How To Exfoliate Underarms: 3 Safe Ways!

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How to exfoliate underarms

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Knowing how to exfoliate underarms can change your life. How?, Imagine, you’re getting ready for a hot summer day, picking out your favorite sleeveless top, and suddenly, you catch a whiff of something… Ergh! not so pleasant. You start to question whether it’s a bad idea to wear that favorite top of yours. Trust me, we’ve all been there, and it’s not a pleasant experience.

I know, we all cringe a little bit when talking about underarms, but you know we’re all friends here! We’re tackling a problem that many of us have faced at some point: bad-smelling and dark underarms. Yep, you’re not the only one!  My underarms constantly make me feel self-conscious and even prevent me from raising my hands high in the air with confidence. This can’t go on forever, right? I had to learn how to exfoliate underarms.

Now, let me be honest with you. I used to have underarms as dark as a moonless night. I mean, seriously, so ugly. And as for the smell? Let’s just say my underarms could have been a weapon of mass destruction. It was pretty bad until I started taking care of them. 

I started incorporating exfoliating my underarms into my regular routine and noticed a huge difference! The darkness began to fade away, and my underarms started to look brighter and more even-toned. The smell was not as bad too. 

Now let me tell you how I achieved this.

How to get clean underarms?

How to exfoliate underarms
How to exfoliate underarms

First step to get clean underarms is to be patient. YES! It’s the most important step because results won’t happen overnight or even within a few months. It can take up to a year to see a significant improvement, especially if you’ve had hyperpigmentation for a while. So, be patient and diligent in following these tips:

  • Beware of rashes: The first and most pressing thing to address is an active rash in your armpit. If you have one, it’s crucial to see a dermatologist or healthcare provider to have it treated. As long as there’s an active rash, no cream, lotion, or ingredient will effectively fade the hyperpigmentation.
  • Gentle exfoliation: Scrubbing or using harsh exfoliants can cause more irritation and make the discoloration worse. Instead, consider using a gentle salicylic acid-based body wash or acne wash. Just lather a little bit on your armpits and you are good to go. Dont worry! We’ll dive deeper into this topic in the next section.
  • Shave Carefully: If you’re shaving, use a lubricating shave cream or gel, preferably without irritating ingredients. A fragrance-free shave cream or even hair conditioner can work well. Make sure your razor is sharp and change it frequently to avoid further irritation.
  • Give your armpits a break: Consider taking a break from shaving and letting the hair grow out for a while, especially during winter when you’re not wearing sleeveless tops. Another option is to explore laser hair removal or waxing, although waxing can be irritating for some people.
  • Stop using fragrance: Many antiperspirants contain fragrance and aluminum salts, which can be irritating to the thin skin in the underarms. Natural deodorants, although popular, can also contribute to hyperpigmentation. Instead, try this antibacterial spray to reduce body odor. 
  • Be careful of the ingredients: You don’t wanna put ingredients you put on face to reduce hyperpigmentation on the delicate skin of your underarms. Avoid retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, and beta hydroxy acids. Ingredients that are safe to use are soy, niacinamide, and licorice root.

Use barrier creams: Hyperpigmentation is also caused by friction when you are doing your daily activities. Using a barrier cream can minimize friction to a lot of extent. This barrier cream is best for underarms.

What is exfoliation?

How to exfoliate underarms
How to exfoliate underarms

Underarm exfoliation is the process of gently removing dead skin cells from your armpits. It helps unclog those pesky pores, prevents ingrown hairs, and leaves you with softer, happier pits. Who doesn’t want that, right?

Exfoliation is essential for maintaining healthy skin, and your underarms are no exception. The buildup of dead skin cells and sweat can lead to odor and irritation, so exfoliating helps keep things fresh and clean. Plus, it can make your deodorant work even better!

But hold on, don’t start rubbing sandpaper on your underarms just yet! We want to be gentle here, not turn your pits into a battleground. Just keep reading to find out how to safely exfoliate your underarms.

