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Does glycolic acid really help get rid of dark elbows and underarms?

If you have come across the skincare trend that glycolic acid works wonders for dark skin and wondering if it really works, we've got you. Let's find out if glycolic acid for dark elbows and underarms works or not.
Dark underarms
Find out if glycolic acid is useful for dark underarms and elbows. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Rinky Kapoor Published: 19 May 2023, 10:30 am IST
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Skincare trends come and go every year, but not many last a long time. One of the social media trends that must have popped up on your social media is using glycolic acid for your areas with hyperpigmentation like elbows and underarms. For the unversed, glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from sugarcane. It is one of the important components of skin rejuvenation in modern skincare routines. If you are wondering if you should use glycolic acid for dark elbows and underarms, you have landed on the right page.

Let’s look at the benefits (or side effects) of using glycolic acid for dark elbows and underarms.

Benefits of glycolic acid for dark elbows and underarms

The advantage of glycolic acid is that it is very lightweight and can penetrate the skin deeply to exfoliate. When used on dark underarms and elbows, it helps lighten the skin, balance the pH levels, and promote new cell growth with a faster turnover of dead skin cells.

dark underarms
Know the benefits of glycolic acid for dark elbows and underarms. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Glycolic acid is safely used in toners, skin creams, and chemical peels for skin rejuvenation. Another benefit of glycolic acid is that it is an excellent deodorant as it has the ability to keep the pH balanced. Glycolic acid also helps break down the sweat bacteria to make room for an odorless environment. Plus, it works on all skin types.

Also Read: 4 natural remedies to get rid of pigmentation around your mouth

How to use glycolic acid to get rid of dark elbows and underarms?

When you apply glycolic acid on the underarms and dark elbows, it breaks down the top layer of the skin by dissolving the cell connections, and the top layer sheds. The new layer that comes in its place is soft, supple, free of hyperpigmentation, and more even-toned. When you start using glycolic acid to even out the skin, you will start to see the difference in seven days.

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Glycolic acid should be used in small doses as high doses can damage the skin. People with sensitive skin or dry skin should ask the doctor before using glycolic acid preparations. Large quantities of glycolic acid can irritate sensitive skin areas and cause more hyperpigmentation, and irritation, and cause long-term damage to the skin. Glycolic acid will not give you overnight results as the social media proclaims but continuous and safe use of the acid will definitely bring a change in the skin.

Natural ways to get rid of hyperpigmentation

It is not necessary that glycolic acid will work for you. If it is not for you, here are some natural ways to control the dark skin on your elbows and underarms:

1. Shaving the right way

Soften your skin with lukewarm water first, then exfoliate. Then apply shaving cream or gel before you start shaving. Don’t forget to apply a moisturizer afterward. For exfoliation, you can also use a light glycolic acid solution.

2. Baking soda

It is a known skin-lightening agent and also unclogs the pores. Mix a bit of baking soda with water to make a thick paste and a few drops of lemon juice and apply on the dark elbows and underarms. Scrub the skin lightly and leave it for five minutes before washing it with lukewarm water. Moisturise your skin well after drying.

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Also Read: 5 reasons why you should make baking soda your BFF for healthy skin

baking soda for dark skin
Baking soda can help you get rid of dark underarms and elbows. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Coconut oil

Massage the dark areas with little coconut oil for about five minutes. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash with warm water.

4. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Mix equal quantities of ACV and baking soda. Now, apply the mix to your dark elbows and underarms. Leave it for five minutes and wash it off with cold water. This will also help unclog the pores and exfoliate the skin.

5. Cucumbers

Cucumber is one of the most popular lightening and cooling agents for the skin. Just rub a few slices and the dark areas of the skin for about two minutes. Leave the juice on for 10 minutes before washing it off.

remedies for dark skin
Know how to use cucumbers to get rid of dark elbows and underarms! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Turmeric scrub

Mix some turmeric with lukewarm milk and gram flour. Apply this scrub on your underarms and dark elbows, massage lightly for two minutes, leave on for five minutes and wash with water.

Note: We tend to have dark skin and it is perfectly normal. But if you still want to get rid of dark areas, you can use glycolic acid on these areas. However, make sure you do a patch test before trying any of the home remedies mentioned in the article.

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About the Author

Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics ...Read More

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