Let’s talk about your pits today, okay? Before I do though, let’s get a (very) brief explanation of why are pits are so important!
Our bodies are naturally going through a detoxification process everyday, thanks to our friends the liver and the lymphatic system, among others. Sweating is a natural part of detoxification for the body. If you’re not sweating, you’re missing out on the benefits it provides by releasing toxins from the body through your pores. (Also if you’re not sweating and want to talk about that, I can help you from a nutrition standpoint. Feel free to reach out for help.)
I imagine it’s safe to say that you’ve used, or currently use, an antiperspirant deodorant. If you haven’t, you are ahead of the game! For the rest of us, we’ve spent years plugging up an area that our body relies on for getting rid of toxins. I know, I know. Sweaty pits are no fun at all, but it doesn’t have to mean you experience it all the time! And with that stinky stinky BO…
Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants are typically filled with problematic ingredients that really have no place being applied to our skin. These ingredients include…
- Aluminum – Linked to Alzheimer’s disease and heavy metal toxicity.
- Parabens – Endocrine/hormone disruptors, found in 99% of breast cancer tissue sampled in this study
- Propylene glycol – Classified as skin irritant by the EWG
- Phthalates – Endocrine disruptors linked to permanent birth defects
- Triclosan – Linked to liver toxicity and thyroid dysfunction
- Formaldehyde contaminated synthetics – carcinogenic
- Fragrance – Cocktail of chemicals creating skin sensitivities and irritations
Let’s highlight one particular ingredient… Aluminum. This is the ingredient responsible for blocking our ability to sweat.
Aluminum is often the active ingredient in antiperspirants and poses some serious risks to our health overall as it can be carried through the bloodstream targeting the central nervous system and settling into fatty tissue.
With long term exposure, aluminum has the potential to cross the blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the brain. According to Frontiers in Neurology, “…an individual’s exposure to aluminum is impacting upon their health and is already contributing to, if not causing, chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
Safer Choices of Deodorant
Thankfully, there are quite a few safer alternatives in the world of deodorant. I’ve personally used several different options, some good and some not so good. There can be some trial and error so if you’re ready to take the steps to freshen your pits with a safer choice, just know that it may take some experimenting.
Brands like Schmidt’s and Native have some good products – just be sure to check the ingredients on all of them as you’ll sometimes see Fragrance used.
I hadn’t really found one that I absolutely loved, so I was excited when Beautycounter launched their deodorant to consultants last year. They’ve been working on this formula for YEARS to get it right, and I think they’ve done it!
As you may know, Beautycounter doesn’t roll out products unless they pass their high screening standards for safety and efficacy. They’ve also kept environmental impact in mind with a refillable design! This deodorant not only neutralizes odor, but absorbs sweat without aluminum. I’ve been using the Coconut scent since late summer and it’s worked very well for me! I love that it goes on far smoother than any safer deodorant I’ve used, and it doesn’t irritate my skin.
There are 3 scents available: Clean Rose, Soft Lavender, and Fresh Coconut. The scents are all light, but if you are looking for something close to scent free, I would go with the Fresh Coconut. The scent won’t linger like traditional deodorants.
If you’re someone with sensitive pits, don’t be afraid of the baking soda in this formulation from Beautycounter. Many folks that have needed to do baking soda-free deodorants have not found this one to be irritating. (PS Beautycounter has a 60-day return policy so you can give it a try risk free!)
Detox your Pits
I hinted to the fact that switching to a safer deodorant can take some time to even out. After all, you’re now allowing the natural process of sweating to finally be able to release a build up of toxins in your body. I think Winter is the perfect time to start this process! There will be some stinky pits for a bit, it’s okay though! Trust the process!
There are a few things that can help the process go as smoothly as possible.
Increase your water intake: A good starting point to aim for is half your body weight in ounces. For example, a 200 lb person would aim to drink 100 ounces of water. I do not recommend drinking more than 120 ounces of water. If you’re far from the amount you need to be drinking, slowly increase your intake over several days until you reach your ideal amount. Minerals are helpful too in boosting your hydration levels. Adding a pinch of unrefined sea salt or an electrolyte solution (I like this one) to your water can be very helpful.
Reduce processed and refined foods: Opt for healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and butter. Nosh on lots of fruits and veggies, too! Don’t forget your dark leafy greens that are fantastic for supporting detoxification.
Movement: Be sure to get out and move! Allowing your body to sweat will help promote detoxification.
Topical Help: This Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Charcoal Cleansing Mask can help speed up the process of detoxing your pits. Wash your underarm area daily with the charcoal bar and use the charcoal mask once per week. Apply the mask to clean pits and wait 10 minutes before washing it off. Follow up with your clean deodorant of choice. You may need to apply more than once a day until things are regulated.
Alright! So, are you ready to detox your pits? Have you gone through this process before? Share in the comments your experience!