Whiten Dark Underarms and Armpits: A Guide to Preventing Dark Skin

Have you noticed your underarms are noticeably darker recently? You are not alone! Dark underarms are a common gripe in women AND men around the world.  Dark underarms affect predominantly African Americans and Hispanics the most, but every ethnic background has been known to come across this condition.

Dark underarms can be caused by a variety of reasons, rarely by serious health conditions, but can easily be prevented and treated with a number of easy solutions to whiten or bleach the armpits to a lighter skin tone. These methods also include altering some of your personal hygiene habits and purchasing decisions with solutions you can buy, or if you have time, make on your own.

Why do I have dark underarms?

Dark underarms can be caused by a variety of things including dead skin buildup, chemicals in deodorants and antiperspirants, shaving, bacterial infections, or more rare, a medical condition called acanthosis nigricans. As mentioned earlier, your ethnic background can make dark armpits more pronounced. But the chief reason for this condition tends to usually be due to hair removal methods and dead skin build up – so while we recommend you read all of the below to rule out all causes, do not get stressed out!

Dead-skin buildup

The most common cause of dark armpits can be as simple as dead skin cells – sometimes the gel or bar soaps we use do not properly cleanse the underarms well enough to remove dead skin buildup which causes the appearance of black or dark underarms.

An infographic describing some of the main causes of dark armpits.

Below we provide tips on how to better cleanse your underarms and remove dead skin buildup easily to remove the dark  appearance. 

Pore clogging deodorants and antiperspirants

Deodorants have been linked to many health issues, including increased risk of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. This is often because of aluminum that is added to help block underarm pores to reduce or prevent sweating, unfortunately, this then clogs pores and causes bacterial infections which then prevent toxins from escaping your body and create a dark tint – talk about a domino effect!

Deodorants and antiperspirants also contain color dyes and perfumes among other ingredients that can interact with your body and cause dark armpits or other discolorations. There are cases of people halting the use of deodorants alone and their dark armpits become lighter in color. And with so many natural deodorants available, it is easy to leave behind toxic deodorants!

We like the Schmidt’s brand of deodorants, especially the Charcoal and Magnesium line which is great for those who sweat more. Charcoal is natural (and known to whiten skin itself) and absorbs toxins from your body while magnesium is actually good for you. Compared to other natural deodorants, this one actually works and keeps your dry! See other suggestions below. 

Shaving

Most women shave their armpits, but since the hair in your armpit is likely darker than your skin, it can cause a dark skin appearance when the hair grows back into stubble. Other methods of removing hair will reduce the appearance of darker hair or stubble when it grows back, including waxing, sugaring and laser hair removal.

Bacterial Infection

Sometimes a bacterial infection can be causing a condition known as Erythrasma/Corynebacterium minutissimum bacterium, which starts out as pink spots in your armpits and later turns into brown lines. These pink spots are essentially infections of your skin at the superficial level. If you notice this color in your underarms then it is likely a bacterial infection.

Similar to Acanthosis nigricans (discussed below), it is commonly found in persons with diabetes mellitus (diabetes) and favors persons living in warmer areas. This infection and its symptoms tend to occur in areas of the body where it is warm and the skin folds such as groin and underarms. 

It is often treated with antibiotics available in digestible pills or as a topical cream. Treatments for this tend to be very effective, especially with the oral antibiotic course (erythromycin). If you suspect you have this condition (and keep in mind – it is rare), consult with your doctor or a dermatologist. 

Further reading:

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition similar to Erythrasma with symptoms of dark skin combined with discoloration of body folds and creases. This medical condition is commonly found both in healthy people but also those with insulin disorders and diabetes conditions.

This condition is also associated with persons that have Addisons disease, pituitary problems, hypothyroidism or those on hormone therapy, including birth control pills and some cholesterol medicines containing nicotinic acid.

If the areas of your body that are dark feel very smooth you may want to seek a doctor or dermatologist evaluation and maybe check your insulin levels to rule out diabetes or insulin disorders.

Further reading:

Medications

A side effect of some medications is skin darkening – this is unfortunate because if someone is taking medication it is usually because they have another problem they are trying to treat. Some of the most common medications that cause skin darkening are amiodarone, antimalarials, mental health drugs, chemotherapy medications (cytotoxic drugs), phenytoin, tetracyclines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and heavy metals.

