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4 simple ways to treat hyperpigmentation on the body


Dark armpits, knees, elbows and inner thighs… hyperpigmentation in these areas can be a source of embarrassment for many, especially during the warmer months when clothing becomes more revealing. There is no shortage of facial products on the market targeting dark spots, but the same is not true for the body. So, how do you treat hyperpigmentation? Read on…

woman with dark armpits

What causes hyperpigmentation on the body?

Hyperpigmentation, specifically on the body can be caused by many factors, however these are the most common causes and factors you should be aware of:

  • Inflammation, irritation and microcuts from over-exfoliation, shaving, waxing or ingrown hairs
  • Body and underarm products with irritating ingredients such as baking soda, high levels of fragrance or aluminum 
  • Increased UV and sun exposure
  • Dark spots left behind by body acne (on the chest, back or buttocks)
  • Friction and chafing, especially on the underarms or inner thigh
  • Genetics: those with melanin-rich skin are more prone to hyperpigmentation
  • Medical conditions such as insulin resistance or PCOS

how to treat hyperpigmentation, naturally

1. shave the right way

If you shave, it is best to shave at night using a shave oil to form a proper barrier on the skin that will reduce the chances of micro-cuts. Also wait 12-24 hours after shaving before applying any body products including deodorant and body lotion.

To learn more about other hair removal methods and their potential to cause irritation and hyperpigmentation, click here.

2. use non-irritating underarm products

Underarms are one of the most common areas that experience hyperpigmentation and it is mainly due to the deodorant you use. Avoid these ingredients to prevent and treat hyperpigmentation:

  • Aluminum (antiperspirants)
  • Alcohols
  • Baking soda
  • High levels of fragrance

It is also important to note that underarms should always be treated gently. Over-exfoliation with rough scrubs and loofahs will exacerbate hyperpigmentation issues and can lead to very stubborn dark spots.

3. use a kojic acid soap for the body

Kojic acid is one of those ingredients that is not as popular in North America, but is a wonderful ingredient to help treat hyperpigmentation. It is a tyrosine inhibitor which means it prevents dark spots from forming and can effectively minimize dark spot pigmentation.

I developed an all-natural, yet highly effective kojic acid soap called the takesumi bright which be used on underarms, knees, elbows, chest, back, inner thighs and just about anywhere on the body that you have hyperpigmentation. Simply lather for 30 seconds daily on the affect area and rinse off.


Since underarms can be especially stubborn when it comes to treating hyperpigmentation, it will not be enough to avoid irritating ingredients in your deodorant. It’s best to switch to a brightening option like the takesumi bright niacinamide deodorant which combines alpha arbutin and niacinamide to brighten the skin while also controlling odor.

For best results, use the takesumi bright kojic acid bar, followed by the niacinamide deodorant.


If you treat hyperpigmentation without considering sun exposure, your efforts likely be wasted as the sun is one of the most damaging and hyperpigmentation causing factors. Be sure to always use a broad-spectrum SPF when you are going to be in a situation with high sun exposure and be sure to apply regularly. Additionally, wearing a hat, driving gloves and lightweight longer clothing to cover exposed skin will go a long way.

These four tips should help speed up your brightening journey and treat hyperpigmentation issues you may be experiencing once and for all.


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.

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