How to Detox Your Armpits

If you’re reading this, it means that you’re either thinking of making the switch to aluminum free deodorant, or you’ve already made the switch and you’re confused why you’re a little stinky. Either way, we’re here to answer your questions.

Woman on a mountain top

What is an Armpit Detox?

The goal of an armpit detox is simple: eliminate unnecessary ingredients from your routine and give your underarms some love. Our version of an armpit detox is easy:

  1. Switch from antiperspirant to aluminum free deodorant. Learn more about why you should switch to aluminum free deodorant.
  2. Follow our tips below to make the detox period a breeze.
  3. Give your underarms extra love with a detox mask.

Why Detox Your Armpits?

Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts which clog pores and inhibit sweating. Sounds practical, right? One of the things they don’t tell you about antiperspirants is that they interfere with your skin's natural microbiome1.

Aluminum salts and other ingredients found in conventional antiperspirants and deodorants are not only unnecessary, in our humble opinion, but also potentially concerning.

The skin in your armpits is quite absorbent compared to other parts of the body. When applying a product to this area daily, it’s important to consider what ingredients it contains.  

Here are a few to look out for and why they might be concerning:

Common deodorant ingredients

  • Aluminum: An antiperspirant agent. Some studies have shown a connection between aluminum absorption and certain diseases. Although more research is needed to confirm this link, medical professionals do caution people with weak kidney function against using deodorant with aluminum2.
  • Parabens: A preservative. Parabens mimic estrogen. An excess of estrogen can increase your breast cancer risk2. At this time, the FDA does not specifically regulate parabens, though they are continuing to research possible effects on human health3
  • Formaldehyde: A preservative. Formaldehyde is listed on the FDA website as an allergen4. Research is limited, but there is some concern that formaldehyde may be a carcinogen5.
  • Phthalates: A plasticizer, i.e. chemicals that make plastics more durable. Studies show that while phthalates affect the reproductive systems of animals, more research is required to understand their effects on humans6
  • Propylene glycol: A skin conditioning agent. Propylene glycol is not considered toxic7, but it is a classified as a skin irritant8.

Did you know, on average, consumers use between six and 12 personal care products daily9? Peek in your bathroom to see how many products contain the above ingredients. 


Woman in bed stretching arms overhead

Does switching to aluminum deodorant make you smell worse?

Initially, it seem like you new deodorant isn't working all that well. So what gives? Antiperspirant and conventional deodorant mess with the natural microbiome of your underarms10, causing bacteria to overproduce and make you smell even worse when your body stops depending on chemicals to control odor. 

As your body begins to no longer rely on the antiperspirant chemicals, it will naturally correct the bacterial imbalance in your armpits, and your sweat won’t smell nearly as bad.

How long does it take to adjust to aluminum free deodorant?

Give your body a week or two to regulate. Stick it out through the detox period and you will be rewarded with the peace of mind that you know exactly what's going on and in your body.

Friendly side note: If you've been using antiperspirant, then you will begin to notice perspiration under your arms. Remember sweating is natural, normal, and a good thing. Learn about the different kinds of sweat.

Young athletic man drinking water from reusable bottle

How to Detox Your Armpits

While your sweat could be extra smelly for the first few days, we've got your back. 

Aside from benefiting from our incredible smelling aluminum free deodorant options scented with essential oils and botanical extracts, we have some pointers for minimizing any undesired smell during your detox process.

4 tips for getting through the detox period

1. Drink Plenty of Water: Water helps your body remove everyday toxins in an efficient, easy way. Drink filtered water for the greatest benefits!
2. Mind What You Eat: Believe it or not, certain foods can change the way that your body odor smells. Actively avoid smelling worse than you need to by going vegetarian for a few days. As you might expect, beware of garlic and onions!
3. Dry Off Carefully After a Shower: Think back to high school science. Bacteria love warm, moist environments! Which basically describes your armpit after coming out of the shower. Make sure to dry your armpits well. When you’re on the go, wipe off excess sweat in your pits with a towel.
4. Get Moving and Sweat: From an early age, we’re taught that smelling bad is gross, and therefore sweating is gross. However, trying to prevent sweating from happening altogether isn’t all that great. Antiperspirants may prevent sweating, but they do so by clogging pores and blocking sweat glands with aluminum salts in the process2. A little exercise to break a sweat, and maybe a some time in a sauna, will help speed up the detoxification process as your body re-learns how to control bacteria on its own.

Let's Recap 

  • Detoxing is a process.
  • You may feel extra smelly for a few days, but it will pass.
  • Drink extra water and enjoy a clean diet.
  • A little sweat is good for you. 
  • Keep your underarms dry to prevent bacteria growth. 

Bowl of bentonite clay for mask

Bonus! DIY Armpit Detox Mask Recipe

The key ingredient in this mask is bentonite clay. What makes this special ingredient so cool is the fact that it’s made of aged volcanic ash. Its unique composition literally absorbs toxins11. Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as ACV, is the second productive component of the mask. ACV contains tons of enzymes, protein, and probiotic bacteria that give ACV anti-fungal and antibacterial properties12. As a team, ACV and bentonite clay kill bacteria while also removing impurities from your pores!

Bentonite Clay Mask Recipe


  • 1 T healing bentonite clay
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 t water


  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a small, non-metal bowl. Use a non-metal spoon.
  2. Stir until the mixture is nice and creamy.
  3. Apply an even layer to clean armpits and let dry for 5-20 minutes. You may experience some redness from an increase of blood flow to the area, but that should quickly go away. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
  4. Take a shower and rinse off the mixture, or use a damp, warm cloth.
  5. Repeat 1-3 times a week until you see results!

Keep using this mask every day until you see an improvement in your scent. For the best results, try the mask for a week.

Ditching your antiperspirant doesn't have to be a smelly ordeal. And take it from us, it's a worthwhile step toward a healthier you. Our poor armpits, which rarely see the light of day, deserve a little attention. The result will make a lasting difference for them and your overall health. 

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Disclaimer: All information provided is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be, nor should be interpreted as, medical advice. This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and Humble Brands products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your physician or other qualified health provider with questions you have regarding your health. Although every effort has been made to ensure the information published is accurate, Humble Brands accepts no responsibility or liability. 


  • Abby Romberger

    Hello Humble, I have to tell you that I am so glad to have found humble deodorant. My natural deodorant journey has lasted a long time. Many of the natural deodorants that I utilized caused a lot of irritation in my armpit armpit area causing excessive itch and a lot of discomfort and sometimes painful because of the excessive itching. Naturally my body was just not adjusting properly to the ingredient distribution in the natural deodorant products. Humble has the perfect distribution of ingredients. It glides on well and dissolves quickly. The essential oils are top notch and provide a lovely natural and unobtrusive scent. You have got a loyal follower for life. My armpits thank you! And I do too!

  • TaJaliq

    Thank You

  • Mary Garrett

    I got the unscented natural deodorant at Nutrition Stop (wary of scents, very sensitive to most of them). I bought a second one when it got low, and then (TMI perhaps) decided to try the more-used one on the pesky heat rash itchiness of the upper thigh/crotch area, a persistent irritation that did not improve with doctor-suggested diaper rash or athlete’s food creams. Guess what? I’ll bet you guessed — blissful relief. I thought you should know, so you can perhaps help others. Thanks!

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