Darkened skin as a result of medications represents as much as 10-20% of all cases, so it is an important area to consider, although the elderly are more prone to this condition than other groups.

If you’re taking one of these classes of medications consult with your medical professional about stopping it if no longer necessary, substituting with another medication or at least reducing the dosage.

Further reading:

Whiten Your Underarms: A Quick-Start Guide

In writing this article, we’ve realized there are TONS of ways to whiten your underarms – below we have listed our favorite and most effective methods. But a key point we found is that combining the below five strategies works best so that you are always working to lighten the skin in your armpits. Here are our four top tips for turning dark underarms lighter with more detailed notes further in the article!

1. Use a natural whitening soap to whiten while you bathe

  • We like the idea of a whitening soap – since you bathe regularly, this is easy to implement and it also prevents darker skin in the first place.
  • Once you are in the shower, it is easy to use this on your underarms andAn image of a whitening soap bar that is orange clean up. It’s also inexpensive. Use a whitening soap on your underarms and continue using a normal soap/bathing gel for the rest of your body.
  • We like this soap named Vi-Tae Organic Papaya Soap, which contains papaya, a natural whitener also described below in more detail. It has pretty good reviews on Amazon.

2. Use an exfoliating tool to remove dead skin buildup 

  • Exfoliating is a crucial step in whitening your armpits – this is because of the dead skin buildup caused by a variety of conditions and products mentioned earlier in the article.
  • Exfoliating your entire body can help your skin feel more supple and youthful, and of course, incredibly smooth! Exfoliating your armpits will remove dead skin buildup that contributes to darker skin in the underarm area. We recommend a loofah or other exfoliating solution. Below we have recommended some of our favorite picks.
    • Bath & Relax New Bath Body Brush Back Scrubber: This set of three natural scrubbers are intended for the face but can also safely be used on your underarms, the set of three includes a pure white konjac natural sponge, an activated charcoal sponge (which is a whitener itself), and a green tea sponge.
    • Bath Loofahs: This package of four loofahs can be used throughout your body and come in assorted colors -they are made from recycled materials making them eco-friendly.

3. Use a whitening cream to whiten during the day

  • Skin creams are useful if you do not have the time to create a homemade whitening solution for your armpits but keep in mind that some skin creams have synthetic ingredients – while this may speed whitening it may also cause reactions or side effects. We prefer natural solutions (covered below). If you really do not have time to make your own whitening cream, we recommend the following whitening cream which has good reviews: 

4. Use a whitening deodorant or at least a natural deodorant that’s less harsh on your skin

  • Whitening deodorants are another easy to implement treatment solution – because well, you most likely already use a deodorant and can easily swap your current one with a whitening deodorant. Results vary for each person, but it is worth a shot. Here are some recommendations:
    • Schmidt’s Natural Charcoal & Magnesium Deodorant
      • This well-rated deodorant is our top choice for it includes charcoal which is known to whiten your skin. Charcoal is also great in that it absorbs toxins and given your armpits are a key area of the body which produces sweat and in that sweat toxins, it makes it a wonderful ingredient. Magnesium is also very healthy for the An image of natural deodorant created by Schmidts body, most recently known to be beneficial for the heart. Lastly, the product also makes use of arrowroot – which has an earthy smell so we consider this deodorant to be for unisex.
      • Note: this product does not contain aluminum – a big plus making it one of our favorite deodorants to stay healthy and whiten your armpits.
    • Nivea for Women Extra Whitening Pore Minimizer Antiperspirant Deodorant Roll-On
      • This inexpensive deodorant is rated well with mixed results from purchasers and is offered by a well-known brand. This deodorant contains witch hazel and licorice. We could not verify if this product contains aluminum or not – we assume it does. 
    • Nivea Whitening Sensitive Deodorant Spray – For Women
      • Similar to the above deodorant, but for individuals with sensitive skin. It does not have many reviews at the time of writing this article. Note this is a spray and not a roll-on, a roll-on for sensitive skin couldn’t be found.
      • Note: this does contain aluminum
    • Belo Essentials Underarm Skin Whitening Antiperspirant Deodorant
      • The deodorant has mixed results with some of the reviewers claiming it works alone and others mentioned it needs to be combined with other actions. The ingredients contain some natural ingredients. including chamomile and Melissa officinalis leaf extract.
      • Note: this does contain aluminum

