Ditching Conventional Deodorant for Good: My Armpit Detox

Have you heard of an Armpit Detox? Early this summer, I was putting on deodorant when I noticed that my armpits had turned a dark yellow color. Being fair-skinned, this seemed off to me. I was still doing the daily armpit mega soap scrub in the shower (any other Dial gold bar fans out there?!). I typically would have noticed something like this much sooner, but I was still in the fourth trimester with baby number two and self-care had pretty much gone down the drain. 

Google to the Rescue

I’ll admit it – I jumped straight to Dr. Google to figure out why my armpits looked mustard-stained. At first glance, there appeared to be nothing to be immediately concerned about – the salt and minerals from my sweat were combining with the aluminum of my antiperspirant. I stopped, re-read, and re-read again – I never realized aluminum was coating my underarms on a daily basis. Being postpartum, my body was struggling to regulate temperature and I was sweating constantly. On went the Lady Mitchum, more than normal. Out came my scary-looking armpits. 

Recently, I had heard of an armpit detox process through a local healthy living group I belong to on Facebook (shoutout to the Conscious Living Tribe!). The videos looked simple enough – combine some bentonite clay, water, and apple cider vinegar, coat the pits, hang out for a few minutes, then wash off. Rinse and repeat in a few days. I said goodbye to the Lady Mitchum and apologized to my family in advance as the humid beginning of summer probably wasn’t the best time of year to be doing such a thing. 

armpit detox
Go Time!

I ordered my bentonite clay on Amazon, and the day it came, I decided to try the detox after the kids went to bed. The mask was cold, but very refreshing at the same time. I put it on and sat in the bathtub, then decided to take a shower for the full rinse off. 

The next day is when the real excitement began. The sweat was INTENSE. I thought the first days postpartum were the most sweaty, but I was wrong. I had a few days of waterfalls of the armpits, but thankfully after that, things calmed down quite a bit.

It’s been two months now. I haven’t turned back to the Lady Mitchum. I love my natural deodorant. I may be biased, but I don’t think I stink. Plus my armpits have returned to their natural color!

Things to Expect: 

  1. A lot of sweat for a few days. 
  2. A lot of stink for a few days. 
  3. The urge to go to the old deodorant stick (avoid this if at all possible, think of how far you’ve come!).

The Good Things Afterward:

  1. My natural “scent” isn’t as intense, both when I sweat or before I apply natural deodorant.
  2. No more scary yellow color!
  3. Peace of mind – safer living.
  4. Neat natural deodorant (check out my favorite, Native!).

armpit detox

Here are some armpit detox ingredients and procedures (as seen from Don’t Waste the Crumbs):

  • 1 Tbsp bentonite clay 
  • 1-2 tsp water
  • Washcloth
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • Cotton balls or a second washcloth (optional)
  1. In the palm of your hand, mix the bentonite clay and the water until you get the consistency of Greek yogurt. You don’t want it runny, but you don’t want it super thick either.
  2. Spread in an even layer over your armpits and let it sit for 5-15 minutes. Bentonite clay is known to draw impurities from within the skin, so it’s normal for the area to turn red. This shouldn’t hurt at all, but the armpits can be sensitive, so if it does, remove the clay ASAP.
  3. Wash off the clay in the shower, or with a wet, warm washcloth.
  4. If desired, you can swipe your armpits with apple cider vinegar using cotton balls or a second washcloth. ACV is known to neutralize bad bacteria that may be causing the stink, but it’s also a mild acid. I don’t recommend doing this if you have sensitive skin.
  5. Repeat the detox daily, or as needed, to keep the stink at bay or as you are switching to natural deodorant.

Have you tried an armpit detox before? If so, what was your experience like? Share below!

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Kylie grew up in Capac, a little rural town in the thumb of Michigan. She now resides in Washington Township with her husband, Michael, daughter, Ella, and senior cat, Kiplan. Prior to becoming a mother, Kylie completed a Bachelor of Science in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science/Pre-Health and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing Analytics, both at the University of Michigan. Her career is focused on improving the quality of healthcare in the most vulnerable populations of Michigan. The past year has given the opportunity for the most challenging and rewarding role of her life: that of a mother. Kylie is passionate about spending time with her family and friends, endurance cycling and running, going to concerts at small venues, cooking fun and unique dishes with her husband, home improvement projects, playing classical piano, and the color orange. One of the most profound things she’s learned about becoming a mother is to love with all her heart, do the best she can, and try not to worry about the rest.


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