Why Is It Important to Detox Your Armpits & How to Do It

How to Detox Your Armpits (and Why)

Armpits are both the body’s entry and exit points. After years of using conventional deodorants or antiperspirants, a lot has been absorbed via the skin. Once you stop using the chemicals, there are toxins that have to leave the body first and allow you to make a fresh start.

This post might be particularly useful to those trying to switch to a natural deodorant and struggling in the process. When making the transition, many experience the occurrence of uncomfortable rash or excessive sweating and odor, which can make them deliberate. But, what might be missing is just a successful armpit detox.

Antiperspirants & Deodorants

Modern humans are afraid and ashamed of body odors and look for ways to mask them.

We need to sweat to expel toxins and cool down; sweating might even play a role in disease prevention. Yet, many try to fight it by applying unnatural chemicals and stopping the natural process.

Deodorants prevent you from smelling bad, and antiperspirants actually reduce sweating. The use of antiperspirants is particularly questionable as blocking the pores to prevent the release of sweat is definitely not a good idea.

Related article: The Best Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Underarm Odor

Chemicals in Conventional Deodorants and Antiperspirants

Standard deodorants often contain potentially harmful compounds that could damage your health. The research on this is ongoing, but a mere look at the list rings alarm bells. I’ve already written about it in my post about the neurotoxin that may be contained in your deodorant.

You can check this for yourself when buying a deodorant. Here are just a few example of what lurks in store-bought deodorants and antiperspirants:

  • Aluminum – some link it to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Parabens – disrupt hormones; traces have been found in breast cancer tissue.
  • Formaldehyde – acts as a carcinogenic substance.
  • Phthalates – another hormone disruptor; linked to infertility.
  • Antibacterial substances – have an adverse effect on immune system function and affect hormonal balance.
  • Propylene glycol – an antifreeze agent.

Putting all these potentially toxic substances where they can be easily absorbed into the blood stream does not seem like such a great idea. On top of that, there are lymph nodes in your armpits and around the neck, which play an important role in fighting off disease (you probably noticed how they become enlarged when you feel under the weather). So, jamming them and causing hormonal imbalance can seriously affect your immune responses.

Why You Need an Armpit Detox

All of the above makes many re-consider their nicely smelling cosmetic products. However, after years of constant use, there is a bit of a backlog. That is where an armpit detox might come in handy:

  • It will help pull out some of the chemicals stuck in the skin and tissue under the armpit.
  • It will prevent uncomfortable reactions that often accompany the switch to a more natural deodorant.

Armpit detox

If you simply ditch the chemical stuff and embrace a home-made or natural deodorant, you are likely to experience some of the following:

Although uncomfortable, these incidents are the body’s adjustment reactions. Similar to a body detox, things get worse, before they start improving and showing positive effects. Still, it puts many people off and they don’t persevere.

So, if you perform an armpit detox first, you’ll shorten the transition period and minimize the discomfort, as well as pull out some of the nasty toxins.

How to Do an Armpit Detox

You can do your detox using aluminum free baking soda or a bentonite clay mask (which can also be used to detox your skin). The latter is especially useful for people sensitive to baking soda. Bentonite clay is recognized as a ‘healing clay’ that detoxifies the body. It’s composed of ash made from volcanoes and many people not only use it externally for their skin, but they also ingest it.

Armpit detox with baking soda

  • Before you start, use a loofah or a scrubbing flannel and give your underarms a good scrub while you shower.
  • With your armpits still wet, apply the aluminum free baking soda and then use your natural deodorant (like this DIY lavender deodorant).
  • When you smell the unpleasant odor from your armpits, repeat the procedure: wash and then apply the baking soda, followed by your natural deodorant.
  • Initially, you might need to do this quite frequently, but the number of repetitions should decrease as days go by.

Armpit detox with bentonite clay mask



  • Mix the clay and ACV. You might need to add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water to achieve the right consistency. It should look smooth like sour scream. Use a glass bowl for mixing and a wooden or non-metal spoon (avoid metal).
  • Spread a thin layer of this mixture on your armpit and leave it for a few minutes. Let the body adjust. Start with shorter periods and then increase to 20 minutes or more.
  • If you feel any pain on your left or right armpit, remove the mix immediately. Some redness is normal, as the blood flow to the area is increased, and it should disappear quickly.
  • Remove the mask gently with a washcloth and have a warm shower.
  • Repeat daily until you can see that the body has adjusted to the natural deodorant and the unpleasant odor is gone.

Allow at least a week for your armpit cleanse and don’t let some initial discomfort deter you. It might sound weird, but it will do your body a lot of good.

Some additional tips

  • Drink plenty of water to further stimulate the cleansing process.
  • Try dry brushing your skin – this will improve lymph and blood circulation. Dry brushing involves using a dry brush to brush the skin in a particular pattern. You start from your feet and make your way up to the heart area. Use long circular movements in the direction of the center of the body. When brushing armpits, use circular clockwise motions. To get more information about dry brushing read my post on why you should start dry skin brushing. Dry brushing is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Other Ideas on How to Detox

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