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What *Really* Happens When You Switch To Natural Deodorant

This week, Mary decodes: The stages of detox.

I cannot count how many times people have told me, “Mary, natural deodorant just doesn’t work for me.” What a lot of people don’t realize is that your body goes through a detox phase when you swap out aluminum-laden antiperspirant for a natural deodorant. The truth is, your natural deodorant isn’t making you smell worse – the bacterial communities under your arms are changing and it doesn’t happen overnight! It can take up to 30 days for your body to fully detox from aluminum.

What To Expect When Switching To Natural Deodorant

A 2 to 4 week transition period can be expected when transitioning from antiperspirant to natural deodorant. Each stage of the detox may vary depending on your body chemistry.

WEEK 1

Antiperspirant is classified as an over-the-counter drug in both Canada and the U.S. If you have been using antiperspirant since you were a preteen, your body will definitely be dependent on it.

  • You may go a couple of days or even a week without noticing much difference between your antiperspirant and natural deodorant.
  • This is due to the fact that the aluminum compounds in antiperspirant form a gel-like plug and constrict your pores in the underarm. This prevents you from sweating and getting wet.

WEEK 2

  • When you stop using antiperspirant you will experience a substantial increase in growth of odor-causing bacteria in the underarm area.
  • You may also feel additional moisture because your body is sweating, which is the body’s natural way to flush out toxins.

At the end of the study conducted at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Genomics & Microbiology Lab, it was found that there was an initial increase of smelly bacteria (Corynebacteria) in the underarms of antiperspirant users when they stopped using it. Deodorant users did not experience the same increase in odor-causing bacteria when they stopped using underarm products. They even had fewer species of bacteria in their armpits compared to armpits of participants who use no product at all. It is important to know that this odor-causing bacteria won’t last forever, it is just a part of the detox that happens when you discontinue use.

PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA NATAF.

WEEK 3

  • Bacteria levels may begin to subside. The culture of bacteria is able to re-balance and stop over-producing odor-causing bacteria. What this means is that you will likely notice any odor issues starting to decrease.
  • Underarm moisture levels will also normalize. It will take some time to get used to sweating under your arms, (powder in natural deodorant can help absorb that moisture) natural fibres like cotton, bamboo and linen are your new best friends. As natural fibres are much more breathable, both sweat and bacteria can evaporate easier from the fibres.

WEEK 4

  • Your body should have fully adjusted to natural deodorant. It can take up to 30 days for your body to regulate itself, though for some people the detox stage is shorter. You can now continue using natural deodorant every day to neutralize the smell of daily body odor.

PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA NATAF.

For some people, the stages of detox may seem too scary to embark on, but it is so worth it when you realize that then for the rest of your life, you will have the security of knowing you are making a healthier life choice every single day. Thankfully, there are also a few things you can do to to help you get through the detox.

PHOTO BY NEAVE BOZORGI.

Tips to Help You Get Through the Detox

1. Eliminate odor-causing bacteria in the shower with a natural antibacterial soap. Sweat + bacteria = odor. If you remove the extra bacteria that your body temporarily develops during the detox, it will significantly improve issues with feeling stinky.

2. Carry a travel-sized deodorant with you on the go to freshen up throughout the day while you detox.

3. Take hot baths to help open your pores and encourage sweating to help to flush out toxins.

4. Apply a natural starch powder, such as arrowroot powder or cornstarch, to the underarms after applying your deodorant. The starch will help absorb some of the excess moisture you may experience as your body flushes out all of the toxins trapped inside.

Have you switched to natural deodorant already or have tried to? What was your detox experience like? We want to know! Please leave your comments below.

Sweating is a natural process of cooling and detoxifying your body. And it’s an important feature of the body’s most unique organ: your skin. Nontoxic deodorant is one of the things that Allison considers the “last frontier” of natural products – people are reluctant to ditch their favorite conventional deodorants. We understand the reasons people hang on to conventional deodorants and antiperspirants: we don’t want to look sweaty, smell stinky, or feel uncomfortably damp in our armpits.

Unfortunately, your deodorant, and particularly your antiperspirant, could be interfering with your body’s natural attempts to remove toxins and could potentially be causing long term health effects like breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that mothers who have used an antiperspirant containing aluminum salts (a common antiperspirant ingredient) absorb the aluminum transdermally and even pass the aluminum on to their children during pregnancy.

Why switch to a nontoxic deodorant?

Did you know that using certain deodorants or an antiperspirant daily can change the bacterial microbiome in your armpits? Consistent use can actually make your sweat smellier (due to overproduction of a bad bacteria) if you briefly discontinue use.

Just because your sweat may smell strong if you forget to put on your antiperspirant for one day does not mean that you shouldn’t try to ditch your antiperspirant. In fact, that’s a good reason to try to detox your armpits and transition to a nontoxic option!

First, detox your armpits

Once you correct the bacterial imbalances in your armpits, your sweat should not actually smell particularly unpleasant. You can try our suggestions below to detox your armpits and rebalance the bacteria. If you’re considering switching to a nontoxic deodorant, we highly recommend you try these suggestions as you switch so that your overall body odor is reduced at the same time. Your new deodorant will be much more effective if it’s not fighting conditions that foster bad body odor.

Simple, natural ways to detox your armpits & reduce body odor

Wear natural fibers

Have you ever noticed that your sweat smells particularly strong when you wear certain shirts? It’s not just your imagination! As we’ve mentioned before in our Healthy Travel Guide, wearing natural fibers (versus synthetics) can make a huge difference in the smell of your sweat! Look for 100% cotton, linen, or bamboo rather than polyester, rayon, or other synthetic blends.

“Natural fibers like cotton are lightweight, which means they’re ideal for layering for warmth or for keeping you cool in the sun. Unlike synthetic fibers (like polyester and blends), cotton doesn’t harbor bad bacteria and trap body odor in the clothing. By wearing natural fibers, you’re more likely to smell fresher longer and get more use out of the same shirt.”

Unfortunately, people tend to wear synthetic fibers when they’re sweating the most, during a workout. Yoga pants made from polyester or spandex or nylon running shorts can be great for stretching and wicking moisture. But wearing them for long periods or every day can contribute to bad bacteria overgrowth and upset your body’s microbiome. Plus, synthetic fibers can be heavily treated with chemicals, including formaldehyde, in production. We love how many options there are now for breathable, stretch-friendly cotton leggings and tanks. Pact is definitely our favorite, since their clothes are made with organic cotton.

Mind what you eat

Certain foods will actually change the way your body odor smells. If you want to test the way foods can change your body odor, try removing typical offenders like caffeine, alcohol, pork and foods fried in unhealthy oils. In general, a clean and balanced vegetarian diet will help you maintain a neutral body odor, though beware garlic and onions, which may make your sweat smell strong. The best foods for combatting body odor are leafy greens.4

Dry off carefully after a shower or bath

Bacteria loves moist environments, which is why it can thrive so well in your armpits on a hot day (and produce odors). When you step out of the bath or shower, make sure you dry off well, paying particularly close attention to your armpits. Not only will doing so make an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow, but it will also allow you to apply a deodorant more effectively. In a pinch, you can wipe off excess sweat with a paper towel if you want to keep your armpits dry and are not able to wash with soap and water (for example, while traveling, after exercising, or at your office).

Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated helps your body remove everyday toxins in an efficient way and can help prevent body odor. Make sure you’re drinking safe, clean water for the best benefit.

Take chlorophyll or probiotic supplements

The chlorophyll in leafy vegetables is what makes them a good defense against body odor. If you’re looking to add extra support to your diet, taking a daily chlorophyll supplement is a good way to help your body detox properly.5 Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods are another way to ensure your microbiome is balanced and healthy.

Apply apple cider vinegar, lemon, or witch hazel

Healthy acids like apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon help neutralize bad bacteria that may be growing in your armpits, causing a foul odor. After you shower, you can use a cotton ball to apply either of these acidic foods to your armpits. Allow to air-dry and follow with a deodorant (optional). Witch hazel is another liquid you could apply the same way to get similar results.6

Try a bentonite clay mask

If you’re looking to take your armpit detox a step farther, you can try a clay mask. Wellness Mama has the full tutorial for this method of removing bad bacteria and other toxins from your armpits.

Branch Basics favorite nontoxic deodorants

(once you detox your armpits)

  • Primally Pure is another company making a great, nontoxic deodorant. They recently came out with a new and improved formula in really beautiful packaging! The new formula is fortified with kaolin clay (powerful detoxifier) and non-nano zinc oxide (soothes irritation + combats odor).We love their unscented and can’t wait to try the charcoal option!
  • We love Primal Pit Paste so much, we even interviewed the founder, Amy Cazin, on our blog. She has lots to say about the science of sweat. Read our interview with Amy here. Primal Pit Paste comes in several scents (including unscented) and you can choose whether you want yours in a jar (apply with your fingers) or in a roll-up deodorant stick.

+ Deodorants you can make (DIY)

  • We love this classic Coconut Oil-Based Deodorant tutorial from The Free Spirited. You can prepare the recipe with or without essential oils (that’s recommended if you want an unscented deodorant). The arrowroot powder and baking soda are effective at neutralizing odors and keeping your underarms dry. You can experiment with the proportions of the powders if you are sensitive to baking soda – it can be irritating to your skin.
  • Check out my tutorial for a DIY Homemade Deodorant. The bentonite clay supercharges the deodorant’s power to remove toxins from your armpits, which helps neutralize body odor.
  • If you’d like to try a homemade deodorant powder, this simple deodorant powder from the Homemade Experiment is an inexpensive, nontoxic solution made from cornstarch and baking soda. You can even use this powder as a follow-up to another deodorant method to ensure your armpits stay dry. Men sometimes prefer this option because it is easy to apply, even on hairy skin. Because this recipe doesn’t have an oil base, you also don’t risk staining your clothes if you apply too much. Be careful when lifting a black shirt or dress over your head – this one may leave a visible white powder!

Tips for using nontoxic deodorant

  • detox your armpits as you transition to a nontoxic deodorant (see above)
  • remind yourself that a little sweat is good for you; if you’re not sweating, you’re not efficiently removing toxins from your body
  • tune in to your body odor – if it starts to change, you can take steps to neutralize it again by following our method of detoxing your armpits (see above)
  • if you shave your armpits, shave at night and apply deodorant in the morning to avoid irritation (typically caused by slight exfoliation and reaction to baking soda)
  • you may need to rub deodorants into your underarm skin to avoid caking or staining your clothes
  • if applying a deodorant with your fingers, use a small (pea-sized) amount and warm up with your fingers to soften it so it absorbs well

Further reading

We think the science of sweat is pretty interesting. Keep reading about how to detox your pits and switch to nontoxic deodorants in our interview with Amy Cazin of Primal Pit Paste.

One of our most popular articles is about Increasing Your Stomach Acid. If you work on your digestion, you will likely have improvements in body odor. Check it out!

Break the fragrance habit and try these Nontoxic DIY Air Fresheners instead of the synthetic variety to remove odors.

Check out our Healthy Travel Guide for our favorite travel snacks and tips for preventing sunburn, jetlag, and more!

There are many synthetic chemicals that are harmful to health. We created a series about five Common Household Chemicals that helps you identify and remove the worst ones from your home.

Have you ever tried switching to natural deodorant and given up because said formula left you smelling less than pleasant? (Guilty.) That happens because the funk-fighting stuff in traditional antiperspirants (aluminum-based compounds) work to temporarily cork the sweat duct, stopping sweat from hitting the surface of the skin—a trick that botanical-based deodorants just don’t pull off.

The thing is, it may not be so healthy to block your sweat. Some research questions whether low-level absorption of aluminum may cause estrogenic effects (something that could stoke the growth of breast cancer cells). Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute says that there’s no link between breast cancer and antiperspirants, and the Alzheimer’s Association declares that after 40 years of research, aluminum’s not a significant health risk.

Those who err on the side of caution and are looking to go without aluminum are left with a dilemma: Stick with traditional antiperspirant and minimize armpit wetness, or opt for a plant-based product—a move that may keep you from hugging your friends or being a respectable cube-mate at work but that will ensure you’re safe from pit-related health risks.

For those that want to try the au naturale side of the fence, a few new products help with that transition from conventional antiperspirant to something a bit more clean—and making it as inoffensive (ahem) and seamless as possible.

Keep scrolling to find out what it’s like to detox your armpits.

Photo: Instagram/@kaianaturals

The armpit detox trial

First up is Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox, a so-called “detox” deodorant meant to be used as a way to wean oneself off of conventional antiperspirants. The formula, with bamboo charcoal and activated charcoal, is meant to help stymie odor control. The idea: Use this stick for 30 days to help quell the rush of odor-causing bacteria that hits your pits once you stop plugging glands with traditional antiperspirant. After about a month’s time, your body will self regulate and produce less stink.

Unlike antiperspirants, it doesn’t block sweat from surfacing, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t help cut down on BO. That’s because sweat itself (secreted from the eccrine gland) doesn’t carry odor, a Angela Ballard, a registered nurse and communications director, educator and advocate with the International Hyperhidrosis Society, explains. “Body odor occurs when the bacteria naturally found on our skin breaks down substances in our sweat, leading to that characteristic smell,” she says. As for why your armpits are more foul smelling than other sweat on the bod? The scent-secreting apocrine glands contain a protein that’s key to this breakdown, which results in the funky scent.

Indeed, when I tried the stick for a month’s time, it didn’t seem to be helping much in the stink department during the first few weeks—if anything, it smelled like I was backpedaling, particularly in the first week, when my body odor seemed more pungent than ever. I began to wonder if I was expecting too much. Can our our bodies really adjust post-conventional sticks and roll ons?

According to research, it’s a possibility. As one study shows, habitual deodorant and antiperspirant users who stopped use for two days or more secreted far more Staphylococcus hominis (a bacteria that another study determined to be one of the stinkiest once broken down by the skin) than those who didn’t regularly wear deodorant or antiperspirant. What’s more, the group of non-deodorant users were found to have pits dominated by corynebacterium, a different type of bacteria that doesn’t top the stink list.

