A woman in a yellow shirt with both arms raised

When we say underarm brightening, what we really mean is treating hyperpigmentation. 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 causing irritation. 

Don't Try to Brighten Broken Skin

When the skin is sensitive and nursing a rash shouldn’t subject it to anything that can worsen its condition. Underarm rashes 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.

Do Assess Your Hair Removal Methods

Be careful whenever you shave your pits!

Do you shave, wax, pluck, or get lasered? All types of hair removal creates 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, shaving 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

Switching to a deodorant that takes care of your underarm skin can give you more freedom to raise those arms.

Since any irritation can cause hyperpigmentation, you want to avoid that at the most fundamental level by choosing the right products to protect yourself from sweat and odor. 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. 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 niacinamide, 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. Physical exfoliation 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 salicylic acid 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.