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Finally! The Ultimate Guide To Getting Smoother + Brighter Underarms

Everything you need to know, right this way.
by Astrud Bernales
February 28, 2023
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Raise your hand if you want smooth, bright underarms that always smell like you’re fresh out of the shower! Many women dream of the perfect kilikili and in theory, it should be easy to get. All you need to do is take regular baths, apply deodorant daily, and get on with your life. Except it’s not always that easy, is it?

Underarm care is a delicate sitch because this area is one of the most sensitive parts of the skin. It constantly gets exposed to friction, sweat, and bacteria, in addition to the damage it goes through when removing unwanted body hair. It’s no wonder that this patch of skin causes a lot of insecurities for women everywhere, even more so for us Pinays who live in this tropical country where the heat and humidity practically call for sleeveless tops. 

So to help you finally bare your pits with confidence, let’s talk about the common underarm issues Pinays deal with—from pigmentation to rough textures—and how we can minimize the risks of skin damage that come with hair removal.

Why do we get dark underarms?

If you’re into removing body hair, we’re sorry to inform you that this act is the number one culprit on our list of things that cause darkening in the pits. This is because repeated shaving, plucking, and waxing are known to stimulate excess melanocyte production, AKA pigmentation. The darkening is also attributed to the inflammation that comes with ripping and pulling hair from the skin. 

Underlying medical conditions or genetics could also be to blame. For one, high levels of insulin are said to increase the body’s production of skin pigment cells, which is why people who go over their ideal body weight tend to experience darkening in the underarms or other body folds. 

Lastly, the friction that your pits are frequently exposed to as it rubs against your skin, body hair, and clothes can also cause this area to appear darker than the rest of your body. 

Is there a way to brighten dark underarms?

While pigmentation in the kilikili is generally considered harmless, we understand that it can put a damper on anyone’s confidence and self-esteem. The good news is that there are things you can do to help your skin cope with the sitch. 

  • Switch to a spray or powder deo

    A stick or roll-on deo contributes to the friction your pits are regularly exposed to. Switching to a spray or powder deo would minimize the chances of darkening because you won’t have to swipe these products on your skin. 

  • Try an exfoliating toner

    ICYDK, exfoliating isn’t just for the face. It can also do wonders for your underarms. Don’t rub your pits raw to see results though. Instead, use an exfoliating toner that will gently buff off dead skin cells to make your kilikili feel silky smooth. 

  • Consider professional treatments

    If you’ve tried just about anything and still see no improvements, it might be time to seek the help of a professional. Dark underarm treatments can range from peeling sessions to laser procedures. Just note that these treatments will most likely involve multiple appointments before you could see visible results, and one session can cost thousands of pesos, depending on your choice of clinic. Budget accordingly.

Why do I get chicken skin?

Another common underarm concern for Pinays is chicken skin. And while they don’t really do much harm, we can probably all agree that we can do just fine without these unsightly bumps, thank you very much.

What causes chicken skin? It’s something we’ve already discussed as a culprit behind dark underarms. That’s right—hair removal. If you prefer shaving your pits, the hair could curl back and pierce through the skin, causing it to grow inwards and appear as a bump.

How can I treat chicken skin?

Treating chicken skin is mostly a matter of having a good kilikili routine. Make sure to include the steps below to be well on your way to smooth underarms.

  1. Exfoliate

    Use products with exfoliating chemicals such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. These ingredients will help gently remove dead skin cells and declog the pores to smoothen out bumps. 

  2. Moisturize

    As in any part of your body, keeping the skin moisturized is a very important skincare step. Considering how it tends to dry due to rubbing and hair removal, adding a beauty oil to your underarm routine can help keep the skin in your pits moisturized and nourished.

  3. Review your hair removal method 

    If you’ve been dealing with either darkening or chicken skin in your pits for long, now is a good time to start re-evaluating your body hair options. Of course, you can always choose to just let it grow because it’s 2023 and it’s time we acknowledge that Body. Hair. Is. Normal.

    But if you’re not comfortable with that idea, then by all means, shave, wax, pluck, epilate, or laser away. Just be sure to take note of the pros and cons of each method in order to provide the right aftercare for your skin.

What’s the best way to remove underarm hair?

No body hair removal method is superior over the others. Each procedure comes with its own set of perks and disadvantages so it’s best to know all about them before you settle on a choice.


The perks of shaving is as numerous as its downsides. While easily the most accessible and budget-friendly method, it’s also the most common trigger for darkening and chicken bumps, not to mention razor burns, itch, and irritation. And since you’re not getting rid of the hair by the roots, the results don’t tend to last for long. 

If you prefer shaving though, remember to use clean, sharp razors, and never ever skip shaving cream. Try these recos:

  1. Gillette Venus Simply 3 Razor

    This upgrade to the standard disposable razor comes with three blades for a smooth and close shave. It also has a lubricant strip containing aloe vera extract to soothe your skin and reduce the risk of irritation. 

    Gillette Venus Simply 3 Razor, P249, Lazada

  2. Schick Intuition Sensitive Care Razor

    This razor comes with a pivoting head designed to adjust to the contours of your body, in whichever part you want to remove hair. The four-blade rig also features a moisturizing bar to keep your pits soft and supple. 

    Schick Intuition Sensitive Care Razor, P503, Watsons

  3. Human Nature Shaving Cream for Women

    Dry shaving puts your armpits at risk of razor burns and irritation. Try this shaving cream for women from Human Nature. Not only will it help the blade glide smoothly against your skin, but the glycerin-rich formula will also keep your underarms moisturized throughout the process.

