How to Lighten Armpits, According to Experts

Are you feeling insecure about your dark underarms? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with hyperpigmentation in their armpits, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, shaving, and skincare habits.

Fortunately, there are several ways to lighten armpits and achieve a more even skin tone. In this article, we’ll explore how to lighten armpits, as well as some tips for lasting results.

Why Do Armpits Darken?

  • Shaving: Regularly shaving can cause irritation and inflammation in the armpits, leading to discoloration over time.
  • Deodorant use: Certain ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants, such as aluminum, can build up in the armpits and cause discoloration.
  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormones, such as during pregnancy or menopause, can cause changes in melanin production and lead to hyperpigmentation.
  • Genetics: Some people are simply more prone to hyperpigmentation than others due to their genetic makeup.
  • Friction: Wearing tight clothing or engaging in activities that cause frequent friction in the armpit area can also contribute to darkening.

Now that we have a better understanding of what causes dark underarms, let’s explore how to lighten underarms quickly.

how to lighten armpits naturally

Lemon juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can help to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells. To use lemon juice to lighten your armpits, simply apply a small amount to the area with a cotton ball and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.


Who knew potatoes could be skin superheroes? They’ve got enzymes that work wonders. To lighten your armpits with a spud, simply slice one up and give your underarms a friendly rubdown for a few minutes. Then, wash it off with cool water. It’s like a mini spa day, right in your kitchen.


Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin can also help to lighten the skin. To use turmeric to lighten your armpits, mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the area and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant with anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It can also help to lighten the skin. To use aloe vera to lighten your armpits, simply apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to the area and leave it on to absorb.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil isn’t just for pina coladas—it’s a fantastic natural moisturizer that can brighten your skin too! After your shower or bath, give your armpits a little massage with some coconut oil. 

These methods may take time to produce results. It is also important to do a patch test on a small area of skin before using any new product or remedy, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Medical treatment for dark armpits

Topical Creams and Ointments

According to Dr. Hadley King, a dermatologist in New York City: “Topical creams and ointments containing hydroquinone, kojic acid, or retinoids can also lighten underarms, but they may take several weeks or months to see results.” They work by gently inhibiting the production of melanin (the pigment responsible for skin color) and can help lighten the skin over time. Regular application of these products can gradually reduce the appearance of dark armpits.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels involve applying a solution with special acids that exfoliate the top layer of skin. By removing dead skin cells, they reveal the fresher, lighter skin beneath. This process can be quite effective at brightening darkened armpits and giving them a more even tone.


Think of microdermabrasion as a gentle sanding for your skin. During this procedure, a small abrasive tool exfoliates the surface of your skin, whisking away dead cells and impurities. Over time, this can help improve the appearance of darkened armpits by revealing the brighter, healthier skin underneath.

Laser Treatment

“The most effective way to lighten underarms is with laser treatment.” – said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist in New York City. It precisely targets and zaps the melanin responsible for the skin’s darkening. The laser energy breaks down the pigment, allowing your body to naturally remove it. It’s a highly effective way to lighten dark armpits, but it’s often performed by dermatologists or skincare professionals.

As you know, these treatments can be expensive and may require multiple sessions to see results. In some cases, the darkening of the armpits may be due to a medical condition, such as acanthosis nigricans or melasma. If your doctor suspects that you have a medical condition, they may recommend additional tests or treatments.

If you are concerned about the appearance of your armpits, be sure to talk to your doctor. They can help you to determine the underlying cause of the darkening and recommend the best course of treatment.

Potential side effects of lightening armpits

All lightening treatments, whether natural or medical, carry some potential risks. Some of the most common risks include:

  • Skin irritation: All lightening treatments can irritate the skin, especially if they are used too often or for too long. This can lead to redness, dryness, itching, and burning.
  • Altered skin pigmentation: If a lightening treatment is not used correctly, it can alter the skin’s pigmentation, leading to uneven skin tone or hypopigmentation (lighter patches of skin).
  • Increased sun sensitivity: Lightening treatments can make the skin more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. That’s why you should wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days, if you are using any lightening treatments.
  • Allergic reaction: It is possible to be allergic to any of the ingredients in lightening treatments, even natural ones. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing, stop using the treatment immediately and seek medical attention.

In addition to these general risks, there are some specific risks associated with certain lightening treatments. For example, chemical peels and laser treatment can cause scarring or hyperpigmentation (darker patches of skin).

In fact, not everyone will see the same results from lightening their armpits. Some people may achieve dramatic improvement, while others may only see a slight difference.

Tips for lasting results

  • maintain good hygiene by regularly cleansing the underarm area and keeping it dry.
  • Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells, using gentle scrubs or a soft brush.
  • Protect your underarms from sun exposure by wearing sunscreen or protective clothing.
  • Avoid shaving your armpits too often, as this can irritate the skin and lead to darkening.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to allow your armpits to breathe.


  1. Is it safe to lighten armpits at home? Yes, it is generally safe to use natural remedies or over-the-counter products to lighten armpits at home. However, be sure to patch test any new products before applying them to a large area of skin to avoid irritation or allergic reactions.
  2. How long does it take to see results from lightening armpits? The time it takes to see results from lightening armpits can vary depending on the method used. Some people may see a difference after just a few days of using natural remedies like lemon juice or baking soda, while others may need several weeks of consistent use to achieve noticeable improvement.
  3. Can lightening armpits cause skin damage? While most methods for lightening armpits are safe, some more intensive treatments like chemical peels or laser therapy can cause skin damage if not performed correctly. It’s important to consult with a dermatologist before undergoing any advanced treatment options.
  4. Are there any long-term effects of lightening armpits? While lightening armpits is generally considered safe, there are no long-term studies on the effects of these treatments. Some people may experience skin irritation or other side effects from prolonged use of certain products or treatments.
  5. Can men lighten their armpits? Yes, men can also lighten their armpits using the same methods as women. Hyperpigmentation in the armpits can affect anyone, regardless of gender, and there is no shame in seeking ways to improve the appearance of your underarms.

Final Takeaway

If you’re struggling with dark underarms, know that you’re not alone and there are several ways to achieve a more even skin tone. From natural remedies to more advanced treatments like chemical peels or laser therapy, there are options for every budget and comfort level.

Remember to always consult with a dermatologist before undergoing any advanced treatment options, and patch test new products before applying them to a large area of skin. With consistent effort and patience, you can achieve the brighter, smoother underarms you’ve always wanted.