Photo: Stocksy/Michela Ravasio

Onward and upward in the smell department

Given these promising discoveries, I hung in there with my own experiment, hoping that easing up on traditional gland-plugging antiperspirants may make for less body odor. And on days when my armpits seemed particularly gross, I supplemented my new Takesumi stick use with another product designed to help transitioning pits: Lavanila The Healthy Underarm Detox Mask, a brush on mask—that’s right, an armpit mask.

Did it feel a little weird to brush a charcoal mask onto my underarms? Absolutely. But could it really draw out aluminum and impurity buildup in the pits, as promised? That’s a little harder to pin down.

“If you stop using aluminum, salt-based antiperspirants, your skin will naturally shed the aluminum from the sweat glands over time,” notes Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a New York-based dermatologist. Plus, as Ballard notes, the sweat glands aren’t actually an effective way to remove toxins from the body. “Sweat glands reside in your skin and aren’t connected to the waste-elimination systems in your body—you have your kidneys, liver, lungs, and digestive system for that,” she says, adding that healthy eating, exercise and hydration are the best way to keep organs functioning properly (and smelling optimally).

The mask did seem to give my armpits a clean slate, thanks to its skin-tending formula. “This mask contains a combination of skin soothing and hydrating ingredients,” notes Zeichner. “Plus, charcoal and clay can help reduce inflammation and absorb excess oil and dirt from the surface of the skin.”

By the end of week four in my armpit experiment, I’m happy to report that the excessive sweat and stink that I experienced in weeks one and two have subsided. I now toggle between reaching for Vapour AER Next Level Deodorant (which is effective and smells lovely, thanks to a blend of essential oils) and the baking soda-free Agent Nateur Holi(stick) Sensitive Deodorant (which doesn’t make my armpits red, like some clean deodorants do). But unlike when I was using conventional antiperspirant, I notice that I can now go a day without having to apply, if needed, because my armpits simply don’t seem to stink as much anymore.

Yes, I still get sweaty—and unfortunately, I haven’t found a way out of using deodorant altogether (a girl can dream). But I’m pretty psyched about having settled into a less-stinky state. And if I happen to be optimizing my health by not applying controversial ingredients like aluminum to my skin? Well, that’s pretty sweet, too.

If you’re looking for a refresh in other ways (besides your pits!), try these yoga poses to detoxify your body. And here’s why you should detox before starting a new diet.

Struggling with Armpit Odor? Here’s How to Get Rid of It

Smelly pits. We’ve all been there. The scent can hit you after a grueling workout or in the middle of a nerve-wracking presentation. For some lucky people, a couple of swipes of deodorant are enough to cover the evidence.

But sometimes, no matter how much you shower, douse yourself in perfume or slather on deodorant, the stink just won’t let up.

It’s hard to exude confidence when you’re constantly trying to keep your arms down to hide the embarrassing odor. Luckily, we’ve broken down the best ways to get rid of armpit odor.

How to Get Rid of Armpit Odor

Contrary to popular belief, sweat by itself doesn’t smell. When your sweat interacts with the bacteria on your skin, it produces that unmistakable odor — also known as BO.

The medical term for chronic armpit odor is bromhidrosis. Body odor is sometimes the result of a medical condition that should be addressed by a doctor — but for many people, simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can help cure smelly pits.

Read more about the different causes of body odor.

Here are the best and easiest methods for getting rid of armpit odor fast.

  1. Try home remedies for body odor
  2. Make a diet change
  3. Change your personal hygiene routine
  4. Wear a sweat proof undershirt

1. Try Home Remedies for Body Odor

These versatile home remedies for body odor can help combat B.O. without breaking the bank – and you can find most of them in your kitchen or local grocery store.

1. Apply Witch Hazel to Your Armpits with a Cotton Ball after Showering

Witch hazel is a natural astringent, which means it contracts your skin’s tissues and reduces the production of sweat. Most commercial witch hazel extracts also include rubbing alcohol, which helps fight odor-causing bacteria that like to hang out in your armpits.

Fight back against armpit odor by dousing a cotton ball with witch hazel and rubbing it on your underarms after showering or bathing for an easy-to-apply home remedy for body odor.

2. Dab Apple Cider Vinegar on Your Underarms Twice a Day

Apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic and has antimicrobial properties. You can find this home remedy for body odor in the grocery store. It neutralizes the environment in your underarm area and destroys smelly bacteria. Using apple cider vinegar regularly can help prevent bacteria from accumulating in your armpits.

Dip a cotton ball in a small bowl of apple cider vinegar and apply it to your underarms twice a day.

3. Rub a Mixture of Lemon Juice and Water on Your Pits Once a Day

Lemon juice is another highly acidic ingredient that doubles as a home remedy for body odor. It reduces the pH of your skin and makes it uninhabitable for bacteria.

Take half a lemon and rub it directly on your armpits. Repeat once daily until you notice an improvement in your armpit odor. If you have sensitive skin, mix the juice of half a lemon with half a cup of water to dilute it.

Be careful when applying strong acidic home remedies like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and witch hazel, especially if you have sensitive skin. To avoid any burning or irritation, only apply to clean, dry skin. Never use them right after shaving or if you have any nicks or broken skin.

4. Wear Homemade or Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorant is a gentle, healthy home remedy for body odor. It’s a great alternative to standard deodorant options that contain potentially harmful chemicals. Most natural deodorants are gentle on the skin and free of aluminum, parabens and phthalates. If regular deodorant makes your skin itch or burn, the natural deodorant route might be your best bet for fighting armpit odor.

Check out our list of the best natural deodorants.

2. Make a Diet Change

Did you know that certain foods can intensify armpit odor? If you’re prone to bad B.O., try laying off these foods for a few days.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain sulfur, which your body absorbs and secretes through your sweat. Eating these veggies can impact your body odor for one to six hours.

Red Meat

Meat is harder to digest than other foods, so your body has to work harder to process it. The amino acids in red meat leave a residue in your intestines. Your intestinal enzymes break down the residue during digestion, which mixes with bacteria on your skin and intensifies your body odor.

Fish

Fish like tuna and salmon contain choline, a type of B-vitamin that produces a pungent fishy smell. Some people who eat fish can secrete choline in their sweat for up to a day.

3. Change Your Personal Hygiene Routine

It might be time to take a good, hard look at your personal care routine. Practicing good hygiene can help reduce the number of bacteria in your armpits.

Wash Your Clothes Regularly

Do you have a bad habit of re-wearing sweaty workout clothes between washes? Letting sweat sit on your shirts creates a breeding ground for sweat-causing bacteria. Wear a fresh shirt every time you go out or exercise, and wash your clothes immediately after a heavy sweat session.

Trim or Shave Your Pits

Underarm hair traps moisture and creates the perfect environment for bacteria to breed. Shave or trim your pits frequently to keep the stink under control.

