Dark underarms can be embarrassing to many especially when they were ready to go out wearing a cute new tank top or wear their newest bathing suit to the beach. Whatever the reason may be, darkened skin caused by excessive shaving can make your underarms look unsightly especially when compared to your natural skin color.

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Regardless of how nice your face looks due to products like Skinfood, your underarm color could be a major turnoff. As a rule of thumb, our underarms should be the same color as the rest of our skin. If you noticed your skin darken over time since you skipped your last waxing session, then constant shaving may be the real culprit here.

Unlike waxing and laser hair removal, shaving does not remove hair from the roots which means that a small patch of hair that gets left behind can make our underarms look darker than they normally do. Another reason why shaving can cause dark underarms is the occurrence of skin irritation called “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation”. This is when inflammatory reaction in which pigment-making cells (melanocytes) are stimulated from the reaction, creating more pigment that can make the skin look darker.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to shaving that can help ease discoloration like switching your razor to going to the salon for waxing or laser treatments. However, if you’re still on the fence about switching to another hair-removal method, here are some natural ways to get rid of dark underarms:

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains Vitamin C which is a natural bleaching agent. To use, slice one lemon in half and rub the exposed flesh under each underarm for two to three minutes. Do this before taking a bath and follow it up with a moisturizer once you’re done with your shower. Do this every day and see the results in 7-10 days. You can also squeeze juice from freshly sliced lemons in a small dish and soak it with a cotton ball. Apply liberally on underarms and wait for it to dry before taking a shower.

2. Potato Juice

Potato juice is another bleaching agent that does not contain artificial irritants. To use, slice a piece of potato wedge and apply the juice on underarms for 10-15 minutes. Use this solution twice a day (one before taking a morning shower and another before evening bath) to brighten underarms. You can also use a juicer to extract juice from the vegetable and apply on the skin using a soaked cotton ball.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV contains numerous health benefits that can be ingested or applied topically on the skin. For dark underarms, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a small dish. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and mix well to form a paste. Apply concoction on underarms and wait until it is completely dry. Rinse with cold water after. Remember to apply paste 2-3 times a week for quicker results.

4. Olive oil

Sometimes dead skin cells can accumulate on our underarms which means we need to exfoliate the skin on that area weekly. For a natural exfoliant, mix a tablespoon of olive oil with organic brown sugar. Apply the scrub under your arms and rub in gentle, circular motions to help slough off dead skin cells. Rinse off after five minutes with lukewarm water for radiant skin.

5. Aloe Vera

Shaving can cause irritation which may lead to rashes and other skin conditions. Many experts suggest that aloe vera is a great after-shave treat since it’s a natural exfoliator and moisturizer. To use, apply aloe vera gel on underarms after shaving. Rinse off after 15 minutes for softer underarms.

Other helpful tip to help ease dark underarms is to switch your current deodorant to something that is free from alcohol, fragrances, and antiperspirants like aluminum chloride which can lead to discoloration. You can also apply lightening creams after natural underarm treatment to help speed up the lightening products. Try to look for creams that contain kojic acid, licorice root extract, and Vitamin C since these ingredients can block the production of melanin.

If you are unsure of whether your dark underarms are caused by shaving, you can always schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. In some cases, darkened underarms can be a sign of acanis nigricans which is a sign of early diabetes or insulin resistance. Since insulin resistance can affect the body’s natural metabolism, the end result would be thickening of the skin and a darkening effect which is usually found in the neck, armpits, and groin. Make sure to ask your doctors on proper management techniques if you are diabetic as it can affect your health later on in life.

* This is a collaborative post


  1. I’ve heard so much about lemon juice but it’s really acidic so I prefer to stay away from it lol. The other 3 sound great! I never knew that there could be a medical reason for dark underarms. That sounds *really* scary but thanks for the info!

    Taiwo xx

  2. I’ve heard that lemon juice helped with this, but had no idea there were so many other great options! ACV & olive oil are ones that I’m totally going to try. Potato wedges huh?! Crazy, but so cool how that works. Super helpful post!


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