Woman throwing her arms up with a joyful expression.

It looks like everybody, from to your high school friend, has pristine, seemingly airbrushed underarms. Despite what social media might have you believe, statistics reveal that deal with a . But what causes dark underarms in the first place?

If the same question has been lingering on your mind, you’re not alone. Although common (and not at all shameful!), dark marks on the underarms can be a source of insecurity. On the bright side, it’s possible to prevent discoloration on your kili-kili. Scroll down to learn what causes dark armpits and how to address them.

Shaving Dry Skin With a Dull Blade

When in a clutch, going in with your razor without shaving cream might seem like the best way to go. While it can save you some time, it also causes dark underarms.

Whether you’re a type of gal, using sharp blades and applying shaving cream are non-negotiables. They significantly decrease friction and minimize the risk of injuring the skin. Plus, you’ll be able to have a closer shave.

Frequent Use of Hair Removal Creams

What causes dark underarms? Turns out, ingredients found in depilatory creams might contribute to the problem. Calcium thioglycolate or potassium thioglycolate works by breaking down the keratin in hair, dissolving it at the skin’s surface. 

While effective, these chemical agents are too harsh on some people’s skin. Repetitive applications can strip the skin of its , making it more susceptible to . These products can leave the illusion of darker armpits since they only remove the upper hair shaft and not the root.

Do a patch test before applying hair removal cream on your armpits. Redness and tingling sensation are signs your skin is not liking it. You may also switch to waxing or for longer-lasting results and less damage to your delicate underarm skin.

Not Exfoliating Enough

Accumulated on your underarms can lead to various issues, including skin darkening. That’s why exfoliation is essential. It helps unclog pores and encourage cell turnover, revealing smoother and more even-toned skin. Aim to do it no more than two times a week. More importantly, choose gentle exfoliants, such as one containing or .

However, if your dark underarms are the result of acanthosis nigricans or other underlying health issues, talk to your doctor to address your specific concern. Do not attempt to scrub the dark skin away or you’ll risk damaging your skin.

Wearing Tight-Fitting Clothes

When fabric constantly rubs against your underarms, it can cause a minor rash. This irritation prompts the skin to regenerate and make extra melanin – a natural pigment responsible for skin coloration. As a result, you may see dark spots forming around your kili-kili.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon, and nylon trap sweat and heat more than natural materials like cotton. The dampness creates a breeding ground for germs to thrive, particularly Candida fungus, which can lead to yeast infection. Symptoms may manifest as itchy patches and small bumps that darken over time.

The best way to prevent all these is by wearing moisture-wicking fabrics, especially during intense physical activity or in warm weather. If you’re keen on donning your tube top or sports bra, apply some anti-chafing powder before stepping out.

Leaving the House Without SPF

Armpit skin is also sensitive to , yet it’s a commonly overlooked spot when applying sunscreen. Prolonged sun exposure without protection also contributes to underarm darkening. So, don’t forget to apply a generous layer of SPF on your kili-kili if you’re heading out in a sleeveless top.

Before reaching for the sunscreen, give your underarms some TLC with Rexona Dry Serum Deodorant Vit C + Anti-Stain. It comes with Active Shield technology, which keeps sweat and odor at bay for up to 48 hours. But the crème de la crème is it contains skin-loving ingredients, like sunflower seed oil, and lemon extract, as well as vitamins B3, C, and E, to help fade dark marks.

You can also try the roll-on version with Rexona Roll On Deodorant Vit C + Anti-Stain. It’s fast-drying and allows for a mess-free application.

Now that you know what causes dark underarms, you can steer clear of them and pay more attention to your kili-kili. Find a routine that you can stick to every day. And if you decide to brighten your armpits, do it safely with a dermatologist’s guidance.