Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Are your Armpits an Exit Ramp?

September 13th, 2013 · 86 Comments · Natural Health

super stinky armpits

It’s not often that a negative review inspires someone to run out and buy a product, but I have a story that begins in just that way.

Some years ago I tested a natural deodorant called Herbalix which had two varieties: regular and “nighttime detox.” I detailed my stinky dismay at the end of the homemade deodorant FAQ post, but in summary, it stunk.

I mean, I stunk.

The nighttime deodorant was designed to help pull out toxins from the body such that the switch to natural deodorant would be less odiferous in the long run, since your body should have less B.O. if it has fewer toxins overall of which to rid itself. In the short run, however…I couldn’t believe the horrible body odor stink it created in my armpits, and I couldn’t even finish out the recommended 30 days (wimp!).

I wasn’t a fan, but a colleague, Laurie at Common Sense Homesteading, had more sense than me and saw what I had missed. She sought out the nighttime product specifically and had some really interesting detox experiences with it.

Later that same year, I gave birth to my third child (while living with my in-laws temporarily, yes indeed). While I admit I may have had some stress, some not-so-ideal food, and possibly had a poor showering routine as a new mama…I was still shocked by the putrid armpits I suddenly possessed (or they possessed me, more accurately).

It really reminded me of the detox deodorant, and I wondered if I was detoxing after pregnancy. As I wrote about in this natural deodorant/’pit detoxing post, it seems the most likely explanation – and it was temporary, if anyone is nervous.

All of these stories came neatly together when Primal Pit Paste offered to sponsor a post about detoxing via the armpit.

Primal Pit Paste natural deodorant (3) (475x317)

Most of us, my former self included, tend to think of body odor as a negative thing, of sweat as something to be avoided, and of armpits as a slightly gross, annoying body part that must be shaved so people don’t run away screaming when they see me in the summer .

Sweat, as it turns out, is a public transit system for toxins, and body odor is simply the litter those toxins are throwing off the bus, increasing and decreasing in proportion to the junk food, chemical-based personal products, and other pollution our bodies are fighting off every day.

Your body doesn’t naturally stink; the bacteria living in your body only react with what you “feed” them. The smell in your armpit won’t be offensive if it’s just perspiring excess minerals and healthy metabolic waste products; however, it will stink if your body is sweating toxic byproducts which come from eating…processed, refined food. (Mercola)

Fewer toxins to excrete = less odor and vice versa.

So not only is it true that yes, in fact, your armpits are an exit ramp – for toxic buildup – but they’ll also stink more when your body is doing good work.

Ladies, we may begin to wish we were doing more than just “glistening.”

The Detox Effect

Primal Pit Paste natural deodorant (12) (475x317)

It’s counterintuitive to many that doing something good could cause something bad to happen – and it would still be a good thing. Detoxing is often like that though. You’re trying to fight body odor with a new deodorant, and instead of smelling good you smell worse. Maybe you get a little rash or irritation on your armpits.

That’s usually the nail in the coffin of a new product: “It’s just not for me; it didn’t work; it caused problems.” People give up (raises hand…and catches a whiff!)

In the case of  underarm detox though, most say you should just “work through it.” Additional stink is your body getting rid of toxins via the exit ramp of your armpit, and often times even a little rash is either detox as well or the body adjusting to the pH of the baking soda, rather than your body saying, “This is not working for me!”

I’ve read many blogs full of comments about how homemade deodorant caused red bumps. People think it’s just an irritation issue and that baking soda is the culprit. It’s likely a temporary armpit detoxing response because of the baking soda drawing out the gunk your ‘pits have been accosted with for years, or potentially a pH problem, which can be balanced out by simply sipping ACV mixed with water internally and/or misting it directly on the ‘pits. (Wardee solved it by reducing the baking soda in her DIY deodorant, but who knows? Maybe time and detoxing helped too.)

Some people even get swollen lymph nodes when they start using a natural deodorant, whether purchased or homemade. That seems like a pretty scary reaction if you don’t know what’s going on.

Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system and a member of your body’s immune defense team. In our traffic analogy, they’re the border police, making sure all the ruffians get sent on the bus with a one-way ticket out of the body or simply destroyed by white blood cells. There are quite a few lymph nodes scattered around the body, and a surprising number concentrated right around the armpits.

