entire day.
- A highly potent non-oily formula for skin whitening
- It can be used for underarms, sides of the neck, elbows, inner thighs, knees, ankles, etc.
- It contains miracle ingredients like alpha-arbutin, licorice extract, mulberry extract, kojic dipalmitate, allantoin, wheat germ oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, and aluminum chloride.
- It gets absorbed instantly for easy and fast use
- It gives touchable, smooth skin without stains
- Lightens underarms by removing dead cells
- Reduces dark patches and uneven skin tone by controlling melanin deposits
- Controls nasty sweat and the odor induced by it
- It makes armpits smell fresh all day long with a lasting deodorizing effect.
- It does not contain parabens or SLS
Price: Rs. 595 for 100 gm.
6. Bare Body Essentials Underarm Cream
Arm yourself for a brighter side with the Bare Body Essentials Underarm Cream. The active ingredients in the product lighten the skin in the underarms and nourish it deeply.
- FDA-approved unique formulation that is safe for the skin
- Combines ingredients like glycolic acid, alpha arbutin, vitamin E, and glyceryl stearate
- Makes skin lighter through gentle exfoliation
- Removes dark spots and rashes
- It Evens out the skin tone under the arms
- Enriches dull and dry skin with moisture and nourishment
- Softens and smoothens rough and bumpy skin
- It makes skin firmer by restoring its elasticity
- Suitable for all types of skin
Price: Rs. 449 for 50 gm.
Read Also – Easy Homemade Ways to Remove Underarm Hair
7. Cosderma Underarms Whitening Peel
Available in the form of a peel, the Cosderma Underarms Whitening Peel is an expensive product for skin whitening. As per the company, it treats dark underarms, fades suntans, and reduces excess oil production.
- A robust synergistic blend of natural skin-lightening agents
- Enriched with kojic acid (15%), lactic acid (10%), hyaluronic acid (20%), salicylic acid (5%), and TCA (15%)
- Exfoliates, moisturizes, and nourishes the skin
- Lightens overall skin tone by 3-4 shades in 4-6 weeks
- It gives an even-toned and glowing skin
- Reduces dark spots, age spots, and freckles
- It can be safely applied to sensitive parts of the body
- Clinically tested and proven for skin brightening
- Free of parabens
Price: Rs. 3,000 for 30 ml.
8. Liva Litearm Lotion
The Liva Litearm Lotion effectively removes dead skin and lightens dark underarms. It is recommended for normal, dry, and combination skin. It also treats rashes and dark spots while softening and soothing the skin.
- A topical, transdermal formulation
- Rich in grapeseed oil, cucumber seed oil, allantoin, and calendula oil
- Removes dead cells from the darkened skin
- Lightens the skin in the underarm areas
- It has soothing & softening effects on the skin
- Reduce rashes and dark spots from underarms
Price: Rs. 641 for 30 gm.
9. Lyon Underarms Whitening Cream
The Lyon Under Arms Whitening Cream comes loaded with natural botanicals. It helps even out the skin tone under the arms and keeps it soft & nourished.
- Includes glycolic acid, vitamin E, and glycerin
- Exfoliate the underarm skin gently
- It helps even out the skin tone in that part
- It keeps the skin soft and nourished
- It prevents rashes and dark spots
Price: Rs. 449 for 50 gm.
Side Effects of Underarm Whitening
Most commercially available underarm whitening creams contain hydroquinone (4), inhibiting melanin production in our skin. But the prolonged use of hydroquinone, at the same time, causes several minor side effects, such as irritations, redness, itching, swelling, crusting, stinging, severe burning sensation, etc., as well as some adverse effects, including exogenous ochronosis and even skin cancer.
Home Remedies for Dark Underarms
Ingredients from your kitchen can be of immense help in treating dark underarms. The most commonly used kitchen ingredients are Apple Cider Vinegar, Cucumber, Potato, Lemon, and Baking Soda. These ingredients are excellent astringents and can exfoliate, bleach, and unclog the underarm skin. In addition, prolonged usage may result in the lightening of dark underarms.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Enriched with amino acid and lactic acid, ACV has bleaching properties that lighten dark underarms and scars. Dab a few drops of ACV on a cotton pad and apply it directly to your underarms. Allow it to dry, and wash it off with water. Repeat it 2/3 times in a week to get visible results.
Lemon – Lemon has strong antibacterial and bleaching properties. Mix a few drops of lemon with baking soda or sugar and apply it to the affected areas. Rinse it off with water after 15 minutes.
Potato – Potatoes are less acidic and even suitable for sensitive skin. Potatoes are better than lemon because they can treat pigmentation and lighten scars, as they do not trigger rashes or irritation. However, it might take a little longer to get the desired results. Apply a slice of potato or juice directly to the underarms and wash it off after 15-20 minutes with water. Repeat the process daily.
Dark underarm is quite a common phenomenon often caused by the accumulation of dead cells, frequent shaving, overuse of deodorants and antiperspirants, and hormonal imbalance. With a few preventive measures, one can effectively address the problem of dark underarms. Frequent exfoliation to remove dead skin, controlling sweat, switching to breathable outfits is some of the most effective remedies. Although the market is flooded with OTC underarm whitening products, always go for products with natural bleaching ingredients and make sure it doesn’t contain more than 2% hydroquinone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Can I Lighten My Inner Thighs and Armpits?
You can apply creams/peels to treat your dark underarms and inner thighs. However, it is always recommended to consult a dermatologist before using any OTC product. Also, if you have sensitive skin, please do a patch test to avoid burning sensations and redness.
Does Sweat Cause Dark Underarms?
Multiple factors, including excessive sweating, cause dark underarms. Make sure to allow the fresh flow of air to your armpits and switch to breathable clothes.
Does Sunscreen Cause Skin Darkening?
Check out the ingredients of the product before you use it. For example, avoid zinc or titanium oxide products, as these chemicals put a thin dark film on your skin.
Why Does Deodorant Make My Armpits Dark?
Many deodorants have aluminum as an active component, which may cause skin irritation, inflammation, and darkening.
How Can I Unclog My Armpit Pores?
You can exfoliate with lemon and orange juice. The bleaching properties of lemon can remove dead cells and unclog pores.
How to Shave Your Armpit Hair?
Shaving can cause dark armpits, although you can take certain precautions to minimize its effect. Always use a high-quality new blade to avoid razor burn and skin irritation. Moreover, you can moisturize your underarms with warm water followed by a shaving gel/bath gel to make hair softer. Taking a bath before shaving is even more beneficial as it will remove sweat and other impurities from the skin. Always use a moisturizing lotion after shaving your armpit. Finally, don’t apply perfume, deodorant, and antiperspirants immediately after shaving.
Is Laser Underarm Whitening Effective?
This type of laser treatment treats dark armpits caused by pigmentation. A Q-switched laser beam (non-invasive and high-intensity) is used to treat the affected areas. The best part of the treatment is that it is non-invasive, and visible results can be seen in a few sessions. Moreover, treatment is free from downtime and doesn’t cause any side effects or discomfort.
- “An Approach to Acanthosis Nigricans,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “How to Have Beautiful Underarms Again after Pregnancy,” Philstar.com
- “What Causes Dark Underarms, and How are They Treated?“, Healthline.com
- “What to Know About Hydroquinone,” MedicalNewsToday.com