The first time I heard the term "armpit detox" I thought, "Oh, come on now... What will they come up with next?"
But somewhere along my crunchy journey, after trying natural deodorant after natural deodorant and having none work, again the topic came up where another well-meaning hippie suggested an armpit detox, and I thought to myself, "Actually, maybe they're onto something." So I decided, what have I got to lose? And I ended up trying what felt like the most ridiculous thing I have ever done... I gave my armpits a detox facial.
Not. Even. Joking.
Before I explain myself, let me tell you why I so badly wanted to persevere with natural deodorants.
I had so many people saying, "Why not just buy one that works?"
Well I'll tell you why.
Regular deodorant is bad, mmmkay.
I often hear about high levels of aluminium content in most antiperspirant deodorants, but it doesn't end there. There are so many dangerous chemicals in regular deodorant! When I looked into it further, I thought, "Why are we spraying this directly onto our lymph nodes? Are we CRAZY?!"
And off I went to find a safer alternative.
I tried this and that, and that and this, and every other thing I could get my hands on. NOTHING worked.
Frustrated, I asked some ladies in one of my Facebook groups if they could recommend something, and so many of them suggested I try an armpit detox.
Ok, what on earth is that, and how do I do it?
Actually, it's pretty simple.
You look RIDICULOUS. But hear me out.
My armpits were so smelly. It got to the point where I was actually grossing myself out.
Why isn't this deodorant working?
The answer was pretty simple. Now that I had switched to a chemical-free alternative, there were different ingredients that needed to work than my body was used to. There was also a build up of bacteria, no matter how much I washed my pits with soap. So my body would naturally react differently when putting this other "stuff" under my arms.
I needed to do a deep cleanse of my armpits to get rid of any impurities and build-up caused by my previous deodorant and to make a "clean slate" so to speak.
The easiest way to do that is by doing an armpit detox.
There are many ways to do an armpit detox, but one of the most common is to apply activated charcoal to your armpits for a few minutes, then wash off (Some people may need to repeat the process a few times for maximum results).
You can buy it in a powder form, or if (like me) you have a facial mask with activated charcoal, you could try that too. If yours contains bentonite clay as well, that works even better than charcoal alone.
The first time I did this, it was hilarious. My kids thought I had lost my mind.
Picture a 30-something-year old woman on a hot summer's night casually strolling out of the bathroom wearing shorts and a singlet top, she takes a seat on the couch and relaxes with her arms behind her head. "Ahhhhh," I said loudly as I got comfortable.
My children all looked at me and exclaimed, "Mum!!" with looks of horror on their faces. "What have you done?"
Trying to keep a straight face, I said to them, "What? What's wrong?"
"Your armpits!" they exclaimed in unison, pointing to the hideous black stuff leeching out of my pits.
I looked down at my pits and gasped. "Oh no!! What on earth is that?!" I pretended to be mortified. But quickly, I gave up the act and couldn't contain my laughter. My kids thought it was so ghastly.
But after all was said and done, the following day I didn't notice as much smell. By the end of the day, there was some slight B.O., but only because I took a big old whiff to check. It wasn't overpowering. But I did another detox afterwards and was all good. I'm really surprised how easy it was, and since then, I have not had another problem. Natural deodorants work for me now!
If you're wondering which one I use, I really like this one. I have been using it for about six months now and it's never let me down. But of course, there are many other great brands on the market.
I hope by reading this, it encourages you to take the plunge and do a detox yourself. Your pits (and everyone around you) will thank you for it!