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Got Stinky Pits? Try an Armpit Detox at Home!

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A woman applying a mask on armpits

Switching to natural deodorant? You’ll want to do an armpit detox first!

If you’ve been contemplating swapping out your regular deodorant for a natural stick, congratulations! You’re making a smart choice for your pits and will likely rid your body of a lot of nasty toxins. But before you start using your new aluminum-free deodorant, you’ll want to do an armpit detox (or maybe 2) to make the transition smoother.

A woman pointing to her armpit

Why do an armpit detox?

You’ve probably noticed that regular antiperspirants containing aluminum do a much better job at keeping our armpits fresh than natural ones, but that doesn’t mean they’re the better choice.

Aluminum-based deodorant blocks sweat glands and prevents sweat from reaching the surface of the skin, so it’s no wonder you don’t smell as much when you wear it… BUT, did you know that sweating is not only totally normal but that it’s also healthy and necessary?

A hand holding a natural deodorant stick

An armpit detox will help eliminate toxins and release odor-causing bacteria, making it easier to start using natural deodorant.

We detox our bodies with cleanses and our faces with masks, so why should our armpits be neglected? By detoxing your pits, you’ll give the microbiome in your underarms a chance to adjust back to normal, without a bunch of chemicals in the mix.

A woman holding armpit detox ingredients in a bathroom

How to do an armpit detox:

Ready to slap some green gunk on those pits? For this armpit detox, all you’ll need is Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar.

While there are a few different detox recipes, I’ve found this one to be the most effective as the bentonite clay and vinegar have strong bacteria-eliminating properties and are also gentle on the skin.

An armpit mask in a bowl next to ingredients

At-home armpit detox tips:

  • Wear a tank top prior to applying your detox mask to prevent a mess on your clothes.
  • Don’t mix water into your clay and vinegar mixture, as it will create a clumpier consistency that’s likely to crumble and fall off the armpit areas.
  • If your mask mixture looks too runny, add a bit more Indian Healing Clay until you reach a sour cream-like consistency.
  • Wait until the mask has completely dried before rinsing off.
  • For optimum results, do an armpit detox every 3-5 months to reduce bacteria buildup.

A mask in a bowl

A woman applying a mask on armpits


DIY Armpit Detox

Print

Directions

1

In a small bowl, combine the Indian healing clay and apple cider vinegar. Stir with a spoon or small silicone spatula until smooth.

2

Apply 1-2 even layers of the mask on each underarm.

3

Keep arms elevated and allow the mask to sit for 15-20 minutes, or until dry.

4

Once the mask has fully dried, rinse off with warm water and a washcloth. Wait at least one hour before applying deodorant.


A woman holding arms up and smelling armpit

What can I expect after my armpit detox?

Detox results will vary depending on numerous factors, including how long you’ve been using regular deodorant.

Immediately after my armpit detox, my underarms felt cool (almost minty) and I noticed that I was actually sweating more because my pores were open and able to release more toxins.

A woman holding natural deodorant

The excess sweating didn’t last long, fortunately, and my armpits were soon feeling completely normal again. No rash, redness, or stinging sensation whatsoever. When I applied my natural deodorant two days later, I noticed that my musk had legitimately improved!

I haven’t worn regular deodorant in over 10 years, so I’ve gotten used to the musk that natural deodorant doesn’t always eliminate, but this detox really did make a difference!

A woman holding arms up with an armpit mask on

Is armpit detoxing weird or worth it?

Both! You’ll look and feel like a bit of a goof walking around with green clay on your armpits, but if it improves body odor and reduces toxins, it’s completely worth it to me!

What are your thoughts on armpit detoxing? Have you tried it? Please share in the comments below.


Have you tried the Indian Healing Clay mask on your face? Check out our full review over here!

Join The Discussion

Comments 63

  1. Cheryl Masters

    Good point, we do detox everything else, but I would be afraid my pits would be too sensitive for this. I tend to switch back and forth between natural and conventional deodorants for the seasons. I use natural during the cooler seasons, but use regular in the hot months because I don’t like sweating even though I know its better for you. I have also found a huge difference in the natural products. I use Crystal brand, but it has to be in the rock like form, not liquid. I have never had a stench using this brand and form. I hated the liquid. I found it, and the other natural products I tried that were in the traditional like form left me smelly.

  2. Jen

    Can you recommend a brand of natural deodorant that is fragrance-free? I’ve been wanting to make the switch, but the ones I see in stores are heavily perfumed. I’m very sensitive to scent. Thanks 😊

    • Casey

      Try Humble. They only have four ingredients plus essential oil. Also there is a fragrance free one.

