Young female, dark skin, considering armpit whitening options, having her underarm lifted looking far away

Underarm Whitening: Essential Tips Before You Start

Key takeaways

  • Causes of Armpit Darkening: Darkening can be caused by genetics, hormonal changes, friction, certain health conditions, and higher melanin levels in individuals of African, Filipino, and Indian descent.
  • User Experiences: Products like The Ordinary's glycolic acid toner and Kosas AHA deodorant are popular, with users noting benefits for both whitening and odor control.
  • Seek Medical Advice: It's important to consult medical advice before starting treatments, especially for those with underlying health issues or during pregnancy. Avoid treatments if allergic to active ingredients.
  • Realistic Expectations: Setting realistic expectations is crucial; not all treatments will fully even out skin tone, and understanding natural skin variations is important.
  • When to Avoid Whitening Treatments: Avoid if you have skin conditions, infections, during pregnancy, or known allergies to product ingredients. Focus on treating any underlying health issues rather than cosmetic whitening.

Table of Contents

What is armpit whitening?

Armpit whitening, also commonly referred to as underarm whitening, is a range of methods used to lighten the skin under the arms. This area can become darker than the surrounding skin due to various factors, which can sometimes cause embarrassment or discomfort, especially when wearing sleeveless outfits or swimwear. The goal of armpit whitening is to achieve a more uniform skin tone, thus boosting confidence and comfort.

Take a closer look at Jobans Beauty's dark armpits solutions:

Why do armpits get dark?

Several factors contribute to the darkening of the underarm area:

  1. Genetics: Just as some people are more prone to freckles or moles, others might naturally have darker skin under their arms due to hereditary traits.
  2. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those during pregnancy or puberty, can increase melanin production in the skin, leading to darker patches, including in the underarms.
  3. Friction: Regular friction from clothing or skin rubbing against skin can thicken and darken the skin over time.
  4. Health Conditions: Certain medical conditions like acanthosis nigricans can cause skin darkening, particularly in skin folds and creases.

Ethnicity and Skin Darkening

Individuals from certain ethnic backgrounds, including those of African, Filipino, and Indian descent, are often more likely to experience noticeable underarm darkening. This is due to the higher melanin content in the skin, which can make any pigmentation changes more pronounced.

Deordorant Concealer

How is underarm whitening treated?

Popular underarm whitening products

A variety of products are available on the market aimed at lightening the underarm skin:

  • Underarm whitening cream: These creams often include ingredients such as glycolic acid or aloe vera, which are known for their skin-lightening and soothing properties.
  • Underarm whitening cleansing gel: A more gentle option, these gels cleanse the skin while lightening it with each use.
  • Glycolic acid-based products: Glycolic acid helps exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells that can contribute to darker appearance.
  • Underarm whitening deodorant (brightener): These products combine odor control with ingredients that lighten the skin.
  • Aloe vera-based lightening products: Aloe vera is recognized for its natural soothing and lightening properties, making it suitable for sensitive skin.

Home remedies for underarm skin whitening

For those preferring natural solutions, several effective home remedies can lighten underarm skin:

  • Turmeric soap: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can also lighten skin.
  • Baking soda: When used as a scrub, baking soda can help lighten the underarms by removing dead skin cells.
  • Tea tree essential oil: Apart from its antibacterial benefits, when diluted and applied regularly, it can gradually lighten dark patches.
  • Kojic acid: This is effective at reducing melanin production in the skin, which can help lighten the underarm area.

Armpit whitening treatments in beauty salons

For faster and more pronounced results, professional treatments can be considered:

  • Underarm whitening laser treatment: This method uses laser technology to target and break down dark pigments in the skin.
  • Microneedling: This process involves fine needles that create tiny punctures in the skin, stimulating natural collagen production and leading to lighter skin.
  • Hydrafacial: Focused on deep exfoliation and hydration, this treatment can improve the skin tone of underarms.
  • Meso injections: These involve injecting lightening agents directly beneath the skin of the underarms, providing targeted pigmentation treatment.

Amid these options, the emerging popularity of deodorant concealers is noteworthy. These products are particularly attractive because they combine the practicality of daily odor control with the aesthetic benefit of concealing uneven skin tones. Their ease of use, convenience, and low-risk profile make them an increasingly popular choice among consumers.

Experiences with Underarm Whitening Products

The journey to lighter underarms is often filled with trials of various products and remedies, as reflected in numerous personal accounts shared across online communities. These narratives provide a wealth of information on what might work best for those dealing with underarm darkening.

