We’ve all heard about detoxing our bodies, our skin and the clutter in our lives. But what about an armpit detox?
Believe it or not, armpit detoxes have been all over the interwebs as of late and are gaining popularity quickly. While they aren’t always necessary, they can help your body better transition to natural deodorants. But, so can exfoliation and other (sometimes simpler) methods. We’ll talk about them all in this article, so keep reading.
First thing’s first: The difference between natural deodorant and antiperspirant.
The majority of us humans use antiperspirant (think: the brands you’re used to seeing at the drugstore, like Dove, Secret and Degree). But we almost always refer to them as deodorant. So what’s the difference?
Well, antiperspirants literally stop sweat from coming out of your sweat glands. They use aluminum salts that dissolve the moisture on the surface of your skin and essentially block the sweat from coming out (like little plugs). Most of the antiperspirants on the market have both deodorizing and sweat blocking capabilities. However this all means that they affect the natural balance of our bodies, because sweating is good for us and important to rid our bodies of toxins.
BO is caused by the apocrine glands releasing sweat and mixing with the bacteria on our skin, which causes the smell. Because antiperspirants stop the sweat from ever reaching our skin, there’s also less, or almost no, BO.
Deodorants, on the other hand, work a little differently. Deodorant kills the bacteria on your skin, so even though you are sweating, there’s no bacteria for the sweat to mix with and therefore no smell.
What about Hug Me Deodorant?
Hug Me is a natural deodorant made with probiotics, and it’s the Best Deodorant Ever. Why? Well, the probiotics in Hug Me actually help your body produce more good bacteria which outweighs the bad bacteria, and voilà!, literally no smell! Hug Me works with your body, rather than against it. Plus, it's vegan, clean and cruelty-free.
So what about the sweat? Deodorants like Hug Me don’t stop you from sweating BUT sweating is good for you because it’s your body’s way regulating of your temperature and removing extra toxins. When we block those sweat glands with antiperspirants, your body doesn’t stop producing sweat - the sweat is just stuck and often your body produces more sweat to fight the sweat glands. It’s kind of like a vicious cycle.
SO, when you switch to a deodorant, your body might be a little confused and wondering why, all of a sudden, you’re letting it sweat. This is where an armpit detox comes in… to allow our bodies to get used to using a deodorant without an antiperspirant.
The first thing to be aware of: if you feel moist when switching from an anti-perspirant to a deodorant, it’s normal, especially the first 2 weeks. However, if you know you’re a little smelly (or a lot) and it’s been more than 3 days, it’s probably a clear sign that the deodorant isn’t working for you.
Once you’ve made the switch to deodorant, how do you prep your armpits?
Option 1: A full on armpit detox.
This includes a homemade recipe of 1 part betonite clay 2 parts of water, so the clay is a creamy, but not watery consistency (think sour cream or buttercream icing). You can also substitute the recipe with 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water, or coconut oil for a more hydrating detox.
Leave the mask on for 8-15 minutes, similar to a face mask, rinse off, and your armpits have been detoxed, Depending on the sensitivity of your armpits, you might feel some stinging or burning. If it’s becoming too painful, wash off immediately.
This version of the detox is meant to prep your armpits for your new natural deodorant, remove any excess build up of antiperspirants, reduce irritation from your new deodorant and reduce BO.
Whether this actually makes a different or not is unclear, but if you love yourself a good detox, it definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Option 2: Exfoliation (the simpler, easier method).
Exfoliating our body is important, but it’s even more important to exfoliate our armpits because:
1 - The hair follicles in our underarms get clogged with dead skin cells and deodorant residue.
2 - If you shave your underarms, it actually makes it easier for dirt, bacteria and other irritants to build up in the follicles which can lead to ingrowns and eventually darken your armpits overtime.
The best way to exfoliate is to use a gentle wash cloth or scrub 2-3 times a week. You can use your facial exfoliator if you want something a little stronger.
Choosing a natural deodorant
So now that you’ve decided you want to make the switch to natural deodorants and your armpits are all prepped and ready, you can start testing out the best ones on the market. Don’t be discouraged if you try out one or two or five deodorants and they aren’t working for you. Natural deodorants are tricky, and it’s really just about finding the right formula for you. If you experience any sort of rash or discomfort from the deodorant, discontinue use right away and the rash should go away after a few days.
We recommend Hug Me Natural Deodorant. It’s made with probiotics so you don’t have to worry about smell, it comes in stick format so you don’t have to use your fingers to apply, it’s unscented and was voted the best natural deodorant by NY Post.
Don’t forget to take care of your armpits like you do the rest of your body. Armpits can be a part of your skincare and self care routine and they deserve just as much love. Plus, you rarely sleep with makeup and grime on your face (right?) so ensure that you wash your armpits daily, switch your razor frequently and use products that are safe for you.
If you have questions, or wanted to learn more about armpit health, drop us a line!