Dark armpits are infuriating for several reasons. They can lead to embarrassing moments when you’re wearing sleeveless tops, they are outright annoying because they stand out, and they’re not very empowering when they’re on display.
The hyperpigmentation that leads to dark armpits occurs due to inflammation, irritation from shaving, harsh deodorants or a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans. Beside the darkening of underarms, this skin condition also causes the skin to thicken and darken in folds around the neck, underbelly, groin, or knee.
That’s why in this article we shall highlight the key things you need to implement to stop the darkening of your armpits, and how to brighten them if the damage is already done.
- Stop shaving
Start waxing. If you were told the long tale of the more you shave the better your armpits look well its time you unlearned. Shaving often leads to cuts, irritation, more friction and trauma which leads to thicker skin and thus hyperpigmentation. To counter this, waxing is a better alternative because it takes longer for the hair to grow back. However, this is also not the best option, especially if you have thick coarse hair. This is because waxing pulls the hair from the roots and tugs on the skin, which can result in even greater trauma on coarse hair than on soft hair. This then leads to a darker surface and hence darker armpits. So what addresses this?
- Shaving the right way
If laser hair removal is not an option for you at the moment, there are a few techniques you can use to lessen the trauma you subject your skin to, whenever you are shaving. Start with;
- Exfoliating your underarms first.
- Wet the area with warm water to open the pores.
- Use a shaving gel or a conditioner to soften the hairs.
- With a sharp razor or shaver, hold the skin taut and shave in the direction the hair grows. Pay attention not to stretch the skin as the underarm skin is way sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body.
- Shave against the grain to get rid of ingrown hairs.
- Rinse, pat dry then apply an alcohol-free moisturiser or oil.
- Do not apply deodorant on freshly shaven skin as this could cause irritation. Keep the skin moisturised to prevent razor bumps from forming. More different ways you can get rid of unwanted hair.
- Choose the right deodorant
Aside from investing in a sharp blade, choose a deodorant that has clearing or whitening abilities. Some good options include the Dove advanced care clear tone deodorant or a deodorant stick for sensitive skin. Stay away from antiperspirants that use aluminium as it clogs the pores and irritates the skin. Alongside the right deodorant wear cotton and lose blouses to minimise friction and irritation. Here are the 5 natural deodorant alternative you should try
- Use natural remedies
Natural remedies are a great alternative if you cannot afford to get a professional to lighten/brighten your armpits. Nonetheless, before you try any DIY, be cautious about the ingredients.
Some great remedies to brighten the skin under your armpits include;
- Lemon juice and aloe vera – mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one tablespoon of aloe vera. While lemon juice is a natural bleach, aloe vera prevents inflammation and contains aloin which depigments the skin. Apply the mixture and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash off, pat dry and moisturise. According to research, it is important to balance the potency of acidic ingredients to avoid aggravating the skin’s sensitivity.
- Orange peel, milk and rosewater – Like lemons, oranges are citrus fruits that can also be used to brighten dark armpits. All you should is peel off the orange and grind the peels to powder. Add milk and rose water to the mixture until you form a thick paste. Apply the paste on your armpits and scrub for about 10 minutes. Use cold water to rinse off and moisturise to keep the skin hydrated.
- Apple cider vinegar and rice flour – vinegar is an exceptional ingredient for killing bacteria and getting rid of the sweat odour. When you add it to rice powder, you get a great natural remedy to brighten dark armpits. To make this concoction blend the rice flour with vinegar. Apply the paste on your underarms and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and repeat twice or thrice in a week to see results. It’s always safe to do a spot test first as apple cider vinegar can be irritating to the skin.
- Potato – Another great natural bleach is potatoes. For this DIY, slice one potato into thin slices and use the slices to massage the underarm area. Do this for 5-7 minutes and rinse with water. Repeat twice or thrice a week for noticeable results.
- Lemon with baking soda – Aside from lemon having natural bleaching properties, it is also a great cleanser. Baking soda on the other hand is refined and it doesn’t have sharp particles which can irritate the skin. Hence, for this remedy, add a small amount of baking soda to fresh lemon juice. Use the mixture to scrub your armpits for 3 minutes and then wash it off. Repeat 2-3 times a week for best results.
- Turmeric and coconut oil or honey – Turmeric has great brightening effects and hence it’s used to even out the skin tone. To make this mask, mix turmeric with coconut oil or honey and apply the paste on your armpits. You can add milk for more whitening benefits. Leave the paste on for 20-25 minutes. Rinse and moisture.
Exfoliating whether by use of a chemical or physical exfoliator is a good way to unclog pores and get rid of the dirt, build-up and dead cells that darken the armpits. The key is not to over-exfoliate as this could counter the results. For a natural remedy use one teaspoon of sugar with a small amount of coconut oil. Scrub then wash off and moisturise. A spin brush is worth the investment if you want to exfoliate effectively.
Check out more benefits of coconut oil
The secret to getting rid of the dark shadow under your arms is by keeping the area moisturised. Coconut oil is a great moisturiser and it contains vitamin E which lightens the pits over time. More on why you need vitamin E in your beauty routine
You could also pamper your pits by using a mask of cucumber and aloe vera. The refreshing properties of both ingredients are great for keeping the skin nourished and hydrated.
These are the 7 ways to maintain good hygiene during the hot weather.