5. Use a natural whitening cream that you create

  • This takes time but can pay off because you customize your treatment to your preference and your body’s most acceptable method of skin whitening. We highly suggest you mix multiple natural remedies together to whiten your underarms. We recommend creating natural whiteners using the ingredients below:
    • Charcoal
    • Lemon
    • Raw organic honey
    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Potato
  • These tend to be best for ease of use, price, availability and ability to use for other applications (i.e. charcoal can also be used for whitening your teeth or face, stomach ailments and more). See below for instructions on how to use them and amounts needed. We also list other solutions below. 

Do It Yourself Natural Armpit Whitening Methods

Charcoal Powder With Raw Organic Honey 

Charcoal powder has exploded in popularity over the last few years for its ability to remove toxins from the body. It has been used for thousands of years actually, well known for its ability to remove toxins from the stomach (which is still used today in hospital emergency rooms) and because of this powerful attribute, charcoal also removes impurities from the skin which can lead to discoloration.

More recently, charcoal powder has become popular for teeth whitening, and you guessed it, bleaching your armpits. Most people are in disbelief that something so black could help bleach or whiten your underarms but it is true. Charcoal powder is messy, so we recommend making a paste – our easy recipe will get you started!

  • You will need:
  • Prep time:
    • 1 minute
  • Steps:
    1. First, make sure your underarms are clean before applying this mixture. If you have deodorant on or have built up the sweat, it will reduce its efficacy.
    2. Combine the charcoal and honey with a fork or spoonAn image of a bottle containing Delmar Charcoal Whitening Powder for Skin or Teeth
    3. Once the ingredients and combined into a paste apply liberally to the underarms using a cosmetic brush – the mixture should not be too runny so do not whip the ingredients. If the mixture is not completely black, you did not use enough charcoal.
    4. Allow the paste to work in your armpits for at least thirty minutes, repeat 2-3 times a week
  • Why this works:
    • Charcoal helps to remove dead skin cells and toxins – some of the chief reasons for dark underarms.
    • Our recipe is made with honey which also helps whiten but also helps prevent the charcoal from going anywhere (charcoal is not good when it ends up on your clothes or walls!). As mentioned above, we recommend raw organic honey – some cheap honey is not really honey and can contain toxins, so what’s the point! 
  • Additional tips:
    • Use a cosmetic brush to apply to the underarms and let it absorb for 25 minutes.
    • Charcoal comes in a variety of formats – tablets (normally used for stomach issues), powder (great for teeth and armpit bleaching) – both can be used both powder is the easiest.

Natural Baking Soda With Water or Raw Organic Honey

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), a popular and easy to find ingredient has many benefits for your skin including lightening your underarms through exfoliation – this recipe combines it with raw organic honey for a safe powerful combination. 

  • You will need:
  • Prep time:
    • 1 minute
      An image of a package of organic baking soda from Prescribed for Life
  • Steps:
    • Combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water or honey into a thick paste in a bowl. Remember we suggest an organic aluminum free baking soda and filtered water.
    • Apply the paste to your underarms, by gently massaging in a circular motion for a minute or two to help ensure the paste coats the skin well.
    • Leave the paste on for another 30 minutes and then wash it off. Apply 2-3 times a week for best results. 
  • Why this works:
    • Baking soda whitens because it gently exfoliates the skin, a common reason for black or dark armpits. It can also help even out the tones of the skins in your armpits. 
    • Baking soda helps balance pH levels in your skin which promotes skin health – and will help you and your armpits look great!
    • Baking soda is an anti-antioxidant and also contains anti-microbial properties – useful to prevent bacterial infections (as mentioned above, they can contribute to darkened skin).
    • Baking soda controls excess sweating and oil in your armpits that might be contributing to dark underarms, given sweats and oil can contain toxins.
  • Additional tips:
    • We strongly discourage the use of baking soda with aluminum, so check labels or use our recommended baking soda listed above. Aluminum is quite bad for your health and applying products that contain it, in the underarm area contributes to health issues.

