Why am I reacting to a natural deodorant and what is a pit detox??
Sometimes people can react to the sodium bicarbonate in these types of deodorants and it's because the ph level is very different to that of our skin. Sodium Bicarbonate aka bicarb or baking soda sits at about 8 and our skin is 5.5...Very different, it's no wonder that some people can react to it. What is typical in a reaction? Well it can differ from person to person but most likely you will get red armpits, hot, sore, maybe itchy and this may peel as well, this may take 2 weeks to happen or it may happen instantly. I know it doesn't sound pleasant. However just know that it is possible for you to do a pit detox and come out the other side and be able to use these types of deodorants.
Why do I need to do a pit detox?
The main reason is because we have been spraying and rolling on antiperspirants and toxic deodorants which contain a nasty cocktail of aluminium, petroleum bi products and synthetic fragrances, for years sometimes. What the aluminium does is block up your sweat glands and prevent them from performing the important bodily function of sweating, cooling the body and regulating body temperature. This mix together with synthetic fragrances/endocrine disruptors...It's a pretty yucky combo! So you can imagine after years of regular deodorant use, your sweat glands can be so backed up with toxins (which our body wants to secrete daily) that when it comes to using such a different ph level deodorant and now being "allowed" to work the way they are designed to - some of our pits may just freak out!
Most importantly if you're having a serious reaction please see your holistic practitioner or regular GP as it may be something more than just the deodorant. I could be a fungal infection, (which is quite common) or perhaps another type of infection that may need a doctors opinion.
So what exactly is pit detox?
It's a 7-10 day program if you will, it requires you to mix a paste of bentonite clay (a very drawing and detoxifying clay that can be found at most health food shops or on line easily) 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar and water into a paste then apply this to your pits morning and night, let it dry and do this 1-2 times a day for 7-10 days.
Every morning and night after the clay paste apply a healing oil such as hemp seed or coconut oil or the Saviour Salve to your pits, do this always before using any type of natural deodorant while you are detoxing.
It is best to not use any deodorant during your detox for (however this is not always possible, I get that, doing a pit detox in winter is ideal but again not always possible) While doing a pit detox its very important to only use natural deodorant. Also switching back and forwards from antiperspirants to natural deos will slow the process down.
If un sure of what deodorant to use while detoxing I suggest using a good quality crystal stick deodorant like the Eumundi Medicine Man.
It's best not to shave during a detox as you can really stress the skin out creating microscopic nics and cuts, worse still is a blunt razor. As a side note please don't shave directly before applying any deodorant natural or not!
Drinking plenty of water is always recommended during any detox.
How to reintroduce these hard working deodorants?
Slowly is the key
In the beginning apply a thin layer of the hemp or coconut oil or the mighty Savior Salve to your pits prior to the deodorant, then using tiny amounts (about 1/2 a pea size per pit) every other day. You should be able to work your skin up to it.
Like most things in life what works for one person may not work for everyone and that's ok, It may be worth checking if it's the sodium bicarbonate or if it's an essential oil that you're reacting to. These deodorants work so well that it really is worth putting in the effort of this pit detox, however if your skin really isn't suited to a sodium bicarb deodorant, there are plenty of other natural deodorants on the market....and so the quest continues.....
Thanks for being part of the movement to kick aluminium to the curb!!
Erica Brooke Skincare
Photography by Renee Bell