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August 16, 2017

How to Detox your Armpits

I feel like I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant for the past 3 or 4 years. I’d find or hear about a natural deo that sounded promising. I’d buy it. I’d start using it. I’d get sore armpits or a rash and switch back to my conventional deodorant for a few months. Repeat.

Are you stuck in this cycle, too? It seems we aren’t alone, because I recently saw an online thread where many women were lamenting about the struggle to make the switch, with all of us having the same symptoms. That’s when someone suggested giving your armpits the same grace you give your face, and recognizing that after years of slathering them in toxic ingredients they’ll need the same detox process that your face needs when you switch to cleaner skincare or makeup.

I’ve been through those processes already (annoying, but so worth it), but never really thought about the rashes or stinging in my armpits as being signs of detox. I started thinking about how I could help them out and care for them through the process so that I could, for once, make the switch permanent.

For ten days I tried a very simple Armpit Detox using the following rules:

  1. I wore deodorant as rarely as possible, but used Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream when I couldn’t do without for events or important meetings. 
  2. I wore natural-fibered tops (they’ll help keep you naturally cool and dry).
  3. I stayed hydrated (dehydration can lead to stronger body odors). 
  4. At night I applied Thayer’s Witch Hazel to both armpits using a cotton pad (keeping a few witch hazel soaked cotton pads or paper towels in a ziplock bag in your purse is also a great way to get through those deodorant-free days).
  5. Every 5 days I applied a Betonite Clay Mask for 15 minutes in the morning (this one is available at Whole Foods but this one on Amazon is also great). I recommend doing this in the morning, drinking 16 oz of water while the mask is on, and trying to get at least 80-100 oz of water in throughout that day. The water will help aid in the detox process by flushing your system. I prefer this over putting on the mask and then going to sleep.

After this 10-Day Armpit Detox process you should have managed to avoid the worst of rashes or stinging armpits and hopefully made a permanent transition to a healthy deodorant. But try not to stop the pit pampering there—exfoliate them, apply natural oils or moisturizers to them before bed. Keep up with an occasional bentonite clay mask.

A slight rash or some discoloration could still occur while your armpits detox, but this process will hopefully help speed up the process while providing a very thorough detox that help improve the condition of your precious little pits and prep them for a lifetime of safe, natural deodorant. I’m on my 3rd week of au naturale and loving it (highly recommend that Soapwalla’s Deodorant Cream)!

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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