Naturally detox your armpits in a weekend before switching to natural deodorant

Naturally detox your armpits in a weekend before switching to natural deodorant
Naturally detox your armpits in a weekend before switching to natural deodorant

In increasing numbers, smart shoppers are waking up to the fact that many of the products we’ve used for our whole lives are filled with dangerous, even carcinogenic chemicals with names that we can’t even begin to pronounce. By using more natural products with recognizable ingredients in our most used products, we’re able to limit our exposure to dangerous chemicals and potentially avoid problems that could stem from the use of these ingredients.

Why do the types of products we use even matter? Why does something like an armpit detox even exist?

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health examined skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water. It showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of total contaminant dosage. In study after study, it’s been proven that the things we put on our skin end up in our bodies, bloodstream, and for pregnant women, children’s developing bodies. With a product like deodorant, something that most of us use every single day directly on our skin, it’s good to be informed about the risks of using conventional deodorants because of the chemicals that end up in our bodies from using them.

According to the National Pollution Prevention and Toxics Advisory Committee, the United States imports 42 billion pounds of chemicals that the United States imports every day or about 150 pounds per person, per day. That’s a lot of chemicals that each of us are coming in contact with every day, from the catch-all ingredient of “fragrance” in our laundry products to phthalates and BPA.

Even if going more natural played a small part in your overall health, in the face of health issues that plague our world today, making a simple change to limit your exposure to harsh chemicals is at least worth a shot, if not one of the more important changes you can make for your health in your everyday life.

Between 1975 and 2002, incidents of childhood cancer increased by over 25%.
Between 1980 and 2002, asthma rates in children under 18 have gone up by 200%.
According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, diagnoses for autism and ADHD have gone up by nearly 400% in the past 20 years.

Chemicals and additives in conventional deodorants

In familiar deodorant/anti-perspirant products like Old Spice, Secret, Speed Stick, and Right Guard, you’ll find any number of the following chemicals that have been linked to diseases and other health problems:

Aluminum: Has been long known to be neurotoxic, with evidence that chronic exposure is a factor in many neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease.
Phthalates: Found in a wide variety of common products including plastics, cosmetics, and cleaning materials. Phthalates are considered to be endocrine disruptors because of their effects on hormonal systems including the estrogen and androgen hormone systems.
Formaldehyde: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure.
Parabens: A new study has found that parabens can spur the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells. And they appear to be able to do this even in tiny amounts.

Still, many of us voluntarily put these chemicals and additives on our skin every day. It doesn’t make sense. One easy way to solve this pit problem is by switching to a natural deodorant (and then maybe even other products like body wash and shampoo!).

Switching to natural deodorants

If you’ve browsed Amazon reviews of natural deodorants, every now and then you’ll find a review that complains of itchiness or rashes happening after using a natural deodorant. When this happens, most people naturally stop using the product because rashes are pretty annoying. It makes sense.

Many of us have been using conventional, chemical-laden deodorants for decades. By switching to a natural deodorant, our bodies often need some time to adjust and even expel all the chemicals and additives that have literally become a part of us.

To make the transition easier and rash-free, that’s where the armpit detox comes in. If you’re like my wife and I, you might only stick to it for a couple days, then find you feel good about transitioning to a natural deodorant. For some, it could take longer, but you can make your transition to using natural deodorants a whole lot easier and more effective with a small time investment over the course of a weekend.

What you’ll need for an armpit detox

To follow, Wellness Mama’s well-known detox recipe, you’ll only need three things to start your armpit detox journey. In her experience, the detox helped people have less odor, no rashes, and even reduced sweat.

One of the best parts of this recipe is that two of these products are VERY affordable and the third is easily found on Amazon.

Apple Cider vinegar
Bentonite Clay (often used as a face mask)

Once you have your ingredients, you can either mix them in set amounts as she recommends, or follow these basic instructions to eyeball your very own armpit detox mask:

Using a non-metal spoon, add a spoon of Bentonite Clay to non-metal bowl.
Add a splash or two of Apple Cider vinegar. It will not smell good.
With the goal in mind of having a sour cream-like consistency (smoother than Cool Whip), add water as needed. If you add too much, add a little more clay.

For the sake of your pipes, I’d recommend making sure your mix isn’t chunky. If your pipes clog easily, consider wiping it off most of it off using a wet paper towel before showering.

Applying and repeating

Once you have your concoction ready, thinly spread it on and around your armpits. You don’t need a ton, just light coverage. You’ll feel the clay quickly start to dry like a facial mask within a few minutes.

Depending on your level of commitment, after about 5-15 minutes, wipe off any excess first, then shower off the rest. That’s it! Your first day of armpit detox is done.

Some recommend trying to go deodorant-free during a detox, which is probably best, but we didn’t go that route because we had people to see. Instead, we prepped for the detox by buying natural deodorant beforehand (went with Primal Pit Paste) and applying it after showering off our detox mix. This way, we weren’t doing the detox and immediately reapplying the Degree (mine) and Secret (my wife’s) deodorants that we were trying to rid ourselves of.


In total, we did two days of the detox on a Saturday and Sunday. We literally did it twice and stopped. After the first doing the detox mix and using our new natural deodorant, we both noticed that our armpits felt a little itchy. It was totally bearable, but definitely noticeable. No rashes, but some itchiness. Even in my excitement for the detox, I knew it was itchy.

On the second day of our detox and using our new deodorant, our armpits were still a little itchy, but significantly less so. Some people had said that sweating helps speed up the detox process, so we went to the gym on day 2 as well. Mostly to sweat, but also because we wanted to test our new deodorant to see how it’d do the job. Some report that their body odor gets worse before it gets better during the transition; ours was about the same and the deodorant held up pretty well.

I was fully transitioned after Day 2 with no unsightly smells to speak of, but I also don’t sweat a lot outside of my face. My wife was switching from a “Clinical Strength” deodorant, so it took a few more days for the new natural deodorant to work at a comparable level to what she had previously been using. She said that the natural deodorant is still a little itchy initially when she puts it on, especially after shaving, but that the itch quickly goes away. While she’ll still occasionally reapply midday, she used to do that anyways with her conventional, “all-day” deodorant anyways.

Either way, we feel good about the fact that we’re getting the same amount of smell protection without putting the harsh chemicals on our skin every day. Even after our quick detox, we’re confident that we can stick to using natural deodorants and never put conventional deodorants (and their chemicals!) on our pits again.


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