How to brighten your inner thighs
By Joi Lin, Licensed Esthetician and Anika Bodden, Esthetician
I’m Anika Bodden, an esthetician located in Toronto, ON, Canada. I specialize in waxing, facials & makeup artistry. Graduated from makeup college in 2016 and wanted to learn more about skin/skincare. I started watching YouTube in high school, that’s what got me interested, inspired and started my passion. Currently working on building my brand, gaining more experience in esthetics, networking with other professionals and education through info graphics on social media.
The idea for this blog post and chart came from suffering from darker inner thighs for as long as I can remember. I had a fast growth spurt when I was younger, and with that my thighs rubbed together, A LOT. Living in the Caribbean, air conditioning is a luxury for most places and I suffered from eczema, so my inner thighs are several shades darker than the rest of my body.
Hi, my name is Joi Lin Tynes. I am a Licensed Esthetician and Wax Specialist that specializes in treating hyperpigmentation and hair removal for POC, specifically Black Women, and the LGBT community. Prior to becoming an esthetician I used to work in costumes and makeup in NYC’s off broadway black theatre scene.
Since then I've done a number of plays for non profit theatre companies all around the city. This push from working with people’s bodys and faces at such a young age paired with my own skincare struggles as a young black woman is what got me to pursue esthetics.
Originally I wished to go to special effects makeup schooling but it was too expensive. While also overcoming my own struggles as a learning disabled young adult I found myself enrolled in esthetics school with full tuition paid from an agency specializing in helping those with mental health issues and various disabilities pursue higher education and vocational programs. With all the support and lots of luck I believe it is my duty as person to share all my knowledge and make accessible for those to learn how to better themselves through skincare and self care.
This post is going to be broken down into two different sections: Treat and Accept, because it is important to treat skin concerns - we also need to accept our bodies and those of us who have melanin are more prone to pigmentation.
Personally I truly believe this is one of the areas of the body that is just prone to being darker like your knees, elbows, underarms, and pubic area. As a brown skin black woman i just expected this and thought it came with the territory. That does not mean I cant still empathize with those who are struggling to love this part of themselves. This part of the body experiences lots of friction which can result in melanin production or darker inner thighs. It is completely normal! This is extremely common for people with deeper complexions or coarser hair types. The way I usually tackle this issue is changing the hair removal option for this part of the body, from shaving to waxing or sugaring and even laser hair reduction. This takes away excess friction that the razor blade can cause as well as prevent any ingrown hairs or skin irritations which almost always result in hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is the skin’s response to fighting off inflammation which shaving is a huge culprit in. If hair removal isn't the reason you're experiencing darker inner thighs then reduction of friction through moisturizing and properly lubricating the skin may be helpful as it helps to reduce chafing. Emollient rich moisturizer and body oils containing shea butter, squalane, petrolatum, etc can be beneficial. Even using powder with corn start and zinc can help give similar benefits, and might be more summer friendly especially if you have thicker thighs that tend to sweat easily.
Exfoliation using chemical exfoliants that actually slough off dead skin cells and even pigment cells like glycolic acid, lactic acid, or mandelic acid are also really great options its really easy to incorporate into your weekly skincare routine, just look for a body wash with these ingredients and focus the cleanser in the inner thighs. Lastly, sun protection will be your best friend forever and always. Always be gentle and kind with yourself as your body is your temple and it comes in all different sorts of shapes and sizes….a little melanin ain't hurt nobody.
My suggestion for treating inner thigh darkness/pigmentation is to use a blend of both physical and chemical exfoliation. For physical exfoliation there are a few different options on what you can use - dry brushes are an affordable option if you are on a budget or enjoy the feeling of using something more "abrasive". Dry brushes can be both wet or dry which is why I love them so much, though I would recommend anyone who does have one to make sure if you are using it wet to place in an area to let it dry thoroughly (to prevent bacteria from growing). There are also Korean bath cloths which you can find on Amazon or any local store that retails K beauty products, the cloth can be used in the shower which is why I LOVE them. Not to mention it is so satisfying to see the dead skin that comes off your body, and if you enjoy seeing the results this is for you. The other budget friendly options that you may own or having laying around the bathroom are: washcloths, exfoliating glove and a loofah (made of the organic material). The most common option when it comes to physical exfoliants is SCRUBS, which have come a long way in the beauty world. You can now find body scrubs formulated with chemical exfoliants and enzymes, which is the perfect blend to help with body discoloration.
For chemical exfoliation there are many different options depending on the type of skin you have, budget and lifestyle (simple routine, extensive or just the one off pampering). When it comes to body exfoliation you can use products formulated with glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid (if you suffer from any breakouts/blackheads) and enzymes (papaya, pineapple, pumpkin - which are perfect for those who suffer as well from sensitive skin). One of the most popular body exfoliators is PFB Vanish & PFB + Chromabright/ PFB Ultra - which is a combination of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid. The reason why this PFB is so popular and well known is because many wax bars retail the products and they are STRONG. The products come in a roll on form - which makes it easy and convenient for application after the shower to dry skin (this is super important). For those on a budget you can also find glycolic toners as well, sold at most drugstores to use on damp skin and then applying a lotion afterwards.
It is important to note when using any kind of chemical exfoliator to keep the skin both HYDRATED and MOISTURIZED - which means using water based products for hydration and products that have ceramides/ essential fatty acids for moisturizing. Sunscreen is even more important to use with exfoliation because the sun is the number one cause of aging and increases signs of pigmentation (making the skin look darker).
It wouldn't feel right not to address the biggest elephant in the room - inner thigh discoloration. This is something that millions of people suffer from, especially those who have melanin or are of deeper skin tones/complexions. This is NOT something anyone should be ashamed of or feel self conscious. It is COMMON and most importantly NORMAL. I know with social media it is so easy to compare yourself to others and I am so guilty of this wishing my body looked a certain way or I could tweak this area. Growing up I was scared to wear shorts in case people noticed the way my thighs looked with stretch marks or that my thighs rubbed together. No one really discusses that they suffer from it as well and it is okay, normal, that it happens to your body.
Body positivity is an extremely popular movement on social media, and I am grateful for it because it gives hope to everyone growing up or adults to accept our bodies. There is so much pressure we put on ourselves. No one should ever feel ashamed or embarrassed about their skin because it is the largest organ in the body. Your body is beautiful. You are beautiful. You do not have to change or conform to the norms. Be proud of who you are.
Thank you for reading this blog post and we hope this helped anyone struggling right now with darkness on their inner thighs or who needed some positive words.