Moreover, some research indicates armpit detox can boost the immune system and decrease cancer risk. Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are absorbed through the skin, and after many years of using these products, a lot of chemical residues have built up on a person's skin.
This is where an armpit detox can help. When someone stops using chemical deodorants and antiperspirants, toxins start to leave the body, resulting in an armpit detox.
Contents of this article:
- The armpits are the body's entry and exit points.
- Deodorants are designed to mask the smell of excess bacteria from sweating.
- Antiperspirants are designed to reduce sweating.
- The detox process may cause skin problems, excess sweating, and odor.
What are the benefits of an armpit detox?
There are plenty of reasons why a person should stop using deodorants and antiperspirants and consider an armpit detox including:
Breast cancer risk
The chemicals from deodorants may affect the body's immune system, so an armpit detox may be recommended.
Research undertaken over the past 15 years has indicated a possible association between the use of deodorants and antiperspirants and breast cancer.
One systematic review reported in the Central European Journal of Public Health recently attempted to estimate the potential risk.
The researchers were unable to find sufficient information to prove a possible link, however, but advocated the need for further study.
The studies that have looked for a connection between antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have produced conflicting results. Because of this, it is probably best for women with an increased risk for breast cancer to stop using these products altogether or use them sparingly.
Deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum and chemicals called parabens. Putting these under the arms where they can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream may be harmful to health.
The armpits are also access points to the lymph nodes and the chemicals from odor-fighting products may affect the body's immune system responses.
Several ingredients found in deodorants can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. Symptoms of reactions include redness and burning skin. Ingredients that might be responsible for skin irritation include parabens, aluminum, silica, talc, and propylene glycol.
One study from the United Kingdom, reported in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that up to 23 percent of women and 13.8 percent of men experience adverse reactions to a personal care product, with deodorants and antiperspirants among the most common.
Sweat is almost odorless. The smell is caused by bacteria that break down sweat on the skin. Deodorants and antiperspirants only contain small amounts of antibacterial compounds to deal with sweat and odor, so any benefit is minimal.
Manufacturers of deodorants and antiperspirants insist sweat protection is necessary to rid people of sweat. Most people do not smell as bad as they think they do; in fact, some people have a gene which means they do not sweat at all.
According to a 2013 report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, research shows over 75 percent of people still use deodorants.
Reasons to do an armpit detox
Along with wanting to limit exposure to chemicals and reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, there are other potential reasons why a person might want to detoxify their armpits.
Easier transition to a natural deodorant
People who switch over to natural odor-fighting alternatives tend to experience rashes, excessive sweating and smell while transitioning.
Individuals who have used standard deodorants and antiperspirants for years are likely to have produced excess bad bacteria in the armpit, which increases odor and causes more sweating.
Detox helps get the bacteria back in balance resulting in a more natural smell.
Removes sticky buildup in armpits
Antiperspirants and deodorants leave a sticky buildup under the armpits, which is hard to wash even with soap. Aluminum used in these products clogs pores under the arms. An armpit detox may help pull out some of the chemicals that have built up in the armpits.
Minimize frequent illness or enlarged lymph nodes
Getting sick often and having swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits are both signs the lymphatic system is struggling to rid the body of chemicals from antiperspirants and deodorants.
Is an armpit detox necessary?
No medical evidence exists that proves or disproves the effectiveness of armpit detoxification. Most of the information available comes from websites promoting natural remedies, detox and holistic and alternative medicine.
How to do an armpit detox
Apple cider vinegar is one of the ingredients for an armpit detox.
Armpit detox is relatively straightforward and involves 3 ingredients, some of which people may already have in their homes.
A simple armpit detox includes the following, according to the Healthy and Natural World website:
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (unfiltered works best)
- 1-2 tablespoons water
Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl with a non-metal utensil. The thickness should be similar to that of yogurt. Spread the mixture in an even layer under each armpit. Leave the mixture on for a few minutes for the first few times, then slowly increase the time to no longer than 20 minutes. Wash the mixture off the armpits with warm water.
If the armpits turn red, do not worry, as this is quite normal and harmless. However, if anyone experiences any other reactions to the clay, wash the mixture off immediately.
Repeat the detoxification daily until there is no odor in the armpits or until natural deodorants no longer irritate the skin.
People should be aware that natural deodorants may also contain some harmful chemicals. Some people wanting to use a natural product might consider making their own deodorants. Recipes are available on a variety of websites that promote natural remedies.