When they’re swollen, it’s a sign that the node is fighting something, like a bacterial or viral infection, or even cancer. Swollen lymph nodes = traffic jam. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

A Lymphatic Cleanse

If you do feel swollen lymph node glands, you can try to alleviate the swelling by dry brushing or massaging the lymph nodes to physically help the lymphatic system rid the body of the toxins, and you can also take a baking soda and/or Epsom salt detox bath or increase your exercise, both intended to speed up the detox process and get the nasties out faster. (Source: Lymphatic Cleanse)

That makes two reasons why switching from an aluminum-based antiperspirant to the natural stuff might cause a detox or lymphatic reaction:

1. Your body is finally getting a break from the pore-clogging, lymph node disrupting action of the aluminum salts in antiperspirant. It starts some spring cleaning.

2. The baking soda in many natural deodorants including Primal Pit Paste starts drawing out some of the nasty stuff as you wear it.

The increased body odor, the minor rash, the itching/histamine response, and even sometimes the swollen lymph nodes are not a problem in themselves; they’re a sign that the body is working to get rid of a problem – one you didn’t even know you had until you got out from under the umbrella of the toxic ingredients you were slathering on your ‘pits every day.

Getting Through the Detox

IMG_7443

My homemade natural deodorant

If you do experience the stink or the rash, you can try to work through it, and once on the other side, it’s unlikely you’ll go back (unless your body is working hard to get rid of toxins, say, after a particularly indulgent weekend of junk food).

Here are some testimonies of people who experienced the armpit detox while using Primal Pit Paste:

My husband worked through a pit rash! I’ve used unscented strong for about the past 8 months and have never had any problems with it, but my husband developed a rash under one arm. Since it was only one arm we knew it couldn’t be the deodorant and had to be the pit detox others have mentioned. He worked through it and has worn the unscented stick for about 3 months without any problems! No stink at our house!! Love it!!!

I have used natural deodorant in the past but was not satisfied with the results. My husband first tried Pit Paste and really liked it ( I was happy because he started using deodorant EVERY day. ) I then slowly started using his and decided I needed my own. I had irritation for the first 5 days but kept applying and worked through it. My skin is no longer irritated by Pit Paste and I am an advocate of this product that is not harmful and really WORKS!

More here…

The best news is that many find that after a little armpit detox, the highway is cleared – they have far less regular body odor than ever before. Many find that changing one’s diet to reduce or eliminate processed foods can make a huge different in body odor as well. In fact, when I discussed armpit detoxing with Amy, the boss lady over at Primal Pit Paste, she told me that many people say that after 6 mos. or so, they don’t even need Primal Pit Paste anymore because their odor has worked its way out.

Other customers actually order PPP to use on their feet for both a detox effect and to reduce stinky feet syndrome (which I used to have pretty badly before my diet changed).

Also, and this is really an example of the great personal customer service you get with a small(er) company like Primal Pit Paste, if anyone has an adjustment problem, they send a “sensitive” bar or tub for free (less baking soda). They’re also working on new formulas for customers who are allergic to shea butter, coconut, and/or baking soda.

Our Family’s Experience

Primal Pit Paste natural deodorant (5) (317x475)

I usually try not to include a “review” in a sponsored post, but I figured you’d want to know what I thought, so I’m just sneaking this in. Y’all know my opinions can’t be bought, right?

Primal Pit Paste comes in unscented plus a variety of essential-oil based scents, and the original PPP is packaged in a little pot (they include a wooden stir stick should your product melt!); they have added a hard-lotion type stick to the lineup as well.

The pit paste isn’t hard to apply, but using the stick and your fingers can feel like “one more thing” in the morning. You only need a pea-sized lump, so it’s not super messy, and you can just rub any excess into your hands, but it’s still not a favorite practice for either me or my husband.

The scents themselves are very particular, and I tend to like unscented because I don’t like the risk of disliking the scent. Hubs on the other hand tried the unscented stick and said he didn’t like it because it smelled funny. I have a feeling he doesn’t like the smell of beeswax, which is increased in the stick so that it stays solid.

He seems to prefer lavender, which surprises me because I’ve never liked lavender. I’m a thyme and lemongrass girl myself. If you’re sensitive at all to essential oils, you’ll want to avoid the scents, since the underarm is a sensitive area already. Many of the EOs chosen for Primal Pit Paste’s scents do much more than just add fragrance; they add an antibacterial or similar component as well, which may make that “flavor” more effective at neutralizing body odor.

The important question is, of course, does it work?

Now that you know a little about armpit detoxing, you know this question may not be as easy to answer as one might think…

But in general, yes – it really did a good job for us.

My husband is really the best test: a perennial skeptic and resistant to any change, he’ll come into a new situation like this expecting failure. It turns out he was pleasantly surprised – for him, the pit paste both quelled sweating and stink.

One day he asked, “So does this stuff have anything to reduce the actual sweating?” He remembered a time when I accidentally bought him conventional deodorant instead of antiperspirant. It didn’t take him long to start sweating like crazy, and the deo hit the trash pretty quickly too. It just didn’t cut it – but he said he hasn’t noticed this problem with PPP. To be fair, our diet has changed radically since then, but I thought that was a pretty solid comparison.