Organic Lemon

For centuries, lemon has been used as a powerful bleaching agent for skin and hair. The vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids found in lemon also help nourish and exfoliate the skin. Lemon also helps clear blemishes which also aids in skin lightening.

  • You will need:
    • 2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon filtered water
  • Prep Time:
    • 1 minute
  • A photo of a lemon cut in half with a leaf.Steps:
    • Wash and squeeze lemon juice into a glass or bowl.
    • Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon with 1 tablespoon of water into an in a bowl. Remember we suggest organic lemon and filtered water.
    • Apply the paste to your underarms, by gently massaging in a circular motion for a minute or two to help ensure the paste coats the skin well
    • Leave the paste on for another 10 minutes and then wash it off, repeat 2-3 times a week
  • Why this works:
    • Rich with alpha hydroxy acids power lemon’s powerful exfoliating properties.  Lemon’s anti-microbial properties help clear blemishes and bacteria.
  • Additional tips:
    • For some persons, lemon might irritate the skin, this is due to acids in the lemon If this is the case, you might want to consider mixing it with raw organic honey or aloe vera.

Potato

Besides being a very popular food to eat – potatoes contain catecholase, an enzyme bleaching property along with vitamins and minerals that control pigmentation and lead to lighter skin. Potato juice is also a great whitener because it is gentle compared to some other methods and can be combined with other ingredients for extra lightening power. Find out below how potatoes can help you (and perhaps make a good snack too!).

  • You will need:
    • Potato (organic preferred- note white potatoes may contain lesser amounts of vitamins and minerals)
  • Prep time:
    • 1 minute
  • Steps: 
    • Wash and cut a potato into slices (uncooked potatoes)An image of a potato sliced and ready to be applied to skin for whitening.
    • Gently massage the white part into your armpits for three minutes.
    • Repeat up to 3 times a week.
  • Why this works:
    • With the enzyme catecholase,  potatoes whiten the skin but potatoes also clear acne scars, blemishes, and dark spots.
    • While you massage the potato in your skin, a very gentle exfoliation occurs and removes dead skin cells and impurities from the skin.
    • Potatoes reduce melamine production which can trigger darker skin.
    • Potatoes contain many minerals and vitamins, including:
      • Potassium which helps moisturize and provides the skin with hydration.
      • Vitamin B6 helps the skin repair itself, especially helpful after sun, wind and makeup damage.
      • Calcium heals dry skin and protects the outer most layer of your skin which faces the most abuse daily.
      • Magnesium which fights with free radicals that cause wrinkles.
      • Vitamin C to boost collagen development which firms the skin and keeps it elastic – preventing wrinkles.
      • Zinc which prevents damage to skin and repairs damaged cells and tissues.
  • Additional tips: 
    • Some residue and some juice from the potato may form – that’s good! Let it absorb into the skin for 20-30 minutes to do its work. You’ll then want to rinse it off, although some people just wipe off excess juice or potato particles. 
    • Some people will apply this before sleeping and leave it in all night – given potato is not particularly irritating, this should work for most people. Again, we strongly recommend organic potatoes.

Cucumber

Synonymous with spas and skincare (think of women with cucumber slices on their eyes) and salads, cucumbers are an effective armpit whitener that gently lightens skin while moisturizing and nourishing it with many vitamins and minerals. A bonus with cucumbers is that they do not irritate the skin but rather soothe it. Perfect for those with sensitive skin!

  • You will need:
    • A cucumber (organic strongly recommended – conventional cucumbers tend to be sprayed heavily with pesticides)
  • Prep time: 
    • 3 minutes
  • Steps:
    • Wash cucumber, scrub gently with hands to remove any surface dirt or residue.
    • Grind the cucumber until you create a juice. If you have a juicer, that will work too of course, but will then require extra cleanup.An image of a woman smiling with cucumber slices, one over her eye.
    • Creating some extra juice will allow you to store it for a few uses. We recommend using all juice within 2-3 days.
    • Repeat up to 3 times a week.
  • Why this works:
    • Cucumber is associated with spas for good reason – it is great for hydrating skin given its high water content – this prevents dryness, flaking skin which then prevents itchy skin that can peel.
    • Cucumber contains the following vitamins and minerals:
      • Vitamin A to stimulate cell creation and keep them healthy – the basic building blocks of skin.
      • Vitamin C helps your body create collagen resulting in firm, healthier skin.
      • Vitamin B1 for better blood circulation – better circulation means the skin receives nutrients better and reduces toxins from your skin. This will help in making your skin more healthy in general.
      • Potassium and biotin speed skin repairs and prevent infections.