Shower More Frequently

Shower at least once a day and scrub your extra-sweaty areas with a scent-free, antibacterial bath soap. Stay away from strongly scented soaps, which can make your armpit odor worse.

If you exercise often, make sure to shower right after every workout so bacteria don’t have a chance to spread.

4. Wear a Sweat Proof Undershirt

What’s the best way to guarantee your friends, family and colleagues never know you’re battling armpit odor? Wear a sweat proof undershirt like the Thompson Tee.

The Thompson Tee’s Hydro-Shield sweat-proof technology completely absorbs moisture and prevents armpit odor and sweat marks from reaching your outer layer. It comes in a variety of colors and styles and layers effortlessly under any dress shirt or uniform.

If you’re not a heavy sweater you can also try our new Premium Undershirt. Infused with Odor Shield™ technology, a natural, non-toxic, hydrogen peroxide-based solution, the Premium Undershirt will help keep you smelling fresh all day!

Arm yourself with a Thompson Tee and stay confident and odor-free all day, every day.

When CC Buckley isn’t creating seriously dreamy photos of food as a stylist, she’s working on her side hustle as an herbalist and founder of the website Ripe, offering advice on how to harness the power of plants to improve your everyday life (pretty genius).

Buckley’s big on the idea that your body’s got everything it needs to be well—and when it doesn’t, there’s a natural, non-toxic fix to be had. For example, when her underarms weren’t feeling quite so fresh and so clean, she devised a ridiculously easy, two-ingredient solution—a detox paste she now swears by. Here she explains how she turned her pits sitch into a positive, plus what to do if your own could use a cleanse.

File this under cool anatomy facts you might not know: The highest concentration of lymph nodes in your body is located under your arms (also your groin, but that’s another article). They’re part of your lymphatic drainage system, your body’s built-in detox mechanism. And when you use antiperspirant and deodorant—even a natural one—these channels can become clogged, causing B.O. Which is why, from time to time, to unlock all that funk and gunk, a detox is a good idea.

An underarm cleanse can be as simple as applying a paste made of apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay. The combo goes together like avocado and toast. Healing clays like bentonite, which is ash from volcanic rock beds, absorb and remove toxins. In order to activate the clay, you have to add liquid to it, and ACV, with its naturally occurring antimicrobial and antifungal properties, is an ideal carrier.

The first time I tried it, my armpits were (smell) free and clear in three days. In the week that followed, I didn’t need to use deodorant of any kind. Now, when things are feeling a little funky, I just swipe a wedge of lemon under each arm.

Every body is different—some may go longer or shorter between cleanses depending on diet, lifestyle, etc. For upkeep, I cleanse when things get especially stressful, when I’m traveling and my routine is off…or when I go out dancing and I have too many margaritas. (Fortunately, bartenders always have lemon and lime, and it’s easy enough to ask for a slice and slip away to the bathroom to rub under my arms as a quick fix until I get home. Phew!)

© Provided by Genesis Media 7 effective ways to finally get rid of your body odor

Editor’s Note: Views expressed in this article are the author’s own and Microsoft News does not endorse them in any way. Neither can Microsoft News independently verify any claims made in the article.

– Because of the hot weather in our country, most people tend to sweat and produce bad body odor

– Having body odor can bring down one’s confidence and destroy their relationship with other people

– In order to get rid of the funky smell on your body, you just have to search around your house for natural remedies to finally make you odor-free

Sweating is a part of our daily lives as a way for our body to prevent itself from overheating. Thanks to the hot weather in our country, though, our sweat glands go on overdrive, thus producing an excess of bad bacteria. This bad bacteria then produce unwanted body odor that could bring down a person’s confidence.

Luckily, if you just look around your house, you’ll find several remedies that could leave you smelling fresh all day. Take a look at the list compiled by KAMI below:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Thanks to its anti-bacterial properties, rubbing apple cider vinegar on your underarms could help diminish bad bacteria which causes body odor. You may soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and water mixture in order to get rid of that nasty smell.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda has been widely used as an effective all-around cleansing agent. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of lemon or calamansi juice, apply the paste on your underarms and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Not only is hydrogen peroxide used to treat wounds, but it can also remove odor-causing germs on your armpits. Mix one teaspoon of this with a cup of water then wipe it on your underarms using a clean cloth.

4. Lemon

Aside from removing the nasty smell from your armpits, the acidity in lemon could also help whiten your underarms. Rub a slice of lemon on your armpits every night to get rid of your body odor.

5. Turnip or Singkamas

Singkamas is considered as a yummy treat for many Pinoys. What most of us don’t know though is that it’s also useful in getting rid of body odor. Grate the singkamas and squeeze out its juice. Once you’ve done that, use a cloth to rub it on your armpits and use it as a natural deodorant. After 10 hours, do the same process and reapply again.

6. Tea

Drinking tea has many health benefits but it also has a few cosmetic usages including getting rid of the stubborn odor. Soak a black tea bag in hot water for 15 minutes then place in the fridge for another 10 minutes. Soak a piece of a cotton pad in the chilled tea then place it on your underarms. Leave it there for 30 to 40 minutes before rinsing. For best results, do this two to three times a day for about two weeks.

7. Garlic

Although garlic is known because of its unpleasant smell, applying it on your underarms to get rid of body odor has been proven to be quite effective. Chop and boil three garlic cloves into 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Once cooled down, apply the solution on your armpits and leave it there for around 30 minutes. Rinse it off with mild liquid soap and repeat every day for best results.

Disclaimer: This article contains general information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.

Do Armpit Detoxes Work?

There are many claimed benefits of an armpit detox. Here are five common claims and what the research says.

1. Increases the effectiveness of natural deodorant

Most armpit detoxes are meant to make the transition from an aluminum-based antiperspirant to a natural deodorant easier. Many of the articles in favor of armpit detoxes claim that the natural deodorant will work better afterward.

There’s no proof that these detoxes can reduce odor or make a deodorant more effective. However, deodorant and antiperspirants change the types and amounts of bacteria in the armpit.

A small study found that people who wore antiperspirant or deodorant had fewer Staphylococci microbes than people who didn’t use any antiperspirant or deodorant. It also found that the people who wore deodorant without any sweat-blocking ingredients like aluminum had more Staphylococci bacteria, while people who didn’t use any product had more Corynebacterium.

When people who typically used deodorant without sweat-blocking ingredients, or who went without any product, applied antiperspirant, the Staphylococci bacteria on their skin decreased.

These changes in bacteria can make room for super smelly bacteria to take over. Antiperspirant can increase the amount of Actinobacteria, a bad-smelling bacterium, on the skin, according to a small study.

This imbalance in bacteria can be one reason why transitioning from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant can make you feel extra smelly. It takes time for the bacteria on your skin to balance out, and any product applied — including natural deodorant, soap, or a detox mask — can alter the types and amounts of bacteria.

The vinegar in the detox may help remove some of the odor-causing bacteria, but so will soap and water.

2. Removes the buildup of antiperspirant or deodorant

Antiperspirant works by temporarily clogging sweat glands to decrease sweating. It does this by creating a gel on the surface of the skin. It’s not absorbed into the skin, but it does contain irritants such as fragrances, alcohol, and other ingredients.

