Dry Armpits: How to Correctly Moisturize & What to Use

Dry Armpits: How to Correctly Moisturize & What to Use
Dry Armpits: How to Correctly Moisturize & What to Use

Knowing how to moisturize the underarms, especially when they are dry, is very important for the health of our skin.

Dry skin does not only affect our face or exposed body parts, but also our underarms. It can be uncomfortable and irritating.

Therefore, I have decided to provide you with a full guide – everything you should know about what causes armpit dryness and how to manage it with a good moisturizing plan.

Why You Should Moisturize Your Underarms (Benefits)

Using a moisturizer on your underarms daily will help to repair the skin’s moisture barrier and re-add moisture to the dry skin. 

In people whose armpits are affected by an underlying condition, it becomes even more essential to know how to moisturize dry underarms.

Moisturizing will:

  • Soften the skin
  • Prevent further cracking
  • Help the skin to heal and regenerate healthy skin cells
  • Prevent further dryness by absorbing the moisture and locking in what it can
  • Prevent chafing

Apart from treating or managing any underlying condition if possible, moisturizing is the main treatment for dry underarms and dry skin in general. 

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How You Should Moisturize Your Underarms

Just Like your face and body, your underarms need daily moisturization. 

It is important to apply your moisturizer at least once every day to help your underarm skin regain lost moisture. 

If your armpits are very dry, you may need to apply moisturizer twice daily or more often. 

How much moisturizer and how often you will need to apply it will depend on how dry your underarms are. 

Additionally, the type of moisturizer that is best for you and the frequency of use will also depend on any underlying conditions

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7 Tips For Moisturizing Your Underarms

1- Moisturize your underarms at least once daily

Even if your underarms are not very dry, your skin needs daily moisture. If you have very dry skin, you may need to moisturize more than once daily.

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2- Always moisturize your underarms after you shower

Warm showers, or showers in general, especially if you use stripping soaps or cleansers, will strip the moisture from the skin of the underarms. It is important to replace this moisture every time.

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3- Always moisturize before and after shaving

Shaving erodes some of the top layers of the skin and can cause dryness and irritation. Before shaving, use a hydrating shaving cream. After shaving, moisturize the skin with a good lotion.   

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4- Use a lightweight lotion that will not block pores

The best kind of moisturizer for your dry underarms is lightweight, non-greasy, and will not block your pores. This will absorb into the skin of the underarms and allow it to still breathe under there.

This will also effectively allow the skin to pull moisture from the air through the pores and pass out sweat and other toxins when necessary.

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5- Avoid using moisturizers and products that have acids in them

These substances can cause a burning sensation and build up on the skin, causing irritation. They also exfoliate the skin and can strip the moisture that you so trying to hold on to.

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6- Avoid dampness

I know how this sounds. Don’t we want moisture? Yes, we do. But we want the moisture IN our skin and not ON TOP of it.

This is because that area is obstructed by our arms and clothes, dampness can foster bacteria and fungi buildup which will make us prone to odor and infections, all of which make the condition of the skin worse.

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7- Sometimes, fragrance-free moisturizers are best

This may sound strange too, but since you will most likely use deodorants after your moisturizer, it does not have to be scented. Fragrances in lotions can sometimes be harsh or irritating, especially to the dry, tender skin of the armpits. 

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8- Choose a lotion that has hyaluronic acid in it

Hyaluronic acid is the best hydrating ingredient in skin care today. It adds moisture and hydration on a cellular level and helps to repair the skin’s moisture barrier. 

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Best Underarm Moisturizers

1- CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

This formula is non-greasy and won’t clog pores. It contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides that will help to restore moisture to the skin and repair the skin’s moisture barrier. 

Click here to check out the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion on Amazon. 

2- Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Unscented Body Lotion

This lotion is fragrance-free, non-greasy, and easily absorbed. It contains vitamin B5 and other skin moisturizing ingredients that provide great hydration.

This one is for normal to dry skin and gradually replaces the moisture in moderately dry skin. There is also an advanced therapy version that can be used for severely dry skin. 

Click here to see the price of the Lubriderm Hydrating Unscented Body Lotion on Amazon. 

3- Tea Tree Oil Balm

This balm is made from all-natural ingredients and has no harsh chemicals or toxins. It includes a combination of different natural oils like tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and more.

There are no artificial ingredients, fragrances, or parabens making it safe to be used on underarms. It can be used to manage:

  • Severe dry skin,
  • Skin irritations,
  • Psoriasis,
  • Eczema,
  • Rashes, and other skin conditions.

Click here to check out the Tea Tree Oil Balm on Amazon. 

What Causes Dry Underarms

When your skin’s moisture barrier is not working as it should and is damaged, the results are excess water loss, dryness and irritation. 

When in good health, the barrier, which is made up of vital lipids, proteins, and water, aids in shielding your skin from the environment. It also helps the skin to retain moisture. 

However, the skin of the armpits may also be affected by:

External stresses

For example, harsh weather and humidity. The underarm region is frequently well protected from the outdoors because of its placement, which in principle ought to preserve the skin barrier in your armpits functioning effectively.

However, the external environment might still harm it, especially if you like to wear clothes that leave your armpits exposed.

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The high sodium (salt) content in sweat might make this damage to the skin barrier even worse. 

Bad Products

Some deodorant products have also been shown to make dryness worse, especially in those with sensitive skin.

Poor Self-care Practices

Shaving the armpits, for example, can remove the skin’s natural moisture barrier and cause dryness in this area.

Without adequate care, ongoing exposure to particular practices (over-exfoliation, certain soaps, talc use, etc) can exacerbate dry underarm skin, which can itch, irritate, and cause pain.


Some people report that even though they were “sweaty teens”, their skin is always dry. This is because your skin loses moisture and the moisture barrier becomes weaker as you age. 

Contact Dermatitis

Yes, this can also happen in your armpits! When something that irritates or triggers an allergic reaction comes into touch with your skin, contact dermatitis develops. You can experience a skin rash in addition to having dry, itchy, and red skin.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

This is a chronic condition that results in skin that is red, dry, bumpy, and irritating. Severe forms may result in skin cracking, which increases your risk of infection. Stress, allergies, and irritants can trigger a flare-up and make the condition worse.

Acanthosis Nigricans (AN)

Along with being darker, the skin of the underarms also becomes dry, thickened and cracked.

AN is usually caused by an underlying condition like diabetes or hormonal syndromes, as well as obesity. This needs to be addressed by a doctor and the AN treated by a dermatologist. 


This is an autoimmune condition that causes the skin to form dry, itchy, and flaky patches. These patches can become sore, cracked, and may even pain and bleed. 

It can affect any part of the skin, even the armpits. Psoriasis is chronic and can be triggered periodically. These happen in cycles and can occur due to weather changes, allergens, alcohol, medications, and any number of exposures. 

Side Effects Of Dry Underarms

Persistent and untreated dry skin, even on the underarms:

  • Increases your risk of skin infection
  • May cause painful sores when the dry skin cracks
  • Changes the texture of your skin to rough and bumpy
  • Causes hyperpigmentation (darkness)
  • Irreversibly damages the skin

Related Article

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How To Manage Dry Armpit Skin | Kiehl’s

Dry Skin – Cleveland Clinic

Contact Dermatitis – NHS 

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) – Mayo Clinic

Acanthosis Nigricans – NHS

Psoriasis – Mayo Clinic

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