Orange Peel With Milk

The tasty orange doesn’t only make sense for breakfast, but it also helps you lighten your skin too especially skin spots. If you buy and eat oranges then this recipe makes sense – save the orange peels and read below how when combined with milk – it makes a wonderful soothing skin lightener.

  • You will need:
    • Dried orange peels (use organic oranges if possible)
    • Half glass of milk (organic/grass-fed recommended)
  • Prep time:
    • 3 minutes
  • Steps:
    • Dry the orange peels in the sun
    • Once the orange peels are dried, grind them into powder and mix with the milk or grind the peels in the glass of milk using a mortar and pestle (often used to grind mint leaves for cocktails)
    • Stir/combine well
    • Apply to your underarms for at least 30 minutes and wash off. Becuase of dairy content, we do not recommend leaving itPhoto of Bragg's Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin Whitening overnight.
  • Why this works:
    • Vitamin A stimulates new skin cell production as well as fibroblasts. This is important because after you exfoliate your skin (recommended here), you’ll want to skin to develop and new skin is normally lighter than old skin exposed to bacteria, deodorants and so forth.
    • Vitamin C helps prevent aging effects of the skin – which in turn can prevent discoloration and counter free radicals and bacteria in the skin.
    • Calcium also helps the body determine how quickly new skin cells need to be generated and to release dead skin cells, which may accelerate skin whitening.
  • Additional tips:
    • Some people prefer to use yogurt instead of milk.
    • As with other citrus fruits, acid can be an irritant although the diary should minimize any irritation.

Coconut Oil with Lemon Juice

Coconut oil has exploded in popularity over the last five years, and for good reason – it is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. It is also known to be antibacterial, antimicrobial as a result of its medium-chain fatty acids. As you might have guessed, one of coconut oil’s other talents is whitening!

Coconut oil is unique in terms of whitening though and depending on who you ask, Coconut Oil might darken or lighten the skin. Well, who is correct? Both! Coconut oil is probably best described as a skin pigment balancer or regulator meaning that for persons with hyperpigmentation, it will reduce darkness, and for those with lighter skin, it will increase it.

  • You will need:
    • Organic coconut oil (unrefined is better)
    • Organic lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • Prep time:
    • 1 minuteAn image of a jar of organic coconut oil.
  • Steps:
    • Combine 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and teaspoon of organic lemon juice
    • Just massage a teaspoon of oil into your armpits.
    • Leave in for at least 30 minutes, but you can also sleep overnight in it.
  • Why this works:
    • This is a powerful recipe – coconut oil has long been used for whitening in the body (teeth and skin) for centuries! Combined with the proven whitening power of lemon, your armpits will be lighter in no time.
    • Coconut oil is rich in saturated fat and will act as a general toner to your skin.
    • Trace amounts of a few vitamins and minerals support coconut oil’s amazing abilities including iron and vitamin E for oxygen transportation and nourishment of the skin while keeping free radicals at bay.
  • Additional tips:
    • Be careful not to overapply – you do not want oil running down your arm, staining clothes or furniture.
    • Given coconut oil’s many health benefits for the skin, we recommend it as a general tonic for the skin that can help whiten and reduce any beauty markers while moisturizing your skin – a great combination.
    • Beware, if you suntan, and use coconut oil (which by itself is not safe), it will promote tanning. But that’s because the oil is essentially amplifying the sun’s power.  
    • Buy organic, unrefined coconut oil (so you can also eat and cook with it). You could also combine the coconut oil with other ingredients, like papaya, aloe vera, and charcoal to increase the whitening potency.

Apple Cider Vinegar

One of our favorite natural remedies for its extreme versatility is apple cider vinegar – from insect bites to alkalizing water, flavoring salad and even for skin whitening,  apple cider vinegar delivers! For armpit whitening,  apple cider vinegar helps to lighten skin tone aided by its exfoliating properties.