A couple of thorough washes with soap and water using a wash cloth will remove any antiperspirant or deodorant.

A detox mask may also remove the antiperspirant from your skin. But it’s more likely that rinsing the mask off with water when you’re done will have done the trick.

If you need to be sure all traces of fragrances, alcohol, and other irritants are removed, follow the water rinse with a soap and water scrub with a washcloth to remove the antiperspirant.

3. Detoxes your body

From removing “cancer-causing toxins” to draining lymph nodes, some of the armpit detox articles make bold, unproven claims. But can you actually remove toxins through the skin?

“All of these clay products and things that are trying to pull out toxins are really just a myth,” said Shilpi Khetarpal, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “The liver and kidneys really take care of detoxing the body from any harmful chemicals. There’s no way to get them out of the sweat glands or out of the skin,” she explained.

There’s no evidence that toxins can be physically pulled out of the skin or deeper layers of tissue. Sweat can carry toxins like heavy metals out of the body, but it’s unlikely that clay alone can lift them from the tissues under the skin.

There’s also no research showing that toxins in deodorants or antiperspirants result in breast cancer. This is just one myth about breast cancer that you should ignore.

4. Reduces irritation from natural deodorants

Redness and itchiness may be from an increase in bacteria as your body adjusts. But more likely, it’s a reaction to the ingredients in the natural deodorant like baking soda and cornstarch.

Stop using a product immediately if you develop burning, itching, redness, or a rash. An armpit detox can’t prevent this irritation. It will likely make it more inflamed if you’ve already had a reaction.

5. Eliminates odor

No one wants to worry about clearing a room with their B.O. The promise of odorless pits almost makes holding your arms over your head while the detox mask dries seem worth it.

There’s actually something to this claim. Apple cider vinegar is antibacterial and can help eliminate odor-causing bacteria. However, it’s important to properly dilute the vinegar and remember that it won’t keep you sweet-smelling indefinitely. Learn more about how sweating works.

Today’s post is dedicated to something super exciting – your armpits.

Why in the world would I write about detoxifying your armpits?

Because not too long ago, while cuddling before bed, my husband said to me, “Why do you smell like an Italian sub?”

You guys, we’ve been married for over 11 years and have two children. Needless to say, there are very few things that would cause me embarrassment in front of my husband.

But at that particular moment, I WAS ABSOLUTELY MORTIFIED!

I had been struggling with stinky armpits for several weeks, but hadn’t figured out the cause yet. And honestly, I didn’t think it was *that bad*…

WRONG.

It was awful. There’s no polite way to say it, but I STUNK!

I was clueless as to why I smelled so bad, but I knew I had to do something about it.

I dug up a few articles about detoxing your armpits and decided to give it a shot.

And you know what, it worked!

We’ve actually talked about detoxifying a few times already… I shared how to make the ultimate detox bath, a super simple detoxifying salt scrub, how to make a simple detox face mask with charcoal, my favorite detox smoothie and the ever popular apple cider vinegar detox elixir.

But we’ve never talked about an armpit detox and the idea is very “crunchy granola” to me… am I the only one?

I’m betting not, so let’s talk about the legit reasons why you should consider detoxing your armpits.

1. You stink.

Okay, okay. This isn’t scientific, but it’s valid. If your deodorant isn’t working like it used to, or your armpits smell foul and you have no idea why, it’s time to detox.

2. The junk in your deodorant.

Identifying and getting rid of the junk in our healthy and beauty products (in a baby-step way) is the whole point of my book Kinda Crunchy. I highly recommend it if you’re new to natural living and are ready to make serious changes, without getting overwhelmed.

But the fact that there is junk in our deodorant isn’t new news. Some of these things can really do some damage to our bodies. Just a few of the ingredients include:

  • Aluminum – linked to breast cancer according to this article, and possibly linked to Alzheimer’s according to this article (although more studies are needed)
  • Parabens – one of the top 2 ingredients to avoid in shampoo for good reason – it mimics estrogen in the human body
  • Phthalates – this just so happens to be the second ingredient to avoid in shampoo, because they are endocrine disruptors as well (i.e. they mess up how your body makes, receives and processes hormones)

This isn’t an all inclusive list of course – I’ve written about the icky stuff in deodorant before.

3. You’re switching to a natural deodorant.

I made the switch to an all-natural deodorant a couple years ago (I shared my experience and review here), and the transition for me wasn’t a big deal. But that’s because I’m not a big stinky sweat-er in general.

But I know many people who can’t even check the mail without deodorant.

Using deodorant changes your body’s bacteria over time, which is why when you stop using it, you stink more.

That’s also why when you switch to a natural deodorant, you think it doesn’t work. That’s not true though.

The initial stink is your body detoxing from the long-term, repeated use of conventional deodorant. Like washing your hair without shampoo, there’s a transition period. This is where doing an armpit detox can help that transition period move along a bit quicker.

Remember how I mentioned earlier that my husband said my armpits smelled like an Italian sub?

The very next day, I did this armpit detox before I went to bed. The next day, the stink was gone.

Again, not scientific, but I’d whole-heartedly refer this process to my friends and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Because really, do you WANT to smell like a sub?

How to Detox Your Armpits

Armpit Detox Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp bentonite clay (I buy the big jugs of bentonite clay in bulk because I use it for SO MANY THINGS, including homemade toothpaste. This “normal” size container is great if you’re new to natural living. You can also use this ready-made clay as well.)
  • 1-2 tsp water
  • Washcloth
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • Cotton balls or a second washcloth (optional)

Armpit Detox Method

  1. In the palm of your hand, mix the bentonite clay and the water until you get the consistency of Greek yogurt. You don’t want it runny, but you don’t want it super thick either.
  2. Spread in an even layer over your armpits and let it sit for 5-15 minutes. Bentonite clay is known to draw impurities from within the skin, so it’s normal for the area to turn red. This shouldn’t hurt at all, but the armpits can be sensitive, so if it does, remove the clay ASAP.
  3. Wash off the clay in the shower, or with a wet, warm washcloth.
  4. If desired, you can swipe your armpits with apple cider vinegar using cotton balls or a second washcloth. ACV is known to neutralize bad bacteria that may be causing the stink, but it’s also a mild acid. I don’t recommend doing this if you have sensitive skin.
  5. Repeat the detox daily, or as needed, to keep the stink at bay or as you are switching to natural deodorant.

So what do you think about an armpit detox – too weird? Or totally normal? Has there every been a time when you stunk and you couldn’t figure out why? Share your experiences in the comments!

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Do You Need an Armpit Detox?

What does detox mean to you? In the beauty world, there is a new trend aimed at de-gunking targeted areas of the body, whether that means unclogging the pores in your scalp or — this is where it really gets interesting — even armpits.

Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, points out that there is an increased focus on “detoxing” the armpits because it is an area of the body where there is skin on skin, allowing for certain types of bacteria to live there that don’t live on other parts of the body.