Community Feedback on Glycolic Acid Toner

The Ordinary's glycolic acid toner is frequently mentioned for its dual benefits of brightening underarm skin and helping with body odor (BO). At a cost-effective price of $8.70 CAD, it's a popular choice. Many users, like one who found it too harsh for facial use, have repurposed it for underarm care, noticing a significant improvement in lightness and texture over a few weeks. However, discussions around daily usage vary, with some finding it too strong for everyday application, suggesting a more moderate use schedule to avoid irritation.

Cultural and Genetic Perspectives on Underarm Color

It's important to recognize that darker underarms can be a normal part of one's genetic and ethnic background. This is particularly prevalent among non-white populations, where naturally higher melanin levels can make such pigmentation more noticeable. Community members often share that understanding and accepting these natural differences can be as crucial as finding a cosmetic solution.

Alternative Products and Techniques

  • Kosas AHA Deodorant: Some users, especially those allergic to aluminium, find products like the Kosas AHA deodorant effective for controlling BO and potentially lightening the skin. Although not everyone notices the lightening effects, the formula's ability to neutralize odor is well-regarded.
  • Baking Soda and Coconut Oil: For those with sensitive skin, homemade remedies such as a paste made from baking soda and coconut oil can be less abrasive and offer a gentle brightening solution when used weekly.
  • Sugaring: This method is highlighted as an excellent alternative to traditional waxing, especially for those with sensitive skin. Homemade sugaring paste, which can be made with sugar, water, and lemon juice, offers a DIY solution to hair removal that some find less irritating and more conducive to reducing pigmentation.

Medical Considerations and Recommendations

  • Dark Skin as a Health Indicator: Some community members caution that dark underarms can be indicative of underlying health issues such as insulin resistance or diabetes. They recommend consulting a healthcare provider if home remedies do not yield results or if the darkening is pronounced and accompanied by a velvety texture.
  • AHA and Hydroquinone: Besides glycolic acid, products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or hydroquinone are mentioned for their potent skin-lightening effects. Hydroquinone, for example, has been used by some with a protocol of application a few times a week, showing noticeable results within a month.

Realistic Expectations and Psychological Impact

Community discussions often underline the importance of setting realistic expectations. Many people find that while products can reduce the darkness of their underarms, achieving a perfect match with their general skin tone may not be possible. Acknowledging this can significantly reduce the psychological burden and insecurity associated with underarm discoloration.

Summing Up the Community Sentiment

The experiences shared by individuals exploring underarm whitening treatments are as diverse as the solutions they discuss. From over-the-counter products like The Ordinary's glycolic acid toner to homemade remedies and professional treatments, the options are plentiful. Yet, the shared wisdom suggests a balanced approach—recognizing when to seek medical advice, experimenting carefully with home remedies, and understanding the natural variations in skin tone can help manage expectations and lead to satisfactory results.


When You Should Not Proceed with Underarm Whitening

Embarking on an underarm whitening journey can be a promising path to achieving even skin tone, but it's crucial to recognize situations where such treatments might not be advisable or necessary. Here are several scenarios where proceeding with caution or abstaining altogether is recommended:

Pre-existing Skin Conditions

If you have skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or extremely sensitive skin, using whitening products might exacerbate your symptoms. These conditions often leave the skin more vulnerable to irritation, and the chemicals or physical treatments used for whitening could lead to adverse reactions.

Presence of Skin Infections

Any sign of skin infection, such as open wounds, sores, or unexplained rash, should be a clear deterrent from using underarm whitening products or treatments. Introducing whitening agents to compromised skin can lead to severe irritation, delay healing, and potentially cause infections to worsen.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, women should be cautious about the types of skincare products they use, as certain ingredients can be absorbed into the bloodstream and potentially affect the baby. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new skin treatment during these sensitive periods.

Allergies to Active Ingredients

If you have a known allergy to any of the active ingredients commonly found in whitening products, such as hydroquinone, glycolic acid, or kojic acid, it is crucial to avoid these substances. Allergic reactions can range from mild irritation to severe skin damage.

Underlying Health Conditions

Darker underarm skin can sometimes indicate an underlying health issue, such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or insulin resistance, as indicated by a condition known as acanthosis nigricans. If you suspect your underarm darkening is linked to a health condition, focus on medical consultation and treatment for the underlying cause rather than cosmetic whitening.



These reviews underline a key theme: while many products and treatments can help alleviate underarm darkness, consistency and patience are crucial. The convenience of deodorant concealers, which offer a no-fuss application combined with significant aesthetic improvements, makes them an appealing solution for many. These products not only simplify the beauty regimen but also enhance self-confidence by addressing common cosmetic concerns with a practical, everyday product.

Joban Brightening Deodorant:
Deordorant Brightner
Joban's Deodorant Concealer 
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