Dark underarms are one of the most common skincare problems faced by women. It can build a feeling of discomfort and make you self-conscious even though it is just a hyperpigmentation issue. It can stop you from being comfortable in sleeveless clothes and donning on your favourite apparel. 

Your confidence level gets a boost if you feel comfortable and happy about your appearance. And dressing up in the clothes you like is a major part of an individual’s overall appearance. So here are some remedies to help you flaunt your body with confidence!

7 Major Causes Of Dark Underarms

Black underarms are something most people want to get rid of. So before looking for remedies, you need to know the reasons for dark underarms.

1. Shaving

Shaving The Underarms

Shaving, in certain situations, can cause dark underarms. Shaving removes the hair from the surface of your skin. Thus, the darkness is due to the hair follicles that are left just below the surface of your skin.

2. Deodorants And Antiperspirant

Use Of Deodorants And Antiperspirant

Deodorants and antiperspirants sure do protect the body from bad odour. But, if you read the description on the bottles, these are loaded with chemicals that might irritate the skin causing it to be dark.

3. Accumulation Of Dead Skin

Accumulation Of Dead Skin Causing Dark Underarms
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Dead cells are formed all over our body and accumulate on the surface of our skin. The underarms are no exception to this. Accumulation of dead skin cells around the underarms can be another cause for dark underarms.

4. Hyperpigmentation

Dark Underarms Due To Hyperpigmentation
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Hyperpigmentation is a common, mostly harmless, condition where certain areas of skin appear darker than the surrounding skin. This is due to the excess melanin, the pigment that gives colour to the skin. If this is the reason behind your black underarms, then you can visit a dermatologist.

5. Friction Caused By Tight Clothes

Dark Underarms Due To Friction Caused By Tight Clothes

The skin around our underarms is softer and more sensitive compared to other body parts. Wearing clothes that fit tight can cause friction between the cloth and skin, resulting in sweating and irritation (sometimes even causing a rash). This results in discolouration of the skin and can be a major dark armpits cause.

6. Bacterial Infection

Dark Underarms Due To Bacterial Infection
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Our underarms get sweaty easily and this makes the area a perfect home for bacteria. Excessive sweating can be the cause of bacteria being trapped in the skin in the underarms thus causing black underarms.

7. Melasma

Dark Underarms Due to Melasma
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Melasma is a common skin problem. It usually looks like common dark patches on the skin. It appears mostly on those parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. It is more common in women than in men. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger melasma as well.

Lighten Dark Underarms With These Home Remedies

Home remedies are always natural, safe, effective and affordable. Below are some home remedies for dark underarms that you can adhere to. It is always advisable to do a small patch test before applying it to a larger area of your skin. 

1. Potatoes

Potato For Underarm Lightening

Potato is an effective and mild bleaching agent. Unlike the strong chemical-based bleach, it doesn’t cause irritation and dryness.

  1. Simply rub a thin slice of potato on the affected area.
  2. You can also extract juice from grated potato, apply it on the affected area and leave it to dry for 15-20 minutes. 
  3. Then, wash with lukewarm water and pat dry. 

2. Cucumber

Get Rid Of Dark Underarms With Cucumber And Haldi Paste

Just like potatoes, cucumbers are also an effective bleaching agent. And it cools the skin, aiding in reducing inflammation or irritation. This is an easy and affordable remedy to lighten underarms. 

  1. Rub a thin cucumber slice on your underarms or grate a cucumber and apply the juice under your arms. 
  2. You can extract the juice from a cucumber and mix it with a little turmeric powder (haldi) and lemon juice. 
  3. Apply this paste on the affected area. 
  4. Leave it on for 30 minutes, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

3. Lemon

Lemon For Underarm Lightening

Lemon is considered to be a powerful antibacterial, antiseptic agent along with being an effective bleaching agent. This is the most tried and effective dark underarms remedy. 

  1. To remove dead skin cells and lighten underarms, rub a lemon wedge on the skin for a few minutes. 
  2. Leave it on the affected area for about 10 minutes and then wash the area thoroughly. 
  3. To use this as an exfoliating scrub, you can sprinkle a pinch of sugar granules on the lemon wedge and then rub it.
  4. Alternatively, you can mix a little turmeric powder (haldi), honey or plain dahi with lemon juice and apply it to your underarms. Leave this paste on the affected area for about 10 minutes and then wash it off.

4. Baking Soda

Get Rid Of Dark Underarms With Baking Soda

Baking soda is often used to make an exfoliating scrub to get rid of black underarms. This is a magic ingredient that helps to get rid of dead skin cells, which is one of the main causes of dark underarms. It also helps unclog skin pores and remove dark underarms.

  1. Make a thick paste using baking soda and water.
  2. Use this paste to scrub your underarms. 
  3. Wash it with water and pat dry the area properly. 

5. Orange Juice And Peel

Orange Juice And Peel For Dark Underarms

Orange peels are popularly used to lighten underarms as they are rich in skin lightening and exfoliating properties. 