He, along with several other experts, also attributes the popularity of the armpit detox trend to the increased interest in natural skincare as a whole (according to reports, the natural and organic beauty market is projected to be a $22 billion industry by 2024), including natural deodorants.

What’s an armpit detox?

“When people make the change from conventional antiperspirant to natural deodorant or none at all, they can notice that they are smellier than they are accustomed to being, as it takes time for the bacteria to balance out and you may experience more odor. The idea is that an armpit detox can make this transition easier,” explains Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Modern Dermatology.

And while the term “armpit detox” has become a bit of a catchall when it comes to all things relating to pit purification and preservation, as well as using a body scrub to help shed dead skin, Robinson says an armpit detox is typically referred to as the act of using products or treatments that contain detoxifying properties (such as bentonite clay, charcoal or apple cider vinegar) to help clear pores of dead skin or product buildup as part of the switch to natural – or, what she considers a true detox in this sense – no deodorant.

“A buildup of dirt, oil and antiperspirant on the skin can alter the skin’s microbiome, which means that the natural balance of bacteria on the skin may become unbalanced. The clinical significance of this change is not clear but taking a break from antiperspirants can help restore the natural diversity of bacteria on the skin,” explains Zeichner.

Antiperspirants use aluminum-based salts to form a club to block sweat glands, adds Zeichner. “This physically prevents sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. Deodorants, on the other hand, do not address the issue of wetness. Rather, they either mask or neutralize body odor,” he explains.

And even though the jury is still out on just how effective said ingredients and products are at abstracting toxins (such as aluminum) from the pores or lymph nodes, or helping to reduce sweat long-term, there have been studies that suggest deep-cleansing and taking a break from antiperspirant can have its benefits.

“The use of deodorant and antiperspirant has been found in a small study to decrease the diversity and number of normal healthy flora, respectively. When the products were stopped, the healthy flora returned back to normal,” adds Robinson. “It is similar to thinking about the healthy bacteria in our gut. When we take an antibiotic for an infection for an extended period of time, it not only kills the bad bacteria causing the infection, but also healthy bacteria which allows for unhealthy bacteria to overgrow and become prominent,” she explains.

Who can benefit from an armpit detox?

Armpit detoxing can be done by anyone, with products typically recommended for the masses, but Robinson says a detox can prove especially helpful for people who have bromhidrosis (and excess of odor) or chromhidrosis (strange colors like yellow, green, pink and others in their sweat), both of which can be caused by the overgrowth of bacteria. “Genetics can also play a role, in addition to hormonal status, weight, and other co-existing medical conditions,” she adds.

For Zeichner, since the only organs in the body that have true detoxing capabilities are the kidneys and liver, an armpit detox should be thought of as more of a deep cleanse. If refraining from antiperspirant, he says you should make sure to wash your skin (preferably with a gentle, soap-free cleanser and lukewarm water) after vigorous activity to remove excess dirt and oil, and to apply a moisturizer after shaving to help protect the skin barrier.

Of course, as with many skin conditions, experts also suggest that those with more severe sweating conditions and questions visit a dermatologist for a diagnosis and information regarding the latest treatment options.

What does an armpit detox consist of?

In terms of what to look for in a detox deodorant or other detox product alternatives, Zeichner says you can typically expect to see ingredients like clay. “Just as it is used on the face and patients with oily skin and acne, it can help absorb oil and dirt in the under arm. Clay also has a soothing bath and can calm inflamed skin,” he explains.

Robinson adds that vinegar has also been used in detoxifying products, as it is regarded for its natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. “When used topically, it can help decrease bacteria load on the skin and is being used as a means to try to reset the skin flora,” she says.

“In homemade masks, bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar are typically mixed together, potentially with some water to help dilute the vinegar. The mask is applied to the armpits and left on for 5-20 minutes and then washed off,” explains Hadley King, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York adding that vinegar can be irritating and therefore those with sensitive skin should start by diluting it with water.

In terms of over-the-counter products, we are also seeing an increase in the use of activated charcoal for its magnetic properties when it comes to attracting gunk from pores.

Could an armpit detox work for you? Test-drive the trend with these products and kits.

Pacifica Coconut & Charcoal Underarm Detox Scrub

Pacifica Coconut & Charcoal Underarm Detox Scrub | Amazon

This vegan scrub from Pacifica, featuring charcoal, green tea and coconut, aims to exfoliate armpits and remove pore-clogging buildup. Just massage in a circular motion, rinse well, and (if desired) follow with your favorite natural deodorant.

Primal Pit Paste Charcoal Magnesium Daily Detox Deodorant

Primal Pit Paste Charcoal Magnesium Daily Detox Deodorant | Amazon

Charcoal promises to draw out impurities, while magnesium works to help neutralize odor, in this daily detox deodorant. It has five stars from believers who have come to rely on it as an everyday go-to.

Lavanila The Healthy Underarm Detox Mask

Lavanila The Healthy Underarm Detox Mask | Amazon

The malic acid in this detox mask from Lavanila is said to bind to aluminum that may have been left behind, while silica helps to absorb sweat for staying dry.

Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox Charcoal Underarm Detox Kit

Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox Charcoal Underarm Detox Kit | Amazon

This kit from Kaia Naturals includes a detoxing handbook, bath salts, a deodorant booster bar and a deodorant stick featuring ingredients like charcoal and apple cider vinegar designed to help make the transition to no deodorant, or natural deodorant.

We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission.

I have a love/hate relationship with natural deodorant. I love the idea of it — mostly because I’m cautious of cautious of aluminum (although current scientific and medical opinion is that you don’t need to worry). But, I hate that it doesn’t always seem as effective as as my antiperspirants. After an extensive experiment involving 16 different kinds of natural deodorant, I realized that even my favorite formulas had trouble standing up to my most intense workouts.

I’d all but come to terms with the fact that I would never be a habitual user of natural deodorant when a friend suggested I try an “armpit detox.” This friend swore to me that she did a series of them, and that they changed the way her body responds to aluminum-free products. Naturally, I was skeptical.

Some quality time with Google informed me that this was a trending treatment making its rounds on the Internet, and that it was meant to help decrease sweat, odor, and underarm irritation. Some sites touted the benefits of armpit detoxes in supposedly removing toxins from your armpits. (Your body does release some toxins when you sweat, but it’s a very small amount — and any toxins in your body usually leave your body when you go to the bathroom.)

Next, I spent some quality time chatting with the pros, who informed me that there isn’t a whole lot of science behind the process. “There have not been any studies demonstrating that an armpit detox is beneficial,” Dr. Jessica Weiser, M.D. of New York Dermatology Group says. “An armpit detox should not impact the efficacy of natural deodorant, nor should it decrease or change the potential for skin irritation in someone immunologically prone.”

Tara Pelletier, cofounder of Meow Meow Tweet (a natural beauty brand that makes an awesome line of deodorants), echoes this sentiment. ” I don’t believe in armpit detoxes,” she told me over the phone when I explained my plan to change my life. She recommended exfoliating and moisturizing my armpits or changing my diet if I wanted to make the switch to natural deodorant. She also added that as long as I was taking care of my health, my body was continuously detoxing itself.

