Ahh, the beloved armpit: a necessary evil/blessing in disguise.
Typically our armpit relationship centers around the removal of hair and the prevention of stench and sweat. Beyond that, we don’t really give it much thought, lest it begin to misbehave. But should we be paying more attention to this delicate area, and is there perhaps more we should be aware of when it comes to pit health?
My guess is since you’re here reading this article, you already know the answer is a resounding YES!!! While the pits may be the bane of the arm’s existence, they’re such a vital piece in the health of the body. Why? For one thing, the armpit is home to approximately 20-40 lymph nodes, the drivers of lymphatic movement and infection-fighting in the body. In short, those little lymphatic nodes are powerhouses in the body’s defense system. What is especially important to note here (or, to node here ;) is that whatever you are putting on your skin (not just the pits) is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This means that with potentially toxic products with an undesirable list of ingredients, you’re absorbing those ingredients and creating toxic strain on the body.
Where the armpits are concerned, there’s this added element of the lymph nodes as defenders to the body’s immunity. When you’re lathering on a conventional deodorant with synthetic fragrance, parabens, aluminum, and other harmful ingredients., the body is forced into defense mode and those ingredient offenders can be a toxic threat to the body.
It’s also incredibly important to note that the armpits are a key player in the body’s built-in detox mechanisms. While not entirely pleasant, sweating is a natural way for the body to release toxins. A standard antiperspirant uses ingredients like aluminum to create a barrier to actually deter the body from this natural mechanism. While it may bring some relief to a small irritation like sweating, it’s potentially doing so at a greater risk to the body by preventing an important detox pathway from doing its job. (It is important to note here that consistent underarm stench and excessive sweating can be a sign of an underlying detox and/or sensitivity problem (environmental, food, chemical, or otherwise). It’s important to take a deeper look at root cause if you’re finding this to be a consistent issue even after making the switch to a safer deodorant. You can learn more about my work with supporting a healthy gut and overall healthy, balanced body here.)
So what’s the alternative, here? Go cold turkey on the underarms and resolve to a life of moist pits and stank? Heck no! The best steps to take in working with the body and supporting a healthy underarm are to:
1. Find a deodorant that is safer, won’t add harm or cause distress to the underarm, and still provides the stench and moisture mitigation we desire,
2. Work with the body during the transition from antiperspirant to good ol’ body-supportive deodorant as it detoxifies and regains a normal, healthy balance, and
3. Keep reading for all the details on 1 and 2!
After several years of personal experimentation, starting from a years-long use of the “clinical strength,” “ain’t-no-way-a-drop-of-sweat-can-survive-this-stuff” conventional antiperspirant to pit pastes that always irritated my underarms to straight up salt crystals that never seemed to do the trick, I finally landed on the Holy Grail of the underarm world: Primally Pure’s ultra-nourishing tallow-based deodorant.
Here’s why I love it so much:
It’s tallow-based, which makes it ultra-nourishing and healing to the skin. Tallow is extremely similar from a cell-structure standpoint to our own skin cells, so it’s one of the most beneficial things for our skin, especially those delicate underarms.
It uses pure essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances, which not only lend a delightful natural scent, but also carry skin-nourishing benefits as well.
Less is more! Because it’s made with a concentration of such nourishing ingredients, it doesn’t take a lot to do the job! This means application is fast and easy, and it lasts exceptionally longer than the conventional stuff. Double wins!
It WORKS. Any time you switch things around in your underarm routine (or any skincare routine), it can take a little bit of an adjustment period. It’s important to note that the transition and adjustment can take a little time. You may find that you sweat a little more initially as your underarms work to detoxify. That’s ok, and actually, it’s a GOOD THING! Once you’re there, though, this stuff works every bit as great—and I would heavily argue BETTER—than the standard conventional deodorant.
It has NO questionable ingredients like the standard deodorant. Every single ingredient is pure and of the utmost quality, and they’re all ingredients you know and recognize. These ingredients are also strategically used to work WITH the body, rather than against it, so your underarms can do the important detoxifying work they’re made to do, but you still get the relief and sweat-protection you want.
All of these and more are excellent reasons to make the switch. There is no better time like the present to diminish the toxic load on the body from skincare products, and the underarms is an excellent place to start. In addition to switching to a safer, nourishing deodorant, some great tips for ongoing pit health include:
Gentle detoxes every now and again just to ensure you’re loving on those delicate underams. Here’s a great one using just a few simple ingredients.
Replacing your razor blades regularly to ensure you’re using a sharp blade and avoiding the grabbing and pulling of a dull blade that can lead to underarm irritation.
Go bare from time to time! Take a day or two every now and again to go deodorant-free just to let those little arm caverns breathe! And also make sure your clothing isn’t too tight in the underarms, which can lead to ongoing irritation and diminished detox capabilities. Let ‘em breathe!
Use a gentle cleanser on those pits. We’re so used to wanting to cleanse more, the harsher the better, but less really is best, especially when it comes to protecting and maintaining our body’s built-in protective skin mantle.
Lastly, these are my all-time favorite, top picks for healthy underarms:
Primally Pure Everything Spray with magnesium: great for irritated underarms and for preventing irritation. Spritz a little on for added protection before swiping on your deodorant. Bonus: it’s an amazing facial toner, too! Basically, it’s a full-body wonder mist.
Primally Pure Baby Bar for gentle cleansing, great for body, face, and baby!
Primally Pure Tallow Body Butter for extra nourishment in between. Great for calming irritated pits. Also my very favorite body butter for superior moisture (the vanilla almond is my favorite—it smells like cake!)
Primally Pure also offers a great free deodorant quiz to help you identify which deodorant will best suit your needs. You can check that out here! And if you’re purchasing for the first time, you can snag yourself 15% off using my code “ACN15” at checkout! This is the perfect time to get started and save on a safer, more nourishing underarm routine.
As always, I never recommend anything that I don’t stand behind 100%. Using these products has not only given me the utmost peace of mind, but they’ve also given me my healthiest pits yet! I truly hope you consider making the switch for the sake of your health, and I’m here to support you every step of the way!
For more on some of my safer skincare favorites, you can also check out this post. Feel free to reach out or ask questions in the comments as well! I always love encouraging you toward better health, through food, lifestyle, and products used. Here’s to happier, healthier pits!
In loving health,
Note: This post contains affiliate links. This is no way impacts the price you pay for products. While a little extra moolah is always nice and helps keep this blog up and running, the sole purpose of sharing these links is to take out some of the guess work and help you find quality products with ease. I will never advocate for anything that I don't 100% believe to be a quality item. Sharing is caring, and I kindly ask that you give credit appropriately.