Should I Detox My Underarms?

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Detoxing our underarms is a new body care trend that’s gaining momentum. On the surface, detoxing our underarms seems like the right thing to do. We are constantly lathering deodorants, sweating, and getting occasional body odor. Plus, with things like scalp detoxing gaining attention, there appears to be no limit to areas of the body that need deeper cleansing. However, Dr. DiAnne Davis immediately informed us that detoxing our underarms isn’t a body care trend worth investing time in. 

With the popularity of body care products and regimes creating heightened hygiene awareness, Dr. Davis fully understands the appeal of underarm detoxes. “Extra sweat can lead to an odor that can cause someone to want to detox,” says Dr. Davis. Body odor is an encounter that can diminish anyone’s confidence within seconds. It’s natural for us to want to smell our best, especially around other people. 

At the same time, body odor is a natural reaction from our bodies, and we shouldn’t feel ashamed. Bacteria are a normal part of the human experience. “We all have bacteria that naturally live on our skin. It is part of our skin flora that protects our skin from bacteria, like fungi. And sometimes, that comes with a little body odor. I want to say that this is a normal process that the body goes through,” says Dr. Davis. 

Although body odor is normal and almost unavoidable, there is still no shame in being interested in improving our scent. There are natural ways to detox the underarms, although it is not recommended, nor has been proven to be scientifically successful. Dr.Davis says, “some consumers may use detoxifying ingredients like charcoal, clays, or apple cider vinegar mixtures to apply under the arms. However, this may irritate the skin.” Side effects of detoxifying our pits are rashes, allergic reactions, and the imbalance of natural bacteria on the skin, according to Dr.Davis. Overall, finding a deodorant that works for our bodies is the best way to improve body odor. 

Dr. Nkem Ugonabo is a health expert and firm advocate for not detoxing our underarms. She encourages consumers to consider using deodorant or antiperspirants, too. “Deodorants mask body odor associated with sweating but do not affect how much we sweat. In contrast, antiperspirants work to block us from sweating,” says Dr Ugonabo. It’s best to mention that all antiperspirants in the U.S. contain aluminum. This ingredient may not be favorable for women as it can accumulate in the breast tissue, although it has not been proven to cause breast cancer. 

In light of such topics, Dr. Ugonabo does not feel that one is better than the other when it comes to gender. “It all depends on how much a person sweats,” she says. “People who sweat heavily may find antiperspirants beneficial as deodorant may not be enough coverage.” It’s best to test out which one works best for your needs. According to the Life Hacker Site, the best time to test an antiperspirant or deodorant is before bed. Both should last at least 24 hours and are safer options than detoxing our underarms. 

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