If you’ve noticed your underarms look darker than usual and have discoloration, it’s probably because of the lack of exfoliationーwhich can be easily solved by underarm exfoliators. Discoloration of the underarms occurs when dead skin cells build up on the skin, thus the need for exfoliation.
In this article, we will be enumerating the best underarm exfoliators available in the Philippines that you may try for exfoliating your armpits. You can also read the buying guide, with insights and tips from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz, for a thorough walkthrough on how to choose the perfect underarm exfoliators for you.
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
As mentioned, dead skin cells appear at the surface of your armpit’s skin when it is not properly exfoliated. It can cause your underarms to appear discolorated, and in some cases, cause bad odor. Regular exfoliation is a way to alleviate this, which means scrubbing away all the dead skin cells that have built up on it, as well as the leftovers from products you apply on your armpits.
Fun fact! Our skin naturally exfoliates every 28 days - underarms included. However, as we age and as we are exposed to external factors, this process slows down. Hence, the use of chemical exfoliators comes in handy. However, underarm skin is very thin and delicate, so the choice of exfoliator is critical.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
If you want a product that will combat the dead skin cells from your underarms, it’s important to know which ingredients you have to look at. Hydroxy acids are one of them. In the world of skincare, they are most commonly classified as AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs.
Most commonly infused in face toners, serums, creams, and cleansers, Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHA) are also effective exfoliators for underarms because they eat away dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Popularly known AHAs are glycolic and lactic acids.
Glycolic acid lightens the skin, regulating its melanin production and lessening the risk of underarm discoloration. Meanwhile, lactic acid enhances ceramide production, preventing dryness, and helps improve uneven skin tone even without whitening it. When applied, these two may sting a bit, but worry not! They’re just working on exfoliating the skin.
Before buying and slathering that AHA onto your underarm, definitely check in with your dermatologist. This is not one of those products you want to experiment with on your own. Considerations of your dermatologist would include your overall skin type (sensitive vs. resistant), skin sensitivities and tolerances, the concentration of the AHA, and overall formulation.
Salicylic acid and willow bark are the most common examples of Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA). They are often used to remove dark spots. Moreover, exfoliators that has leave-on salicylic acid rids the skin of dull cells while keeping the skin’s natural oils intact.
#AskYourDerma before using this on your underarm. In general, salicylic acid is great for the face, however, the underarms may not be the same story.
If your underarms are prone to irritation, but you’d still want to get the benefits of a hydroxy acid, exfoliators with Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) may work best for you. They have relatively larger molecules than that of AHAs and BHAs, so it doesn’t penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
However, they do a good job of breaking down dull skin cells on the skin’s surface. With these, PHAs are compatible with dry and itchy skin. Common examples of PHAs are Gluconolactone, Galactose, and Lactobionic.
PHAs are considered "gentle exfoliants," and they are so because they have a larger molecular size. Hence, they aren't able to penetrate deep into the skin. However, despite its label as gentle, it doesn't mean it's risk-free from causing irritation on those underarms.
Aside from having your underarms well-exfoliated, you'd want to get other benefits to get your money's worth and to achieve that beautiful, clearer-looking underarms. Below are some of the additional benefits you can look for when purchasing an underarm exfoliator.
Now that we’re talking about those with sensitive skin, you may also consider looking for underarm exfoliators that are gentle and soothing. Botanical ingredients such as aloe vera, ginseng, and peppermint oil, among others, are some of the most gentle ingredients that can be found in underarm exfoliators. Moreover, they also soothe itch and irritation.
#AskYourDerma Tip: Consider barrier-strengthening ingredients for your underarms. Ingredients such as niacinamide can help improve texture but is gentle enough for the underarms.
When you're battling with dead skin cells on your armpits, you're also battling with underarm discoloration. This means that your underarms may darken, and this can easily be solved with exfoliants containing whitening agents. Example of ingredients that whiten and even out skin complexion are kojic acid, glutathione, tranexamic acid, and papaya enzymes, among others.
#AskYourDerma Tip: Consider multifunctional ingredients such as niacinamide which brighten the skin and strengthen it too! Added bonus, it's gentle enough to be applied onto underarm skin.
Underarm exfoliators come in a variety of forms – soaps, pads, or masks. You might have a certain preference on what type of products you’d want to apply to your underarms, so here are the exfoliator types in the market that you can try out.