I’ve used natural deodorants, both my homemade and other Etsy-type products, for so long that I don’t even remember what wearing antiperspirant feels like. Hopefully my lymph nodes don’t either and have rid my body of all the carcinogenic components of the nasty stuff (it’s likely no coincidence that lymph nodes, armpits, and breast cancer all reside in the same neighborhood).

I feel like I understand the detoxing process better now and love that a natural deodorant can actually have whole-body benefits, even if it seems like a tough transition at first.

Like we talked about on Monday, sometimes things seem a little rocky with the natural life. Although you do want to be flexible and roll with it when that happens, I guess you might NOT want to say, “Don’t sweat it!”

‘Cause sweat can be a good thing.

Have you ever done a detox before (armpits or not)? What’s your current body odor solution?

If you learned something new, share with your friends!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Primal Pit Paste. See my full disclosure statement here.

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86 Comments so far ↓

  • Emily K

    I have been having some skin problems for about a year and a half now. I have always had acne but now when I get a flare up it takes months to heal. I don’t pick at them (not lying lol). I have tried special antibotic + acne medication cream prescribed by a doctor and it still takes longer than it should.

    I tried TOM’s of Maine natural deorderant. I know it’s not homemade but it was a step in the right direction. I noticed after a few months the unscented version had a smell. Not really bad like body odor just something different I noticed. At least, I hope I’m the only one who noticed. The skin issue described above is why I started trying to make changes to natural products.

    Anyway, when summer got here, I was afraid the odor would get worse so I switched back to my regular deorderant.

    After reading your post, I plan on going back to a natural product. I read the linked article regarding ACV and pH. I was wondering if the mixture would work on the face. I have often thought the perservitites and other junk in processed foods and hormonal changes might be the culprit to my acne problem. I thought they might have screwed up the pH of my skin in general.

    I recently (during the last year) have started to make changes to my diet. Eating more real food and cutting the junk. :) I also started making things from scratch. You and Laura @ heavenlyhomemakers.com and Tiffany @ dontwastethecrumbs.com have inspired me.

    In trying to cut out sugar, I feel my body is “addicted.” Is there some natural type detox you know of or have tried to help rid the body of refined sugars as you cut it out of your diet?

    Any information you can share or point me to is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    jfred Reply:

    My skin was horrible most of my adult life. I didn’t have bad acne in my teens, but it was always bad as an adult. I switched to using soaps from etsy–handmade ones, not the melt and pour based ones (which you can purchase at michaels or even from soap making stores). The ingredients were usually some mix of sodium hydroxide (lye), water, some fats (animal and/or vegetable), and scent. If they included glycerin, I went to a different product. around the same time I went to handmade soaps, I also started using handmade face creams (from local sellers). My acne went away!

    I believe the store bought facial cleansers and toners and lotions are similar to store bought shampoos and conditioners–they STRIP the oils from our faces, and cause our body to produce more and more oils, which then gets clogged up and irritated–and makes acne. They mess with the body’s ph balance, too.

    I normally wash my face now–with only a washcloth and water, then I put on shea butter or coconut oil as a moisturizer. (or some variation of one or both of these items.) I maybe have a zit or two during PMS, and maybe 1-2 throughout the rest of the month….so 4 in a month….vs 4 a day! oh, I also sometimes gently scrub my face in the shower with baking soda–it exfoliates nicely! Maybe once every 2 weeks….

    So yes, eat better! But also put better things on your face! I am AMAZED at the difference! I think you will be, too!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Emily,
    Good for you!!

    I do have some thoughts for you:
    1. You should read this and see if anything resonates w/your skin problems: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/03/25/if-youve-ever-eaten-sugar-you-probably-have-candida-symptoms-yes-you-you-in-the-chair-read-this/
    2. For acne and face stuff, Leslie is THE BEST: https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=184271&c=ib&aff=114298 (that goes to her book, but her site is packed with free information too)
    3. My mom used Leslie’s book and started using raw honey, baking soda and ACV on her face after decades of acne and all the best creams (including Proactiv) out there. She’s happier with her skin care now than ever.
    4. I would think any good detox would be similar, no matter what you’re trying to get rid of. Clay or Epsom salt baths, lots of water, probiotics, and other things here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2012/12/11/overdid-the-compromises-7-simple-frugal-at-home-detox-options-guest-post/
    5. I think you can still get the “Break the Sugar Habit” workbook here for free: http://www.wellgroundedsite.com/free-resources/?orid=12489&opid=44

    Hope that helps! :) Katie

  • Tiffany

    I began experimenting with homemade deodorants about a year ago. The thought of aluminum blocking my pores just didn’t sit well with me after awhile. I’m pretty stoked right now because I’m in love with my latest deodorant concoction. I’ve tried so many different things. I’ve mostly used the same ingredients, just in different measurements and means of application.

