Your underarms may not be the first body part you think of when you’re considering doing a cleanse. Juice cleanse? Maybe. Soul cleanse? I don’t know your life. Armpit cleanse? Crickets. But if you are considering switching to a natural deodorant, you may want to rethink your stance on an underarm cleanse.

Why you might want to do an armpit cleanse.

In my experience (and I know I’m not alone) natural deodorant has been a game changer. When I used antiperspirants I never felt that they were all that effective, they were super irritating to my skin, and they left a weird film on my skin, even after a shower. After putting up with this situation for way too long, I decided to try the natural route.

When many people try a natural deodorant in place of harsh antiperspirants, they find when they make the switch they experience rashes and increased sweating and smell. They assume “natural deodorant doesn’t work for me” and go back to slathering their armpits with the nearest antiperspirant.

However, your body’s reaction is not because the natural deodorant is not working, but because the use of standard deodorants and antiperspirants has actually changed your armpits’ ‘bacterial community’. Research has shown that use of antiperspirants can lead to a wider variety of bacteria in the armpit, especially Actinobacteria, which has very negative implications for body odour. Especially once you stop using the antiperspirant. So basically – not to sound like an armpit-themed conspiracy theorist or anything – using antiperspirant makes you need more antiperspirant. We’re inside the looking glass here people.

If you kept using the natural deodorant (or just not using antiperspirants) your armpits would eventually settle down. But who wants to spend an indeterminate amount of time being sweaty, smelly, and itchy? If you have struggled with these problems when trying to switch to a natural deodorant, an armpit cleanse could be just what you need. By doing an armpit cleanse, you’ll notice less odour, less irritation, and no more of that weird sticky build-up that antiperspirants leave behind. It will help you ease into the world of natural deodorants with minimal difficulty.



How to do an armpit cleanse.

Bentonite clay and activated charcoal are both detoxifiers, and are common ingredients in face masks to pull out impurities. If it’s good enough for your face, it’s good enough for your armpits, right?

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 2 tsp activated charcol
  • 1 tbsp water (or apple cider vinegar if you really want to go to town)
  • a couple drops of tea tree oil (optional)
  • non-metal bowl and spoon

What to do:

  •  Mix the clay powder, charcoal, water or ACV, and tea tree oil together in a glass bowl. The clay may want to clump up, so keep mixing until it’s pretty smooth.
  •  Spread a thin layer over each armpit and chill like that until the mask dries, about 15-20 minutes. If you feel any pain, rinse it off immediately, but most likely you’ll just feel a slight tingling or warming as blood flow to the area increases.
  • Once the mask is dry, hop in the shower and scrub it off with a soft washcloth. Post-shower you can apply a natural deodorant if you like.
  • Repeat at least 3 times a week (or more if your skin is not too sensitive) for 1-2 weeks. You’ll notice your natural deodorant becomes more effective and less irritating.

Since switching to a natural deodorant several years ago, I’ve never had any regrets, and I’ve never been tempted to switch back. I’d always thought I was a super sweaty person, but it seems like the antiperspirant may have been mostly to blame. Now I use Routine Deodor-cream and not only do I sweat way less, but my armpits are also no longer irritated. I even wear it to the gym! Safe to say, I am a convert for life.



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