When you stop using traditional deodorants and antiperspirants and switch to all-natural, you might experience some less-than-pleasant detox effects. Most of these are just temporary adjustments, but a small percentage of people may have uncomfortable reactions that require immediate attention or a change in protocol. Here’s a handy guide to help you figure it out.

Pit detox?

Yep. When we stop putting nasty chemicals in our bodies, our systems recognize that something is drastically different and often need to compensate for the change. This is completely normal. You’re ridding yourself of the toxic stuff like aluminum and synthetics that your body has built up a resistance to. Now, it’s sending a clear signal that it is noticing the changes that you have made.

What can I expect?

Excess sweating is usually the first thing that people notice when they first go off conventional antiperspirants filled with chemicals and ingredients that are bad for the body and work by clogging up the pores to prevent you from sweating — which is no good. Your newly-freed sweat glands may go into overdrive trying to push out all those toxins that they weren’t able to when they were blocked. Luckily, this excess sweating, called hyperhydrosis, is a temporary phase that will be over as soon as your body adjusts.

You might also notice that, at first, you actually stink worse than before. This is simply a result of the bacteria that’s been trapped in your body suddenly being pushed out. Don’t sweat it — this phase, too, is temporary.

Slightly less common side effects of going natural include tenderness, swelling, bumps or irritated red areas. These can be merely part of the detox or symptoms of a rash that can easily be relieved.

How to tell if you have a rash (and what to do about it).

If your underarms are really red or painful, you probably have a rash. What causes a rash like this? Well, the first culprit is usually your own sweat. When you go through detox hyperhydrosis, your moist sticky underarms can get irritated when they rub against themselves or your clothing. This kind of common rash is called intertrigo and can cause an angry red welt, itchiness, discomfort or flaking. Sometimes, the protective layer of film that sits on the skin’s surface, called the acid mantle, may be out of whack. Shaving, dermatitis, or yeast can also cause a rash in areas like the armpits.

It’s important to treat pit rash, because the run-of-the-mill detox period mentioned above does not include redness or any kind of pain. Pit rash, or any rash really, should never be ignored. The first, and easiest, way to get intertrigo under control is by eliminating the moisture: keep the area dry and exposed to the air as much as possible. Be sure to dry yourself thoroughly after showering, and avoid tight clothing.

This is where a natural deodorant made with moisture-absorbing powder is your hero — but keep in mind, you want safe powder. That means no talcum powder (which has been associated with a host of health concerns) but rather a powder like arrowroot.

Is my deodorant giving me a rash?

Maybe. Some natural deodorant ingredients may be irritating your skin enough to cause an armpit rash, especially if you have sensitive skin. A very small portion of people can have adverse reactions to baking soda or some essential oils used in natural deodorants, but don’t give up. There are a few simple things you can do to minimize and eliminate pit rash, including trying a baking soda free formulation. We offer five different natural deodorants, using alternative active ingredients, like zinc oxide or magnesium, which are excellent options for sensitive skin. Adjust accordingly and try different formulations until you find the one that works for you.

And remember, if you think you’re experiencing a rash, consult your healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

 

 

 

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