A woman in a yellow shirt with both arms raised

When we say , what we really mean is treating . When it comes to that, what works on the face doesn't necessarily apply to your pits. Underarm skin is delicate, like the skin on your eyelids. 

We are reminded over and over by our moms, dermatologists, and beauty gurus to be gentle on the eye area. For example, we are often reminded to pat a product into our skin with our ring finger instead of vigorously rubbing it into the skin. Yet, we don’t give our armpits the same degree of gentle care. Here are the dos and don’ts of brightening your underarms safely and effectively without

Causes of Dark Underarms

While you may not be a fan of , it's actually natural to have pigmentation in your . Why? Because the skin on your armpits constantly experiences friction, which is the primary cause of discoloration. Think of the habits you do every day:

  • Friction from moving your arms
  • Friction from clothing
  • Abrasion from shaving habits
  • Rubbing from some roll-on deodorants
  • Accumulation of dead skin cells

Don't Try to Brighten Broken Skin

When you are nursing an itchy underarm rash and your skin is sensitive, you shouldn’t subject it to anything that can worsen its condition. Rashes around the underarms can be caused by different factors — heat, sweat, allergic, contact dermatitis, eczema, fungal infections, or too much friction.

If you have a rash or inflammation characterized by redness, flaking, itching, and roughness, consult with your doctor about treating that first before even thinking of brightening your pits. Also, consider natural personal care products which are better for .

Do Assess Your Hair Removal Methods

Do you , wax, pluck, or get lasered? All types of hair removal create friction on the delicate underarm area, so pick the lesser evil and what works best for you. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but in general, can be the most irritating method. Avoid dull, old blades, and make sure the area you’re shaving is moist by applying shaving cream first. 

Do Switch to a Brightening, yet Gentle Deodorant

Since any irritation can cause hyperpigmentation, you want to avoid that at the most fundamental level by choosing a roll-on for sensitive skin that can also protect from . A hardworking deodorant that does double duty is ideal. Choose a deodorant such as Dove Ultimate Repair Dark Marks Corrector, which is available in Fresh Lily and Soothing Jasmine variants. You don't need a dark . This product comes in an aerosol, roll-on, stick, and deo lotion to suit your needs and lifestyle.

Apart from protecting against sweat and odor for up to 48 hours, Dove Ultimate Repair Dark Marks Corrector cares for the delicate underarm skin with ¼ moisturizing cream that can help repair skin damage and inflammation. It is formulated with , which smoothens the underarms and brightens pigmentation, so that you can be ultimately free from dark marks. 

Don’t Scrub Your Skin

Too much underarm scrubbing can lead to irritation. doesn’t help with hyperpigmentation and can only do more harm than good.

Stop scrubbing your armpits and opt for a chemical exfoliator that you can use sparingly, once a week. Most body exfoliators contain lactic acid, glycolic acid, and that slough off dead cells from the surface of the skin and encourage renewal.

Do be patient with your pits. Underarm brightening can be a long and tedious process but resist the urge to accelerate it by using stronger products or exfoliating too often. When it comes to this delicate area, caring for it with a gentle, nourishing product is key.