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Sweating is one of the most important cooling and natural detoxification processes that happens in our bodies through our skin. While sweating, we also accumulate bacteria that cause a bad odor. As a consequence, most people use traditional deodorants and antiperspirants that interfere with the body’s detoxification process and potentially cause several long-term health effects, including breast cancer in women.
So, in an effort to not look sweaty or smelly stinky, you could be harming your body unknowingly. However, you can avoid all this by learning how to detox armpits and ditch conventional deodorants for good.
Read on to learn more!
What’s Wrong with Traditional Deodorants?
Deodorants and antiperspirants are staples in most hygiene routines, and just as important as shampoo, soap, and toothpaste, etc. However, if you look at some of their ingredients and their effects on your body, you’d probably never use one again. Below are some of the harmful chemicals in deos and antiperspirants:
Aluminum is an active ingredient found in pharmaceutical products. Deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum salts that prevent sweating. These salts block the surface of your armpits’ sweat glands and trap it in your body. According to research conducted by the National Center of Biotechnology Information, frequent use can cause these salts to accumulate and cause cancer. 
Parabens in a conventional deodorant don’t allow bacteria and fungi from growing. However, when they’re absorbed by the body, they mimic the function of estrogen, thus harm the reproductive hormone system of humans.
3. Phthalates and Propylene Glycol
These chemicals are endocrine disrupters that mess up your body’s hormone exchange process. Propylene Glycol gives deodorant sticks their shape and can cause allergies to develop.
You cannot find any of these in a natural deodorant.
What Is Armpit Detoxification?
Your armpits contain thousands of lymph nodes that eliminate your body’s waste and detox the area. Armpit detox is the process of removing harmful buildup caused by frequent use of deodorant and antiperspirant. Think of armpit detoxification as any other cleansing diet, such as a juice cleanse or coffee detox, except this is one for your armpits. The goal of this process is to unclog the pores and allow the body to naturally detox by releasing sweat.
Another important fact you should consider is that sweat itself isn’t responsible for odor. Odor is caused by bacteria buildup in the armpits. Following armpit detox, you can start using a natural deodorant, but more on that later on.
The Benefits of Armpit Detox
Below are the three major benefits of armpit detox:
1. Clears Deodorant and Antiperspirant Buildup
The main function of a conventional deodorant is to temporarily clog sweat glands to prevent or reduce sweating by creating a gel on the skin’s surface. Even though your skin doesn’t absorb it, it can still irritate. Armpit detox can clear any deo and/or antiperspirant buildup from your skin so you can continue to sweat naturally.
2. Eliminates Odor
When you regularly detox your armpits, you don’t need to actively use heavy deodorants to reduce the smell. If you plan to switch to natural deodorants, it makes sense to go through this process before, so that it more likely that the natural deodorant will be effective..
3. Detoxes Your Body
The most important benefit of armpit detox is believed to be removing cancer-causing toxins through your sweat glands. There is no rock solid scientific evidence that this actually happens, however it surely helps you to switch to a natural deodorant more conveniently and this way you can prevent building up more toxins in your body.
The Importance of Armpit Detox before Switching to a Natural Deodorant
If you’re ready to give up conventional deodorants and switch to homemade ones, you need to learn how to detox armpits. Armpit detox will make your transition to natural deodorants easier. Switching directly can cause an imbalance in bacteria which can make you feel extra smelly. It can also cause redness and itchiness due to a sudden increase in bacteria buildup after quitting deos. This reaction is usually due to the first-time use of natural ingredients like baking soda and cornstarch on the armpits.
How to Detox Armpits Using Bentonite Clay – Ingredients and Method
Bentonite clay is an active ingredient found in many cosmetic products. It is a natural calcium-based clay that has a soft texture and forms a paste when you mix it with water. For thousands of years, people have used it to remove skin impurities. The clay can absorb the different materials (including oil, bacteria, and toxins) on your armpit by sticking to their molecules or ions. Furthermore, bentonite clay is loaded with iron, magnesium, and calcium, all essential ingredients for active skin repair.
Here’s how to detox armpits using bentonite clay:
- I tablespoon of bentonite clay
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- A washcloth and cotton balls
You can detox your armpits using bentonite clay with the following steps:
1. Mix the bentonite and water in your hand until you get a cream-like consistency. If it’s too runny, it won’t stick to your armpits. If it’s too thick, it will irritate you.
2. Spread it all over your armpits, creating a clay mask. You will feel some discomfort as the clay draws impurities from the sweat glands in your skin. It wouldn’t hurt at all but your skin will turn red because armpits can be sensitive. If you feel any pain, remove the clay immediately.
3. To save time, we recommend you apply it before taking a shower so you can wash it off quickly after 10-15 minutes.
4. By adding a little apple cider vinegar to a washcloth or towel, you can neutralize the bad bacteria in your armpits that cause it to stink. However, you should know that vinegar is a mild acid, so don’t use it if you have sensitive skin.
5. Since armpit detox barely takes 10-15 minutes, you can do it daily or as needed. If you’re planning to switch to a natural deodorant, we recommend detoxing daily for a while to speed up the transition.
And as in case of any other detox procedure, drink plenty of water.
Other Armpit Detox Methods
If you don’t intend to use bentonite clay, below are some alternative natural remedies that can help with armpit detoxification:
1. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal cabsorbs sweat, and helps minimizing odor, it also has some detox poperties. Some mix it with bentonite clay and or apple cider vinegar, too.
2. Baking Soda + Cornstarch
Applying a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch to your armpits can help you kill bacteria, reduce wetness, and eliminate body odor for several hours.
3. Lemon and Baking Soda Paste
If apple cider vinegar is too strong for your skin, you can mix lemon juice with some baking soda to form a paste. This paste will easily kill bacteria in your armpit, thus eliminating odor.
4. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is a common household ingredient you can find in bathrooms. When you apply it to your armpits, your skin and sweat glands contract, meaning you produce less sweat. Witch hazel also lowers your skin’s pH and kills bacteria quickly.
5. Switch Your Diet
Certain foods and drinks, such as garlic, onions, unhealthy oils, and coffee, can make your sweat smell strong. You can switch up your diet to include more greens like spinach, avocado, and lettuce, etc. to combat odor.
6. Wear Natural Fibers
The type of clothes you wear also influences sweat production and odor. Try switching to natural fibers like 100 percent cotton or linen instead of polyester and rayon. Natural fibers limit the growth of bad bacteria because they’re more breathable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about armpit detox:
1. Does armpit detox really work?
Armpit detox reduces the number of bad bacteria in your armpits thus, reducing odor. You will also notice your sweat glands producing more sweat when you stop using deodorants. There is no 100% scientific evidence however that toxins are actually removed.
2. How long does armpit detox last?
An armpit detox can lasts between up to 10-30 days, depending on how frequently you used deodorants.
3. How to detox armpits without clay?
There are many ways to detox armpits without clay. You can apply a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, lemon, or witch hazel to a washcloth and wipe your armpits. You can also use powder to keep your armpits dry as bacteria love moist environments. You can also add more greens to your diet. They combat body odor.
4. Can I detox my armpits while pregnant?
It’s generally not advised to undergo any detox (especially diets) during pregnancy or nursing. However, you should speak to your doctor and ask whether they’d allow it.
5. Can I detox my armpits with witch hazel?
Witch hazel has powerful medicinal properties and is used to treat several skin conditions. It’s an excellent alternative to using apple cider vinegar which might be too acidic for people with sensitive skin.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that it is important to get rid of harmful deodorants and antiperspirants that may cause breast cancer. Learning how to detox armpits can help you effectively switch to natural, organic or homemade deodorants by eliminating odor. The armpit detox will help your armpit’s bacteria to adjust quickly.
While we highly recommend using bentonite clay to detox your armpits, the other methods should serve you well, too. So, try them out and share your experience with others.
Editor and researcher at Detox & Prosper. With years of experience creating a healthy home for my family, I now help others eliminate toxins from theirs! Read my story here.