Summer has arrived and it is the perfect time to flaunt your beauty with sleeveless tops, bikinis and strapless gowns. But are those dark underarms giving you a hitch wearing your favorite outfit? It is about time you treat the problem for good!
Generally, discoloration under arms does not necessarily indicate a serious medical condition. Yet some factors like insulin, obesity, hormonal disorders and medicinal conditions can lead to the problem. Get diagnosed with your doctor to find out the exact reason.
However, if it is just due to shaving, excessive sweating, accumulation of dead cells, use of certain antiperspirants, hair removal creams and improper ventilation – home remedies are a great solution to remove dark underarms.
How to Get Rid of Dark Underarms:
Listed are few simple, safe and easy remedies you can try at the comfort of your home. With some patience and effort, you can surely reduce the discoloration and wear those lovely outfits.
1. Baking Soda
Accumulation of dead skin cells is the main reason for dark discoloration under the arms. The exfoliating nature of baking soda removes the dead skin cells and unclogs the pores. Instead of using antiperspirants and deodorants, you can use baking soda to prevent body odor which is also one of the reason for discoloration in underarms. So, here is how to whiten underarms and prevent the odor at the same time!
- Mix baking soda and water to create a paste and apply to your underarms.;.
- Gently scrub for a minute, then wash off with clean water and pat dry.
- You can dust baking powder on the skin for a lighter appearance.
- Alternatively, you can use rosewater instead of water.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times a week.
- Note: you can simply wipe your underarms with baking soda and water solution.
Tip: To neutralize body odor, mix equal parts of baking soda and cornstarch and dust it on underarms.
Click here to find 9 Ways to use Baking Soda for Dark Underarms
Lemon is good at removing discoloration due to its natural bleach property. It also contains antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties that cleanse the underarms. The acidic properties of lemon exfoliate the dead skin cells and lighten the skin.
- Cut a lemon into thick slices.
- Rub it on underarms for few minutes.
- Let the lemon juice stay on skin for 10 minutes.
- Rinse it off with water thoroughly.
- Repeat Daily.
- Note: Apply moisturizer after bath to avoid dryness.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon each of honey, yogurt and turmeric powder.
- Apply this to the underarms and massage for few seconds.
- Leave for about 10 minutes.
- Wash and dry the area.
- Repeat 3 times a week.
Tip: For better exfoliation, sprinkle a little sugar on the lemon wedge and massage it on the underarms.
Lemon can be used in 13 ways to lighten dark underarms
The mild acidic property in potatoes acts as a natural bleaching agent. Here is how to whiten armpits using potatoes:
- Cut 1 medium-sized potato into slices.
- Rub a slice onto your underarms and let it dry for 10 minutes.
- Rinse with lukewarm water.
- Repeat 2 times a day will give fast results.
- Note: You can also grate the potato and apply the juice instead of rubbing slice.
Tip: Generally, potatoes rarely cause any skin irritations. So it is very safe to use for all skin types.
You can find more method to treat the dark and dull underarms using potato here.
The natural bleaching properties of cucumbers lighten the dark discoloration under the arms. Cucumbers help many health and beauty problems, including discolored underarms.
- Cut a cucumber into slices and rub onto the dark underarm.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Repeat this process 1 or 2 times in a day until you achieve the results.
- Alternately, just apply the juice of the cucumber.
In this process lemon acts as a bleaching agent and turmeric prevents discoloration.
- Squeeze crushed cucumber to extract the juice and then add the lemon juice and turmeric.
- Stir well and apply on the affected area.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly with water.
- Follow this daily or every other day.
5. Orange Peel
Oranges contain bleaching / exfoliating properties that help in underarm lightening, and also can be used as a natural deodorant. It acts as a natural scrub for your armpits and prevents the darkness by removing the dead skin cells.
- Peel the orange and leave the skin to dry under the sun.
- Grind into a power.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of powdered orange peel with enough rose water and milk.
- Stir into a thick paste and apply to the underarms.
- Gently scrub the underarms and leave for 15minutes.
- Wash off with cold water.
- Repeat 3 times a week.