As a bonus apple cider vinegar helps clear blemishes, removes age spots and contributes a clearer, glowing skin tone! Apple cider vinegar also helps reduces excess oil in your skin.

  • You will need:
    • Organic raw apple cider vinegar (we recommend Bragg’s)Photo of Bragg's Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin Whitening
    • Optional additions: baking soda, honey
  • Prep time:
    • Under 1 minute (just apply to skin!)
  • Steps:
    • It doesn’t get any easier than this, just take a teaspoon and apply to your underarms, allow to dry and then wash off in thirty minutes. Repeat 2-3 times a week. You can leave it on your underarms longer if you can tolerate it.
    • You can optionally add some organic baking soda or raw organic honey (see resources pages for recommendations or above) for added strength. We do not recommend combining with another acidic whitening remedy such as lemon.
  • Why this works:
    • Acetic Acid in the vinegar helps quickly neutralize bacteria with its antimicrobial properties.
    • Alpha Hydroxy acids help exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar acts as a general skin toner with its glycol content which helps keep skin clear.
    • Vitamins and minerals prevent wrinkles and spots further making the skin look youthful.
    • It controls oil production in the skin, which can then clog pores, which then can use bacteria growth which then causes darker skin – you get the point.
  • Additional tips:
    • For some, vinegar may irritate the skin so be sure to try it out first in a small area.
    • While you can use any apple cider vinegar, we recommend a raw organic version. Our favorite is Bragg’s Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, see link above. 
    • For all body skin whitening, try bathing in apple cider vinegar. This will help make sure your armpits aren’t too much lighter than the rest of your body! Add 1/8 of a cup to a bathtub of water and soak yourself for thirty minutes.

Olive Oil

Like apple cider vinegar, olive oil is great on your salad, but it is also a natural skin whitener and moisturizer – no wonder those Mediterraneans have such wonderful skin! Olive oil contains high amounts of Squalene which is responsible for these properties. In Greece, Olive oil is used for many skin care products and soaps and has been for centuries,  a testament to its proven therapeutic benefits. 

  • You will need:
    • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (organic olive oil recommended)
  • Prep time:
    • Seconds! Just pour some olive oil in your hands and applyAn image of olive oil in glass bottles.
  • Steps
    • Very simply just apply some olive oil to your underarms and massage in. For faster application use a olive oil dispenser so you need not spill olive oil each time or use a spoon to measure.
    • Consider adding other natural whiteners for added powerful given olive oil is gentle, see additional tips below.
  • Why this works:
    • Olive oil contains high amounts of Squalene which is responsible for these properties.
    • Squalene is a fat produced by our liver that plays an important role in skin health – primarily with keeping skin tissues supple and moist. Our bodies steadily produce less of this fat after our late 20s. Fortunately, olive contains a fair amount of squalene.
  • Additional tips:
    • For stronger whitening try combining with lemon juice. Make smaller amounts for better effectiveness. Try a ¼ cup of olive oil with a tablespoon of lemon juice, mix together, apply some to your armpits for at least 30 minutes and then wash off. You should need a minimal amount of each use so this mixture should last for several whitening sessions.
    • If possible buy olive oil that is stored in glass, not aluminum.

Raw Organic Honey & Lemon

Honey has been used for thousands of year for a variety of applications from treating wounds to treating coughs! Honey helps moisturize the skin, a key step in whitening it while clearing blemishes and impurities due to its antiseptic properties.

  • You will need:
    • 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
    • 1 teaspoon organic lemon
    • Consider adding other ingredients to increase whitening power, see additionalA photo of a jar of raw organic honey that can be used to whiten armpits. tips below
  • Prep time:
    • 1 minute
  • Steps:
    • Massage the combined honey and lemon into your armpits
    • Leave on for at least thirty minutes and rinse off
  • Why this works:
    • Honey helps draw bacteria and impurities from the skin which helps lighten your armpits while lemon’s citric acid also helps neutralize bacteria and lemon’s alpha hydoxy acids exfoliate skin.
  • Additional tips:
    • Consider using honey in combination with other natural remedies, such as lemon or charcoal. Many persons use honey and apply it similar to a face mask, allowing it to harden then washing it off.