    When I first stopped using aluminum antiperspirants, I was RANK. For real. But I stuck it out and mainly managed it by applying the homemade stuff throughout the day and occasionally dabbed ACV on my pits, which did help when it got really bad. It really took about a month before the BO started dwindling.

    Now, I’m very pleased with my deodorant/BO situation and I don’t plan on ever going back to the yucky stuff.

    @Emily, I’m also in the process of cutting a lot of extra sugar from my diet! It’s difficult because I still have major cravings and we live with my dad who has an insatiable sweet tooth so the stuff is always laying around. I’m on day 5 of no sweets except fruit. I feel like it’s getting a little easier since I’m proud of my accomplishment so far and have momentum now. Good luck!

  • Melody

    I have used just a spritz of alchohol (90%) for years and it works for me…of course in the summer because it gets hot, hot, here in NC I have to spritz a couple of times a day just to be really fresh.

  • Cinnamon Vogue

    I actually don’t use deodrant anymore and I don’t smell. At least 99% of the time.

    This I believe is the product of good eating habits I believe and like the article says eating very little processed food.

    Instead of looking for the best deodarant maybe we should all aim to have zero smelly sweat. That would indicate you have a healthy lifestyle and could act as an early warning signal whether you are eating healthy.

  • suzy supnet

    This is such a timely post. I was using homemade, ran out and then went conventional for a while. Then I made some homemade deodorant about a month ago. I have been very sensitive with swollen lymph nodes and was thinking something in it might be irritating me, but now I think I might be detoxing. I am going to stick it out.

    I have also cut down almost completely my wheat intake and have noticed a lot of back acne. So I am thinking I might be detoxing from that as well.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Suzy,
    You may be right! You might try a clay or Epsom salt bath to help speed things along. :) Katie

  • Tina

    I LOVE Primal Pit Paste. I use the stick so I don’t have to rub it in. Thyme and Lemongrass is my favorite. It is the most effective natural, aluminum-free deodorant out there! I’ve spent a small fortune on natural deodorants and the ingredients to make my own. Nothing works as well as Primal Pit Paste stick. I did smell “funky” for awhile after switching from conventional anti-perspirants but knew I couldn’t go back to them. For me, brands like Tom’s of Maine were useless. I have gotten used to sweating again. Not bad, but I do sweat sometimes.

  • Leah G

    As I sit here tying this my almost two year old is smelling my hairy pit and laughing. I should probably get off the computer and bathe/shave. Anyhow, we have tried a million and one “natural” products over the years. We finally settled on salt deodorant. Then I found magnesium oil. It has been awesome. Two birds with one stone. I get my mag and I dont stink. One exception to this was on GAPS intro when I broke out in huge red boils and smelled like a dirty old man. During that time I switched to coconut oil and tea tree.

  • Jesilee

    I feel guilty about this. I’ve tried a few natural deodorants for a while and a few weeks ago my mother told me I smelled so I went to the health food store to try a new one.

    It’s called geodes detox complex. I think it’s a mix, not totally natural but no really nasty stuff. I really like it and got it on the recommendation of my friend/ the owner of the store because she uses it too. I think it works good and I smell better.

    But the other day I got in my moms van 15 minutes out of a fresh shower, soaped, deodorant and clean clothes and my mom said I still smell! She spayed me with nasty febreeze to “make me smell acceptable” and because of that I always get huge headaches when I hang out with my mom.

    I really don’t understand it. My mother drinks gallons of diet coke, frozen food and fast food multiple times a day. She lives a very sedentary life and full of chemicals slathered on every day. Yet I am the one who gets sick, I was just diagnosed with liver disease (looking for a really good detox fyi) and pcos and I really need to lose weight but I struggling even with a real food diet.

    She bought me Standard deodorant to try to “help me” but I refuse to use it because of the aluminum and I don’t want to become even more sick.

    Leah G Reply:

    people who are addicted to false scents have no sense of smell. I’d ignore her or tell her how bad she smells. ask your friends if you are that worried. as fort he liver. milk thistle, dandelion, my favorite is beet kvass. have you considered a even a trip down GAPS intro to clean yourself out? For the pcos… have you read http://www.naturalfertilityandwellness.com/

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Jesilee,
    Never feel guilty – we all do what you can! Sounds like your mom isn’t being very sensitive. :( Here are some detox options: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2012/12/11/overdid-the-compromises-7-simple-frugal-at-home-detox-options-guest-post/

    And I agree with the other commenter; she must be looking for a “fragrance” smell. Maybe spritz something with essential oils on next time you see her just to get her off your back?

