Do Your Underarms Need a Detox?

Do Your Underarms Need a Detox? featured image
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We’ve all heard of detoxes for our face and gut, but what about an armpit detox? If you haven’t heard about this viral TikTok trend yet, you’re missing out. Armpit health has been up and coming. Many people are making the switch to natural deodorants to avoid the aluminum and other toxins in traditional deodorants. Switching to natural deodorants can be a journey, one laden with unpleasant smells as your body adjusts to the natural alternative. An armpit detox can help mitigate these unwanted scents and smooth underarm skin, whether you’re using natural deodorant or not.

What is an armpit detox?

An “armpit detox is a way to refresh the armpit areas by gentle exfoliation,” explains Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD. An armpit detox is a similar process to putting a face mask on.

You can use a product designed specifically for armpits like the Lavanila Healthy Detox Mask ($26) or a detoxifying face mask like the Carbon Theory Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Mineral Mud Breakout Control Facial Wet Mask. West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD, says you can even do a detox with apple cider vinegar. Dr. Blyumin-Karasik warns that the “armpit is a sensitive skin-fold area of our body. It has a more reactive nature to concentrated mechanical (scrubs) and chemical (fruit acids/retinoids) exfoliation.” She says gentle, gradual exfoliation is the best for “this reactive area.”

Why would someone want to do an armpit detox?

Many people are doing an armpit detox to prevent the unpleasant smells that sometimes come with switching to natural deodorant. “Smells occur when transitioning to natural deodorant because the bacteria on the armpit is no longer inhibited by the antiperspirant,” explains celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab in Los Angeles. “It can take some time for the microbiome and bacteria of the armpit to regulate itself to reduce the unpleasant odors.”

Armpit detoxes are not only good for those switching to natural deodorant. A detox can benefit anyone looking to improve the look, feel or smell of their underarms. As Dr. Blyumin-Karasik points out, “Armpits are an important part of our aesthetics, so having appearance and odor under great control is relevant.”

What are the benefits of an armpit detox?

According to Dr. Blyumin-Karasik, an armpit detox can brighten and smooth the area, decongest pores and repair the skin barrier and balance microflora that creates odor from sweat interaction. Ross says an underarm detox can also help with redness and irritation.

Why do people switch to natural deodorant?

People generally like to switch to a natural deodorant to reduce potential toxins that could be going into the body from antiperspirant ingredients such as aluminum,” says Ross. Dr. Beer points out that the chemicals and fragrances found in regular products could cause redness and hyperpigmentation.

“Natural deodorants are clean, hence free of potentially harmful synthetic ingredients. These are usually organic fragrances (like Native deodorant) or botanicals (such as Schmidt’s deodorant),” says Dr. Blyumin-Karasik. “On the other hand, aluminum chloride in typical deodorant has potential for immunotoxicity, skin sensitivity and animal carcinogenicity.”

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