by Emy Breitenwischer, B.S. Food Science & Nutrition, Concentration in Dietetics
“What in the world is an armpit detox?” you might be asking. While deodorant is great to rid off body odor and keep you from sweating, is there a price to pay for this luxury? Research has suggested that aluminum-based deodorants and antiperspirants may contribute to the development of hormonal imbalance, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, allergies, skin irritation and more. In addition to aluminum, these products also contain a variety of chemicals and additives that travel through your skin and block your sweat glands, obstructing the body’s natural ability to sweat, causing toxin build-up under the skin and in the lymph nodes.
As goofy as it sounds, this armpit cleanse will not only draw out this sludge of built-up toxins, but it may also reduce the amount & odor of your sweat. It will also promote healthy lymph flow, which will boost immunity because lymph nodes are a big part of our immune system and there are several around the armpit area.
If you don’t have time to do this detox 1-2x a week, at least try to ditch your old deodorant and switch to one that’s natural & aluminum-free. I’ve even used a thin layer of organic, cold-pressed coconut oil in the mornings instead of any deodorant & it works just as well to control sweat & odor.
What You Need:
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
What To Do:
Mix clay and vinegar with a spoon to get a paste-like consistency. You may need to add a little water. Spread a thin layer on each armpit and keep on for 5-15 minutes. Wash off in shower or with a washcloth. Repeat once a week or daily until odor goes away & natural deodorant is non-irritating.
*My Experience: I found it was best to do this at night & shower/loofah my armpits to remove any dead skin cells. I left the paste on for about 10 minute, washed it off with a cloth & then applied a little organic coconut oil to each armpit. While I use a natural, aluminum-free deodorant during the week, I do use an antiperspirant on the weekends & I found my lymph nodes in the armpit area were tender/sore the following day & I was a lot sweatier than normal. I put a little coconut oil on my armpits that night post showering & then in place of deodorant the following morning. So far, the tenderness in my lymph node area has subsided, my excess sweating has ceased & there’s minimal odor. I plan to do this detox at least 1-2x per week.
Potential Side Effects:
You’re Sweatier than Normal.
Yay, you’re not blocking your sweat glands anymore! Your body is trying to rid all of these toxins from years of antiperspirant deodorants. They may be in overdrive for a little, but once you get everything out, your sweat production will normalize.
Your Sweat is Stinkier than Normal.
Your sweat may be smellier for a short period of time because you’re finally allowing your sweat glands to produce & release sweat/gunk instead of keeping all of it stuck in the body.
Tenderness in the Lymph Node Areas around Armpits.
Tender? All of the chemicals, toxins and bacteria are inflammatory substances that antiperspirants keep trapped in the body. Your lymph nodes now have the opportunity to do their job & filter out these toxins, which may cause them to become tender when overloaded with inflammatory waste – this will pass with time.
How to Help Speed up the Detox Process:
Drink Plenty of Water. Eliminate Processed Foods, Sodas, Refined Sugar. Eat Veggies, Fruit, Grains, Plant Protein, High Quality Animal Protein. Sweat – exercise or Infrared Sauna.