    And Donielle at naturalfertilityandwellness.com will be your new favorite resource, I’m sure of it. Many have also found that if a real food diet doesn’t help with weight loss, the book “Trim Healthy Mama” does – something to look into! :) Katie

  • Rebecca C

    interested in trying pit paste. haven’t had any good luck with homemade or other natural deoderants. also, i have had about a six month period where nothing works on my armpit odor after each pregnancy. it’s weird. you just have to constantly wash your armpits.

    Tiffany Reply:

    I never found anything that would even begin to mask my postpartum pits!! I think it’s just a detox phase.

  • Anita

    I have never had a problem with smelly armpits, even after a workout at the gym in the morning and then not showering all day. I have tried various natural deodorants through the years and even made my own. I always go back to chemical and aluminum filled deodorant because I don’t want wet armpits. I live in a hot climate, what am I so posed to do? It’s just embarrassing. I know sweating is normal but the culture just doesn’t accept it as such. I wish there was a natural deodorant that really reduced the actual sweat.

    Kira Reply:

    I add clay to my deodorant mix. When I first used it I noticed sweating for the first few days, but after that didn’t notice sweating at all (and I live in HOT Arizona).

    I still use antiperspirant when I work out because I’m paranoid, but I’m going to start using my homemade mix on treadmill days. From there we’ll see if it can handle boot camp classes.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Anita,
    As I mentioned in the post, this product (arrowroot and baking soda) did help my husband not sweat as much. So anything with those ingredients and maybe clay might help? Hope you find something! :) Katie

  • Andrea

    I have used homemade and currently using the salt stick. I love the homemade, but after many months of continuous use, I started breaking out with itchy red bumps. This seems different than an initial detox reaction, right? I also had the same problem with using Baking Soda for my shampoo. I loved it for a while, but after several months, my scalp itched all the time, so I stopped using it. What do you think? Is this something to just push through, or my body’s way of saying it’s had enough, stop with the baking soda already?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Andrea,
    I don’t know much, but I wonder if there is a pH problem going on – the baking soda over time can unbalance your normal pH – try dabbing diluted ACV water on your pits and see if that helps. Similar with no ‘poo, sometimes you just have to balance it out with the correct dilution of ACV. But your body could also be saying give me a break! ?? :) Katie

  • Jane

    I’ve tried tons of natural deodorants & tried making my own using various recipes. None of them worked well for me. I tried Primal Pit a month ago & I love it. No more smell!

  • Soccy

    I’ve tried many natural deodorants and none have really worked. PPP really did stop my stink but I got the itchy red rash and I also began to get really dark skin under my arms that I needed to exfoliate at every shower. PPP said I may be be allergic to the EO’s and offered to send an unscented tub. I’m awaiting the replacement and am hoping the dark skin will go away. Anyone else solve this problem?

    Amy Reply:

    Soccy, I tried a different brand natural deodorant before trying primal pit paste. The other brand has very similar ingredients to PPP, though I tried a variety with EOs frm the other brand and unscented from PPP.

    I experienced very similar to what you describe with the other, scented brand. My armpits get all red and irritated looking (though not particularly itchy). I get what is either a grayish residue or a layer of skin that needs to be scrubbed off every day or two.

    With unscented PPP, I don’t get the irritation, etc. Though they don’t have exactly the same ingredients, they are nearly so, besides the EO, so I assume they are the problem for me. That said, for some reason the PPP isn’t as good at keeping the stink at bay. I am hoping that I am just detoxing and that I just didn’t notice with the scented stuff. I guess time will tell!

  • Rebecca

    Any chance there is a coupon code for those of us interested in trying it out? :)

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Rebecca,
    Yes! Just got word that we can add this to the post: use PRIMALKATIE for 15% off through Sunday 9/22. :) Katie

  • Robin

    Katie,

    Thank you for your blog! I always learn sooo much from you sharing what you have learned.

    I’ve used my own homemade deo for several months now and LOVE it. I knew I had to because my grandmother died of breast cancer.

    Just about that time, I started getting what I thought was a candida rash again (thanks to your candida posts!), and I had been successfully fighting it with the guidance of my naturopath, elimination diet, etc.

    But now due to a more relaxed diet (per my naturopath), eating some gluten again, and my mother-in-law buying us two(!) bags of my biggest temptation (Reese’s peanut butter cups), it’s no surprise that the candida rash is back in my pits.

