I love using that phrase because not only is it an actual detox for your armpits, but just saying it gets people interested. So yes, I detoxed my pits. And I am loving it.
One day I was talking with friends at work about the harmful ingredients in deodorants, and one of them mentioned she did an armpit detox. She explained the process and the reasoning why, and my mind was blown. You see, most people are unaware of the risks, or just think that there is no other option out there to make them not be the stinky person in the office. I was the latter.
Reviewing articles after our conversation, there are quite a few ingredients in deodorants to avoid. Here is a short list of the big time offenders:
Parabens – Mimics estrogen and can cause breast cancer.
Aluminum Compounds – Acts as a temporary and unnatural plug in your sweat ducts. Also can cause breast cancer.
Silica – A known skin irritant.
Triclosan – Kills both good and bad bacteria. The FDA classifies it as a pesticide.
Talc – Considered a carcinogen.
Propylene Glycol – Common name: Antifreeze. Considered a neurotoxin.
Stereath-n – Derived from vegetables, but it is reacted with a known carcinogen, ethylene oxide.
And those are just a few. Think about it: Your skin is your largest organ, and anything that touches it can be absorbed into the blood stream. Not only is the risk of breast cancer very real, which is reason enough to leave them in the dust, but using the aluminum compounds as a temporary clogging system is not healthy and is certainly not a long term solution. When your body absorbs all of the deodorant you had put on in the morning, and it is gone off of your armpit, you will be smellier than ever. Also, after years and years of use, those toxins will build up and have no where to go.
I tried a couple of unsuccessful attempts at going from regular deodorant to natural deodorant, and it was not pretty. I’ll admit it. I smelled. I smelled BAD. I gave up hope and just ended up back at using regular deodorant. I even used a prescription deodorant my doctor told me about because I couldn’t find something that worked for me. You can only imagine all of the added chemicals in that.
Fast forward to a few months ago and queue the detox.
The detox itself involves pulling all of those built up toxins from your armpit area so that you have a clean slate. You could just give up deodorant and switch to natural deodorant, but it will be weeks or months until all of that build up is cleared out and you don’t smell like you just hit puberty all over again. Doing the detox will speed up that adjustment period.
So how does it work? It’s so easy! I found this bentonite clay from Amazon and mixed it with either apple cider vinegar or water – one part clay, two parts vinegar or water. Play with the consistency though. I added the vinegar or water little by little, until the consistency was think enough to be a mask, but runny enough that it wasn’t too dry. Slather that on both pits and find a comfortable chair for the next twenty minutes while it sets. Wash off, and you are good to go! I did it the one time and found amazing results, but I keep meaning to do it again. The more you do it, the more toxins are pulled, and the less you sweat and smell.
This clay is so versatile as well, you can make a similar face mask out of it using the same ingredients. You can even bathe in it. A coworker of mine has even said she has eaten it, but I haven’t followed suit on that one.
After I did this detox, I went right to natural deodorant. Ironically, I barely ever smell when using the natural stuff, but I do find I sweat more. When I was using the chemical filled deodorant, I smelled WAY worse but never sweated (because my pores were being unnaturally blocked by aluminum).
The reason for my newfound sweating really just comes down to finding the right natural deodorant for your body. The coworker who told me about the detox had tried dozens of kinds, so she had some advice. I started off using Schmidt's Natural Deodorant, but I found it to be very grainy and that irritated my armpits. I then switched to Crystal Essence, which I really loved because it was a roll-on, but I was still sweating like crazy. I moved on to Ursa Major, when I read it was a fan favorite online. It’s not as pretty smelling as the other two, and after a few weeks, it still wasn't getting the job done smell-wise.
(UPDATE as of 8/23/17)
Finally.... FINALLY! I found my deodorant savior. I present to you - Piper Wai. They were actually on Shark Tank a few years ago, and this deodorant works better than any deodorant I have ever used, and that includes the aluminum-filled ones! This deodorant has even passed the mid-Summer heat test. I barely sweat, and I never ever smell! I rarely ever need to reapply during the day. This is the top of the list in my book!
Throughout the summer, I did do a detox once a month just to maintain freshness.
So while the armpit detox can help save anyone’s pits, it will be a trial and error situation to find the right natural deodorant for your body. But trust me, your body will thank you!