If you’re a busy person, someone that goes out often, or just want an underarm exfoliator that you can bring anywhere, you may opt for exfoliating pads. They are handy and easy to use, as you can just swipe them on your underarms, then you’re good to go! Most exfoliating pads are already infused with exfoliating toners, so you don’t need any more cotton pads to apply to your skin.
Remember, pads add another level of exfoliation in addition to the chemical exfoliant incorporated into the pads. So if you have sensitive skin, this is not something you'd want to do.
Like you apply clay masks on your face to cleanse and detoxify it, you can also do the same with exfoliating masks. They remove impurities, toxins, pollutants, and dead skin cells, leaving your underarms fresh and clean after rinsing. Kaolin clay is a great example of a clay mask that removes build up from products you use on your armpits.
Remember, underarm masks are not for everyone. Regardless of your skin type, take extra care with masks for your underarm as these can be drying to underarm skin.
If you do not like having overly intricate underarm routines where you have to apply multiple products to your skin, you may prefer using exfoliating soaps instead. These can be used daily as you shower. Just remember to choose what’s right for you as some exfoliating soaps may be intensely drying and harsh to the skin.
Soaps are a useful option for areas that are delicate, given the short contact time with the skin. However, make sure to patch test the soap as well to ensure that you don't develop an irritation.
Because of their consistency, liquid toners and solutions which contain acids or other botanical extracts can seep quicker and better into the skin’s pores. With these, your armpits are not only cleansed and exfoliated but also free from odor-causing bacteria.
Scrubs that can be used on the underarms usually have microbeads that buff away dead skin cells quicker. However, this can cause microtears on your skin, especially when used aggressively. Not to mention, they are non-biodegradable, so be sure to choose microbead-free scrubs.
Instead, go for ones made of natural ingredients like finely ground fruit seeds. It is also recommended to opt for facial scrubs rather than body scrubs as they are formulated to be gentler than the latter.
Choose chemical exfoliants over physical exfoliants. Remember, rubbing or scrubbing your skin can cause unnecessary trauma and lead to unwanted discoloration.
It’s easy to be swayed when you see a product that promises to cleanse and exfoliate your underarms very thoroughly. But in taking care of your armpits, you also have to be vigilant. Products that have phthalates, mercury, synthetic fragrances, and sulfates, among others, could irritate your skin and could even cause health problems. Should this happen, discontinue use.
Be a label reader! It's important that you take extra care with what you put onto those underarms. Remember, our underarm skin has unique biologic characteristics as well as anatomic factors (exposure to constant friction and prone to accumulation of moisture) that increase its risk of developing adverse reactions.
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Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Get Radiant Underarms With This Glycolic Acid Solution
One Step Original Clear Pads
Easy Exfoliation With This BHA-Infused Pad
Achieve Smoother and Brighter Underarms
Mask of Magnaminty
Gentle Exfoliation Through a Kaolin Clay Mask
Bio Peel Gauze Peeling Wine
Peel Away Dead Skin Cells With Wine Serum
The Inkey List
Kaolin Clay Mask
Clay Mask That Can Even Out Your Underarm’s Complexion
Intense Whitening Body Scrub
Microbead-Free Scrub To Whiten and Exfoliate Underarms
Keep Clean And Bright Papaya + Clairblanche Face And Body Soap
Cleanse and Brighten Armpits When You Bathe
Oh Scrrrub Body Scrub
Rejuvenate Underarms With a Fruit-y Exfoliating Scrub
Kojic Acid Exfoliating Lemon Scrub
Whiten and Exfoliate With This Acid-Rich Soap
With 7% glycolic acid and ginger root extract, The Ordinary's exfoliating solution helps you achieve radiant and clear-looking underarms. It is also infused with aloe vera and Tasmanian pepper berry, ingredients which are known for their soothing properties. It helps reduce irritation that may be caused by the exfoliating acid.
Moreover, this product has a vegan formula, that's also free from potentially harmful or irritating ingredients such as alcohol, oil, silicone, nut, gluten, and soy. In addition, continued use of this solution can improve the skin’s texture and get rid of underarm bumps.
COSRX’s clear pads can be used not only on the face but also on your underarms. It consists of pre-soaked cotton pads, making it a convenient and easy-to-use exfoliator. Just sweep the pad across your underarms, and you’re good to go!