I decided to ignore all of this advice and try a full-on armpit detox, instead.

The recipe I found online called for a tablespoon of benonite clay, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and enough water (approximately 1-2 teaspoons) to get the mixture to mimic the consistency of sour cream. I mixed it all together in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon and slathered it on under my pits.

Thankfully, it didn’t burn or sting the way the website warned it would, but the experience was wholly unpleasant for many other reasons. First of all, hanging out topless with a mask under your armpits is not the most enjoyable way to fill your free time. I spent the first few minutes playing with my hair. Then, my arms started to hurt, so I put on a face mask and lay down on my bed with my arms over my head. After 20 minutes, I went back into the bathroom, leaving a trail of dried clay flakes on the floor. I washed it off with a warm towel, and realized it would have been much more efficient to just hop in the shower and scrub. This was all turning out to be a disaster.

Immediately afterward, my armpits were hot, red, and stank like apple cider vinegar, which is arguably worse than body odor. I was also sweating, but in a totally different way than I ever had before — it didn’t smell at all, but it felt like warm water was coming gently out of my pores. Perplexed, I put on Kai’s rose natural deodorant (which smells like the most amazing garden on earth) and went to sleep.

Struggling with natural deodorants? Try this DIY Armpit Detox

If you’ve tried a natural deodorant, but had issues with breaking out with a rash or excessive sweating, we can’t blame you for going back to the conventional stuff.

But before you give up entirely on natural alternatives to store-bought deodorant, consider this quick and simple armpit detox from Wellness Mama.

DIY Armpit Detox

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of water (to get right consistency)

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl (do not use metal!) with a wooden or non-metal spoon until about the consistency of sour cream.
  2. Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes. I suggest starting slowly and working up to a longer period of time once you see how your body adjust. If it hurts at all, remove immediately.
  3. This may cause some redness as it will increase blood-flow to the area, but it will go away quickly.
  4. Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth.
  5. Repeat daily or as needed until under-arm odour goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.

Once you’re ready to go back to a natural deodorant, check out our awesome recipe in the video below, or check out the recipe here.

The sweaty summer months are approaching quickly, so check out these simple tips for improving your body odor so you can ditch harmful deodorants for good!

Sweating is a natural process of cooling and detoxifying your body. And it’s an important feature of the body’s most unique organ: your skin. Non-toxic deodorant is often the “last frontier” of natural products—people are reluctant to ditch their favorite conventional deodorants. We understand the reasons people hang on to conventional deodorants and antiperspirants: we don’t want to look sweaty, smell stinky, or feel uncomfortably damp in our armpits.

Unfortunately, your deodorant, and particularly your antiperspirant, could be interfering with your body’s natural attempts to remove toxins and could potentially be causing long-term health effects like breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that mothers who have used an antiperspirant containing aluminum salts (a common antiperspirant ingredient) absorb the aluminum transdermally and even pass the aluminum on to their children during pregnancy.

You can actually change your own body odor!

Did you know that using certain deodorants or antiperspirants daily can change the bacterial microbiome in your armpits? Consistent use can actually make your sweat smellier (due to overproduction of a bad bacteria) if you briefly discontinue use. Just because your sweat may smell strong if you forget to put on your antiperspirant for one day does not mean that you shouldn’t try to ditch your antiperspirant. In fact, that’s a good reason to try to detox your armpits and transition to a nontoxic option!

First, Detox Your Armpits.

Once you correct the bacterial imbalances in your armpits, your sweat should not actually smell particularly unpleasant. You can try our suggestions below to detox your armpits and rebalance the bacteria. If you’re considering switching to a nontoxic deodorant, we highly recommend you try these suggestions as you switch so that your overall body odor is reduced at the same time. Your new deodorant will be much more effective if it’s not fighting conditions that foster bad body odor.

Simple, natural ways to detox your armpits and
reduce body odor:

Have you ever noticed that your sweat smells particularly strong when you wear certain shirts? Wearing natural fibers (versus synthetics) can make a huge difference in the smell of your sweat! Synthetic fibers can contribute to bad bacteria overgrowth and are often heavily treated with chemicals. Look for 100 percent cotton, linen, or bamboo rather than polyester, rayon, or other synthetic blends.

Certain foods will actually change the way your body odor smells. If you want to test the way foods can change your body odor, try removing typical offenders like caffeine, alcohol, pork, and foods fried in unhealthy oils. In general, a clean and balanced vegetarian diet will help you maintain a neutral body odor, though beware of garlic and onions, which may make your sweat smell strong. The best foods for combating body odor are leafy greens.

Bacteria loves moist environments, which is why it can thrive so well in your armpits on a hot day (and produce odors). When you step out of the bath or shower, make sure you dry off well, paying particularly close attention to your armpits. Not only will doing so make an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow, but it will also allow you to apply a deodorant more effectively. In a pinch, you can wipe off excess sweat with a paper towel if you want to keep your armpits dry and are not able to wash with soap and water (for example, while traveling, after exercising, or at your office).

Staying hydrated helps your body remove everyday toxins in an efficient way and can help prevent body odor. Make sure you’re drinking clean, filtered water for the best benefit.

Take chlorophyll or probiotic supplements

The chlorophyll in leafy green vegetables is what makes them a good defense against body odor. If you’re looking to add extra support to your diet, taking a daily chlorophyll supplement is a good way to help your body detox properly. Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods are another way to ensure your microbiome is balanced and healthy.

Apply apple cider vinegar, lemon, or witch hazel

Healthy acids like apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon help neutralize bad bacteria that may be growing in your armpits, causing a foul odor. After you shower, you can use a cotton ball to apply any of these acidic foods to your armpits. Allow to air dry and follow with a deodorant (optional). Witch hazel is another liquid you could apply the same way to get similar results.

If you’re looking to take your armpit detox a step further, you can try a clay mask. Mix one tablespoon bentonite clay, one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and one to two teaspoons of water. Spread onto your armpits and let sit for five to 20 minutes before washing off with warm water. You can repeat this daily until you notice a decrease in underarm odor.

DIY homemade deodorant

Once you detox your armpits, it’s time to transition to a natural deodorant. There are some good options you can purchase now (including Primally Pure and Primal Pit Paste), but here’s our DIY homemade deodorant recipe if you’re feeling really inspired!

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz. mason jar
  • 1 plastic or wooden
  • T. measuring spoon
  • 1 plastic or wooden
  • utensil for stirring
  • 2 T. bentonite clay
  • 4 T. arrowroot powder
  • 4 T. baking soda
  • 6 T. coconut oil
  • Optional: 10 drops of Essential Oil

Note: Bentonite clay has negative ions, which absorb metal. I use a wooden spoon to avoid touching any metal to the clay, though plastic also works well in this case.

