I recently jumped on the natural deodorant bandwagon! It wasn’t as simple as swapping deodorants out; I had to detox my underarms as well. Everyone’s skin is different. But, if you’ve tried natural deodorants in the past and they didn’t work, you may need to do a detox like I did. For all of the details about my underarm detox and my natural deodorant experience, read on!
So, why did I randomly start this in May? It’s simple: I heard that the aluminum found in deodorant was possibly linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s. If there was a way to swap out a product with potentially toxic ingredients, I would do it.
Some Background Info
Aluminum is used in deodorants to block sweat ducts. Sweating sucks, but it’s a natural bodily function. I don’t like the idea of preventing my body from doing something it’s supposed to do, especially with an ingredient that’s surrounded in controversy.
When I started to write this post, I wanted to find sources that could explain the link between the aluminum in deodorant and cancer/Alzheimer’s. But…I couldn’t. The reputable sources I found state that NO scientific evidence has been found. Here are my sources:
- National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet on deodorants & breast cancer
- Food and Drug Administration Final Rule on Antiperspirant Drug Products for OTC Human Use
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be scientific evidence in the future. It just means that researchers haven’t found any to date.
Even though there may not be a link between aluminum and cancer/Alzheimer’s, I will continue using aluminum-free deodorant. Now back to my detox!
What I Used:
- Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: you can find this at Target or Amazon.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. I used the Target brand.
- 1 tablespoon(ish) measuring spoon – don’t use metal!
- mixing bowl and mixing spoon or mask spatula (mine is from a Sephora DIY mask set)
- Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium Deodorant: you can find this at Target, Amazon, or your local drugstore.
- baby powder: I use Burt’s Bees Dusting Powder because it’s talc-free.
Tips Before You Start:
- If you have a special event or trip coming up, do the detox and switch deodorants AFTER. Everyone’s body is different, and it may take you a week or two to figure out which deodorant works best for you. In the meantime, you might stink 🙂
- In order to wash off the mask easily, apply it right before a shower. This way, you can just rinse the mask off in the shower.
- Do NOT shave right before applying the mask. Trust me.
I used Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mixed with ACV to create my underarm detox mask. You can also use water instead of ACV. Make sure to follow the instructions on the clay’s container, especially when it comes to mixing ingredients (the ratio is 1:1). The consistency should look like yogurt. I used a mask mixing set from Sephora, but any bowl and mixing spoon will work. Just make sure it’s not metal!
After the mask looked like yogurt, I applied it with a mask spatula. You can also use your fingers.
How long you leave the mask on depends on how your underarms feel. If they start to burn, remove the mask immediately. Otherwise, stay still and keep your arms raised (this will help the mask dry faster and not clump).
I used the mask each night for a week to detox my underarms. Some people will only need to use it once; others may not need to detox at all. The mask didn’t sting at all. The only sensation I felt was my skin tightening.
Finding a deodorant without aluminum takes a little bit of trial and error. I first tried a deodorant cream from Soapwalla. It worked great…for 8 hours. Then, I smelled like week-old roadkill. I tried using the Soapwalla for a week while continuing to do my detox each night. My underarms also started to get irritated. I almost gave up at that point because I was so frustrated.
So, I started looking into why my underarms were so raw and why my B.O. was terrible. There were a couple potential reasons:
- this was part of the purging/detoxing
- the baking soda was irritating me
One website mentioned that when someone stops using aluminum to block sweat, the sweat would create an environment for bacteria to grow – thus causing irritation. It suggested using baby powder to keep my underarms dry. I grabbed Burt’s Bees Dusting Powder at Target (it doesn’t include Talc!).
Grace Atwood from The Stripe blogged about using a deodorant with activated charcoal helped her bad B.O. I grabbed Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium Deodorant from Target based on her recommendation.
The combo of dusting powder and charcoal deodorant was a clear winner! My underarm irritation disappeared. And I stopped smelling like Eau de Roadkill. I only need to apply the deodorant once a day.
My Current Schedule
- Use the detox mask on Sunday nights. I may stop this once summer is over.
- Apply dusting powder after showering (I shower at night). I don’t apply deodorant until the next morning.
- I put on 3-4 swipes of deodorant in the morning.
- Instead of shaving my underarms, I wax them instead.
I hope this helps you figure out your own underarm detox journey! Small steps like these make me feel like I’m living a healthier life. What kind of deodorant do you use? Let me know in the comments!
This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item through a link on my website, I might receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Commissions like this help keep Becca’s Beauty List up and running.