Milk contains many vitamins and fatty acids that work wonders for armpit whitening, softening and brightening altogether. You can just apply a tablespoon of milk on the dark underarm, massage for minutes and leave it on for 5 – 10 minutes. Rinse it off with water and repeat the process daily until you get rid of darkness. Or else you can follow the methods mentioned below.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of full fat cream milk, 1 tablespoon each of plain yogurt and gram flour.
- Apply the milk paste on your underarms.
- Leave for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with cold water.
- Repeat 4 times a week.
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of milk and honey.
- Now add a pinch of turmeric or few drops of lime juice.
- Apply on dark armpits and let it dry.
- Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
- Repeat daily.
7. Gram Flour or Chickpea Flour
Gram flour also called besan is an excellent scrub and DIY underarm whitening remedy that clears dead skin cells and whitens the underarms when applied regularly.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of gram flour and 1 teaspoon each of yogurt and lemon juice, and a pinch of turmeric.
- Apply this paste to your underarms and gently massage it for 5 minutes.
- Wait for about 30 and then wash it with warm water.
- Follow this process daily for first 2 weeks and then twice a week to get more effective and quick results.
Sandalwood is another great option to treat underarms. It contains skin lightening properties, while its fragrance will eliminate body odor. It also eases any burning sensation on the skin.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder and 1 tablespoon of rose water.
- Stir well to make a thick paste and apply to dark armpits.
- Leave for 15 minutes or until dry.
- Rinse with cool water
- Repeat daily.
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of sandalwood powder, milk and lime juice and gram flour. Add a pinch of turmeric and stir well.
- Apply this to the armpits thoroughly.
- Wait for 20 – 25 minutes and then rinse it with cold water.
- Repeat this process regularly.
Tip: The fragrance of sandalwood helps to get rid of bad odor caused due to excessive sweating.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains vitamin E that helps to lighten the underarms. With this process, you will observe a slow improvement in whitening.
- Massage coconut oil on underarms for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with mild soap and lukewarm water.
- Repeat 2 to 3 times daily.
Tip: Coconut oil also acts as an effective and natural deodorant.
For more methods using coconut oil click here
Vinegar not only lightens the skin color but also kills germs and bacteria that feed on dead skin cells causing bad odor.
- Take rice flour and mix with enough vinegar to make a thick paste.
- Then take a hot shower and pat the skin dry.
- Now apply the paste on your underarms and leave for 10 – 15 minutes to dry completely.
- Wash with warm water.
- Repeat the 3 times a week.
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil has anti-oxidant and other components that make the skin look beautiful, while also brightening skin and preventing body odor.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 cup of brown sugar.
- Wet your skin under the arms and apply the mixture.
- Leave on for 5 minutes and rinse with water.
- Repeat 2 times a week.
Tip: This process can be followed by a bath.
12. Vitamin E oil
- Squeeze oil from Vitamin E capsule.
- Rub a little bit of oil on your underarms and let it sit for few minutes.
- Rinse with water
Tip: This oil not only whitens the underarms but also makes your skin soft and smooth when applied regularly.
The combination of yogurt and honey helps in removing impurities that cause dark discoloration on the skin. Apart from that, it also neutralizes the body odor.
- Take a tablespoon or two of yogurt and apply to the armpits.
- Gently rub the yogurt all over the dark armpits and wait for few minutes
- Then wash it with water and repeat daily.
- Note: you can add a tablespoon of honey for added benefits.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help to whiten the armpits with its mild acidic properties and also clears the skin by preventing the dead skin cells.
Note: Test before applying, as it may irritate your skin.
- Take a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar and mix with a little water.
- Apply this on the underarms and leave.
- Repeat for a matter of weeks.
- Stir 1 teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and baking soda together and wait for the bubbling to subside.
- Apply this mixture to your armpits and allow time for it to dry completely.
- Wash off with water and continue doing this regularly.
15. Egg Oil
Egg oil contains Omega-3 which helps to promote the re-epithelisation (new skin cells) that makes the skin smooth and light.