    So my question is: Do you think it would be ok to put Redmond Clay on my armpits to help draw out toxins? Or would it be too strong for my pits? And for how many minutes? I only have the facial mask hydrated tube of clay, but I think it would still work. Also, would the clay be ok to put on stinky feet? Thanks in advance!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Robin,
    What a journey you’re on! The facial mask is just clay and water, so you’re right, you can use it in any way. I’ve never heard of anyone having a problem with clay for any reason, but I would shoot for just a few minutes the first time in case it irritates it a little – not a spot you want itchy all day!! Tons of people detox with a foot soak of hot clay water – you’ll want to download Redmond Clay’s free ebooklet on how to use the clay over at http://www.redmondclay.com/.

    Good luck! :) Katie

  • Olivia

    Hi Kate! Perfect timing with this post. I am in the middle Dr. Hulda Clark’s kidney cleanse and my body odor is awful! One of the fun side effects of a cleanse! :)

    Hope all is well with you and your family!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Olivia,
    The natural life is full of…er…”fun” surprises isn’t it? Maybe arrowroot and/or clay and/or the ACV pH balancing will help! ;) Katie

  • Rebekah

    You’re not alone– I stank so badly at night after giving birth to my daughter! My goodness. It was ridiculous and lasted for several weeks. Mag oil did help, but I suspect that some of it was just natural detoxing.

    I’ve never used an antiperspirant and I love homemade EVCO/baking soda/arrowroot/lav EO deodorant. :)

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Hmmm, maybe that had something to do with the “new mamas and babies go off and be in a tent by yourself” thing back in biblical times! Ha! ;) Katie

  • Angie

    I’ve made my own and tried a couple different types and mama-made ones. The ones with baking soda work, but I get a TERRIBLE red rash that makes my skin peel. Once the skin starts peeling, the stink gets worse. I stop using it for a couple days and moisturize well and the rash is gone, but the stink comes back. I’ve been much more smelly after having my son. He is now 27 months old, but I am still breastfeeding and I’m wondering if that is contributing to the stink. I’m getting desperate. I have family history of breast cancer on both sides and don’t want to go back to the Dove that left me stink-free and smooth skinned. But I STINK. :(

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Oy, how frustrating! Have you tried any with clay? EOs to kill bacteria? Lots of troubleshooting that’s no fun to do. Maybe a big detox with a bath every day would clean your system out?
    Good luck! :) Katie

  • Carmen

    I just found your website and I like your work very much. I am 56 and I had severe,systemic candida when I was having babies and nursing back in the 80s. I finally got rid of candida in the past year/ I have been on the whole anti-candida diet whole foods ride for many years. I tried virtually every natural deodorant, including homemade ones but I always got a bad rash from the baking soda. Someone suggested using Milk of Magnesia with a few drops of Peppermint EO and a 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin E oil. I put it in an old cleaned roll-on deodorant bottle. It works great!

  • Lauren

    This is SO helpful! I switched over to PPP about three weeks ago (I used the stick first), and recently switched to their Strong version (I’m a sweaty, active girl!). It’s been about five days since using it, and one of my lymph nodes is definitely irritated…naturally, I panicked. So glad I stumbled across your site.

  • Bonnie

    I started using a homemade deo about over a month ago and felt things were going well. About two weeks ago my gross, thickened skin started to peel (bringing with it foul odor) but I chalked it up to detoxing and was actually really excited that it seemed my skin was smooth and “fresh.” But now it continues to peel (not the new skin but what is left of the thickened skin), is very foul, is red, itches and burns. It is even starting to crack in areas and I’m not sure if it is seeping or if the moisture is sweat (feels a little oily) but there seems to be constant moisture. I know that I have major detoxing to do and I struggle with candida – but I don’t know that I can continue to use the homemade deo (the itching and burning are getting very bad at times). The recipe I used incorported EVCO, Bentonite Clay, beeswax, tea tree oil, baking soda, arrowroot poweder, and maybe cocoa butter (I can’t remember – I kinda combined recipes). Any thoughts?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Bonnie,
    If the itching is in the armpits themselves, you’ll want to adjust the baking soda (maybe cut it out for a while to test). Many people do find they are sensitive to that ingredient and do better with less or without. I hope that helps!! :) Katie

  • Beth

    I am going through that detoxing stage right now. I just started using PPP(the stick-the new orange creamsickle) 4 days ago and I’m noticing I stink more, and my armpits are red. I’ve been using antiperspirant all my life so I shouldn’t be surprised!So I am going to stick it out. I will be taking a epsom salt bath soon. I am kinda of sad hearing that it could take a month to detox. I hope mine doesn’t take that long. I would say 75% of my diet is homemade :) which is big increased compared to a 1.5yr ago.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Beth,
    Good for you! The redness may be a concern if it lasts much longer or hurts – could be sensitive to the baking soda. They have a lower baking soda version and will switch it out for you if you need. :) Katie

  • Sarah D.