Papaya Underarm Wrap

Tasty and good for your stomach, papaya can also help whiten your skin naturally. Unripe fresh papaya and papaya seed oil can do the trick. 

  • You will need:
    • Fresh Papaya skins (organic preferred) from unripe papaya
    • Optional, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon honey
  • Prep time:
    • 2-3 minutes
  • Steps:
    • Wash a papaya thoroughlyAn image of a papaya that can be used to lighten underarms.
    • Skin the papaya, so you are left with skins with a little papaya meat left
    • Combine optional ingredients together (honey and lemon), pour some mixture on papaya peels and massage the peels onto your underarms for at least a minute each
    • Wash after 30-60 minutes, some may leave it in overnight
  • Why this works:
    • Papaya skin whitening properties are due to papain, a whitening enzyme found in the fruit. Not well known is that the enzyme is found mostly in the peel.
    • People in the Philippines use papaya for skin whitening with great success. Like other natural remedies, it contains alpha hydroxy acids which exfoliate and help clear blemishes.
  • Additional tips:
    • Unripe papaya is normally of green color
    • Try buying a papaya soap for whitening while you bathe

Aloe Vera Underarm Wrap

Aloe Vera, popular for soothing sunburns, also helps lighten armpit skin. Its sticky consistency works well as a wrap which lifts impurities and dark spots. Aloe Vera also helps reduce UV rays which can darken your skin (even in your armpits – think reflective surfaces). Besides also clearing blemishes, Aloe Vera is gentle, making it great for sensitive skin with its nutrients and moisturizing properties.

  • You will need:
    • Fresh aloe leafs (organic recommended, but they are very hard to find)
    • Optional, 1 tablespoon lemon juice (avoid if you have sensitive skin)An image of aloe vera sliced to showcase the meat of the plant wihch reveals a jelly like meat.
  • Prep time:
    • 3 minutes
  • Steps:
    • Take an Aloe Vera leaf and cut it in squares about two inches long. This will reveal the jelly like meat of the plant.
    • Then cut that it in half (similar to slicing a piece of bread down the middle for a sandwich) to create half two pieces each with skin. You of these can be used for an underarm whitening session.
  • Why this works:
    • Aloe Vera also contains anthraquinone which helps remove dead skin cells (remember we identified that as a key factor in skin whitening) while repairing skin damage for healthier looking skin.
    • Aloe Vera is also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so it helps clear blemishes and dark spots.
  • Additional tips:
    • Aloe Vera contains natural latex – so if you’re allergic to it, avoid using this remedy
    • Aloe Vera is easy to grow in a sunny area, and is one of the best plants to filter air in your home, another reason to use the miraculous plant
    • You can save time and buy Aloe Vera gel, but it may not be as effective

Tomato Juice & Milk/Yogurt

Like potatoes, we were surprised to learn tomatoes also bleach dark skin. In addition, they can help clear skin, reducing bacteria levels which is another cause as noted above for dark armpits. Plus virtually all households have tomatoes at some point during the week, making this is an easy ingredient to source!

  • You will need:
    • A small tomato (avoid beefsteak variety, organic preferred) or use organic tomato sauce (but this will be less effective)
    • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of milk or yogurt (a natural variety or one with grass-fed diary is An image of tomato juice that can be used to whiten armpits. preferred)
  • Prep time:
    • 3-5 minutes
  • Steps:
    • Wash and cube the tomato
    • Mash the tomato into a puree
    • Combine tomato puree or tomato sauce with milk or yogurt into a paste that is not too runny or thick
    • Apply the paste to your armpits, massaging it in for few minutes
    • Leave on for thirty minutes and then wash off
  • Why this works:
    • Tomatoes contain many vitamins and nutrients, including:
      • Vitamin A which reduces dark spots and blemishes.
      • Calcium to heal dry and flaky skin.
      • Potassium to moisturize and hydrate the skin.
      • Magnesium to give skin a glow and radiance to the skin.
      • Lycopene which gives the skin protection from UV skins rays (UV rays darken the skin).
  • Additional tips: 
    • Some tomatoes contain more acid than others, experiment with different varieties. In general, the better a tomato tastes, the better it will work for armpit whitening. The enhanced taste means the tomato was grown in mineral rich soil.

