13 Best Ways To Use Baking Soda To Lighten Dark Underarms

Dark underarms can limit your choice of outfits; but there are ways to remedy the situation.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan, MD Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan Dr. Hari Hara SudhanMD
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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Want to flaunt the cute sleeveless dress you got, but your dark armpits make you conscious? We all have been there. It is often claimed that baking soda is an effective remedy to brighten underarm skin. Let us investigate that claim.

Baking soda is a commonly used home remedy to brighten the underarms. However, you have to be careful while using it on your skin. This article explains how baking soda may have that brightening effect, ways to use it, and its risks. Read on.

What Causes Dark Underarms?

Dark underarms can be caused by one or more of the following factors:

  • Irritation or rashes caused by shaving.
  • Improper or infrequent exfoliation that leads to an accumulation of dead skin cells.
  • Friction against the skin while wearing tight clothes.
  • Chemical irritants or allergens in deodorants or antiperspirant products.
  • Melasma, a common skin condition that causes dark patches on the skin.
  • Skin pigmentation disorders such as acanthosis nigricans, associated with obesity, diabetes, and hormonal imbalance.
  • Bacterial skin infections.
  • Increase in melanin production which may lead to hyperpigmentation.
  • Smoking, which may worsen hyperpigmentation issues.

In many of these cases, dark underarms are best treated with medical intervention, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.For slight discoloration, anecdotal evidence suggests home remedies such as baking soda may be effective. Learn how it works in the following section.

How Does Baking Soda Brighten Underarms?

Role of baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock

Well, there is no scientific proof claiming that baking soda can brighten your underarms. However, as it is an alkalinei  Constituting a base compound that can neutralize an acid with a pH greater than 7 and has a bitter taste. substance, baking soda does not disturb your skin’s pH levels. Instead, it soothes your skin. Baking soda is often used as an exfolianti  A substance that helps remove dead cells and other impurities from the surface of the skin and reduce its dullness. to remove dead skin cells from the surface. This is the reason it has a brightening effect.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also use baking soda as a deodorant after showering because patting it under your underarms may help neutralize body odor caused by sweat.

But how do you use this unusual beauty ingredient? We will look at that in the following section. Scroll down.

How To Use Baking Soda For Underarm Brightening?

These DIY recipes work as excellent scrubs for your underarms and will help exfoliate the dead skin in your armpits.

1. DIY Baking Soda And Water Scrub

DIY water and baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 bowl
Method
  1. Mix both the ingredients in the bowl.
  2. Adjust the quantity of water as per the desired consistency (it shouldn’t be too runny).
  3. Apply the mixture to your armpits and massage for a minute.
  4. Leave it on for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Wash off with lukewarm water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

2. Baking Soda, Gram Flour, And Curd

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of gram flour
  • 1 tablespoon of curd (adjust the quantity as per desired consistency)
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to get a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your armpits and massage for a minute.
  3. Let it dry for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Wash off with lukewarm water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

3. Baking Soda And Avocado

Avocado and baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of mashed avocado
  • ½ tablespoon of lemon juice (diluted with water)
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients well. If the consistency is too thick, add a few drops of rose water. Make a fine paste.
  2. Gently cover the armpits with the mixture and massage.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Wash off with lukewarm water.
How Often?

2 times a week.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Always use gentle soap or shaving foam before shaving to avoid irritation and prevent your underarms from getting darker.

4. Baking Soda And Cornstarch

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of cucumber juice (adjust the quantity)
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the armpits. Let it dry.
  3. Wash off with cold water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

5. Baking Soda And Coconut Oil

cShutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Coconut oil (enough to make a thick paste)
Method
  1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your armpits and scrub gently in a circular motion.
  3. Leave it on for 15 minutes or until it dries.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

6. Baking Soda And Milk Scrub

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Milk (enough to make a paste)
Method
  1. Mix baking soda and milk in a bowl.
  2. Apply the paste to your armpits.
  3. Scrub gently for a minute and let it dry.
  4. Wash with lukewarm water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

7. Baking Soda And Lemon Juice

Lemon and baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Juice of half a lemon (dilute it with water)
Method
  1. Combine both the ingredients in a bowl to obtain a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your armpits and massage for a minute.
  3. Let it dry for 20 minutes.
  4. Wash off with cold water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Fumi Desalu-Vold, a vlogger, shared her experience of using a mixture of baking soda, turmeric, and lemon juice to lighten her underarms in her video. She said, “You can actually see the difference already. And that is just one 20-minute tick ().”

8. Baking Soda And Glycerin

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of glycerini  A clear, viscous liquid that is naturally found in plant and animal fats and is used to moisturize the skin and protect it from irritants.
Method
  1. Mix the two ingredients in a bowl until you get a thick paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your armpits.
  3. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash off.
How Often?

3-4 times a week.

9. Baking Soda And Cucumber

Cucumber and baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed cucumber juice
Method
  1. Mix both the ingredients. You may also add a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice (optional).
  2. Combine well and apply to your armpits.
  3. Leave it on for 15 minutes.
  4. Wash off with lukewarm water.
How Often?

3 times a week.