    I tried homemade a long time ago and loved it, but my second batch caused the lymph node reaction and horrible rash. I thought I was allergic to it! I went back to conventional, but I could taste aluminum in my mouth and it really bugged me. I finally tried Wardee’s recipe since I thought it might be the baking soda. This time around, it’s been SO much better. A little rash, but I’m working through it. I wish I had known my previous experience was just my body detoxing!

  • Dawn

    I had the foil odor experience when switching to Toms of Maine. But I could live with ME smelling temporarily, what knocked me back to antipersprirants was that me clothes were all smelling and I was having a hard, sometimes impossible, time getting the odor out. Favorite shirts ruined. And I can’t afford to go ruining good shirts like this. Any suggestions?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Dawn,
    Synthetics can be a real problem with this – so polyester will suck up those odors much worse than cotton, for example. My soap nuts have always gotten the odor out, and maybe a little straight vinegar rubbed into the armpits and allowed to dry before washing would help the shirts that are already making you sad? Hope that helps! :) Katie

  • Rebecca

    I stopped using antiperspirants over a year ago when I learned I have genetic mutations that make it very hard for my body to detox anything, but particularly metals (thank you 23&me). I also avoid, as much as feasibly possible, artificial colors, flavors, processed foods, GMOs, no cured meats (strictly poultry and very specific types of seafood), no dairy…

    So I’ve been using a “natural mineral salt” spray, and finally remembered to Google what minerals they use since it is literally the BEST deodorant I’ve ever used. No scent, no filmy residue, I feel dry and do not stink for several days after application. But I found out that it just uses another form of aluminum, and while I got rid of all the other bad ingredients in my life, I accidentally kept this around. Needless to say, I’m pretty upset. I keep reading about this detox and I thought I’d just been lucky, but it turns out I was unknowingly preventing it.

    What are your thoughts on just going off of all deodorants altogether to detox? I feel like I definitely do not want to continue using the spray, but I also don’t really want to jump into something else without more research (not to mention how expensive it gets testing everything… PPP offers trial sizes, but the shipping costs more than the jar!).

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Rebecca,
    Ouch, bummer…won’t hurt a thing (but maybe people you hug?) to cut deo out completely! Many people find that in the winter especially, they don’t need anything if their diet is very clean, and yours sounds impeccable.

    Two other options/thoughts:
    1. You could try homemade deo, which is super easy, make a small batch and if you hate it, you’re hardly out any $: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/08/27/effective-homemade-deodorant-my-baby-steps-story/
    2. Herbalix has an actual “detox” deodorant for nighttime that will make you stink like crazy, but you can tell it’s working!! Then take a shower in the a.m. Again, something to consider. Hope you find something that works great for you! :) Katie

  • Lissa

    I’ve been struggling with smelling underarms and nothing seems to combat the stink! I never had this problem and it seemed to creep up almost overnight about 6 months ago. I’m now impervious to all deodorants…I’ve tried primal pit paste, natural deos and the yucky extra strength ones. I eat well and I’m 26 and never had kids. My sweat seems to just stink! Anyone have suggestions?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lissa,
    I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but I bet if you start doing some detective work online and just thinking about what may have changed in your own life, you’ll find it. More stress? New supplement or medication? Some hormonal change? Exposure to some new environment that might have chemicals in it, like a renovation at work or new carpet at home, new car? You could also try a detox deodorant at night and see if that remedies the situation in a month or so – Herbalix sells one.
    Hope that helps you have a jumping off point!
    :) Katie

  • Brittney

    I’ve been using PPP for about 11 days now. The last 5 days I’ve had weird light tingling in my forearms/hands, and sometimes in my mouth. The first day I also had a metallic taste in my mouth. Could this be detoxing? (Been to the doctor, they say its anxiety) I have 6 amalgam fillings and have occasionally taste “metal” for years. I am nursing a four month old. I suppose it is possible I’m pregnant. PLEASE help!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Brittney,
    I don’t have enough medical knowledge to give any advice on that, BUT if you’re wondering about the fillings, the resource I would use and trust is Orawellness: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/OraW and they held an informational summit last year that was very good: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/HealThyMouthSummit

    Hope that helps your learn more!
    :) Katie

  • Jeanie

    I use Lavilin and it’s been so good to me :)

    Have you tried it?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Never heard of that one, Jeanie – glad it’s doing well for you! :) Katie

  • Sharon via Facebook

    A great post! Thanks for the info. I have been making coconut oil deodorant for a few years with good results, but my hubby broke out and had burning. We thought it was the baking soda-now I’m not so sure.

