kaia logo

Two Natural Ingredients That Work On Dark Spot Pigmentation


If you’re someone who has dark inner thighs, you already know how uncomfortable this condition can be, as it can impact what you wear and how confident you feel in your skin. Dark inner thighs can be experienced by anyone, regardless of skin tone, when the skin overproduces melanin, resulting in hyperpigmentation.  

Though frustrating, there is hope and a brighter future ahead. Dark inner thighs can not only be lightened but also prevented if you implement these simple guidelines into your daily routine.  

woman with dark armpits

As a product developer for a deodorant company, I often receive emails from consumers asking me how to lighten their armpits, I realized this is actually quite a common problem. Many consumers shared how dark underarms makes them feel and how it affects their clothing choices. After hearing stories, I started a project to learn more about the causes of underarm pigmentation and how to formulate a solution that is uncomplicated in order to even the discoloration. I worked closely with a cosmetic chemist who is a woman of Caribbean descent that experienced dark underarm pigmentation.

The formula had to include ingredients that calmed inflamed skin as well as treated the condition. While dark armpits can be hereditary or can be caused by certain health conditions and medications, the most common reason for underarm pigmentation is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Below I am going to share what causes post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on the armpit region and how I used niacinamide and alpha arbutin in my formula to treat the condition.

What Causes Post-Inflammtory Hyperpigmentation In The Armpit region?

white razor

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is almost always self-inflicted, but if you are not aware of what causes it, simply being too rough with your skin might be doing more damage than you know.

It appears that the main culprits for underarm pigmentation is hair removal methods and irritating ingredients found in deodorants or antiperspirants. Hair removal methods like shaving, waxing or plucking not only irritate the skin but cause inflammation. Even though your skin may feel fine after shaving, shaving can cause micro-cuts and nicks in the underarm region. That is why you should NEVER apply a deodorant or antiperspirant after you remove your armpit hair. Of course, you don’t have to stop shaving or waxing. I do however, recommend never plucking your armpit hair as it will cause some serious inflammation. I recommend shaving your skin at night as it allows your skin to heal from the trauma while you’re sleeping. This way you’re not applying deodorant on newly shaven skin. Wearing tight fitting clothing can also cause friction in the underarm area and contribute to making the pigmentation worse.


Another source of irritation could be deodorants and antiperspirants that contain ingredients that aggravate the underarm skin. You might not even be aware that these specific ingredients are irritating your underarm skin (I call them the silent irritators). When selecting a deodorant, try avoiding ingredients like baking soda, high levels of fragrance, or solvent alcohols like isopropyl alcohol.

Baking soda is an alkaline substance, and it can alter the pH levels of your skin, causing your skin to change color. Similar to how high levels of fragrance can irritate the face, it can also irritate your underarms, especially due to its delicate area. If the scent is strong when you open the lid of a deodorant, you know it is more than 1%. When it comes to scent in deodorant, I know consumers like it but I never put it in higher than .05% as I feel that you still have that lovely sensory experience without the irritation in the underarm region.

Why I Created a Brightening Deodorant with Niacinamide

brightening deodorant with niacinamide

Niacinamide otherwise known as vitamin B4 is a very popular skincare ingredient and for good reason. Using niacinamide on the skin has many benefits including minimizing inflammation, redness, and blotchiness. Niacinamide is usually paired with a potent brightening ingredient like alpha arbutin to give the added benefit of soothing and brightening, two ingredients that are key for PIH. Together these ingredients help minimize inflammation, even out the skin tone and prevent dark spots from forming. The niacinamide deodorant and body balm also works on skin pigmentation issues on other parts of the body. Of course, it’s also a deodorant, so it does provide odor protection but don’t be afraid to use it anywhere on the body, it the has added benefit of a two in one product formulation to treat dark spot pigmentation.

Why I Created the First Underarm Skincare System

first underarm skincare system

To help speed up the brightening process, I also created a kojic acid body bar which you can apply while you’re in the shower. The kojic acid body bar is a wash-off formula that contains anti-inflammatory and skin brightening actives like kojic acid and licorice root extract. A wash-off formula doesn’t mean it removes the benefits of the skincare ingredients from the skin. The formula is designed to leave a barrier on the skin so the ingredients can penetrate the skin long after it is washed off. Before applying the niacinamide deodorant, lather the bar on the underarm region and leave it on for 30 seconds. Then rinse it off and follow up with the niacinamide deodorant + body balm. I call this system the double dose. It’s a simple and convenient system in which you’re layering the skin brightening actives which gives the pigmentation a double hit.

This is an easy and safe system to brighten the underarm region, without the risk of skin burning with fruit acids or applying masks to the underarms and waiting 20 minutes to remove. Our approach was to create a better way to treat hyperpigmentation. Pairing niacinamide with alpha arbutin is a solid combination that I know will help brighten underarm pigmentation without irriating the skin.


side profile of founder Mary Futher with short hair and round glasses

Written by Madame Sweat

Clean beauty industry maven and product developer Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. She now shares weekly modern hygiene etiquette advice and solutions for “unsexy” body taboos, with her social media followers and readers.

All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 


Clean beauty industry maven and product developer Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals after spending 20 yearsworking for global beauty companies. She now shares advice on modern hygiene etiquette for grooming, hosting, home and travel on Instagram, TikTok and her popular blog called The House of Hygiene.

Related Articles

a guide to diy dark spot remedies for dark armpits

The Dark Spot Remedies You Should NOT Be Using On Your Armpits

If you’re someone who is trying to minimize the dark spot pigmentation on your body then you need to start using this ingredient.

Read More
hyperpigmentation down tthere

3 Reasons you Have Hyperpigmentation Down There

Hyperpigmentation has been the topic of discussion for quite some time now, but one area that not many like to discuss is the “v-zone.” So if you have noticed that you have darker skin on your bikini area, groin, or inner thighs, this article is for you.

Read More