Numerous YouTube videos and blogs on the internet claim that baking soda can lighten armpits. However, there’s no scientific proof to indicate it can.

We’ll look into this anecdotal home remedy for lightening skin, as well as how you might address common causes of darker armpit skin. We’ll also discuss how you can use baking soda for exfoliating and as a deodorant.

If your armpits are darker than the rest of your skin, you may be able to lighten them by addressing some of the common causes of dark underarm skin.

The following table lists possible causes and remedies:

Possible causeRemedy
Irritation from shaving Try other methods of hair removal, such as waxing.
Irritation from chemicals Try other brands of deodorants and antiperspirants, or try a natural alternative.
Irritation from friction Try clothing with a looser fit.
Accumulation of dead skin Try using a body scrub or other exfoliation product or technique.
Smoking induced hyperpigmentation Try to stop smoking.

Baking soda is, and has been, a popular green alternative to commercial deodorant for many people. The Los Angeles county government even suggests patting baking soda under your arms after showering to neutralize body odor.

They recommend that your skin be damp but not wet. They also suggest that if the baking soda is too abrasive, mix it with either white clay or cornstarch.

Exfoliation can stimulate cell turnover, which can result in your skin surface appearing brighter, smoother, and, in some cases, lighter.

Advocates of natural remedies suggest using a paste of baking soda and water as a scrub to clean the accumulation of dead skin cells from your underarms.

They also recommend mixing baking soda with other ingredients, such as:

Although there may be anecdotal information behind these recommendations, there’s no clinical research to support them.

Before using baking soda on your skin, consider the fact that your skin is acidic, and that baking soda is alkaline. Healthy skin has a pH of about 4.5 to 5.3. Baking soda has a pH of about 8.3.

If you disrupt the pH balance of the skin in your armpits, it can result in dryness and irritation.

If you decide to use baking soda on your underarms, test it first for a few days on a small area of your skin (such as quarter-sized spot on your forearm).

If you notice any redness or irritation, discontinue the skin test, and don’t use it on your underarms.

Before changing routines that affect your skin, check with a dermatologist. They can help you decide the best option based on your skin type.

For lightening your underarm skin, a dermatologist might also suggest a traditional brightening product. It might contain ingredients such as:

Dark underarm skin may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Talk with a doctor to determine whether your dark underarms could be the result of:

Although there’s no supporting clinical research, many people use baking soda to lighten their underarm skin and as an underarm deodorant.

If you’re concerned about the color or shade of the skin in your armpits, talk to a doctor or dermatologist about treatments you can use, including baking soda.