How to Get Rid of Dark Underarms

Yikes! There I was, sporting my new favorite tank top dress on a first date.

Everything was going so smoothly. He was cute, smart, and seemed like a character out of a romantic comedy. After dinner, I excused myself so I could visit the restroom before we headed to our movie.

And that’s when it happened.

I caught a quick glimpse of my underarms in the mirror and did a double take. When did they become so dark?

I lifted up my arms to get a closer look, hoping that it was some sort of twisted mirror trick.

But no, my underarms were significantly darker than they used to be. I knew I had to find out how to get rid of dark underarms, and fast!

What Causes Dark Underarms?

I began my research on how to get rid of dark underarms in the most obvious way. I had to first figure out why this strange darkening had happened in the first place.

These are a few of the reasons I came across:


If your skin is on the fair side but your hair is on the darker side, this could be the easiest explanation for your dark underarms. When you shave, it’s impossible to remove hair that’s right below the skin. This results in a darker than desired appearance, even if your skin is shaved silky smooth.


Here’s a reason that might gross you out a bit. There’s a chance that your sudden dark underarms are a result of dead skin cell buildup.

Even though our skin feels pretty smooth, it’s actually closer to a mountain range than an open field. There are tons of nooks and crannies that can collect dead skin cells, which darken with time and give you your new and unwanted armpit shade, leaving you wondering how to get rid of dark armpits.


Do you prefer antiperspirant over deodorant? If so, this could be your dark armpit cause.

Some antiperspirants contain ingredients that can react with sensitive skin and cause discoloration. It doesn’t happen to everyone though, and the exact reasons why aren’t obvious.

Medical Conditions

There are a few skin conditions that could be darkening your underarms. Specifically, acanthosis nigricans has been known to cause markings on the neck, groin, or underarms, ranging from light brown shades to almost black. This condition is believed to be linked to insulin production and is more likely to be diagnosed in overweight individuals.


This is a condition where the skin produces too much melanin pigment. This leads to darker patches of skin all over the body. While it’s rare for this condition to affect the underarm region, it is possible.

Why Do Your Under Arms Darken After Pregnancy?

Here’s another reason for underarm darkening. Are you currently pregnant or have you recently delivered?

Pregnancy hormones already do a whole bunch of not-so-fun things to a new mommy, but they can also lead to darkening of skin all over the body, including the underarms. This is more common in women with darker skin, but fairer skinned women aren’t immune.

If this is the reason, there’s a good chance your skin will go back to normal once your hormones balance out, but this can take up to a year after delivery and make you wonder how to lighten armpits faster.

What Natural Remedies Can I Use to Get Rid of Dark Underarms?

I wasn’t entirely sure what was causing my dark armpits, but at the end of the day, I didn’t need to know the reason. I just needed to know how to get rid of dark underarms!

I didn’t want to use underarm whitening products or a dark underarms cream. So I quickly began looking into natural remedies that could lighten my skin and give me back my tank top confidence.

Here are my favorites:


Cucumbers have natural bleaching properties that can easily lighten your skin. To use, cut a thin cucumber slice and simply rub it onto the darker areas. This can be done twice daily until desired results are achieved.

If you’re up for it, you can also mix some of the cucumber juice with some turmeric powder and lemon juice to make a paste. Spread the paste on and leave it in place for about half an hour. Wash away with warm water and repeat every other day until results are achieved.

Baking Soda

Is there anything baking soda can’t do? To treat your dark underarms, mix a little baking soda with enough water to make a thick paste. Use the paste to scrub your underarms thoroughly.

Don’t be shy!

Wash off with warm water and pat dry. This treatment can be done a few times each week.


Now I never would have thought of this one on my own, but it was a pretty awesome remedy just because of how amazing sandalwood smells. It has skin-lightening properties that can have you back to your normal self in no time.

Mix two tablespoons of sandalwood powder with about three tablespoons of rose water. Once you have a thick paste, apply it to your underarms and let it dry for about 15 minutes. Rinse off with cold water.

This remedy is safe enough to repeat daily and works very quickly. You might see results in only a few days.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great natural ingredient to use on your underarms, because many other lightening products dry out the sensitive skin of the area. Using coconut oil will help lighten your skin tone but keep the skin moisturized as well. It can also work as a natural deodorant!

To use coconut oil, simply massage the oil into affected areas and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with a mild soap and warm water. This is gentle enough to complete three times a day to help speed up your results.


