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Why do armpits and the bikini line get darker after shaving? Prevention and Treatment

Why do armpits and the bikini line get darker after shaving? Prevention and Treatment

Raise your hands (or maybe not!) if you've ever experienced seeing a shadow from shaving your underarms or bikini area. Turns out it's actually a pretty common complaint for many women. When it comes to discoloration and hyperpigmentation, shaving is by far the biggest contributing factor, but why is that?

Here is the science behind it:

Darkening of the skin occurs when pigment cells in the skin multiply faster than usual. Regularly shaving the underarms can lead to excessive production of these pigment cells. It's especially the case for women that have darker complexions, because darker skin is better at producing melanin.

Sugaring vs. Shaving:

In order to prevent discoloration and hyperpigmentation, it's recommended to use a sugar-based hair removal. Sugaring or sugar wax, remove the hair from the root and exfoliates the skin. Whereas, shaving causes repeated trauma to the skin, and only removes the surface of the hair. It's also the cause the build up of dead skin cells that are trapped under your skin. 

Antiperspirant and Deodorant Irritation:

Ingredients in some of these products could inflame skin and cause discoloration. It's possible that fragrance and alcohol are the main culprit ingredients that cause irritation and darkening of the armpits. Look for deodorants that are fragrance-free or contain Vitamin B5 to reduce inflammation.

Tips to lighten darkness caused by shaving:

  1. Use a sugar based wax for hair removal.
  2. Exfoliate (exfoliating is key!)
  3. Use salicylic acid or Kojic acid.
  4. Moisturize regularly -use gentle oils like rosehip oil or squalane oil.