Armpit Detox: Is It Effective or How Does It Work Actually?

By this stage in the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying quarantine, you’ve probably ditched your jeans in favor of loungewear (sans bra, of course), ditched your makeup in favor of bare skin, picked up a hobby (or three), and maybe even tried baking bread. What’s next on your quarantine journey? After all, being a little stinkier than usual isn’t a big deal because of social distancing.

What is an Armpit Detox, and how does it work?

An armpit detox is a strategy to help your body adjust more smoothly to using natural deodorant. You’ll remove clogged pores from years of antiperspirant use during an armpit detox.

While there are many claims about the benefits of armpit detoxification, many of them are unfounded.

To begin, an armpit detox is more of a deep cleansing procedure than a true detox. It helps cleanse pores and eliminate antiperspirant or deodorant buildup from your armpits.

You’ll probably sweat more than normal while transitioning from antiperspirants to natural alternatives since your body adjusts to the lack of active components in antiperspirants.

Antiperspirants modify the microorganisms in your body over time, which is why you stink worse when you stop using them. While shifting, you may also have rashes and an overabundance of odor, which is quite natural.

Armpit Detox Work
Photo Credit: YouTube

Why should you do Armpit Detox?

Conventional deodorants contain substances that interfere with your body’s natural bacteria-removal mechanism, which is something they don’t tell you about. In fact, the longer you use products with these components, the more likely your body will become reliant on them to keep odors away.

Is Armpit Detox effective?

I tried it and had other friends who hadn’t yet switched to natural deodorant test it and then switch as well. The following are the outcomes:

  • We all observed a reduction in odor, even without using deodorant afterward.
  • When using the natural deodorant, no one who tried the detox reported a rash.
  • Everyone except one stated they saw a reduction in sweating.
  • Everyone said they would tell a friend about it.

Although this is a non-scientific experiment, the findings appear to be encouraging!

What makes you want to try an Armpit Detox mask?

While this is a fully normal procedure for your body to go through, rumors on the internet and social media claim that applying a mask to the area will help with the transformation. The following are the ostensible advantages:

  • Assists in the “purge” of antiperspirant chemicals. This is the claim that you’ll hear the most, yet there’s no scientific data to back it up. The antiperspirant components are naturally excreted by your body after roughly 24 hours, so what you’re feeling after that is merely your body readjusting.
  • Eliminates odor. Anything that cleans the region will assist to reduce odor, so if you don’t want to use the mask, soap and water will suffice. The natural deodorant you use after that will help to mask it over time.
  • Relieves itching and irritation on the skin. Because antiperspirant components bother some people (“The negative of antiperspirants is that they dry skin in an effort to reduce sweating and may cause irritation if used too liberally or on sensitive skin,” adds Nazarian), some people turn to masks to soothe their skin. If this is the case, make careful to patch test the mask first to avoid irritating the inflamed skin even more.
  • Maintains the microbiome’s balance. Here’s when the theoretical application comes into play. Because the microbiome in your armpits is responding to the change in products, you can help the area by applying masks that help the biome. The biome-balancing ingredient in DIY versions is commonly vinegar, which helps restore the skin’s pH to its slightly acidic natural state. While research into the armpit biome is still in its early stages, several studies suggest that switching from antiperspirants results in an increase of the odor-causing Actinobacteria. You can also assist balance out the bacteria in the area by getting your baseline pH back to normal, which should encourage Actinobacteria to return to normal numbers.
Ingredients found in most Armpit Detox masks

Several popular mask ingredients can be found on social media and the internet. So, let’s take a look at why they might be used, as well as some potential pitfalls.

Baking soda is used in a variety of beauty products at home, from shampoos to scrubs. You can use it as an exfoliator for your armpits, but many individuals are allergic to it because it changes the pH of the skin considerably. If you go this route, be cautious and do a spot test on your arm before applying it to your armpit.

Bentonite clay is a traditional clay that’s full of minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium, and it’s included in our DIY recipe above. Because bentonite clay is porous, it can absorb muck, dirt, dampness, and other impurities, making it a popular ingredient in “detox” masks for your hair, skin, body, and pits. Reach for Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay if you want the most popular selection.

Apple cider vinegar: Because apple cider vinegar is acidic, it alters the skin microbiota, making it less conducive to odor-causing bacteria. Activated charcoal is a popular skincare product that draws impurities out of your pores.

Is it true that natural Armpit Detox is superior?

First and foremost, it’s critical to note that there is very little proof that switching to a natural deodorant is beneficial to your health. According to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital, traditional deodorant, which covers the scent of perspiration, and antiperspirant, which actually prevents sweating, are most likely acceptable to use as usual. “There is no conclusive evidence linking antiperspirants to any negative health effects.”

