Just What Is An Armpit Detox, Exactly?

Just What Is An Armpit Detox, Exactly?

Acielle / Style Du Monde | @styledumonde

Actually useful, or just another body part we’re allegedly supposed to worry about?

There’s a new body part you need to worry about: your armpits. Sigh. With over five million hits on TikTok, the #armpitdetox is the latest beauty trend taking over on social. But just what exactly is an armpit detox, and why do we (apparently) need one? Vogue spoke to an expert to find out more. 

What is an armpit detox?

According to dermatologist Salome Dharamshi, armpit detoxes are deep cleansing treatments designed to purge your pits of any bacteria or chemical build-up caused by deodorant, treat erosion caused by shaving, and remove dead skin cells and everyday congestion. Think of it as a detoxifying mask, but for your armpits.

Who is it for?

“An armpit detox is suitable for everyone,” says Dharamshi, “but most specifically for those looking to transition from an antiperspirant  to a natural deodorant.” Essentially, the treatment works to speed up the transition period (it takes the body time to adjust to the switch from traditional aluminum- or alcohol-based formulas), by releasing impurities and unclogging pores, and reducing irritation, as well as moisturizing the skin to keep it soft and supple.

Why do we need it?

The skin under our arms is incredibly sensitive. This is due to our sweat glands (whether we shave or not), and the daily products we use to reduce sweating and bacteria that accumulates there. If you think about how much time and effort we put into taking care of our faces, it’s only natural that we should want to look after our armpits. The skin, after all, is the body’s largest organ. 

So, here’s where your mask comes in. The great thing about what’s happening on TikTok is that these masks are usually homemade, using ingredients from the kitchen cupboard or fridge, and therefore totally accessible and affordable. Another great thing is that you can mix up the ingredients to complement your skin type. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you can use apple cider vinegar, which has powerful antimicrobial properties, or if you have dry skin, you can use clay to restore moisture. As a general rule, Dharamshi recommends using gentle formulas rather than something with large amounts of active ingredients, such as chemical acids which can be harsh and cause irritation, rashes and pigmentation—particularly after sweating. “The best detoxifying ingredients to look out for would be clay, charcoal, apple cider vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda,” she says. “This is because these ingredients work to purify the skin by drawing toxins to the surface of the skin.” If you’re not up for a bit of DIY beauty, Dharamshi recommends the Megababe Happy Pits Detoxifying Underarm Mask, which uses charcoal and clay to draw out toxins, while glycolic acid works to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores.

How often should we do it?

This comes down to personal preference. Some like to do it every day, while others prefer once a week. It’s about finding what works for you. 

This article was originally published on British Vogue.

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