    • Sc

      Love humble. It is my favorite. I use one that has Cbd in it.

    • Allison

      Native also has an unscented deodorant 🙂 They’re my favorite of the natural deo’s I’ve tried.

    • MekaRTR

      Schmidt’s. My fav thus far. I think kopari has unscented, but it caused temporary discoloration under my arms.

    • KCha

      I love Native

    • Emina

      Hi, I have been using the Crystal for years now and highly recommend it. Fragrance free as well

    • Gina

      Thai Crystal

    • lisa

      You may have to try a few before you find one that you like. Everyones body reacts different to different brands. Target has a decent selection of natural deodorants.

    • ATM

      I have used many, but overall I recommend native, I usually buy the 3 pack at their website (shipping is free) you get a variety of scents and they have sensitive formula as well. Only downside to natural deodorant for me thought the years is that you definitely sweat a lot more and at times your armpits can get a bit irritated (tiny red bumps). But imo is still worth it.

    • Sheri Baby

      I love Lume! It’s unbelievable how I can sweat all day without any odor! I’m so thrilled I found Lume a few months ago and am sold!

    • Joan

      Toms of Maine

  3. Lorna

    I was told my dermatologist that deodorant should be applied at night to allow the absorption so that it can do it’s job … not before you walk out the door as you expel what you just applied by swearing it out .

    • Jess

      Is this for natural deodorant or aluminum ones?

    • lindsaym

      I have been wearing natural deodorant for over 5 years now. I do find that I’m smelly if I skip a day wearing deodorant. But, If I apply my natural deodorant at night after showering and then apply in the morning I’m fresh!

  4. Renee

    Lumē

    • Christi321

      Yes, I just got some Lume recently and it’s a complete game changer!

  5. Angela

    The Arm and Hammer Deodorant she’s using is amazing I switched and I use it post shower and first thing in the morning and even in super heat I’m not smelly and I used to sweat right through anti persperants

  6. MekaRTR

    If you use a natural deodorant with baking soda or if u use pure baking soda, I recommend spritzing diluted apple cider vinegar under your arms and allow to dry before applying deodorant to ensure your skin’s ph doesn’t get thrown off by the baking soda. Otherwise, you may experience irritation.

  7. ccooner4

    I always break out in hives with my natural deodorants. Best brand without sodium in it?

    • lydia999

      I had the same problem when I first switched to natural deodorant a few years ago. Try one without baking soda in it- that’s what caused my breakouts. ClayDry is my favorite. I find it at Whole Foods, Amazon and HomeGoods (pre-COVID).

      • Elisa

        I had the same problem with natural deodorants that contain baking soda like Native. I would break out in terrible rashes. After researching online, I found distilled white vinegar and lemon juice worked best for me.

        • Carol

          Vinegar and lemon juice as a deodorant? What amount? How do you apply?

    • Annie

      I’ve had that problem too. The Schmidt’s sensitive skin ones and the arm and hammer ones have been good for me though

    • ATM

      native makes a sensitive formula that works for me, i get it on through their website

  8. jess122491

    Native still allowed for me to smell and the stick started to smell like B.O after a while too. Lume has been the best one yet!

  9. Michelle

    I have used coconut oil and baking soda for years. I just mix my own in a jar, apply in the morning, and I’m good to go. Depending on the season, more coconut oil will be needed since the baking soda is more drying when not sweating. I cannot smell myself at all; before switching, I was the type that needed to apply Secret deodorant at least 6 times a day or I could smell myself. Yuck. Some add essential oils to the mix, I do not.

  10. Helen

    You waited 2 days after the detox to use the deodorant?

    • Brenda

      It says to wait at least an hour after to apply deodorant but then she mentions that 2 days after she noticed that the results were consistent when continuing to apply the natural deodorant.

  11. Tiggy

    I wash my pits with antibacterial soap (softsoap hand soap works well for me) once or twice a week and don’t even use deodorant anymore. I still sweat, it just doesn’t stink.

  12. Heather

    Would this work on my teenagers feet?? hahaha! No, but seriously 🙂

    • megannt

      Omg that’s a great idea! My kids feet are rough this year!

    • cpatterson1

      Have your teen soak their feet in a warm tea (black) foot bath 2-3 times as wk at first. Then as needed… Saw it on Dr Oz once, game changer!

      • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

        We love tips like these, cpatterson1. Thanks for taking the time to offer that information to a fellow HIP reader! We appreciate you!