Will exfoliation lighten dark armpits?

how to exfoliate underarms
How to exfoliate underarms

There are a lot of reasons for underarms to be dark, but if your armpits are dark due to dead skin cells buildup, exfoliating can definitely help. However, if the darkening of your underarms is caused by other factors such as hyperpigmentation or hormonal changes, then only exfoliation might not help. 

Is it safe to exfoliate armpits?

If done the right way exfoliating underarms is absolutely safe. Just keep in mind to use gentle exfoliation for the delicate skin of the underarms. Avoid harsh scrubs or vigorous rubbing, as this can cause irritation, redness, or even micro-tears in the skin.

Can I exfoliate my underarms daily?

It’s best to give your underarms some breathing room and exfoliate them only once or twice a week. This gives your skin enough time to rejuvenate and bounce back before the next exfoliation. Going overboard with exfoliation can throw off the natural balance of your skin and might leave you with heightened sensitivity, redness, or even inflammation.

How to exfoliate underarms: The safe way

1. Find a gentle exfoliant

There are many ways of exfoliating. For eg. through physical scrubs, chemical exfoliants, mechanical, and natural exfoliants. We all know by now that all skincare products are not suitable for all skin types. So, it’s better for you to use an exfoliant according to your skin type. If you have dry skin, use an oil-based exfoliant. If you have sensitive skin use natural gentle ingredients. 

  • If you are planning to use a physical scrub
How to exfoliate underarms
How to exfoliate under arms using physical scrub

DON’T Physical scrubs are not at all suitable for the delicate skin of armpits. Any physical scrub, loofah or rubber gloves will damage the skin in that area. Avoid using it at all costs

  • If you are planning to use a chemical exfoliant: (Best exfoliator for underarms)
How to exfoliate underarms
How to exfoliate underarms with chemical exfoliants

This is the real deal and it actually makes a noticeable difference in minimal time. Chemical exfoliants are my most recommended exfoliants for underarms as it helped me completely transform the look of my armpits.

Chemical exfoliants, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), offer a gentler and more controlled exfoliation compared to physical exfoliants. They work by dissolving dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover, revealing smoother and brighter underarm skin.

AHAs like glycolic acid or lactic acid can help fade discoloration, while BHAs like salicylic acid can penetrate pores, reducing the likelihood of clogged hair follicles and ingrown hairs.

AHAs like glycolic acid or lactic acid can help fade discoloration, while BHAs like salicylic acid can penetrate pores, reducing the likelihood of clogged hair follicles and ingrown hairs.

Here are some best chemical exfoliants:

Neutrogena Body Clear Acne Body wash

How to exfoliate underarms

Just lather up this body wash on your underarm area and leave it on for a few mins then gently remove it with a wash cloth in a circular motion. This is the most gentle way to exfoliate your underarms. 

The ordinary AHA 30% BHA 2% peeling solution

How to exfoliate underarms

This works like magic in showing fast results but you have to be careful while using this as it can even burn your skin if you leave it on for too long. You can use the ordinary peeling solution once a week and only leave it on for not more than 5 minutes. Just apply it with a cotton pad in circular motion for 5 mins and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

  • If you are planning to use a Enzyme exfoliants
how to exfoliate underarms
How to exfoliate underarms with enzyme exfoliants

Enzyme exfoliants can be a suitable option for exfoliating the underarms if you have sensitive skin. Enzymes, such as papain from papaya or bromelain from pineapple, work by breaking down the protein bonds that hold dead skin cells together, gently sloughing them off. 

Unlike physical exfoliants that can cause your skin to irritate, enzyme exfoliants work by breaking down dead skin cells without causing excessive friction or irritation.

This gentle exfoliation can help smoothen the underarm skin texture, reduce roughness, and improve overall skin appearance

Since enzymatic exfoliants are gentler than physical scrubs and chemical exfoliants, you have to be more patient with these as they take their time to show results. 

Best enzymatic exfoliant:

Bliss Jelly Glow Gentle Exfoliator Peel

how to exfoliate underarms
  • How to exfoliate underarms with Natural Exfoliants

Well, I think I am not the only one who loves natural exfoliants because they are readily available. Even if you are out of baking soda you can get it in the nearest store. 

