If you ask me what’s the one area of my body that gets the most attention you might guess my legs or my biceps or even my skin, but the truth is, it’s armpits above all. I have a pretty solid armpit routine that consists of waxing, exfoliating, detoxing, and moisturizing. More than likely, you’re familiar with the waxing, exfoliating and moisturizing part, but you may be wondering what in the world is a deodorant detox and why do I need to do it?
Understand What’s in Your Deodorant
Do me a favor and go look at your deodorant. Chances are you purchase a conventional antiperspirant that is pumped with chemicals and additives. Ingredients like aluminum, propylene glycol (more commonly known as antifreeze), and phthalates are linked to cancer, hormone imbalance/infertility, and risk of immunotoxicity. And that’s just three of the ingredients.
While there isn’t concrete research that links deodorant to breast cancer, think about it like this: when you’re sick, you get lumps in one of two places, your neck or your armpits. These are called lymph nodes and they are a critical part of the immune system. They serve as filters for foreign particles and cancer cells. Your skin is your body’s largest organ whatever you put on it can easily absorb into your bloodstream. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want aluminum anywhere near my body’s #1 chance at fighting off cancer cells.
Making the Switch from Conventional to Natural Deodorants
When I first switched from conventional deodorants to more naturally derived and organic options, I thought I would smell like a freshly picked rose that was grown with love. Wrong. I smelled like a hippie that hadn’t showered for days after hot yoga in the desert. I knew that conventional deodorants were pumped with chemicals, but I assumed my body would automatically be able to adjust to the more natural version. Wrong again, but I wasn’t sure why.
After doing some research, I discovered that there is an adjustment period needed when switching to natural deodorant. I did my first armpit detox to help speed this process along by pulling these harmful chemicals out of my skin and tissue. I won’t lie, switching to a natural deodorant is trial and error. Fortunately for you, I’ve done the trial part for you. All of the rumors you hear about natural deodorant rashes and smelling like a hippie can be avoided with proper preliminary steps.
How To Armpit Detox
First and foremost, find a natural deodorant that works for you. I’m currently using Meow Meow Tweet’s deodorant cream and it’s working well. I’ve also heard amazing things about Schmidt’s, Primally Pure, and Soul Sunday. Is it as effective as a conventional deodorant? Yes and no. With regular deodorants I hardly ever had to reapply. With natural deodorants, I like to keep wipes in my bag as well as an extra stick of deodorant just to be safe.
Next, use bentonite clay to pull the toxins and chemicals from your skin. This is the actual detox. I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and mix the clay with equal parts water in a glass bowl. It’s important to avoid metal bowls and utensils when mixing. Add more clay or liquid as needed, then apply ¼ inch layer to each underarm. For sensitive skin, let it dry for 5-10 minutes. For normal skin, 15-20 minutes. Tightening and pulling sensations are normal.
I’ve found that it’s easiest to remove with warm water in the shower. Careful to avoid too hot of water as it may irritate the skin. You can use this once per week or more often if smell is persistent.
As your journey continues, stay hydrated and sweat often. Taking hot showers/baths, sitting in a sauna, or simply working out is the best way to get your sweat glands working again as normal. Your body was meant to sweat! It’s natural and purifying. When you’re putting chemicals on your skin to prevent this, those toxins have no way to escape which can be damaging to your immune system.
It’s hard to believe that something like deodorant can actually be harmful to your health, but it’s something I had to accept years ago. The transition from your tried and true deodorant may not be easy, but it’s worth it. With these tips and tricks, you can feel confident ditching the deodorant and you’re one step closer to living a more natural lifestyle.