- Take sufficient amount of egg oil and apply this on the dark area of the underarm.
- Massage it gently for few minutes and leave it on overnight.
- In the morning, wash off with pH balanced soap or body wash and water.
- Continue doing this regularly to prevent the discolored underarms.
16. Exfoliate with Natural Scrubs
In some cases, the dark discoloration under the arms is mainly due to the accumulation of dead skin cells and impurities. So these cases, exfoliating will do the trick. Gently exfoliating with natural scrubs will remove the dead skin that can cause discoloration in underarms.
Note: Harsh or over exfoliation can cause harm and scarring which ultimately lead to infection in pores, sweat glands, hair follicles and sweat glands in the armpits. So make sure to be gentle and careful while exfoliating.
- Take few walnuts or peanuts and grind them to make a fine powder.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 1 teaspoon each of honey and walnut or peanut powder.
- Apply to underarms and leave on for 10 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
- Use the scrub 2 to 3 times a week.
Process 2: This process is very useful if you have got dark discoloration under the arms due to shaving.
- In a bowl, add some lemon juice and brown sugar (you can also use granulated sugar).
- Apply the mixture on the underarms and leave for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Damp your finger and gently scrub for few minutes.
- Rinse it off with water and pat dry.
17. Oil Mixture
There are many skin friendly oils that are available in nature, and when combined, can have amazing results. The vitamins and fatty acids present in the oils will moisturize the skin and make it smooth and healthy. The bleaching properties of citrus oil will bleach the skin without harming it.
- Mix 3 drops each of olive oil, jojoba oil, wheat germ oil and citrus oil in a little of water and stir well.
- Apply these oils to your underarms and leave it for few minutes.
- Then rinse it off with water.
- Creating a large batch of the oil mixture will make it easier to apply every day.
18. Herbal Treatment
There are many herbs that whiten up your underarm skin.
- Mix equal quantities of licorice root, aspen and raspberry extract.
- Apply this to the underarms.
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then rinse completely with water and pat dry.
- For more effective results, repeat this process regularly.
- This produces the pheomelanin compound in the skin that helps to lighten up the skin without any side effects.
- Use this process daily for 2 weeks and then continue doing this process for once or twice a week.
Apples contain a high level of AHA’s which kills the germs and bacteria that cause these dark armpits. It also exfoliates the skin to eliminate the dead skin cells.
- Take 1 to 2 apples and mash it properly.
- Apply this on the affected area and gently massage the skin for few minutes.
- Leave it for few minutes and then peel off.
- Clear that area with a wet cloth and repeat the process once or twice a week.
Honey is an amazing natural home remedy for many health and beauty ailments. It has an anti-bacterial property that helps to kill the germs or bacteria causing dead skin cells, and also a soothing effect that helps to give relief from irritation.
- Take a tiny amount of honey and apply it on the armpits.
- Spread this evenly all over the underarms and let it dry completely.
- Rinse off with warm water and repeat this to get the best results.
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice and honey and stir well.
- Apply this concoction to the armpits and leave for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Wash completely and then pat dry.
Alternatively: The mixture of sugar and honey will exfoliate the underarms which reduce the discoloration gradually with regular use. Combine 2 teaspoons each of sugar and honey. Scrub the mixture gently under the arms and rinse off with water. Repeat this process 2 times in a week until you lighten them.
Papaya fruit contains the enzymes that help to lighten and exfoliate skin.
- Take a piece of papaya and rub it directly onto the armpits.
- Alternately, just apply the juice.
- Let it sit for about 15 – 30 minutes and then rinse with water thoroughly.
- Continue this process repeatedly 3 – 4 times a week to clear the darkness in the armpits.
22. Aloe vera
Aloe vera will not only lighten the underarms but also soothes the redness and rashes caused due to shaving.
- Apply some aloe vera gel on the armpits.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes.
- Rinse off with water.
- Repeat the process regularly.
23. Tomato juice
- Extract the juice a tomato and apply it under the arms.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse off with water.
- Repeat the process daily until you achieve the results.
24. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil contains moisturizing and whitening properties that can make the skin look radiant.