However, we cannot be certain that traditional products are fully safe. According to the National Cancer Institute, several scientists have identified a probable link between deodorant chemicals and breast cancer because it is administered near the breast. As a result of this, and the overall trend toward natural skincare, some people prefer to play it safe by only using natural products—and that’s perfectly fine. (See also: The Best Natural Deodorants for B.O. Without Aluminum)

When you switch to natural Armpit Detox, here’s what happens?

If you do decide to make the move, why do so many people complain about their sweat levels being off and even an increase in odor? Here’s what’s going on.

“Antiperspirants are absorbed by sweat glands, and after 24 hours of non-use, the sweat glands do not recover to normal levels of sweat production. Even after one application of antiperspirant, it may take several days for the sweat glands to return to their baseline level of sweating “According to Nazarian, “During the switch,’ your body gradually regains the ability to activate sweat glands as you move away from antiperspirants. When you quit taking antiperspirants, nothing terrible happens; it simply takes time for your sweat glands to relearn how to sweat fully again.”

So, what we’ve labeled “purging” or “detoxing” anecdotally is actually our bodies doing what they’re supposed to do. “You’ll observe sweating increasing and then leveling to baseline levels in the weeks and days following withdrawal of these treatments,” adds Nazarian, “while the natural deodorant aids in disguising fragrance.” “Other than this basic change, there is no true ‘purge.’ Allow your body to adjust to the new product or change.”

There’s also the skin microbiota to consider. The collection of bacteria, yeast, fungus, and other microorganisms that dwell on our skin is referred to as the microbiome. Depending on the amount of light and whether the area is moist, dry, hairy, or oily, the critters change. Age and gender have an impact on the microbiome. A hormonal, sweating adolescent guy, for example, has a vastly different microbiota than a sedentary, postmenopausal lady “Kara Fitzgerald, N.D., a physician, agrees.

We all know that your armpits have a very distinct micro-niche, which is why they stink in the first place. In essence, particular strains of bacteria exist in the area, and when you perspire, they consume the perspiration and sebum in the area, resulting in the production of B.O.

And the microbiome is a sensitive organism that can be altered by the foods we consume. Some believe that the extra odor is caused by your skin’s microbiota readjusting during this transition period. But, once again, this is a perfectly normal occurrence—your microbiome is fragile, but it’s also resilient. It can also bounce back swiftly when you use microbiome-supporting items.

Four pointers to help you get through the armpit detox period

  1. Drink Plenty of Water: Water aids in the effective and natural removal of everyday pollutants. For the best results, drink filtered water.
  2. Watch What You Eat: Believe it or not, what you eat can affect the way your body odor smells! You can take steps to avoid smelling worse than necessary. The safest option is to go vegetarian for a few days, which will keep your body odor neutral. Garlic and onions, as you might think, should be avoided!
  3. After a Shower, Dry Off Carefully: Remember high school science? Bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments. Which is basically how your armpit feels after you get out of the shower. Make sure your armpits are completely dry and wipe away extra sweat in your pits with a paper towel when you’re on the road.
  4. Exercise and Sweat: We’re taught from a young age that smelling terrible is bad, and that sweating is bad. However, attempting to avoid sweating altogether is neither healthy nor natural. Antiperspirants may stop sweating, but they also clog pores and block sweat glands by containing aluminum. To put it another way, you sweat inside your body rather than outside! This means that a nasty mix of bacteria and chemicals will stay deep in your tissues instead of exiting as nature intended. As your body relearns how to control bacteria naturally, a little exercise to break a sweat and maybe a little time in the sauna can help speed up the detoxification process.
What are the advantages of doing an armpit detox?

An armpit cleanse is said to have a slew of advantages. Here are five prevalent assertions and the research to back them up.

  1. Enhances the efficacy of natural armpit detox

The majority of armpit detoxes are designed to make the switch from an aluminum-based antiperspirant to natural deodorant as painless as possible. Many articles advocating armpit detoxes suggest that natural deodorants would function better thereafter.

There is no evidence that these detoxes can reduce odor or improve the effectiveness of a deodorant. Deodorant and antiperspirant, on the other hand, alter the types and quantities of bacteria in the armpit.

People who used antiperspirant or deodorant had less Staphylococci bacteria than people who didn’t use any antiperspirant or deodorant, according to a short study. It was also discovered that persons who used deodorant without any sweat-blocking components, such as aluminum, had more Staphylococci bacteria, whereas those who didn’t use any had more Corynebacterium germs.

Antiperspirant reduced the number of Staphylococci germs on those who normally used deodorant without sweat-blocking components or who did not use any product at all.

These bacterial alterations may allow highly stinky bacteria to take over. According to a short study, antiperspirants can increase the number of Actinobacteria, a bad-smelling bacterium, on the skin.

This bacterial imbalance could be one reason why switching from an antiperspirant to a natural deodorant makes you smell even worse. It takes time for your skin’s bacteria to balance out, and each product you use — whether it’s a natural deodorant, soap, or a detox mask — can change the types and levels of bacteria on your skin.