The pads are infused with salicylic acid, a BHA component that gently exfoliates dead skin cells. Instead of regular mineral water, this product uses willow bark water. It enhances the product’s exfoliating benefits without irritating your skin.
PIXI's toner will definitely give you glowing underarms! Infused with 5% glycolic acid, this product smoothens and brightens the skin, giving you brighter and radiant-looking underarms.
It also contains botanical extracts such as aloe vera and ginseng that nourishes the skin while soothing it. It's also alcohol-free, making it suitable for all skin types. Moreover, its mild formula means you can use this during the day or at night!
This multi-purpose mask cleans, calms, and clears the skin. It contains kaolin, which removes impurities and dirt on the skin, great for detoxifying underarms to get rid of residues from deodorants or antiperspirants. It also contains peppermint oil to invigorate the skin, marigold to treat it, and evening primrose seeds and aduki beans to gently exfoliate the skin.
While its users love how it prevents acne breakouts, this can be applied on the underarms as well as other parts of the body as needed. Using this product might feel a bit tingly and minty, but rest assured that it isn't harsh on the skin.
With Neogen's wine serum-soaked exfoliating pad, you'll get exfoliation that is simple, convenient, and effective while being gentle on your skin. It peels away dead skin cells, leaving your underarms with a refined texture.
Moreover, its hypoallergenic cotton gauze pads consist of a dual texture layer that gently exfoliates not only dead skin cells but also excess sebum and pollutants. It is also infused with resveratrol, a potent antioxidant. It protects skin from free radicals, brightens it, and soothes irritation.
Discoloration may cause your underarms to be darker than it normally is, but this product aims to help you with that dilemma. The Inkey List's clay mask uses kaolin clay, which strips away your skin's impurties, leaving you with a more evened-out complexion.
It also uses Smectite clay, which helps in absorbing your underarms' excess oil, and reducing body odor. It is perfect for regular use on the underarm, as well as the face. For best results, use this 1-2 times a week so that you can get a deep but gentle underarm cleansing.
Aside from whitening skin with the help of glutathione, this product offers multiple benefits, including underarm exfoliation. It aids in the removal of skin impurities and blemishes while exfoliating and buffing away dead skin.
This scrub also contains vitamin C to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots. Plus, it is microbead-free, paraben-free, and hydroquinone-free, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin.
Ideal for daily use, Ellana Cosmetics' Keep Clean and Bright soap helps fight discoloration and hyperpigmentation caused by dead skin cells through its papaya enzymes. With whitening agents such as glutathione and kojic acid, this soap can also help even out your underarm's complexion.
With regular use, you will be able to achieve lighter and non-patchy underarms. It can also be applied on the face as well as all over the body. Moreover, it comes at a cost-efficient price because you can already get 3 bars of soap for only PhP 350!
With multiple fruit extracts, this body scrub thoroughly cleanses and brightens the skin's complexion through papaya and pineapple enzymes. It also contains coconut oil, which makes it perfect for dry skin, as this ingredient keeps the skin supple and moisturized.
Moreover, it has beads made of apricot seeds that scrub away dead skin cells, promoting renewed skin that's softer and brighter. However, avoid aggressively scrubbing your underarms to prevent irritating or scratching the skin.
Rich in whitening ingredients, Belo's Lemon Scrub soap ensures to give you lighter underarms with the combination of tranexamic and kojic acid. These two help improve dark spots and pigmentation.
This soap also contains effective exfoliators such as citrus peel, salicylic, and lactic acid. These ingredients help stimulate new cell growth by scrubbing away the top layer of dead skin cells, making your underarms look radiant. It might be on the budget-friendly side, but if you have sensitive skin, this acid-rich product might not be for you.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Dr. Katrina.
The short answer is no. Exfoliating removes the mature skin cells, but it does not affect sweat glands or the odor that can emanate from them.
Want even, clean-looking armpits you can flaunt anywhere you go? Check out these links to level up your underarm care routine!
Author: Maureen Kate Basa
Editor: J. Cuizon
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：The Ordinary｜Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
No. 2：COSRX｜One Step Original Clear Pads
No. 3：PIXI｜Glow Tonic
No. 4：Lush｜Mask of Magnaminty
No. 5：Neogen｜Bio Peel Gauze Peeling Wine
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