Turmeric

Turmeric, an ancient spice has been used for centuries in Asia for a variety of purposes. Commonly touted as an anti-depressant, pain reliever and stomach settler.

Turmeric also works effectively for preventing skin from darkening as it blocks the body’s mechanism of darkening the skin. A powerful spice, it is a must for every home and it a staple in India. creation of melanin which darkens the skin.

Below is a recipe from a potent skin whitening mix

  • You will need:
    • Turmeric oil (organic, strongly recommended), powder can also be used
    • Olive oil (organic, stored in a glass container recommended)An image of turmeric powder and oil that can be used to whiten your underarms.
    • Optional: milk or yogurt (organic, grass-fed recommended)
  • Prep time:
    • 1-3 minutes
  • Steps:
    • Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 2 drops of turmeric oil
    • Massage into underarms for a minute
    • Leave on for thirty minutes and then optionally wash off or leave on overnight
  • Why does this work:
    • Turmeric is a strong antioxidant, helping to remove toxins from your skin reducing bacteria which is known to darken skin.
    • Curcumin, a key part of turmeric helps to manage how the body products melanin – melanin is responsible for darkening the skin and is commonly associated with your body’s response to being in the sun – melanin is what gives you a tan! Too much melanin also produces dark spots and uneven skin tones.
    • Turmeric helps to keep the skin moisturized compared to other whitening solutions which may dry out the skin.
  • Additional tips: 
    • We recommend fresh organic turmeric you can buy in health food stores or online, we found some well-rated options, listed below.
    • Like most remedies for skin whitening, one must reapply often. We suggest at least two times a week.
    • Turmeric is also  known to reduce hair growth – it has been used for centuries for removing facial hair. This might be a great remedy given most women shave their underarms!
    • If you leave this on overnight be careful not to over apply so you do not stain clothing or bed sheets.

Preventing Dark Underarms in the First Place!

Armpit hair removal:

Do NOT shave your underarms! This will create that dreaded hair stubble which gives your underarms a darker appearance! Instead, try sugaring, waxing, laser hair treatments. Some popular products to help you do this at home are sugaring and waxing kitsAn image of a women showing her smooth armpit that is not dark without stubble to illustrate it is important not to shave the underarms if you do not want a dark appearance.

If you are really burdened by hair removal in your underarms, you might also want to consider laser hair removal which has now been available for some time, with newer machines that are less prone to causing skin issues.

We do NOT recommend the following:

  • Electrolysis: it is not recommended for it causes skin discoloration in some people.
  • Hair removal creams, as they tend to irritate skin especially given the sensitivity of your armpit skin.

Give your underarm skin a break!

  • Deodorant free day: Unless you are planning to be very active why not give your underarms a break and skip the deodorant for a day? This is especially good to try if you are not using a natural deodorant.
  • Take a shower before bed and completely wash off the deodorant you used allowing your underarms skin a “break”. 

Keep them clean

  • Be sure to bathe regularly and use a gentle soap to wash your armpits – for not cleaning well can cause bacteria buildup which can lead to dark armpits – in fact, bacteria growth is the number one reason for dark underarms!
  • Use a loofah to gently remove dead skin buildup from your body. 

Diet

  • Your body is your temple. If you eat processed foods or those with toxins your body will try to remove them – sweating is one method, and as you may have guessed, the armpits are a key for sweat. Sweat with toxins can cause dark underarms and pits.
  • Your diet also impacts your hormone balance which can also cause dark underarms and help you maintain a healthy weight which also tends to contribute to dark armpit skin.An image of vegetables to illustrate the importance of eating healthy for lighter skin in the armpits.
  • Consider a Paleo diet which has yielded amazing results for women around the world – that’s the diet I follow and no one believes my real age – they think I am 20 years younger!

Dark underarms are a common problem for many women and men around the world, regardless of your ethnic background. With a little care and focus, you can prevent and treat this condition with the above listed methods. If you suspect you may have a medical condition, please seek an evaluation from a doctor or dermatologist. Please also be mindful of any allergies when using suggested remedies listed above – if you experience a skin reaction or feel dizzy or faint, please discontinue use immediately and seek emergency assistance.

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