Have you tried using natural deodorant only to find yourself in a stinky situation? Don’t fret! You’re not alone! There’s a trick to wearing natural deodorant when you’ve spent most of your life using the conventional stuff. Mamavation would like to share with you our armpit detox so you can use natural deodorant without the stank! You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like best non-toxic deodorants, best collagen, and best dry shampoos, now join us for the secret to getting natural deodorant to work–the armpit detox.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Breast Cancer Sucks
Breast cancer has long been a problem for American women, but recently it’s gotten even worse. The American Cancer Society report, “Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014 (PDF),” states that in 2013, over 39,000 women in the U.S. “were expected to die from breast cancer. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.” Could an armpit cleanse reduce your chances of breast cancer?
The American Cancer Society (ACS) blames the rates of cancer on tobacco use or obesity, but do environmental toxins play a much larger role? The 2010 report issued by the President’s Cancer Panel, “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now,” (PDF) claims that environmental factors have been ignored by research and the ACS. The report states, “It is more effective to prevent disease than to treat it, but cancer prevention efforts have focused narrowly on smoking, other lifestyle behaviors, and chemo-preventive interventions.”
The report goes on to list and give examples of almost every environmental factor imaginable. However, it may not go far enough. A current point of controversy is underarm deodorants and their link to breast cancer. While there are studies on this, not enough of a consensus has emerged for the ACS to confirm a link.
Antiperspirants, Deodorants, and the Dangerous Chemicals Inside
What sort of toxic chemicals do lurk in antiperspirants and deodorants? Plenty. The Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) reports that the following common ingredients in these products may cause cancer:
- Triclosan can affect hormones and could be linked to breast cancer:
- Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, which interfere with the body’s hormone function and also are linked to breast cancer, although the studies have only fueled controversy, and
- Parabens have been found in breast cancer biopsies and are known to be absorbed into the skin. They also disrupt hormones and mimic natural estrogens, a cause of breast cancer.
But these are not the only controversial compounds found in deodorants and antiperspirants. They can also include:
- Aluminum, which can hinder sweat and may be linked to breast cancer. It also disrupts lymph nodes and is linked to Alzheimer’s;
- Propylene glycol, which absorbs water, is another controversial chemical. It has been declared dangerous by the CDC, yet low levels of this chemical are approved by the FDA in personal care products. It can also irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions;
- Natural Cosmetics News says ingredients like TEA and DEA adjust pH levels and are used for fragrance or as a preservative. The Environmental Working Group’s database of toxic chemicals, Skin Deep, lists TEA as a low possibility of being toxic and DEA as a very high possibility;
- Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can cause other negative reactions in the body, and
- Natural Cosmetics News also names FD&C colors, which can be made from coal or tar and are carcinogenic.
Most of these chemicals have not been adequately studied for either toxicity or their possible links to breast cancer, but adding up the possible toxins is overwhelming. It may be time for an armpit cleanse!
Deodorants vs. Antiperspirants
First of all, it’s important to know that these are two different types of products.
- Deodorants remove the odor of sweat
- Antiperspirants reduce sweating in the first place
Sweat is a healthy physical response to exertion that prevents you from overheating, but it also has many healthy benefits.
- typically from physical exertion and there are many benefits from exercise
- assists in the detox of heavy metals
- elimination of chemicals like bisphenols, PFAS, & PCBs
- bacterial cleansing
Eliminating sweat will cause you more harm than good. So whatever you decide to do, I recommend replacing that antiperspirant right away with natural deodorant instead.
Armpit Cleanse: One Way to Get Natural Deodorant to Work
What is an armpit cleanse? It’s more than just changing your deodorant. It’s also a way to detox your armpits to get your natural deodorant to work.
Conventional deodorant plugs your armpits full of nasty chemicals and additives that are problematic and can block the body’s natural ability to sweat like:
- Aluminum– Some evidence links aluminum to cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parabens- Parabens have been found in biopsied tissue with breast cancer
- Phthalates– These endocrine disruptors can cause hormone imbalance and even infertility (especially in men)
- Propylene glycol– This chemical is also known as antifreeze. The Environmental Working Group reports that it carries a risk of immunotoxicity and allergic reactions.
- Formaldehyde- A known carcinogen.
- Triclosan & other antibacterial substances- These chemicals can negatively affect the immune system
When you do an armpit detox, you are allowing your body to natural dispel of these things and that also benefits you by allowing natural deodorant to work.
How to Do an Armpit Cleanse
There are a few simple steps you need to take to detox and safely switch to a natural deodorant. The following four steps make up Leah Segedie’s recommended cleanse:
- After you stop using your current deodorant, use a loofah when showering to remove dead skin and toxins from under your armpit;
- Apply aluminum-free baking soda to armpits when wet, then apply your natural deodorant. If you are sensitive to baking soda, as some people are, you can mix bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar and water to create a yogurt type of consistency. This is what I recommend for people who have sensitive skin;
- When you smell an odor coming from your armpits, wash them and then apply aluminum-free baking soda. After that, apply the natural deodorant again. Or if you are sensitive to baking soda, use the bentonite clay mixture, and
- Repeat this process for up to two weeks or until you natural deodorant works for up to 6 hours.
Note that the first day you start, you may be repeating these steps 5 to 10 times, but each day, that number will go down. Leah’s own cleanse ended after the 4th day, and the average person takes 4-7 days to complete this cleanse.
Then check out our deodorant investigation looking at the most popular deodorant brands available today and which ones are non-toxic and pick up some to try. Here is one of our favorite brands to try!
Featured Deodorant: Primally Pure Deodorant
Primally Pure has been one of my favorites deodorants for many years now. The ingredients are pure, simple, and effective. It’s the kind of deodorant that can carry me into the next day if I forget to put it on in the morning too. (It does contain some baking soda, so if you are sensitive to that, there are plenty of the other deodorants we have recommended that do not contain baking soda inside our investigation.)
This is what I mean by simple ingredients. Primally Pure Lavender Deodorant Ingredients: Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Tallow from Grass-Fed Cows, Organic Beeswax, Baking Soda, Non-nano Zinc Oxide, White Kaolin Clay, Organic Lavender Essential Oil
If you would like to try Primally Pure, they are offering Mamavation community members 10% off by using coupon code “MAMAVATION” at checkout. Discover all the different Primally Pure Deodorants and here they are linked individually below.
- Primally Pure Blue Tansy Deodorant (links to small biz, not Amazon, use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 10% off)
- Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant (links to small biz, not Amazon, use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 10% off)
- Primally Pure Geranium Deodorant (links to small biz, not Amazon, use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 10% off)
- Primally Pure Lavender Deodorant (links to small biz, not Amazon, use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 10% off)
- Primally Pure Lemongrass Deodorant (links to small biz, not Amazon, use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 10% off)
- Primally Pure Tea Tree Deodorant (links to small biz, not Amazon, use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 10% off)
- Primally Pure Unscented Deodorant (links to small biz, not Amazon, use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 10% off)