Dark underarms: it’s the perennial Pinay problem, that singular body issue that has plagued us since we first started wearing sleeveless and spaghetti tops. Of course, as underarm problems go, hyperpigmentation is the least of our worries (see candidiasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, and armpit boils), but summer’s here—the one season where our armpits, FYI: one of the warmest parts of our body, are sure to take center stage—so we think a little vanity can be forgiven. Here, five ways to get whiter underarms:

1. Use a lotion that contains hydroquinone.
Dermatologist Jeanine Downie tells Cosmopolitan.com that you can brighten up dark underarms by using lotion with the ingredient hydroquinone, a skin bleaching agent that is typically used to deal with dark patches of skin. According to WebMD, hydroquinone blocks the process that leads to the discoloration in the first place.

2. Exfoliate with natural scrubs.
Sometimes, dark underarms are really just dead skin cells. Using your standard loofah, gently scrub your armpits to slough off old skin. Skip the chemical and mass produced scrubs and go for something more natural. Some people swear by brown sugar and olive oil, while others say a mixture of lemon juice, honey, and powdered peanuts does the trick!

3. Switch to a different deodorant
When it comes to deodorants and antiperspirants, compatibility is a must. If your current brand does not seem to work for you, switch to a different brand. It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised to know just how many women tend to stick to the brand they’ve grown up with, regardless of its effectiveness.

4. Use papaya soap.
Papaya is a natural whitening agent. According to Live Strong, it contains the enzyme papain, which helps break down certain proteins and dissolve dead skin cells. Lucky for everyone, our country has no shortage of papaya soap! Use it twice a day to see a difference.

5. Learn to shave properly.
Running a razor on your skin sans any form of cream is torture for your poor pits. Start using shaving cream when you shave your underarm hair to keep yourself from nicking too much skin. On that note, stop using men’s razors as well. According to Yahoo.com, women’s razors are designed specifically to “fit in all the different curvy areas of a woman's body,” which in turn, “prevents nasty cuts.”

(Photo by Davina via Flickr Creative Commons)

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