Apart from being convenient, natural exfoliants contain beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that can provide nourishment to the skin. For example, honey has moisturizing properties, while oatmeal can soothe and calm irritated skin. Amazing, right?

One of my favorite exfoliants is lemon juice and coffee grounds as they have instant skin-brightening effects. Lemon juice can help lighten darkened areas, while coffee improves skin tone and promotes a more even complexion.

My fav way to use natural exfoliants:

how to exfoliate underarms
How to exfoliate underarms naturally

My favorite ingredient is lemon juice, so I am gonna tell you a way to incorporate that as an ingredient. A quick note NEVER USE LEMON DIRECTLY ON YOUR UNDERARMS. Lemon is very acidic in nature and not safe to use directly on delicate skin of armpits. 

  1. Take half lemon
  2. Dilute it with a little water
  3. Take a cotton pad and dip it into the mixture
  4. Gently dap the pad on your underarms
  5. Leave it for 5-10 minutes
  6. Rinse off

Now that you have chosen which exfoliant to use, lets head further.

2. Wet your underarms

Start by wetting your underarms with warm water. This helps soften the skin and prepares it for exfoliation.

3. Apply the exfoliating product

Grab a tiny amount of your favorite exfoliating product. Now, apply it to your underarms and start massaging away in circular motions. But hey, remember the golden rule: be gentle, my gal! No need to go all Hulk on your underarms. Light pressure is the name of the game here to avoid any irritation.

4. Focus on Problem Areas

Don’t forget to show some extra love to those trouble spots where you’ve got roughness or ingrown hairs. Gently work the exfoliator into problem areas, working your magic to bid farewell to dead skin cells and say hello to smoother, silkier skin.

5. Rinse off thoroughly

Once you’ve exfoliated for a minute or two, rinse off the product with warm water. Ensure that all traces of the exfoliator are removed from your underarms.

6. Pat dry

Use a clean towel to pat your underarms dry. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as this can cause unnecessary friction and irritation.

7. Moisturize

Grab a gentle moisturizer that’s like a big, cozy hug for your skin. Look for ones specially made for sensitive skin or packed with soothing ingredients like aloe vera or chamomile. Moisturizing will keep your underarm skin hydrated, happy, and oh-so-nourished. Here are some good moisturizers you can use for your underarms. 

8. Repeat once or twice a week

Remember, it’s generally recommended to exfoliate your underarms once or twice a week. Stick to this frequency to allow your skin enough time to regenerate and avoid over-exfoliation.

Does exfoliating darken underarms?

No, exfoliating itself does not darken underarms. In fact, regular exfoliation can help improve the overall appearance of underarm skin. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, resulting in smoother, brighter skin.

However, there are certain factors that can contribute to underarm darkening, such as friction. Friction caused by tight clothing or repetitive rubbing can lead to darkening of the underarms over time. So remember to be gentle while exfoliating underarms

Can toothpaste clean armpits? / Can toothpaste exfoliate underarms?

Toothpaste is not designed or recommended for cleaning or exfoliating the armpits. Toothpaste contains ingredients that are specifically formulated for oral hygiene and not meant for use on the skin.

How can I lighten my underarm skin?

You can lighten your underarm skin by gentle exfoliating, proper hygiene, and taking care of your armpits like moisturizing and using good products that are meant for underarms.

How can I whiten my armpits overnight through exfoliation?

I understand that you’re seeking quick results, significant whitening of the armpits overnight is unrealistic and not recommended. The process of lightening the skin takes time and consistency.

Takeaway: How to exfoliate underarms

Now you have the knowledge on how to exfoliate underarms and you are all set to do it. Just make sure that you patch test before using any exfoliant, even natural ones. And;

Remember, exfoliating your underarms doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s all about finding the right balance between being gentle and effective. So grab your favorite scrub or brush, put on some groovy tunes, and let the exfoliating magic begin!

But hey, don’t forget to listen to your skin along the way. If it starts to feel irritated or sensitive, take a step back and adjust your routine. We’re all unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. So experiment, have fun, and find what suits you best.

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