I've been shaving under my arms for almost two decades and the Dove commercials are correct. I treat my underarms like shit; I don't exfoliate, I shave dry, and I certainly don't take any precautions for things like UV radiation or harmful rays from the sun. One would think I hated my underarms, but in my defense, I feel as if I have such a large area of body to cover in my beauty regimen that clearly something has to suffer. My underarms may be the part of my body that I pay the least attention to, but it's also the part of my body that is less likely to be seen by the public ... or so I thought.
I'm sure you feel me on this example: You shower and get dressed, only to find out that it's going to be a tad bit hotter than you expected. So, you ditch that shirt you're sure to get sweat stains in for a tank top. Then, of course, you grab a razor to quickly dry shave before running out the door. On one of these days, I caught my reflection and thought to myself, "Wait. ... I definitely shaved today, right?" Right. It's just the dark coloring of my underarms from years of shaving and never moisturizing that has given my pits a darker color than the rest of my body. The worst part? The darkness will only deepen with time making it harder to fix.
Turns out, although more prominent in darker skinned ladies, the dark underarm drama is not just specific to skin color. Loads of shavers out there are starting to fear that they'll have to stop hailing cabs or limit elaborate dance moves if they don't get that underarm game under control. Even Beyoncé is no stranger to the dark underarm plague! Fortunately, I've got it covered now and these natural remedies will def up your confidence on the dance floor this summer.
Lemon Juice & Raw Honey
Mmmm, lemons. They freshen up tap water, act as a natural skin toner for your face, get rid of hiccups AND lighten underarms like a BOSS. Each day, take a lemon wedge and rub onto your underarms before bathing. Afterwards, use equal parts raw honey and lemon juice to put under your arms. The raw honey is great at eliminating dark spots and is an antibacterial that has a natural pH level of about 4.5 — something your underarms will thank you for in the long run by getting smoother. Add a moisturizer after you've rinsed your paste off to protect your underarms from UV radiation and keep that dryness at bay.
It seems that whenever I need one potato, I end up buying a dozen potatoes only to find them months later growing horrifying eyes all over their once clear skin. Fortunately, these potatoes that I've discovered in the back of my cabinet don't have to go in the trash. Instead, slice those bad boys open for clear underarm skin. I recommend slicing the potato thick and rubbing directly under your arms daily — ones that are a little juicy works best, since potato juice is a natural skin lightener. Who'da thunk. Potatoes brighten dull skin and increase skin's elasticity for smooth even skin tones. Do this daily for maximum results. Be sure to apply a moisturizer when you are taking your pits out into the world or you'll be slicing potatoes for nothing.
Now, this is my personal favorite method. I exfoliate my bikini line with baking soda to keep razor burn at an ultimate low, and it works to lighten underarms as well by removing dead skin cells.
Ready to start treating your underarms like real skin? Check out some great DIY natural deodorants on Wellness Mama's website; don't be scurred, nature can kill even the most advanced body odor!
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson