I'm Starting a 7-Day Armpit Detox. Here's Why and How - Flecks of Lex

I'm Starting a 7-Day Armpit Detox. Here's Why and How


Ever since my last visit to Follain, and the eye-opening experience that brought with it, I have been trying to transition/phase out my makeup and skincare products with natural products and brands.

Prior to my Follain experience - and ever since - I have dabbled with natural deodorants. The only brand I've found thus far that hasn't given me any allergic reactions was Tom's of Maine (affiliate link); however, I felt like that deodorant made me sweatier and stinkier than I cared to be. (It might have been the fragrances that they use that don't gel with my body, so to speak.) I've tried Schmidt's and Smarty Pits, and they gave me pretty bad rashes, turning my armpits black. Definitely not ideal! I have a couple of other brands I'm getting ready to try out, but I decided that I want to give this whole armpit detox thing a shot before I get too deep into this.


What is an Armpit Detox? 

Some folks in the natural products space suggest that you "detox" your armpits to sort of prep them for the switch to natural deodorant. The idea is that you use some combination of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar (ACV), combine these (sometimes adding some water or other liquids), slather it on your armpits for 10-30 minutes (I found differing recommended times), rinse off, and pat dry.

[Note: I used this bentonite clay (affiliate link).]

Now, there has been research conducted on the potential links between aluminum - which is used in deodorant - and breast cancer. Nonetheless, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have concluded that there is "no clear evidence" as well as not enough research on the topic to definitively confirm that this is the case.

Why an Armpit Detox?

Okay, so if my research of a ton of academic articles seemed to suggest that an armpit detox isn't a confirmed thing that works, why try it? 

First of all, it's not going to hurt me to try it. These masks work for your face and hair and all kinds of stuff. I've also used ACV for all sorts of things, and if it's safe enough when I drink it, I think it's fine to throw it under my armpits. Whether it works is the real question!

I read this article from Shape and this one in Teen Vogue, and while they're not scientific, they were insightful for me. The first thing I'm going to have to make sure I do during this detox is to be consistent. I can't just throw on some Secret deodorant because I think I smell on the second day. What the heck?

Second of all, I'm tired of getting rashes and black armpits from natural deodorant. That ain't right! I'm not a particularly sweaty person, so the fact that some of these have made me sweaty and itchy is very disconcerting. I'm willing to try out something that may be hokie or totally made up just to see if it makes a difference. The worst thing that will happen during this detox is I might have body odor and my skin might be smoother under my armpits. Some people call that summertime. 😛

What Next?

I'm going to run this detox for 10-15 minutes a day for seven days. If I find that I'm getting stinky, I'm only going to use natural deodorant. Check-in with me on social media and here on the blog to see how this week goes! When I'm done with the detox (or "armpit rejuvenation" as we decided on my Instagram Live last night), I'll hopefully be ready to start trying out different natural deodorants again. I'll also talk to some experts to get their opinions on switching over to natural deodorants.

One thing I should note: I couldn't get a clear answer on whether it's best to wear natural deodorant while you're going through the detox, or whether you should go cold turkey on deodorant during the detox. I'm going to do a combination of both, as I mentioned, but I just wanted to be clear on this point in case you're digging around for information on this topic like I was.

Stay tuned!

Have you ever tried an armpit detox? Have you switched over to natural deodorants? Did you have any positive or negative reactions from your skin? 

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