Weird topic? I know. But hear me out before you judge!
I first came across an armpit detox while roaming the store, Biome, up in Queensland, Australia. I discovered the Earth Purities armpit detox kit, and wondered why someone would do an armpit detox? So I researched into it and discovered there are many health benefits to doing one (spoiler alert: includes sweating less and producing less odour!)
The Earth Purities Detox-A-Pit I found at Biome; was what inspired me to try armpit detoxing out for myself! (image source)
I’ve been doing it once a week for about a month now, and have noticed big improvements in odour (I no longer need to reapply my natural deodorant half way through the day now due to sweating/odour!).
I’ve found the best results for me have been a huge reduction in odour!
It’s really helpful for those having issues with switching/using a homemade natural deodorant. If you’ve ever made the switch from mainstream, conventional deodorants to natural ones, you may have noticed some side effects like itchiness, rashes, odour, or excessive sweating. Using chemical-based deodorants for prolonged periods of time can block your body’s natural ability to expel toxins through areas like your pits. Remember, it’s natural to sweat. This transition period can take longer for some compared to others, which may be off-putting to people using natural deodorant for the first time.
So, to help out with this transition process and help relieve some of the symptoms that may arise during this transition process, here’s where an armpit detox comes in handy!
Why Detox Your Armpits?
As I mentioned in my previous post, bentonite clay is fantastic for detoxing and removing toxins, chemicals, heavy metals, and other impurities from the body. So perhaps it could help in speeding up the transition period when switching over to using natural deodorant as well.
When applying it on, the recommended time to let it set for on your skin is 5-20 minutes (however: if it hurts at all, remove it immediately)
Now, you may be thinking, “Why detox my armpits at all?” And this is a fair question. Before learning about the benefits, I was thinking the same thing. It’s a strange concept when you first hear about it.
You may also wonder that if you’re having so much trouble using the natural deodorant, why not just switch back to using regular deodorant your body is used to and avoid the whole shabam? (Which is a fair question too).
Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants contain many harmful chemicals and additives. In order to block the body’s natural ability to sweat, it takes something unnatural and usually very harmful. The chemical list for some deodorants is astounding:
- Parabens. A hormone disruptor. What’s interesting is that parabens have been found in biopsied tissue that contained breast cancer.
- Aluminum. This is what blocks the pores in your armpits to stop the sweating. There is some evidence linking aluminium to Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.
- Propylene glycol. Commonly known as antifreeze. It’s often found in personal care products, and has been reported by the Environmental Working Group to carry a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies.
- Phthalates. These endocrine disruptors are also commonly found in plastic and cause hormone imbalances as well as infertility (predominantly in men).
- Antibacterial agents. I’ve mentioned these previously, but just to recap, these are also endocrine disruptors and can have a negative impact on the immune system.
- Formaldehyde. Generally used for its germ-killing ability, however, it is a known carcinogen.
So why is this such a big deal? Well, our armpits contain around 20-30 lymph nodes that help to protect the immune system, produce blood cells that help fight bacteria, carry oxygen and nutrients to our cells, and help to keep our body’s cool when we overheat. You may have noticed these lymph nodes before. If you’ve ever been sick and had a lump on your neck or on your armpit, that is a lymph node. I remember back to when I had glandular fever, I had huge lumps on my neck from where my glands and lymph nodes had swollen up. They are such a vital part of the immune system, and by putting endocrine disrupting chemicals on them will in turn suppress your immune system and cause havoc to your hormones.
For the 20 minutes I have it on, I have my arms poised in this lovely position to prevent it going all over my clothes 😉
The skin is the largest organ of the body, thus, whatever we put on our skin can be easily absorbed into our bloodstream. Breast cancer has skyrocketed over the years, so it would be wise to avoid these chemicals until further research has been done.
What’s great about doing an armpit detox, other than helping to speed up the adjustment process of using natural deodorant, is that it may help to draw out and remove some of these toxins out of the tissue of the armpits. This may be a great benefit to those who have been using conventional deodorant for years.
Does It Work?
I’ve read many accounts of people who have tried the armpit detox and have had great results, but even still I tried it myself, just to make sure, and found that:
- I didn’t receive any rash when using natural deodorant
- I noticed less odour, even without wearing any deodorant afterward
It is indeed an unscientific trial but is practically relevant and the results were quite promising.
How To Detox Your Pits
You may already have the ingredients you need ready. All you’ll need is bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and water.
Before and after! I find my skin feels incredibly smooth and clean after doing this detox, and often I don’t even need to apply deodorant afterwards as the odour has gone.
What I love about this recipe is it’s so easy to do that’ll you’ll pretty much have it memorised after just one trial of it!
I got this recipe from Wellness Mama, and really loved it.
- Combine all the ingredients together in a glass bowl and mix together until it forms a sour cream-like consistency. Make sure to use a wooden or plastic spoon (or any other utensil that is non-metal).
- Apply an even layer to your armpit and leave it on for 5-20 minutes. It is recommended to start off with a shorter amount of time and work up from there once you see how your body adjusts to the cream. If it hurts at all, remove it immediately.
- You may notice redness as it increases blood-flow to that area, but it will quickly go away.
- Wash off with a warm, wet wash cloth or in the shower.
- Repeat daily as needed until armpit odour goes away and the natural deodorant no longer irritates the skin in that area.
This paste is super easy to wash off afterwards too, you can remove it in the shower, or with a warm, wet washcloth.
If you are still having itching or lumps in your armpits, or are struggling with odour, maybe think about doing some dry brushing, as it has been said to help improve lymph circulation.
Drinking plenty of water is important whenever you stimulate lymph flow (dry brushing, detox, massage, etc.) to assist with flushing out toxins from the body and preventing dehydration.
For a live run-through of how to do an armpit detox, see my video tutorial below!
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, or trying or using any new products.
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Have you ever tried an armpit detox before? What was your experience? Share below in the comments!
Lots of love,
Wells, Katie. (October 26, 2018). How to Detox Your Armpits. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/25432/detox-your-armpits/
Why you should detox your armpits!. Nourished Life. Retrieved from https://www.nourishedlife.com.au/article/460555/why-you-should-detox-your-armpits.html