The vinegar in the detox may help remove some of the bacteria that cause odors, but soap and water will as well.

  1. Removes antiperspirant or armpit detox buildup

Antiperspirant reduces sweating by temporarily blocking sweat glands. It accomplishes this by forming a gel on the skin’s surface. Although it is not absorbed into the skin, it contains irritants like perfumes, alcohol, and other chemicals.

Any antiperspirant or deodorant can be removed with a couple of thorough washes with soap and water and a washcloth.

A detox mask might also help you get rid of antiperspirants. However, it’s more likely that simply rinsing the mask off with water when you’re done would suffice.

To remove the antiperspirant, follow the water rinse with a soap and water scrape with a washcloth to ensure that any traces of perfumes, alcohol and other irritants are eliminated.

  1. Your body is detoxed

Some of the armpit detox articles make strong, untested claims, ranging from removing “cancer-causing poisons” to draining lymph nodes. But can you really get rid of pollutants through your skin?

Shilpi Khetarpal, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, stated, “All of these clay products and stuff that are trying to take out toxins are really simply a lie.” “The liver and kidneys do an excellent job of detoxifying the body of toxic substances. She continued, “There’s no way to get them out of the sweat glands or out of the skin.”

Toxins cannot be physically taken out of the skin or deeper layers of tissue, according to research. Toxins such as heavy metals can be carried out of the body by sweat, but clay alone is unlikely to be able to remove them from the tissues beneath the skin.

There is also no evidence that chemicals found in deodorants or antiperspirants cause breast cancer. This is only one breast cancer myth that you should disregard.

  1. Natural armpit detox causes irritation

As your body adjusts, an increase in germs may cause redness and irritation. But it’s more than likely a reaction to the baking soda and cornstarch in the natural deodorant.

If you experience burning, itching, redness, or a rash when using a product, stop using it right away. This inflammation is unavoidable, even with an armpit cleanse. If you’ve previously experienced a reaction, it’ll most certainly aggravate it.

  1. Armpit detox removes odors

Nobody wants to be concerned about their B.O. clearing a room. Holding your arms above your head while the detox mask dries almost seems worth it because of the promise of odorless pits.

There is some truth to this assertion. Apple cider vinegar is antimicrobial and can aid in the elimination of microorganisms that cause odors. However, it’s critical to dilute the vinegar properly and bear in mind that it won’t keep you smelling pleasant indefinitely. Learn more about the process of sweating.

Detoxification of the armpits’ side effects

An armpit detox isn’t going to do much help or harm, for the most part. However, vinegar might irritate the skin. An itchy or burning armpit is the last thing you want. “I would advise against [an armpit detox],” Khetarpal stated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Armpit Detox

When I first started using natural armpit detox, why did my armpits smell?

When switching from traditional to natural deodorant, it’s critical to remove the sticky buildup that regular deodorants leave behind, which can cause an armpit odor.

How long does it take for your Armpit Detox?

Keep your armpits up to let the bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar paste dry. It takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. Then, using a warm washcloth, remove the mask.

How frequently should you cleanse your Armpit Detox?

You’ll want to detox your armpits while switching from regular to natural deodorant. Then, make it a practice to detoxify that stench generated by germs every 3-6 months. You can do it as well if you start to smell the stink.

What other options do I have for treating armpit odor?

1 to 2 times per day, dab apple cider vinegar beneath your arms with a cotton ball. Baking soda, witch hazel, and essential oils are also effective cures. More information can be found here.

What essential oil should I use to get rid of armpit odor?

Underarm stink can be effectively treated with tea tree oil. Its antimicrobial capabilities aid in the fight against germs that cause odor. More information can be found here.

Which natural armpit detox do you prefer?

I prefer the Lavanila brand (available here), although everyone’s skin reacts differently to different deodorants. It’s possible that you’ll have to test a few before you locate the one that’s right for you!

What type of apple cider vinegar would you recommend?

Ensure that you purchase unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar “with the mother.” Here’s where you can get the kind I use.

Is it possible to apply this armpit detox mask to your face?

Yes, you may apply this detoxifying mask to your face. Lather it on your face with equal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar, then let it dry. Rinse with warm water to remove.

What should I do if my armpits become red or if a rash develops?

This has never happened to me, but it could. If this is the case, immediately rinse it off.

Conclusion

Through the liver, kidneys, and elimination, your body naturally armpit detox and eliminates toxic toxins (urination, defecation, and sweating). Clay or vinegar applied to the skin will not remove toxins from the body or clear the lymph nodes.

Instead, a simple wash with mild soap and water can remove any antiperspirant or deodorant residue from your skin and aid with odor management.

There are lots of natural deodorants on the market if you’re concerned about the components in traditional deodorants. Simply spot test on the inside of your arm to see whether you have any sensitivity.

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