    • Ann Dee

      Lume for stinky feet, armpits, and privates. I can be around my teenage son again! 🥰😂

    • J

      My pediatrician told me to rub neosporin on my daughters feet before bed when they stink. She plays soccer and sometimes I could puke from the smell. It has been a game changer for us. it kills the odor causing bacteria. we also put white cotton socks on afterwards.

  13. Carlos

    Awesome tatt

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks, Carlos!

  14. Mandi

    While I am in complete support of everyone making their own choices (without judgement), I wanted to share a fact sheet from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) that explains that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that aluminum/antiperspirant use is linked to breast cancer. In the past, there have been scientists that have publicly expressed concern that the aluminum applied to armpits may pose a breast cancer risk if it can mimic estrogen that could eventually increase cancer risk…so then studies were done and all of the studies found no evidence that aluminum mimics estrogen or anything else that increases breast cancer risks. Please read for yourself if interested: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet
    To be clear, I am not taking the position that somebody should use antiperspirant – I am sharing in the spirit of sharing facts. My mom raised this issue with me recently (she switched to aluminum-free deodorant), so I looked into it -wondering if I too should stop using antiperspirant (my reasons were related to cancer prevention). We both came to find out there is no known risk after being studied…and we both ended up using the same product as when we started (haha) but are now better informed.

    • Janelle

      I really appreciate that you took time to share this. Thank you!

    • tracey

      Me too! Keep sharing Mandi!!

    • EmilyMab

      That link says “Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research would be needed to determine whether a relationship exists (9).” So I’m unsure why you’re confident that there’s no correlation.

  15. Alikia29

    This was on my to do list this week ha!

  16. Micci

    I love this woman’s posts so much!! Thanks for sharing. I use natural deodorant, but never thought about detoxing that area to give a fresh start.

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much, Micci!

  17. cpatterson1

    Not sure how long you’ve been apart of the Hip2Save community but this isn’t the place for insults. If you have helpful information to share, please do, it’s welcome here – but not in a mean way.

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you, cpatterson1. We do strive to be a very positive, uplifting and supportive community for sure 🙂 Thank you!

  18. Julianne916

    Wow, that was unnecessary.

  19. Jason

    HA HA (it’s funny because its true)! If you wanna be all natural let that hair grow in those pits and show us your braids!

  20. Shirley Yeo

    Pit Paste is great and I add my own EO. Also like Earth Science – Liken Plant – herbal scent- light and fresh!!

  21. Stefanie

    Frankly, I love the tattoos!

  22. molly

    I’ve been using Native for a few months and I like it, but wow, my underarms are quite moist all the time! The body odor is there, as well, even with reapplications. Is this just a natural part of using natural deodorants? (haha) Would love to know if a detox like this really helped people in my situation. Thank you!

  23. teresalynn

    Do you think this detox can work on younger kids. My friends’ granddaughter has smelly pits at 5 years old. I wondered if just doing the detox occasionally might help? They aren’t comfortable giving her deodorant at this age. Understandably so!!

    • megulle

      This might be a soap issue. I would suggest a castile soap like Dr. Bronners since that helped with my kids.

  24. Ashley

    If I’m being honest, I came to read the comments because I figured there would be some interesting ones on a post like this. 😂 With that being said, I would totally rock tattoos on my arm(s) if my arms looked like yours! 🙌

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      Awwww! That’s super cool of you to say, Ashley. I’ve forwarded this message to Taylor. Her arms do look amazing!

  25. Ann Dee

    I love Lume for stinky arm pits, feet and privates. Nothing else has worked for me. Wish I would have known about it sooner. Order it online at lume.com.

  26. Denver

    Weleda citrus 🍋🍋🍋 deodorant spray

  27. Fraserboysmom

    Irene! You are the bomb.com! Rock those tats girl and keep the helpful tips coming!

  28. Sandy

    I generally just bathe once in a while.

  29. Shirley Yeo

    Just tried this with my two 15 year olds (son and daughter) and I also did it as a mask as well while we simultaneously watched an old free TV show online (Kate and Allie) while it dried! 🙂 My face was super red – looked like I had a sunburn but it’s going away. It is super drying so I’m going to put on something super hydrating as you recommended! Fun to do – especially with my teens. Can’t wait for them to try it on their face and feet!! 😉

    PS Taylor, you have gorgeous glowing skin – may I ask what you use for skin care and foundation?
    LOVE your holistic approach as that is what we follow in our home too! 🙂

  30. Jill

    Native changed their formula and it no longer works.
    I couldn’t figure out why, after 4 years of zero body odor with Native, all of a sudden I smelled. I contacted them. They changed their formula to be Vegan. What a huge disappointment. Whats the point of having a Vegan deODORant if it no longer counteracts odor?

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