Skin lightening is latest antiperspirant fad

May 1, 2014

The newest fad in antiperspirant/deodorants worldwide is skin lightening of the armpits combined with moisture and odor control. The need for armpit skin lightening is most pronounced among the higher Fitzpatrick skin types, in which armpit pigmentation is common.

 

Q. What is the newest fad in antiperspirant/deodorants?

A. The newest fad in antiperspirant/deodorants worldwide is skin lightening of the armpits combined with moisture and odor control. The need for armpit skin lightening is most pronounced among the higher Fitzpatrick skin types, in which armpit pigmentation is common. These new antiperspirants are popular in India, where armpit darkness is considered to be unattractive.

This is an interesting new market because some of the darkening of the armpits is due to irritation from shaving and the use of antiperspirants. One of the most interesting observations following laser hair removal of the armpit is that the skin is lighter and softer, probably because blade irritation from shaving has been removed. This has created heightened awareness of this private body area.

The skin-lightening ingredients that are put in antiperspirants are the same ingredients used in cosmetic skin lightening preparations. Formulation is critical, as the aluminum salts used in antiperspirants can chemically inactivate some ingredients. I personally have found armpit skin lightening to be a challenge, even with prescription 4 percent hydroquinone. Rubbing of the armpits over clothing and skin/skin interaction in this body fold, inducing maceration, are causes of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation difficult to overcome. It will be interesting to see if skin lightening antiperspirants come the United States.

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