Lemon is a natural bleaching ingredient and is often the first ingredient people reach for when trying to figure out how to get rid of sunspots. It also contains some pretty strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties. If you think your darkened underarms are a result of dead skin cell buildup, this could be the perfect treatment for you.

Cut a fresh lemon into wedges and then rub a single wedge directly onto darkened areas, letting some of the juice squirt out. Let the juice sit for about 10 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse your underarms. If your skin isn’t too sensitive, try sprinkling some sugar on the lemon wedge to make your own exfoliant tool, which can help speed up your results.


Just like its cousin the lemon, an orange can be used to lighten our skin. This remedy has a few more steps, but I think it’s worth the added effort.

Peel several oranges and leave the peels out in the sun for a few days. Once they’re completely dry, grind them up using a pestle and mortar or a food processor until a powder forms. Mix two teaspoons of the powder with a little milk to make a thick paste.

Use this paste to gently scrub darkened underarms and leave on for about 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water to complete the treatment, which can be repeated about three times each week.


Vinegar is another ingredient that can be used all over the home. You can use it to lighten your underarms while killing germs and bacteria that cause underarm odor.

To use, mix a little rice flour with enough vinegar to form a thick paste. After taking a hot shower, spread the paste on the affected areas. Wait for the paste to dry, then rinse off with warm water. This treatment can be repeated a few times each week until results are achieved.

Gram Flour

You might not have this in your kitchen right now, but if you do, I highly recommend it. To use, mix two tablespoons of gram flour with a teaspoon of plain yogurt. Once combined, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and a sprinkle of turmeric powder.

Once the mixture resembles a thick paste, apply it to your underarms. Let it sit for about half an hour, then rinse with warm water and pat dry.

You can add this lightening treatment to your underarms daily for about two weeks, but then slow down on the applications. As long as you’re consistent, you should see results in only a few weeks.

Natural Remedies to Lighten Underarms

All of the previous remedies showing you how to lighten armpits are completely natural and should work to lighten your underarms.

I had the most success with the lemon. At first, it was a bit drying, so I had to keep up on moisturizer for a few days. But overall it was a quick and painless way to lighten my underarms.

Another remedy that I liked was the baking soda remedy. Just like the lemon remedy, it was super affordable and really easy. It only took a few minutes to do and worked much faster than I thought it would.

Remember to give each remedy at least a couple weeks before deciding if it’s effective or not. You don’t want to overload your underarms with more ingredients than necessary. It’s just wasteful and won’t tell you how to get rid of dark armpits.

Are Dark Underarms Linked to Dark Inner Thighs?

It’s possible, yes. Dark inner thighs have many of the same causes as dark armpits, like hormonal imbalances, obesity, dead skin cell buildup, and certain skin conditions.

If you’re noticing darkening in both areas, there’s good news. Usually, the same treatment will work to lighten both your underarms and inner thighs, so you won’t need to go through too many extra steps when it comes to treating this cosmetic issue.

What Is the Quickest Way to Get Rid of Dark Underarms?

I know you want to know how to whiten underarms fast and effective, but I can’t tell you which remedy will work the fastest for you.

Everyone’s skin reacts differently to each ingredient. What I can tell you is that there’s no reason to put off treating the issue any longer. Many natural remedies use common kitchen ingredients that you probably already have.

In fact, finish up this article and then head to the kitchen! Starting treatment as soon as possible is the quickest way to get rid of dark underarms.

Dark Underarms Before and After

Let’s go back to my first date.

Like I said, my dark underarms completely took me by surprise. I don’t know how long they had been like that, but it couldn’t have been for long. To give you an idea of how dark they were, it looked as if I had taken a brown marker and colored my underarms.

It did not look natural at all, and I can only imagine how awkward I must have looked the rest of the evening, keeping my arms completely flat against my sides to prevent anyone from seeing.

But after several weeks of trying a few different natural remedies for lightening my underarms, I was pleased with the results. My skin was lighter and looked natural once again.

I was also happy that the change didn’t take too long, and I wasn’t left with any weird splotches. Everything lightened at the same time, and in the end, no one could tell that my underarms had been darker just a few weeks before.

So if you’ve been wondering how to get rid of dark underarms after being shocked by a strange and sudden change in skin tone, you should have the answer now. Stop being self-conscious about the problem and start treating it today.

I’m glad I did, especially since I have another date with Mr. Perfect this weekend! I’m excited to wear another sleeveless dress without reminding myself to keep my arms down all night.

Happy lightening!