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Armpit Detox: Is It Necessary?

Armpit Detox: Is It Necessary?

by Callie Sleper

Armpit detox. Is that like some sort of holding cell for misbehaving armpits that got too rowdy during their night on the town?

That’s an interesting thought that first crossed my mind. But an “armpit detox” is actually a wellness trend centered around removing a buildup of toxins in underarm sweat glands.

Most often, people try pit detoxing when making the switch to natural deodorants. Before many natural deodorants begin to work, which can take up to a few weeks, it’s become popular to repetitively apply homemade deodorant pastes during that time that fend off top of the-charts odor while they sweat out toxins.

Pit detoxes are believed to be necessary for keeping you healthy and increasing the delayed odor controlling ability of natural deodorants.

But are we really getting the full story? We’re going to bust yet another myth for you now, folks, so no need to get that homemade underarm paste ready just yet...


Advocates of the underarm detox consider it a small price to pay to make your body less smelly and healthier in the long run. They claim that sweat glands will wind up producing less sweat and odor as a result of removing harmful buildup accumulated with years of antiperspirant use. And, since your pits are the home of over 20 lymph nodes that aid your immune defense, detoxing is suspected by some to be an important way of ensuring better overall immunity.

It’s a widely held belief that, if you abstain from deodorizing entirely before switching to natural, natural deodorants will work far better. During this transition period, it’s common to smell like cat pee and sweat like you're under an interrogation lamp.

And depending on what you read, natural deodorant brands describe this period as lasting anywhere from no time at all to up to six weeks.

In case you missed it, that’s SIX WEEKS of going out in public smelling like a teenage boys’ gym locker! (No offense, fellas–although you know it’s true!)


Many brands (not Lume) say to ease this excruciating process, you should apply a homemade paste to your underarms to unclog your sweat glands of toxic buildup. Pastes typically include a mixture of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar or bentonite clay with coconut oil. That’s because bentonite clay, formed from volcanic ash, is thought to be able to draw out toxins, while coconut oil and apple cider vinegar can neutralize odor causing bacteria.

There are videos online of people detoxing and holding their arms up high for up to 20 minutes, letting the mixture sit while life passes them by and the blood slowly leaves their extremities. It’s said you may repeat the process until there’s no more odor or irritation. Is it just me, or do we have better things to do? Like ear candling?

While it can be an interesting lesson in empathy to reenact the plight of our forebears who might have done time in medieval dungeons with their arms manacled above their heads, this truly isn’t necessary.


There’s just no evidence that pit detoxing can reduce your stank or make any deodorant more effective. Nothing has proven that clay products or anything else besides sweat can physically pull toxins out of your skin. While a clay paste may stave off smell temporarily, you’d likely have to repeat this process many times throughout the day to not offend passing strangers.

Just the logistics alone are enough to make my head spin...

It’s not harmful to go through such a pit detox, but rubbing straight vinegar on your pits can cause irritation.


Switching to a natural deodorant containing irritants like baking soda requires an inconvenient adjustment period all on its own.

Your body needs time to adjust to the high pH (AKA alkalinity) in baking soda. It may still never get used to it. So instead of advocating for a detox period from traditional antiperspirants, they may as well call it a period of time needed for your pits to adapt to the caustic pH of baking soda.

The normal pH, or “acid mantle,” of your skin is between 4.5-6.5. When baking soda, with a pH of 9, is put on skin, this acid mantle gets thrown off balance and sets off a flurry of changes in bacterial flora and enzyme activity near your skin’s surface. Just one application of something alkaline like baking soda on your skin can dry it out and damage the protective barrier.

This scientific data also backs up common complaints of many customers experiencing underarm irritation with products containing baking soda. Find out more about why baking soda is considered the #1 irritant in natural deodorant today.

To sum it up, baking soda is the main culprit for the flaming red rash most people experience when transitioning to an aluminum-free deodorant.

Save the baking soda for your kitty litter box or your refrigerator and leave long lasting odor control to a skin loving deodorant like Lume Whole Body Deodorant!


The transition period with Lume Deodorant looks far different.

As soon as Lume touches your skin, it blocks odor before it even has the chance to begin. As you use it, you will see that it’s efficacy increases as you get close to the two week mark. Once you’ve used it for about two weeks, you’ll begin to notice you need less, less often. So, no need to slather yourself in volcanic apple paste or walk around with pits that stink as much as they hurt.

With Lume, no pit detox of any sort is required.

Lume is a skin safe deodorant that does not contain baking soda, so your skin will have nothing unhealthy or damaging to “get used to.”

In fact, Lume is powered by Mandelic Acid, so it is pH optimized to stop odor before it starts, and it is safe to use anywhere you want to control odor.

What a relief it is to know there’s finally a product out there that protects you from skin damage over time as well as offensive body odor.

Before using Lume Deodorant, all you need before applying it the first time is a quick shower with water and a high quality soap that leaves your skin feeling moisturized and gently cleansed. Then, once you’ve dried off, you are ready to use Lume to ward off body odor for up to 72 hours!

There have been numerous times in my life when I tried switching from clinical strength deodorant with aluminum to others, looking for more effective odor control. Let me tell you, as someone with pits that “reek to high heavens” (a description bestowed to me by my own loving mother), I know the struggle.

I kept the growing club of disappointing deodorants and antiperspirants stored under my bed to justify money gone to waste, or maybe hoping that my body would change and they’d work for me another day.

I really think the only thing that needs changing is the way deodorant is approached. With Lume Deodorant, you don’t have to be concerned that it’s any less powerful than the antiperspirant you switched from, or that it will still cause you issues. You may find, like me, that it addresses odor unlike any other product you’ve tried before with no catch.

Lume approaches body odor differently. With a unique, patented formula that simultaneously works safely with your body’s pH and prevents odor-causing bacteria from bringing the funk, there is no detox or waiting period necessary.

You can use Lume Deodorant Wipes for added odor protection on the go. Our wipes are also free of baking soda and parabens, and take care of odor anywhere you have it but wish you didn't with just a few quick waves of your hand.

Just try Lume and soon, you’ll be flaunting those pits with pride in no time.

Callie Sleper


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