Armpit Detox: How It Works, Benefits, And Side Effects

Eliminate smelly underarms with natural detox masks to keep the delicate area clean and hydrated.

Reviewed by Gabrielle Richens, Skin Therapist Gabrielle Richens Gabrielle RichensSkin Therapist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Last Updated on

Many women ignore their underarms, which results in darker armpits. Not using antiperspirants and deodorants is out of the question, given the sweat and body odors that don’t seem to leave you alone, especially on a hot and humid day. Armpit detox can help you get rid of this problem. It can remove product build-up from the armpits, absorb excess oils, and manage sweating by limiting the activity of sweat glands, resulting in reduced sweat and odor.

This article teaches all you need to know about armpit detoxification. Keep reading!

How To Detox Your Armpit

Armpit detox is all about using masks and natural ingredients to clean the delicate underarm skin
Image: YouTube

All of us use deodorants and other cosmetic products to keep our armpits refreshed. However, these products often deposit harmful chemicals in the armpits that create a buildup. This makes it hard for soap and water to properly clean dirt and debris from the pores. Moreover, most antiperspirants contain aluminum that can plug the sweat ducts (1). That’s why advocates of underarm detox claim it to be beneficial for the armpits.

Proponents of armpit detox claim that it helps to detoxify the underarm skin. However, there is no evidence that the skin can take out the toxins through the sweat glands. Detoxification is an internal process and is carried out by the liver and kidneys.

Armpit detox is all about using masks and natural ingredients to clarify or clean the delicate underarm skin. Here is how you can do it:

You Will Need

  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of bentonite clay
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Water (as per requirement)

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Apply it to the armpits and let it dry.
  3. Wash off with lukewarm water.
  4. Use the mask once or twice a month.

Why This Mask Helps

Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial and antifungal properties and is effective against S. aureus and Candida albicans, which may cause bacterial and fungal infections (2). It has the ability to restore the skin barrier by helping balance pH levels of the skin, while also absorbing excess oils. Clay is often used in mud spas to remove impurities from the skin and cleanse it (3). Virgin coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and can also keep the delicate underarm skin moisturized (4).

Note: To avoid activating the clay before you get a chance to apply it to your skin, do not use a metal spoon or bowl to mix your mask. Use either glass, plastic, or wooden utensils only.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Opt for clothes with breathable, natural fabrics like cotton to allow your underarms to stay ventilated.

Clarifying the armpits gets rid of the dirt and buildup and has several other benefits. Let’s find out what they are.

Does Armpit Detoxification Work? What Are The Benefits?

1. Maintains The Underarm Microbiome

Antiperspirants alter the underarm bacterial composition and increase their activity, which may interfere with the functions of beneficial microbes (5). Soap and water may not often clean the underarms properly. Armpit detox can help get rid of all dirt, debris, and buildup to help maintain the natural microbial composition. It may also make the underarms less smelly.

2. May Reduce Skin Irritation

The chemicals and alcohol in deodorants and antiperspirants may irritate the skin and cause redness. Armpit detox may provide some relief from irritation and inflammation.

3. Reduces Body Odor

Not using deodorants and antiperspirants can increase the bacteria levels in your underarms (5). Armpit detox can help clean the underarm skin and may reduce odor-causing bacteria.

4. Reduces Stickiness

The dirt, buildup, and sweating can make the underarm skin sticky. The masks used for armpit detoxification can clear the buildup and reduce stickiness and the icky feeling.

Proponents of armpit detox often call for ditching antiperspirants and deodorants and switching to natural products. Is there any scientific logic behind avoiding deodorants and similar products altogether? Let us find out the truth.

Should We Stop Using Deodorants And Antiperspirants?

Antiperspirants and deodorants have been linked to the increased risk of breast cancer. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove this claim (6).

Many people use antiperspirants and deodorants without facing any issues. While there is a chance of antiperspirants clogging the pores, maintaining underarm hygiene can prevent it. However, the underarm products contain a combination of chemicals and alcohol, which can irritate the skin and cause contact dermatitis (7). So, avoid using the products if:

  • You have sensitive skin.
  • You are allergic to any ingredient in the products.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Exfoliate your armpits regularly with warm water and an exfoliant of your choice. Ensure to not apply too much pressure as the skin on the armpit is sensitive.

The next section tells you how to do a DIY armpit detox at home. Check it out!

DIY Armpit Detox

To create a DIY armpit detox, you will need natural ingredients to help cleanse and refresh the underarm area.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons water
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil

Instructions

1. Mix bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar in a non-metal bowl into a smooth paste. Add water for consistency.
2. Optionally, add a few drops of tea tree oil for its antibacterial benefits.
3. Apply the mixture to clean, dry armpits. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
4. Then, rinse it thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a towel.
5. Repeat this process once a week to help eliminate bacteria and product buildup from the armpits to promote freshness and reduce odor.

Armpit detox is usually harmless, but it may cause some minor discomfort.

Side Effects Of An Armpit Detox

The ingredients used for armpit detox (especially apple cider vinegar) might irritate sensitive skin. It may cause:

  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Stinging sensation

If you are allergic to apple cider vinegar, you can simply use clay and water to detoxify your underarms.

Constant sweating compels us to use antiperspirants that get rid of odor but do not get rid of the dirt buildup. Armpit detox is an excellent way to remove grime and extra oil from your underarms, reduce skin irritation, body odor, and stickiness. To help your armpit detox, you can make a simple mask at home using ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and bentonite clay to keep your skin cleansed and moisturized. If you experience an allergic reaction due to the ingredients in the mask, consult your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to detox your underarms?

It may take your armpits 1 to 3 weeks to detox and allow your skin to adjust.

How often should I detox my armpits?

You can detox your armpits as many times as you want. You can do it once a day, every weekend or every few months as per your convenience.

Key Takeaways

  • Armpit detoxification can help balance the pH levels, maintain the underarm microbiome, reduce body odor, stickiness, and may limit skin irritation.
  • Since underarm products like deo sticks, roll-ons, and sprays are often used, it is essential to detox armpits occasionally.
  • Redness, rashes, and stinging sensation are the side effects of armpit detoxification.


Watch this insightful video to get healthier underarms with an armpit detox! Explore DIY recipes, tips, and the science behind armpit detoxification to cleanse, reset, and maintain a fresh and balanced underarm environment. Click play to find out how!

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer
    https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet
  2. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/
  3. Evaluation of the medicinal use of clay minerals as antibacterial agents
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC2904249/
  4. Antibacterial and immunomodulator activities of virgin coconut oil (VCO) against Staphylococcus aureus
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817632/
  5. The effect of habitual and experimental antiperspirant and deodorant product use on the armpit microbiome
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4741080/
  6. Breast Cancer and Deodorants/Antiperspirants: a Systematic Review
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27755864/
  7. Antiperspirant and Deodorant Allergy
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3013594/
Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
Gabrielle Richens
Gabrielle RichensSkin Therapist
Gabrielle Richens spent 20 years as a model with Elite Model Management. She is now a skin therapist, clean beauty blogger, and founder of The Rich Skin Club, an online anti-aging coaching service. She helps women understand the aging process and how to build routines that reverse the visible signs of premature aging.

Read full bio of Gabrielle Richens