The human armpit gets a bad rap due to the presence of odor-producing bacteria. To prevent unpleasant smells, the armpit is smothered in soaps, shaving creams, antiperspirants, and deodorants. But in an effort to cover up armpit odor, you may be doing more harm than good.
The sweat glands in your underarms are there for several purposes. The most obvious one is that sweating helps cool down the body and regulate body temperature. Sweat also serves as a mechanism for moving toxins out of the body. This detoxification process helps eliminate toxic heavy metals and promote health, supporting both the lymphatic and immune systems.
Not only does sweating help open up and clean pores, but sweat also kills bacteria and viruses that may be present on the skin. The glands themselves release a type of bacteria that breaks down the very sweat they also produce, creating the cycle that leads to body odor.
In an effort to control this odor, many antiperspirants contain aluminum, the active ingredient that blocks the function of sweat glands. Small amounts of aluminum are absorbed by the body and build up over time. Research indicates that this aluminum can be deposited in the brain and has been widely associated with Alzheimer's disease.
In general, if chemicals in the antiperspirants block sweat glands, then toxins can’t be released from the body as efficiently as intended. The lymphatic system gets bogged down and the immune system becomes sluggish. This is of particular concern for women, as some of these chemicals have been tied to estrogen disruption and even breast cancer.
Additionally, when antiperspirants and deodorants use chemical antimicrobial agents to kill the bacteria in you armpits, other bacteria can take over that smell even worse!
How To Detoxify Your Underarms
The best time to use this detoxification recipe is right after exercising (without the use of antiperspirants or deodorants), just prior to taking a shower. Your sweat glands will already be open and flowing.
2 Tablespoons liquid bentonite clay
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Essential Oils of your choice, such as Thieves, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, or Grapefruit
Stir the clay, vinegar, and oils together in a glass container until thoroughly mixed. If you like a thicker paste, add more clay. For thinner consistency, add more vinegar. This recipe should be enough for several applications. Store unused portion in the refrigerator.
Using your fingers, spread a layer of the mixture onto each armpit. You can wipe any excess mixture onto another area of skin, such as your breast tissue, chest, or abdomen.
Let dry for 10-20 minutes. Next, take a hot shower.
You may notice a decrease in underarm odor after a single detox. You can repeat this process several days in a row, or simply at your convenience, but you should at least try for once each week. For natural internal deodorant, you may want to consider chlorella or fenugreek.
In the end, it is recommended that if you have one or two days per week that you don’t need to put anything on your underarms, then don’t. The body is amazing at self-cleaning. Sometimes the best option is to simply not interfere. Your goal should be to stop the use of antiperspirants and deodorants altogether. Essential oils may be a great substitute.
Lee Ann Kalaba is a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic in Tucson, AZ. After a decade in Corporate America as a CPA, she experienced a severe injury that was the catalyst of her healing journey and put her on the chiropractic path. Now, her vision is to utilize chiropractic care and health coaching to help people improve their health so they can pursue the life of their dreams.
Synopsis: Despite efforts to eliminate underarm odor, sweating serves many healthy purposes. Learn what a few of these purposes are, how to avoid sabotaging these healthy processes, and start an armpit detox to support your lymphatic and immune systems, with the goal of reducing body odor in the process.