How to Get Rid of Darker Underarms without Exfoliating

Did you know that It’s completely normal for your underarms, bikini area, and knees to be a different color? Having pigmentation in these areas is usually caused by hormonal changes, and it’s nothing to feel bad about it, and you do not need to change the color of your underarms. But, if you’d like to, let’s cover why it happens.

What causes dark underarms? 

Pigmentation in the underarm area is usually caused by hormones. It can also be caused by irritation from chafing. The inflammation that occurs from chafing can lead to pigmentation.

When people see the pigmentation, a lot of people reach for acids. They think that exfoliating the area will be helpful. But, for some people, exfoliation can make it worse. In some instances, exfoliation in areas that rub together can cause more chafing . Likewise, more pigmentation is created by the skin as an inflammatory response. So, if you have pigmentary issues in the underarm area, what are you supposed to do? Well, we have some options and medically backed ingredients that can work.

What treats dark underarms?


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, but it’s also amazing at brightening and stopping pigmentation from happening. 

Vitamin C inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme that allows pigment to be created. So, if you use vitamin C in areas where there is a deeper pigmentation, vitamin C can help put a stop to that. You don't even necessarily have to buy a new one. 

If you already have a vitamin C that doesn't work for your face or is a little too close to the expiration date, just put it in your underarm or in those areas that get pigmentation. This might not fix everything, but it’s a way to repurpose what you already have. One of the best things Cassandra has used for pigmentation is a blended serum that has all of the actives for hyperpigmentation in one.    

Agency Dark Spot Formula 

This formula doesn’t have a ton of exfoliants, but it’s perfect for any hormonal pigmentation that Cassandra has. This is a dark spot formula that is custom blended to Cassandra’s skin. Her formula also has hydroquinone at 4% which is prescription only. This also has resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes that is fantastic for your heart health and skin. 

It’s a nice moisturizer, but Cassandra discovered that putting it under her armpits made her feel a little moist and sticky. So, don’t apply it during the day. It works better at night. 

Cassandra also puts this on other areas of her body that have discoloration. If you have hyperpigmentation under your arms, this worked perfectly for Cassandra. Remember, this moisturizer was prescribed by a physician. So, yours is probably going to be different. 

Ulike Laser Hair Removal 

Of course, we can’t forget about IPL! IPL is meant to get rid of hair. It’s an at-home hair removal device, but IPL can be used to treat areas of pigmentation. And if you have hormonal pigmentation or color differences in the skin, this can help. 

IPL has been used clinically for things like rosacea. It’s also used for varicose veins on the legs. Because it's non-invasive and can be done DIY, it’s a great treatment for an at-home device. 

This is one of Cassandra’s favorite IPL devices because she can use it all over her body without it getting too warm. If you’re someone who struggles with underarm hair and dark spots under your arms, this could be perfect.  While you’re removing the hair permanently, you’re also helping with some of the pigmentation and even some of the effects of chafing that might lead to underarm pigmentation. 

All-in-all, if the pigmentation is not dangerous to your health, there's truly nothing to worry about. You can change it whenever you want, or you can embrace it because it’s just our bodies doing what it does best.


The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA - $8.50

A lot of people look for acid, but this isn’t always recommended. If you are going to use an exfoliating acid, use something like mandelic acid.

Mandelic acid is gentle, and it absorbs into the skin evenly. So, it is a better choice. However, it's for areas other than the underarms.

Coverphoto cred: Mediapost