- Take sunflower oil and apply this on the dark armpits and leave on.
- This process works best it applied twice a day.
- Moisturize: Use natural moisturizers like aloe vera, lecithin or coconut oil to moisturize the underarms at least 2 times a day.
- Stop Shaving & Start Waxing: Shaving thickens the hair and causes discoloration under the arms. But waxing removes hair from the roots and accumulated dead cells leaving lighter and softer skin. If you have a sensitive skin, ask your beautician to use some herbal wax or special wax formulation made for sensitive skin.
- Skip Deodorants: The chemicals present in deodorants darken underarms. Natural deodorants and antiperspirants that include baking soda, coconut oil or rose water can be a better alternative.
- Avoid Hair Removal Creams: They contain harsh chemicals which lead to rashes, itching, irritation and other skin disorders. It is best to adopt waxing instead of them.
- Don’t Skip Shower: If the weather is hot, you should bathe more often. Neglecting bath can lead to accumulation of bacteria causing sweat and pigmentation. Mix few drops of any citrus oil to your bathing water for a heavenly smell and to prevent dark discoloration under the skin.
- Let the Skin Breathe: Avoid wearing tight clothes especially synthetic ones. Tight clothes cause friction that causes rashes. Synthetic clothes that don’t let the skin breathe trap the sweat inside which gives rise to bacteria. It is recommended to wear cotton or skin-friendly clothing. Make sure your clothing is loose enough to provide enough room for air flow.
- Don’t let your weight go out of control: Fat can get accumulated under the arms, rub against the clothes and lead to dark discoloration under the arms.
- Don’t compromise with basic hygiene: Regular exfoliation removes the accumulated dead skin cells that cause bumps and dark spots. Make sure be gentle while exfoliating as the skin is very delicate under the arms. Harsh exfoliation can lead to scars and rashes.
Use pumice stone (light-weight, abrasive volcanic rock) for exfoliation. Wet it and gently scrub the underarm area.
- Keep an Eye on Diabetes: Make sure diabetes doesn’t go out of the control. If you are suffering from Type 2 diabetes, high levels of insulin can lead to pigmentation.
- Avoid Electrolysis: Using electrolysis for hair removal can lead to discoloration.
- Stop Taking Pills: Oral contraceptives can also lead to discoloration. To check if this is the reason, stop using it for a certain time period and see if the condition improves.
- Cinnamon capsules or fenugreek can also cure darkened underarms.
- Change Diet: Modify your diet to restrict starches and sugars to control diabetes.
- If you are not suffering from hypergydrosis, darker skin is normal in skin areas that include eyelids and thighs where the skin is very thin. It is not a physical flaw.
- Bleaching and excessive exfoliation can
1. Cause scarring
2. Hair follicles, pores and sweat glands in your armpits can get infected.
3. Close proximity to your lymph nodes can quickly spread infection throughout your system, and possibly cause septic shock.
- Consider all the pros and cons before you decide to tamper with the delicate skin under the arms. Consult medical professionals first.
If you didn’t achieve results with home remedies, consult the doctor for a treatment.
If you are suffering from aacanthosis nigricans (a skin disorder which results in velvety, light brown to black markings in areas that include armpits, then you have to consult a doctor for treatment. This condition occurs as a result of obesity or an endocrine disorder. It is found in people with diabetes and most common among people of African descent.
Other possible causes include Addison’s disease, pituitary gland disorders, growth hormone therapy, hypothyroidism or use of oral contraceptives. This condition can only be treated by doctors.
Always keep in mind that results vary from person to person! Do you know any other remedies that effectively treat the dark armpits? Then don’t forget to share your experience with us.
Hi everyone, this is Rajee!
I live the beautiful city of Baltimore, where my husband works.
I’m from India. I have been visiting India on and off for past few years and my mom was an inspiration for me to start this site. She has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems, and we grew up in an environment where frequent visits to the doctor just wasn’t logistically or financially feasible.
Despite this, she managed to raise a family of healthy kids, and my goal here at Home Remedies for Life is to pass on some of her knowledge of natural remedies.