What Is an Armpit Detox—and an Armpit Mask to Try

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With the rising natural deodorants trend, more people are discovering the "armpit detox." What's an armpit detox? A health editor and a dermatologist explain. (An intriguing try ahead of summer!)

Between the popularity of juice cleanses and intermittent fasting, it might not surprise you to learn that there’s yet a new way to cleanse your body of impurities and flush toxins out: an armpit detox. And while it may sound weird and perhaps a bit “hippy-dippy,” the possible benefits might sound enticing.

What is an armpit detox?

“Armpit detox has been coined to refer to a period when someone transitions from an aluminum-based antiperspirant to a natural deodorant,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD in New York City tells The Healthy @Reader’s Digest. “Often this period may be characterized by an increased amount of sweating, which is to be expected, as you are no longer blocking the release of sweat with an antiperspirant,” adds Dr. Garshick.

Why do an armpit detox?

While this transition period may sound a little sticky, Dr. Garshick says an armpit detox can deliver some impressive benefits.

For starters, Dr. Garshick says some people prefer to try a natural deodorant—like this insanely popular Crystal deodorant—because they’re focused on incorporating more natural products into their grooming routine (read: fewer chemicals). Others may choose it as a way to avoid the potential irritation that may be associated with aluminum-based products.

Another unexpected benefit when considering switching to natural deodorant? You might experience fewer unsightly yellow armpit stains on your shirts, as those are often caused by a chemical reaction between your sweat and aluminum.

How to do an armpit detox

There are a couple different ways to tackle an armpit detox. The first way is to simply stop using an antiperspirant and switch to a natural deodorant. Just know that it could take some time for the aluminum to work its way out of your system. “Some people may notice a difference within one day. For others it can take between two and four weeks to notice a significant difference,” says Dr. Garshick.

If you aren’t feeling so fresh during this transition, keep some aluminum-free Megababe deodorant wipes on-hand for an on-the-go refresh. These individually wrapped wipes are free of parabens, as well as biodegradable.

The other way to do an armpit detox is to steer clear of anti-perspirants and using products that are specifically geared toward this activity—like Megababe Happy Pits detoxifying underarm mask, Megababe Space Bar detoxifying charcoal underarm bar, and Curie Clay Detox Mask. Why?

“Armpit masks can be used once weekly to help draw out bacteria, dirt, and oil from the underarm area,” explains Dr. Garshick, who says that as a bonus, they also gently exfoliate to help brighten the underarm and eliminate any dead skin buildup. And, you can use them in conjunction with natural deodorants that contain ingredients such as baking soda, charcoal or clay, which are designed to help absorb excess moisture and mask odor.

For instance, Megababe Happy Pits contains charcoal and kaolin clay to draw toxins to the surface, glycolic acid and willow bark for gentle exfoliation, tea tree oil to calm redness and inflammation caused by razor burn, and vitamin C to repair damaged skin cells. It’s odor-free and can be used up to two times a week for more odor control.

“This underarm mask offers a great once-weekly treatment and can be used by someone going through an armpit detox or someone who just wants to improve the overall condition of the underarm area,” says Dr. Garshick.

Pros of Megababe Happy Pits:

  1. Aluminum-free
  2. Helps accelerate the detox transition
  3. Free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances
  4. Can use once or twice a week
  5. Easy application

Cons of Megababe Happy Pits:

  1. Won’t prevent sweating
  2. Should be used in conjunction with a natural deodorant to prevent odor
  3. Do not leave it on longer than recommended, as it may cause irritation

Just remember that there’s really only one thing that can ruin your armpit detox: aluminum. “Theoretically, reintroducing an antiperspirant may interfere with the desired effect of an armpit detox,” cautions Dr. Garshick, “as when using an antiperspirant, sweat is no longer released.”

The best user reviews for Megababe Happy Pits

Shoppers who have tried Megababe Happy Pits report they’ve been amazed by how much it helped their armpit detox transition. Cass says, “After first using this, I noticed that day I was significantly less sweaty and didn’t notice any odor. It’s super easy to apply and I just use a wet washcloth to wipe it off and have no issues with mess.”

Rikki, who rated it five stars, remarks: “This is the most genius applicator I have ever seen. Goes straight on your pits with no mess. Made the whole experience so much better!”

Where to buy Megababe Happy Pits Detoxifying Underarm Mask

If you’re ready to say goodbye to antiperspirants and aluminum and do an official armpit detox, the Megababe Happy Pits mask is a great place to begin your journey to natural odor control. At the time of this publication, you can purchase it at Ulta Beauty for $16, Target for $15.99, and for $16 directly on the brand’s website.

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Jill Schildhouse
As an editor at large for The Healthy, Jill Schildhouse is an expert in health and wellness, beauty, consumer products and product reviews, travel, and personal finance. She has spent the last 20 years as an award-winning lifestyle writer and editor for a variety of national print and digital publications.