If you’ve ever heard the words “armpit detox” and wondered what the heck that was (or if you needed one), we’re right there with you. In theory, a detox of anything sounds good—and of all the body parts to detox, the armpit sounds like a ripe place to start. But do we actually need one or is it completely unnecessary? Let’s take a deeper look.
First off, what is an armpit detox? It’s when you ween off of conventional deodorants and antiperspirants and use various ingredients (like apple cider vinegar or bentonite clay) to help draw out any “toxins” from the area that have built up over time. Proponents claim you can drastically reduce body odor and underarm wetness after doing an armpit detox.
However, “your body already has excellent systems for dealing with these ‘toxins’ and your skin is a very effective barrier that prevents most things from penetrating. So no, you don’t need to detox your armpits,” states Brianna West, a biochemist and founder of Ethique.
Moreover, “sweating is a good and natural part of the body’s existing detoxification process,” says Martha Soffer, an Ayurvedic specialist and founder of Surya Spa in Los Angeles. “Your armpits contain lymph nodes, and one of the main functions of the lymphatic system is to detox. One of the many ways it does that is through sweating,” she explains.