How to Lighten Underarms Effectively

Dark underarms are downright frustrating! You can choose to ignore it. Keep it a secret! After all, underarms are hidden most of the time. Then the bikini season arrives. So, you start to wonder how can I lighten underarms?

Causes of Dark Underarms

It is important to determine what’s causing your armpits dark as a pit. Otherwise, you won’t know how to lighten underarms effectively.

A Faulty Gene

Dark underarms is often a family problem. You’re more likely to have dark smudges on your skin if your folks or extended family have a medical condition called acanthosis nigricans.

Acanthosis nigricans is a condition that causes skin to thicken and darken in folds throughout the body. Common areas of darkening include the elbows, knees, groin, and the back of the neck. Sometimes, your skin will itch or smell badly in those areas.

This condition is a challenge to correct if you rely solely on natural remedies. You have to consult a dermatologist to learn how to lighten underarms due to AN.


Dark underarms can also be tied to obesity. Being obese causes your body to grow resistant to insulin. This leads to excessive production of melanocytes or pigment cells. Obesity also increases your risk for acanthosis nigricans.

Dark Complexion

Anyone can develop acanthosis nigricans but people with color face a greater risk. Your cells are predisposed at producing more melanocytes when you have darker skin.


That dark smudge on your armpits could be the result of shaving. Shaving causes repetitive inflammation, trauma, and friction. Thus, your skin becomes progressively thicker. Additionally, it causes pigment cells to multiply faster than normal. When melanocytes multiply more, they turn your skin a darker hue.


Chemical irritants found in deodorants and antiperspirants can also cause dark armpits. Smoking can also lead to hyperpigmentation.

How to Lighten Underarms: 5 Simple Ways

Dark underarms is not a serious problem but it can be very unflattering. On the bright side, there are a few kitchen staples that help you correct those gloomy armpits! If you badly want to know how to lighten underarms, go ahead and read on!

1. Use home remedies


Potatoes make your mouth water but they can also make your skin glow! This yummy tuber contains catecholase, an enzyme that exhibits bleaching properties.

Method A

  • Grab a potato and make thin slices.
  • Massage the potato against your armpits for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse your armpits with cool water.
  • Repeat thrice a week.

Method B

  • Grate a potato.
  • Squeeze the juice from the grated potato and pour it into an empty bottle spray.
  • Spritz some to your armpits.
  • Leave it overnight.
  • Rinse your armpits with cool water the next morning.


Lemon is rich in vitamin C. It aids in exfoliation and treats hyperpigmentation. Lemon is also known for its antibacterial properties, making it perfect for keeping body odor at bay.

  • Cut thick slices of lemon and rub one slice on each armpit.
  • Rinse your armpits with cold water after 10 minutes.
  • Pat them dry.
  • Apply moisturizer to prevent dryness.

Lemon and baking soda

Pair lemon with baking soda and you’ll get a supreme underarm scrub.

  • Mix a small amount of baking soda and fresh lemon juice in a bowl.
  • Rub it against your armpits for three minutes
  • Repeat twice a week.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil exhibit inflammatory effects. It helps soothe and relieve irritated skin due to shaving or waxing. It also helps reduce redness.

  • Dilute tea tree oil with your desired carrier oil. For every 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 10 drops of carrier oil.
  • Spritz some on your armpits and let it stay overnight.
  • Repeat nightly.

Coconut oil

how to lighten underarms

Moisturizing is vital when getting rid of dark underarms. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer. It contains vitamin E to nourish and lighten skin over time.

  • Massage a few drops of coconut oil onto your armpits.
  • After 15 minutes, wash your armpits with lukewarm water and a mild soap.
  • Repeat these steps two to three times a day.

Sugar and coconut oil

Mix coconut oil with sugar and you’ll get a luxurious exfoliating scrub. Sugar eliminates dead skin and debris. Any kind of buildup can cause your armpits to appear dark.

  • Mix a tea spoon of sugar with a small amount of coconut oil.
  • Scrub it for 45 seconds. You may also use a toothbrush.
  • Wash away.

2. Change your deodorant

Change your brand of antiperspirant or deodorant. Better yet, switch to products that use natural ingredients such as baking soda or alum powder.

3. Stop shaving

If waxing or laser hair removal is not a viable option, be sure to use a shaving cream when shaving. Always use a sharp razor. Also, don’t forget to moisturize your underarms.  

4. Exfoliate 

Exfoliate at least twice a week to eliminate dead skin cells and debris. You can also opt for chemical peels with alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids to exfoliate your skin.

5. Use an underarm whitening cream

Although natural remedies can brighten your underarms, they may not be as successful and as convenient as using a cream that was specifically designed to lighten dark underarms. A good underarm whitening cream is also your best prevention against darkening.


Your underarms should be the same shade as the rest of your complexion. But sadly, the skin in the armpits can have a darker hue. Dark underarms are not always associated with a serious medical condition. But for most people, it can be a source of embarrassment.

Fortunately, you can lighten your armpits using humble kitchen staples! Now that you know how to lighten your underarms, you won’t have to save up for costly laser therapy or micro-dermabrasion. You can also opt for an underarm whitening cream, which is also safe, convenient, and cost-efficient!

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