  1. Apply orange juice on the affected area, let it dry for 15-20 mins, wash it with lukewarm water and pat dry. 
  2. Alternatively, you can put some peels in the sun to dry out completely.  
  3. Grind the dried peels into powder form, then mix the peel powder with some rosewater (gulabjal) and milk to form a fine paste. 
  4. Gently scrub dark underarms with the paste and leave it to dry for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Wash it off thoroughly and pat dry. 

6. Milk And Saffron (Kesar)

Milk And Saffron To Get Rid Of Dark Underarms
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The vitamins and fatty acids in milk can help remove dark underarms, making it an effective remedy.

  1.  Mix two tablespoons of full-fat milk, one to two tablespoons of flour and one teaspoon of plain dahi to make a thick paste. 
  2. Apply it on your underarms and leave it on for about 15 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
  3. Soak a couple of strands of saffron (kesar) in two teaspoons of milk for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also add a little honey. 
  4. Apply the mixture on your black underarms and leave it on for at least 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off.

7. Mashed Apple And Vinegar

Apple And Vinegar For Underarm Lightening
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Apple helps in not only exfoliating the skin but also in killing the accumulated germs in underarms. Similarly, vinegar will also not only lighten dark underarms but will also kill germs and bacteria that feed on dead skin cells causing underarm odour.

  1. Make a paste of freshly mashed apple with a few drops of vinegar in it, apply this on the affected area and let it dry for some time. 
  2. Wash the affected area with cold water and pat dry. 
  3. Mix rice flour with vinegar to form a thick paste.
  4. Wash the affected area with warm water and then apply this paste.
  5. Let this dry for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse it thoroughly with warm water.

8. Sandalwood (Chandan)

Get Rid Of Dark Underarms By Applying Sandalwood Paste
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Chandan is another useful ingredient in any dark underarms remedy due to its skin-lightening properties. Adding rosewater (gulabjal) to this will work as a toner as well give a cooling and soothing effect. The fragrance of sandalwood will also help reduce body odour caused due to excessive sweating.

  1. Make a thick paste with sandalwood powder (chandan) and rosewater (gulabjal) and mix well. 
  2. Apply the paste on your underarms.
  3. Leave it on for about 15 minutes or until it dries, and then wash it off with cold water.

9. Gram Flour (Besan)

Gram Flour For Underarm Lightening
Picture Credit: Pinterest

Besan is commonly used in home remedies for packs and masks. It is a favourite skincare ingredient in Indian households.

  1. Make a thick paste using gram flour (besan), plain dahi , lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi) and mix it well. 
  2. Apply this paste on your underarms.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water.

4 Tips To Prevent Dark Underarms

How To Prevent Dark Underarms

Always try the remedy for at least two weeks to expect any evident results.

1. Moisturising Your Underarms

Dryness can cause itchiness and dullness and this can result in dark underarms. Like any other part of your body, it is advisable to keep your underarms moisturised. 

2. Wear Right Fitted Clothes

Use Right Fitted Clothes
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As mentioned above, tight clothes cause friction and are a very common dark underarm cause. It’s best if you wear the right fitted clothes to avoid fiction.

3. Waxing Over Shaving

Shaving creams and use of razor often causes darkening of underarms, opting for waxing over shaving for hair removal can prevent skin discolouration. You can try waxing at home with this homemade wax recipe.

4. Daily Care

Daily Skin Care

Just like you have a skincare routine for your face and body, it’s advisable to timely exfoliate and moisturise your skin on a daily basis to avoid dark underarms.

Skin is the largest organ of your body and thus needs some extra care and pampering. Black underarms are nothing to be embarrassed about but if you do choose to get rid of it, try these safe and effective home remedies for dark underarms. If the problem persists, please visit an expert for help. Avoid applying chemical-based products or medicated products without consulting an expert.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Dark underarms are caused due to hormonal changes?

A. Yes, in some cases hormones are the cause of dark armpits. This is commonly noticed in teenagers and pregnant women. Also, this is a very common experience with women suffering from PCOD.

Q. How effective are home remedies on black underarms?

A. Home remedies are chemical-free and considered safe and healthy for most skincare routines. Because it is all-natural it might take a little longer to show results compared to the chemical-based products.  If used for at least two weeks, they have proven effective in aiding to remove dark underarms. 

Q. Will waxing help in lightening dark underarms?

A. Yes, waxing will be helpful in removing dark underarms. When the major cause behind darkening is the accumulation of dead skin cells, in such cases waxing is most effective to lighten dark underarms.

Q. Underarm skin darkening can be triggered in pregnancy due to hormonal imbalance?

A. Yes, due to the flush of hormones during pregnancy, darkening of underarms is very common. Many women have noticed that pregnancy triggered darkening of underarms lightens on its own gradually when the hormones are balanced post-delivery. But in some cases, it stays longer and needs some remedies to get rid of it.

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