  • Tara via Facebook

    I always think stinky pits can only be treated internally. Once I started hot yoga a few years ago.. My whole body detoxed and I don’t even need deodorant at all. It’s pretty sweet!

  • Susannah via Facebook

    I have a nutrition guy I love. He uses muscle testing and whole food supplements. When I have asked him about this it has turned out to be either hormonal OR a lack of protien! It can be either not enough protien consumed or not digesting/assimilating it properly. Oh I wish I could remember the supplement he recommended when it was a problem assimilating it (amino acids?).

  • Jill via Facebook

    You may also have a methylation defect, called mthfr – it means your body can’t detox properly. See this blog post for details: http://rethinkinghealthcare.blogspot.com/2014/01/genetics-win-mthfr-defect-worth-hunt.html?m=1

  • Andrew via Facebook

    I had a similar problem a few years back. My dermatologist recommended washing with Hibiclens liquid soap. It’s a surgical scrub soap. One application–one–and my stink problem was gone!

  • Kim via Facebook

    Has anyone tried mineral salt deodorant?

  • Kelly via Facebook

    Jill Riley Powell – I’ve never heard MTHFR related to detoxing. Very interesting! Can’t wait to check out that article. My experience with it focuses around pregnancy loss, but I am interested in any other research you may have!

  • Melissa via Facebook

    What is ACV? – it is mentioned in article and comments.

  • Tracy via Facebook

    ACV=Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs Raw Unfiltered Organic is the best IMO) I use it daily!

  • Elizabeth via Facebook

    What if you know its caused by a medicine that you cannot stop taking?

  • Julia via Facebook

    My detox included having dark grey to black coloring coming out of my skin on my armpits. Horrifying to think what my body was clogged up with. Probably metals from the antiperspirants.

  • Nina via Facebook

    I changed my laundry detergent to an all natural and within a week had a horrible itcy rash under my armpits. I changed back and it went away but is now back, its horrible! what is in this herblix? Id rather know actual items I could use/try than just a product to buy that doesnt really give me info about what it is or what it is doing.

  • Tiffany via Facebook

    maybe change eating habits as well? we use a deodorant (not a antipersprent) that does work really well. Even my husband likes it better than anything else, even the prescription strength stuff. It’s just coconut oil, baking soda, non gmo corn starch and some eo for smell

  • Beth via Facebook

    Lisa

  • Debby via Facebook

    It’s not the sweat that stinks…..it’s the presence of bacteria. I sweat badly. Commercial deodorants don’t work for me. I used apple cider vinegar for a few weeks. Once I noticed the smell was gone, I started making and using homemade deo using coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda. It works better than anything I have ever tired! At first, the baking soda was drying and irritating to my underarms. It was also detoxifying my underarms. I made a small batch using less baking soda. Now my body has adjusted and I can make the original recipe with little irritation.

  • Krysta via Facebook

    I use sliced lemons as deo!! No joke! No chemicals for me anymore and the lemons work Better.. Just rub them on, dry and go

  • Sheila via Facebook

    I vote bacteria as well …. in her place I’d probably try first some kind of disinfectant (ACV sounds like a good choice) and follow with something probiotic. Unfortunately they haven’t put this on the market yet, but I read in the New York Times about a strain of bacteria they’d isolated that removes body odor. I would love some of that! It actually eats ammonia.

  • Aimee via Facebook

    I have 5 boys….I get stink. They would stink me out of the house, out of the car….until I found Truly’s Natural Deodarant. It is unlike anything I have ever tried before!!! I’m so serious. Try it. It doesn’t keep you from sweating, but stink is gone. I have recommended it to friends who are very physically active and they say it has changed their lives. BEST deodorant EVER!!!
    http://www.trulysnaturaldeodorant.com/

  • Summer via Facebook

    I always had stinky sweaty armpits unless I used clinical strength antiperspirant. I switched to the coconut oil basking soda stuff and got dry itchy scales. Then switched to the crystal stuff and have no stink or irritation! Much better than commercial antiperspirants.

  • Amy via Facebook

    Funugreek makes your sweat smell like maple syrup! :)

  • Susan via Facebook

    Detoxing is a myth. But if you need something for your smelly armpits, try Funga Soap. It will kill the bacteria and fungi that are making that sweaty stink that never quite washes off. I have used it, and it work! Smells like a forest, so no medicine smell on you.

  • Cindy via Facebook

    The only deo that works for me I the recipe from bulk herb store with bentonite clay. I put it into push up containers. Use enough bees wax to keep it semi solid in the heat. I use thieves EO for antibacterial properties.

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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