    Human Nature Shaving Cream for Women, P179.75, Lazada


An epilator is a device designed to simultaneously pull body hair from the roots using multiple tweezers. The best thing about it is that it does produce longer-lasting results, although the device itself will cost significantly more than a regular razor. 

  1. Braun Silk-épil 5 SensoSmart Epilator

    New to epilators? This smart device from Braun will help you go through the process with ease. It has a light indicator that will give you a signal when you’re pushing too hard against your skin or when you need to adjust your handling for precision. You can even use it in the shower since the device is completely waterproof.

    Braun Silk-épil 5 SensoSmart Epilator, P3,573.84, Lazada

  2. Euroo EPC-2210SE 2-in-1 Epilator

    This epilator promises painless hair removal, thanks to its gentle tweezing system. It also comes with two washable head attachments and a nifty cleaning brush. Aside from your pits, you can use them on other parts of your body as well.  

    Euroo EPC-2210SE 2-in-1 Epilator, P2,499, Zalora


The best part about waxing is that it provides moderately long-lasting results despite being a quick procedure. Some of the downsides that we can think of are that it can be messy if you’re new to the whole ordeal, and there is pain to be expected as it essentially requires pulling multiple hairs from the roots.

  1. Nanny Rose Honey Wax All-Natural Hair Remover

    If you’re DIY-ing waxing at home, your best bet is this hair remover from Nanny Rose. It’s made with natural ingredients so it should be suitable for most skin types, including sensitive skin. You can even apply it hot or cold depending on your preference. 

    Nanny Rose Honey Wax All-Natural Hair Remover, P139, Watsons

  2. Strip Waxing Salon

    But if you’d rather have a professional do the business for you, try booking a waxing sesh at Strip. They’re mostly known for their Brazilian, but they can also take care of your kilikili hair. 

    Branches: Greenbelt 5, S Maison, Serendra, and Mega Fashion Hall

    Contact details: 0917-89-78747

    Rate: Starts at P898 per session

At-Home IPL Device

Looking for results that are a little more permanent? News flash: At-home IPL devices for hair removal exist and they should be safe for DIY purposes. Unlike the laser stuff you’ll see at the derma, IPL (intense pulsed light) devices emit a weaker, more dispersed, and less targeted light energy. When used correctly, it can remove up to 70 percent of unwanted hair on a specific area and slow down regrowth for up to a year.

The cons are that the devices are not as powerful as actual lasers so it might not be for you if you want to go completely hair-free. Plus, these devices aren’t exactly cheap. 

  1. DIY IPL PRO Kit

    The DIY IPL PRO device makes removing body hair easy with up to 999,999 flashes, making it usable for at least the next ten years. It comes in a kit that includes an aloe vera tub to soothe your skin after the process, an eye protector, and a detailed guide on how to get the best results from the treatment. We love how it’s available in cute colors, too.

    DIY IPL PRO Kit, P3,980,

  2. Luxelle IPL Hair Removal Laser

    Try this IPL device if you’re planning on removing unwanted hair on other parts of your body in addition to underarms. It has a filter cap that you can place to target small areas (pits or bikini line) or remove to treat large areas (legs, back, or arms).

    Luxelle IPL Hair Removal Laser, P6,930, Zalora

Laser Clinics

If you’re completely done with unwanted body hair at this point, you might want to consider laser hair removal. This professional treatment will banish kilikili hair permanently (or at the very least, slow down hair regrowth for years). It does this by using light energy to damage the hair follicles in a target area, making them unable to grow hair. 

Is it painful? Well, some discomfort is to be expected, but the pain has been compared to simply having your skin snapped with a rubber band. For longer-lasting results, though, you will need to get multiple sessions, and each session could cost around a couple of thousand pesos. 

  1. Wink Laser Studio

    Wink’s laser hair removal treatment includes a lot of attention to the customers’ comfort. Not only will you get a free consultation and some aftercare guidance, but their website also promises inclusions like complimentary tea, a stress ball, and free application of sunblock or anti-inflammatory cream. One session takes as short as 10 minutes and they recommend around six to 12 sessions for you to get the hairless kilikili of your dreams.

    Branches: Abreeza Davao, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Bonifacio High Street, Eastwood, Glorietta, Mall of Asia, Podium, Power Plant Mall, Robinsons Place Manila, Santolan Town Plaza, Trinoma, and Vertis North

    Contact details: Differs per branch, view here for the full list

    Rate: Starts at P3,000 per session for medium-sized areas

  2. SkinStation

    SkinStation offers a lot of beauty treatments, from facials to body sculpting sessions. For underarms, though, the diode laser treatment is one of their most recommended services. The estimated duration for one session is 20 to 30 minutes. The best part: They offer discounts when you book multiple sessions. 

    Branches: Acqua Mandaluyong, Bel-Air, Eastwood, Fairview Terraces, Glorietta 5, Shangri-La Plaza, SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, and more

    Contact details:, Facebook 

    Rate: Starts at P1,500 per session 

  3. Belo Medical Group

    Belo’s hair removal services offers five different lasers you can choose from, depending on your pain tolerance and treatment duration preferences. If you’re worried about pain and discomfort, for example, you can try the Harmony SHR but it will require around 8 to 10 sessions. If you can’t pop in for multiple sesh, you might want to consider CoolGlide, which will require four to six sessions, although it is said to be slightly more painful. But hey, hooray for choices!

    Branches: Abreeza Mall Davao, Alabang, Taft East Gate Cebu, BGC, Clark, Greenbelt, Greenhills, Medical Plaza Makati, Power Plant Mall, S Maison Conrad, Shangri-la Plaza, SM Megamall Atrium, Tomas Morato, Trinoma, and Head Office at San Juan

    Contact details: 8-819 BELO (2356)

    Rate: Starts at P8,600 per session


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