It used to be that “natural” deodorant implied not using deodorant at all. And while that may work for some, it doesn’t work for most of us. Enter 2018. This year we’re seeing a huge rise in natural deodorant companies from Earth Mama Angel Baby and New Leaf Naturals’ Stink Stopper to Neitra Body Botanicals, QET Botanicals, and Ethique, lines are formulating sticks, creams, bars, putty, and even powders to help relieve your pits. Why the need? Many holistic experts, including dermatologists and naturopathic doctors are concerned about the aluminum in conventional antiperspirants. The aluminum is used to plug your sweat glands, helping eliminate both odor and wetness. The downside, experts warn, is that your body is unable to fully detox via sweat.
Making the switch isn’t an easy one. I know that when I tried the switch I was so uncomfortable that I quickly switched back. Others even go on to say that during the process of switching to natural deodorants, many find themselves extra stinky. Evidently during the switching process your body is also learning to adjust to its new microbiome, which can lead to not only extra stink but also extra sweat.
Intimidated? Us too. But we have a solution. For starters, you need to try quite a few styles and brands to find your own personal favorite. (Be sure to be on the lookout for our 9th Annual Earth Day Beauty Award deodorant winners to find which brands to try.) But before you get that far, try detoxifying your pits and learn some new pit-health that might not only make the transition easier, but could also make you less stinky from here on out. So, how does one detoxify your armpits? With an armpit mask!
Armpit masks and scrubs, like face masks and scrubs, are designed to remove extra skin build-up, making the products you use more effective. The number one ingredient we found in armpit masks was charcoal, which is a natural detoxifier, yet isn’t as irritating on the delicate skin as other detoxifying ingredients.
Lavanila Healthy Underarm Detox Mask– This mask ($26) made with charcoal, malic acid and silica is designed to be brushed on (and comes with a handy brush built into the tube) to help remove aluminum and smooth the skin. It was created to help shorten the transition to natural deodorant (and we love their natural deodorants). Curious? Read more about the transition to natural deodorant here.
Kaia Naturals– While they don’t offer a mask, they do have a new Deodorant Booster Bar ($22) that is made with activated charcoal and apple cider vinegar to help detoxify and manage odor. Its designed to be used on both your armpits as well as your feet. Follow it up with their Takesumi Detox Deodorant.
Zabana Essentials Armpit Detox Bar– This cleansing bar ($12.95) is designed to unclog, exfoliate and freshen your arm pits. Made with coconut oil, charcoal powder, almond oil and aloe as well as kaolin clay and dead sea salt, this bar leaves your pits feeling fresh and ready for the natural deodorant transition.
Meow Meow Tweet Under Arm Primer– Again, this isn’t a mask, but Meow Meow Tweet’s Under Arm Primer ($22) does help one transition from conventional to natural underarm care. Made with plant oils, witch hazel, aloe leaf juice and tea tree oil, this lotion helps to moisturize, prep and keep your pits happy.
Skin Foodie Tea Tree Pits Primer– This armpit mask ($10) is made with a blend of different butters, bentonite clay, charcoal and magnesium and was created to help users transition to natural deodorants.
More of a DIY kind of gal? Try this recipe from the Wellness Mama:
1 tbs. bentonite clay
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp. of water (to get right consistency)
- Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl (do not use metal!) with a wooden or non-metal spoon until about the consistency of sour cream.
- Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes. I suggest starting slowly and working up to a longer period of time once you see how your body adjust. If it hurts at all, remove immediately.
- This may cause some redness as it will increase blood-flow to the area, but it will go away quickly.
- Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth.
- Repeat daily or as needed until under-arm odor goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.