10. Baking Soda And Honey Scrub

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
Method
  1. Combine honey and baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add a few drops of rose water if the consistency is too thick.
  3. Spread the mixture over your armpits.
  4. Massage for a minute and leave it to dry for 20 minutes.
  5. Wash with lukewarm water.
How Often?

Once daily.

11. Baking Soda And Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar and baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
Method
  1. Combine the two ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Make a thick paste and massage it in your armpits for a minute.
  3. Leave it to dry for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Wash with cold water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

12. Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

You Will Need
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • ⅛ cup of hydrogen peroxidei  A chemical compound known for its strong oxidizing and bleaching properties. It is also used as a mild antiseptic to prevent infection from minor cuts and burns.
  • Juice of a half a lemon (diluted)
Method
  1. Combine the ingredients and whisk them into a thick paste.
  2. Spread the mixture over your underarms and let it dry for 15 minutes.
  3. Use a wet washcloth to wipe your underarm clean.
  4. You may wash it with water later.
How Often?

2-3 days a week.

13. Baking Soda And Tomato

Tomato and baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed tomato juice
Method
  1. Mix baking soda and tomato juice in a bowl.
  2. Massage the mixture over your armpits.
  3. Leave it for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Wash with cold water.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) seems to be an ideal ingredient for brightening your underarms. However, this doesn’t mean you should start rubbing it on your skin right away. You should know the potential risks before using it.

Risks Of Using Baking Soda On Your Skin

Risks of using baking soda for underarm whitening
Image: Shutterstock

Baking soda may be organic but abrasive. It is alkaline (any substance that has a pH higher than 7 is alkaline, and anything below that is acidic). It might change and disrupt the pH balance of your underarms and damage the skin barrier. When the skin’s acid mantlei  A fine protective barrier composed of sweat and sebum on the skin surface that prevents potential contaminants from entering the skin. doesn’t function properly, the composition of the bacterial flora on your skin surface also changes along with the enzyme activity.

Hence, using baking soda may cause:

  • Dryness
  • Skin irritation
  • Rashes

Luckily, you can easily restore the pH of your underarms. All you need to do is mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and use it as a toner for your underarms.

Be careful about using baking soda if you have sensitive skin. Always do a patch test before using baking soda on any part of your body. Baking soda is a physical exfoliator. Using it a few times a week (followed by proper skin care) works wonders. Excessive exfoliation (using it day and night) with baking soda may dehydrate your skin and affect your wellness levels – hence we do not recommend that.

Infographic: 6 Ways To Use Baking Soda To Brighten Dark Underarms

Do you often find yourself worrying about your dark armpits while wearing a sleeveless dress? Or does that make you feel less confident and more self-conscious? Well, let’s just say that you are not alone. Ditch those fancy deodorants and roll-ons that promise you brighter underarms. Instead, try some natural ways to lighten up your underarms using baking soda. Check out the infographic below!

6 ways to use baking soda to brighten dark underarms (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Baking soda is non-toxic and has traditionally been used as an exfoliating agent to shed dead skin cells and achieve brighter skin. You can use it to make scrubs in combination with ingredients like gram flour, curd, avocado, coconut oil, milk, lemon juice, glycerin, and cucumber. Use these scrubs at least twice or thrice a week for visible results. However, using baking soda for underarm lightening may disrupt the pH balance of the underarms and lead to dryness, skin irritation, and rashes. So, practice caution and take the necessary measures for aftercare and hygiene to maintain skin health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does baking soda take to lighten dark underarms?

After applying baking powder paste to the armpits, leave it on for 25-30 minutes. Then wash with lukewarm water. Continue this process 2-3 times a week for better results.

Is baking soda harmful to the skin?

Baking soda is not harmful to the skin. However, it may cause skin irritation in some people who are sensitive to baking soda.

Is it necessary to consult a dermatologist before using baking soda for underarm brightening?

Yes, as it may cause irritation and damage your skin’s natural barrier as it raises your skin’s natural pH level.

Can baking soda be used as a deodorant in addition to a brightening agent?

Yes. Mix baking soda and water to make a paste and apply it to your underarms. Allow it to dry before you put on your clothes to avoid smearing.

Can baking soda be used for other parts of the body for skin lightening?

Yes, you can apply it topically on specific areas of your body that you wish to lighten. Do not apply baking soda on larger areas as it may cause irritation and dryness.

Key Takeaways

  • Baking soda may help remove dead skin cells to brighten your underarms.
  • It does not disturb your body’s pH level as it is alkaline in nature.
  • Ingredients like gram flour, curd, and cucumber can be added with baking soda to make effective scrubs for underarm.
  • Avoid overuse of baking soda as it may lead to skin irritation and dryness.
baking soda for underarm whitening

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Learn how to lighten your dark underarms naturally using baking soda! Take a look at the video below to get rid of embarrassing dark patches with this simple and easy method.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan is a dermatologist in Coimbatore,Tamil Nadu. He has 14 years of experience in this field. He is a regular contributor to newspapers and has also authored a book. He is a member of the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) and Indian Medical Association (IMA) and specializes in Dermabrasion, Scar Treatment, Dental Fillings, Anti Aging Treatment, and Sun Spots, Age Spots, And Other Pigmented Lesions.

Read full bio of Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan