Have you ever switched to a new deodorant, only to have it completely stop working a couple months later? Or gotten a pesky rash thanks to some mysterious ingredients in your antiperspirant? Chances are you’re due for a cleanse. But instead of a juice cleanse, these days it’s all about the armpit cleanse. You see, a little underarm TLC goes a long way toward ridding your body of built-up chemicals, toxins, and heavy metals from deodorants. This armpit detox mask will help remove toxins from the skin, restore bacterial balance to your underarms and make the switch to natural deodorants (here are some of our favorites!) just a little bit easier.
Why You Need an Armpit Detox
It’s no surprise that traditional deodorants contain a laundry list of undesirable ingredients. Everything from heavy metals and phthalates to formaldehyde and pesticides might be lurking in your antiperspirant. And even though you’re only applying these topically (and in relatively small doses), it’s thought that this might be even worse than eating them.
You see, when chemicals are applied to the skin, they enter the bloodstream directly without first being filtered like the food we eat. And if that’s not scary enough, when applied to your armpits, these chemicals sink directly into the lymph nodes beneath your arms. Overburdening your lymph nodes can lead to all sorts of issues–it’s scary stuff!
But while natural deodorants are much, much safer, making the switch can be rough. Not only do your sweat glands, which are used to being chemically suppressed, kick into overdrive, but some of the ingredients in natural deodorants have been known to sting, itch, and cause skin irritation if your armpits are already overburdened.
Tips for Making the Switch to Natural Deodorant
Here’s how to cleanse your armpits and make switching to a natural deodorant easier.
1. Use an armpit detox mask
Simply whip up this bentonite clay mask and apply it daily while in the shower. Bentonite clay helps draw chemicals from the skin so your armpits can detox more quickly. Within a week or two you should notice that you’re sweating less and you smell better (without the help of deodorant!). If it takes you a little longer to notice results, be patient and give it time to work it’s magic.
Armpit Detox Mask
- Mix clay, water and essential oils together in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
- Hop in the shower and wash your armpits thoroughly. Apply the mask to your underarms and let sit for 10-20 minutes before rinsing off.
- Repeat daily until you start to notice less sweating and body odor. If you develop any redness or irritation, use the mask less often.
2. Dry off thoroughly after your shower
Bacteria loves warm, damp environments which is why it can thrive so well in your armpits. After taking a shower or bath, make sure to spend extra time drying under your arms. Not only will it help prevent bacteria from taking up residence in your pits, but it will also help your natural deodorant stay on more effectively.
3. In a pinch, apply lemon
Natural acids like those found in apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and lemon juice can help neutralize the bacteria in your armpits, making you smell fresher. After your shower, simply apply a little lemon juice with a cotton ball. Let it dry before putting on deodorant and getting dressed.
4. Stick to natural fibers
You may have noticed that you sometimes smell a little, um, ripe when you wear certain fabrics. It turns out that synthetic fabrics encourage bacterial overgrowth more than cotton or other natural fibers, especially when you sweat. And since you might be sweating more than usual when transitioning to a natural deodorant, it’s best to avoid synthetic fibers altogether for at least the first few weeks while you detox.
5. Be patient
It will take a while for your body to adjust from using conventional antiperspirant to a natural deodorant. Remind yourself that a little sweat is good for you and, unless you’re running marathons in 80 degree heat, chances are no one can smell you. Simply give your body time and space to adjust.