Instructions:

  1. If your coconut oil is solid, then melt it using a double boiling method. Add the coconut oil to a bowl and put it over a pot of simmering water, which will gently melt into a liquid without destroying the structure of the oil.
  2. Put the powdered (dry) ingredients into a 16 oz. jar. Add the melted oil to the clay, stirring with a plastic, wooden, or glass utensil.
  3. Pour the deodorant into the containers you would like to store and use it. You can use either a glass jar or a traditional roll-up tube. Let the deodorant cool to room temperature and it will firm up.
  4. To use, if you are using the glass jar method, warm a pea-sized amount on your fingertips, then apply by hand to your armpit until it dissolves onto your skin. If you are using a tube, apply as you normally would apply deodorant.

I don’t apply the deodorant every day; I find that I don’t need it that often. That’s why I like to keep it in my purse in case I end up in a situation where I need to apply (usually it’s if I’m wearing a shirt or dress made with synthetic material). I love that this recipe works well to neutralize odor.

Tips for using Non-toxic Deodorant

Detox your armpits as you transition to a nontoxic deodorant (see previous).

  • Remind yourself that a little sweat is good for you; if you’re not sweating, you’re not efficiently removing toxins from your body.
  • Tune in to your body odor—if it starts to change, you can take steps to neutralize it again by following our method of detoxing your armpits (see above).
  • If you shave your armpits, shave at night and apply deodorant in the morning to avoid irritation (typically caused by slight exfoliation and reaction to baking soda).
  • You may need to rub deodorants into your underarm skin to avoid caking or staining your clothes.

if applying a deodorant with your fingers, use a small (pea-sized) amount and warm up with your fingers to soften it so it absorbs well.

​Kelly and her best friend Allison spent their college years together at The University of Texas at Austin. After seeing how the changes in diet and environment completely turned Allison’s health around, Kelly became hooked on living a cleaner, less toxic lifestyle herself. Kelly joined Allison and her Aunt Marilee in the Texas Hill Country for a summer detox where she lived in an environment free of harmful chemicals and ate according to the principles Food As Medicine. The results? All of the “normal” problems Kelly had experienced her whole life disappeared, and she is now passionate about helping others avoid unnecessary suffering. Kelly lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, Sam, and baby girl, Reid. Check out branchbasics.com to learn more.

How To Detox Your Armpits (and why you need to)

Switching to natural deodorants can be a tough sell, we realize this, so we asked the best in the business how to detox our armpits so that natural deodorants actually work!

Mary Futher, is the founder of kaia naturals, a Canadian beauty brand that is smart, effective and changing the way we use deodorant. Their Charcoal Underarm Detox Kit is an award-winning combination of soap and deodorant. The idea is that you need to use the soap on a daily basis to aid in the armpit detox. It basically makes the transition to the deodorant more effective.

We sat down with Mary to talk about the importance of making the switch and how to do it right.

Why does the body need a deodorant detox?

Conventional antiperspirants contain a variety of chemicals and additives, such as aluminum, which works to block your pores, preventing you from sweating. Sweating is actually your body’s natural way to detox, so by blocking your pores, you are trapping toxins and bacteria in your body.

There are five chemicals of concern in traditional antiperspirants and deodorants, which include: aluminum, phthalates, propylene glycol, parabens, and synthetic fragrance.

By switching to an all-natural deodorant, you’re allowing your underarms to breathe and be able to detox from toxins and chemicals.

Natural deodorant deodorizes without plugging your pores and allows your armpits to sweat (which is actually very healthy and it’s your body’s natural way to detox!)

So if you’ve been using antiperspirant, it’s time to make the switch. We often hear people say “but natural deodorants don’t work!”, however, most of them were not aware that your body goes through a 30 day detox period and just needs time to adjust.

Unsplash/ Becca Tapert

What can we expect when we first make the switch?

When you first make the switch to any natural deodorant, your body may go through a detox phase at first.

On average this detox phase takes 2-4 weeks to complete, but some people do not experience the detox at all. During the first week, you may find that the natural deodorant is working and you feel normal. As week two goes by, you may experience more perspiration and some odor. This is normal as it is a sign your body is purging toxins and bacteria. By week three, the perspiration will begin to decrease. By the fourth week, the detox symptoms would have subsided.

Cleanse your armpits with an antibacterial soap (like the deodorant booster bar) right before applying your natural deodorant, to help eliminate any odor-causing bacteria on your skin. Also, be aware of the type of clothing you’re wearing. Avoid synthetics like polyester and wear more loose fitting cotton fabrics, so your armpits can breathe.

Week by week, can you break it down?

During Week 1 you’ll find that your natural deodorant is working great!

Suddenly in Week 2, you may get some breakthrough odor (this is actually normal and a sign that your armpits are detoxing from toxins and bacteria).

During Week 3, you’ll find that you are becoming sweatier (another sign that your body is still detoxing).

By Week 4, the breakthrough odor and sweating will begin to subside and is a sign that your body is getting adjusted to using natural deodorant.

How does Charcoal benefit the body?

Activated charcoal is ideal for eliminating toxins from your pores, because it acts like a magnet, pulling toxins and bacteria to the surface of your skin.

Activated charcoal has been a time-honoured Japanese secret for odor control and detoxification, making it a very effective ingredient in deodorant. With its amazing detoxifying abilities, activated charcoal is so potent that one gram (the size of your fingernail) can absorb enough toxins to fill four tennis courts!

What if we want to give up?

Stick with it and don’t give up! Cleanse your armpits with an antibacterial soap (like the deodorant booster bar) right before applying your natural deodorant, to help eliminate any odor-causing bacteria on your skin. Also, be aware of the type of clothing you’re wearing. Avoid synthetics like polyester and wear more loose fitting cotton fabrics, so your armpits can breathe.

It’s like a water filter for your underarms

When talking about the takesumi detox charcoal deodorant, I like to use the analogy that it’s like using a water filter for your armpits. Sounds strange right? Let me explain. The average water filter you use at home uses activated charcoal to purify the water and pull toxins and impurities (sometimes you see those little black specks? That’s charcoal!)

Activated charcoal has a very porous surface that acts like a magnet, which chemically binds substances, such as bacteria and toxins. The same concept can be applied to your armpits and how activated charcoal “filters” your pores by pulling toxins and bacteria to the surface, leaving you with naturally cleaner sweat.

Do you have any advice on how to shave our armpits the right way?

Hyperpigmentation and irritation is something all women try to avoid while shaving their armpits. Shaving can cause severe irritation under the arms since it is one of the thinnest parts of skin on your body. If you are more prone to rashes, irritations and have sensitive skin, you may have already noticed your armpits itchy or small areas of the skin becoming darker.

Shaving doesn’t have to be written out of your beauty routine all together, however, there are ways in which you can avoid these side effects. Most of us are applying deodorant right after shaving, which only promotes more irritation. The skin is getting thicker and thicker to protect itself, but also changing color from all the trauma. My pro tip is to shave at night! By shaving at night you are allowing the irritation from shaving to cool down and subside. You can also try applying aloe vera gel or Vitamin E to help combat irritation. That way, by the time you go to apply your deodorant the next morning, your armpits have calmed down.

Do you have any tip on how to detox your armpits, so that natural deodorants actually work? Share in the comments.

Tags: Clean Beauty Health Skincare

Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.

How to detox armpits?

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