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Why does natural deodorant make me smell worse? What is and will an armpit detox help?

Every day we get an email asking us why natural deodorant makes them smell worse. Let's face it, going natural and non toxic in skin & body care is thrown at us daily. We know the benefits of ditching our antiperspirant, but many don't quite understand the process of transitioning to a natural deodorant. And when you do how your armpits work naturally. Ingredients in skin care should work naturally with your body and that's exactly what Bare Pits products do.

Deodorant may not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually one of the biggest ways you can contribute to toxic buildup in your body – or support your overall wellness. Don’t believe me?


Let’s take a closer look at a few of the harmful chemicals that are listed on conventional deodorant and antiperspirant labels – and that can be linked to several health issues (including infertility, hormone disruption, autoimmunity, and more).

Fragrance: Of course we all want to smell fresh + floral, but this term is a coverup for a cocktail of up to 3,000 chemicals that are linked to so many serious health issues. These synthetic, man-made scents are some of the most toxic ingredients included in skincare products (even many “natural” options!) and the FDA even allows companies to keep these formulations top secret. Smelling shower fresh from fake fragrances while wreaking havoc on your health? No, thanks.

(Bare Pits products are all scented with organic essential oils)

Phthalates: When you apply deodorant, you want it to stay on your skin and do its job. That’s exactly what phthalates do – these chemicals create a smooth application and ensure the product and fragrance (*cough* chemical-cocktail) lasts as long as possible. But since these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors and linked to birth defects (and banned in the EU!), this is an ingredient you definitely don’t want staying on your skin.

Aluminum: Unfortunately, perspiration has gotten a bad rap. Enter: aluminum in antiperspirants. It prevents sweating by blocking pores, but at the expense of the health of your body and your brain. Research has linked aluminum to detrimental diseases and heavy metal toxicity with continued exposure. Plus, it interferes with the body’s natural and necessary cleansing function (sweating!) and doesn’t allow the body to properly detox. See, sweat’s not such a bad thing after all.

With a product like deodorant, that you apply every single day (sometimes, maybe even multiple times a day) and that stays on your skin all day long, it’s SO important to use clean, safe ingredients (like Bare Pits!) to reduce toxic exposure on your skin and in your body.

Bare Pits BAKING SODA & ALUMINUM FREE cruelty free deodorant has simple ingredients like organic coconut oil, organic shea, mango, and kokum butter, bentonite clay food grade, organic beeswax, diatomaceous earth food grade, and organic arrowroot powder to keep your pits nourished and smelling like roses.

While natural deodorant does work a bit differently than drugstore antiperspirants, these differences are easy to navigate once you know what to expect – and the end result is definitely worth it. If you are on the journey and you find yourself smelling worse, follow our pit tips.

Since natural deodorant doesn’t contain artificial fillers and synthetic chemicals, you’re applying the purest ingredients to your pits – which means the product is even more concentrated than conventional options and lasts a lot longer. So simply put, less is more and rubbed in all the way results in the best coverage.

Let’s get this one out of the way asap: sweat is a GOOD thing. Instead of being embarrassed by a bit of sweat or stank, I want to encourage you to embrace it – at least for a little while! It’s true that after years of using traditional deodorants, your body may need some time to adjust (aka purge) from toxic buildup.

A lot of people try natural deodorant and feel like they smell worse (which is actually just their body detoxing) and they end up throwing in the towel before their body adjusts to not having antiperspirant on! Give yourself a little grace period when you make the switch, I promise you’ll find your new norm quicker than you think.

Experiencing a detox period for a couple of weeks when transitioning to natural deodorant is perfectly normal – and healthy! Instead of blocking pores to prevent sweating, natural deodorant allows the body to do what it’s naturally supposed to do. You might find you’re a bit sweatier or smellier at first, but it’s all a part of your body (and your sweat glands) coming back into balance. Trust the process, stick it out and soon enough you’ll be saying goodbye to sweat + smelly B.O. for good. Promise.

Using Bare Pits weekly pit detox paste or Bare Pits vegan miracle liquid roll on detox will help you get through this detox quick!


While you’re transitioning to non-toxic deodorant, there are a few things you can do to support your pits in the process! You’ll already be nourishing your delicate underarms with pure, safe ingredients topically, so here are a couple more ways to support your transition holistically:

Get your sweat on (on purpose!). Regular exercise is key in helping to promote the healthy, natural removal of toxins – especially during your deo transition.

Diet does make a difference. If you’re finding that unwelcome B.O. is still hanging around after a few weeks, try taking a deeper look at your diet. Minimize processed and refined foods while adding in extra leafy greens (and lots of purified water!) to support your body’s detoxification process.

Even if your natural deodorant works wonders, make sure to cleanse weekly with Bare Pits cleansing pit serum spray and washing with our miracle soap. This removes all the build up of bacteria. The smell isn't in the sweat, it's all the bacteria and toxins that mix with sweat, so removing that helps 100%.

Detox your armpits as maintenance at least once a month. This helps balance your PH and odor. TREAT YOUR ARMPITS LIKE YOUR FACE!

See, transitioning to natural deodorant doesn’t have to be scary. It’s a simple and powerful way to promote your health and well-being – and protect against unwanted odor.

Let's look a little deeper into ARMPIT DETOX

Do You Need an Armpit Detox?

What does detox mean to you? In the beauty world, there is a new trend aimed at de-gunking targeted areas of the body, whether that means unclogging the pores in your scalp or — this is where it really gets interesting — even armpits.

Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, points out that there is an increased focus on “detoxing” the armpits because it is an area of the body where there is skin on skin, allowing for certain types of bacteria to live there that don’t live on other parts of the body.

What’s an armpit detox?

“When people make the change from conventional antiperspirant to natural deodorant or none at all, they can notice that they are smellier than they are accustomed to being, as it takes time for the bacteria to balance out and you may experience more odor. The idea is that an armpit detox can make this transition easier,” explains Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Modern Dermatology.

“A buildup of dirt, oil and antiperspirant on the skin can alter the skin’s microbiome, which means that the natural balance of bacteria on the skin may become unbalanced. The clinical significance of this change is not clear but taking a break from antiperspirants can help restore the natural diversity of bacteria on the skin,” explains Zeichner.

Antiperspirants use aluminum-based salts to form a club to block sweat glands, adds Zeichner. “This physically prevents sweat from reaching the surface of the skin. Deodorants, on the other hand, do not address the issue of wetness. Rather, they either mask or neutralize body odor,” he explains.

And even though the jury is still out on just how effective said ingredients and products are at abstracting toxins (such as aluminum) from the pores or lymph nodes, or helping to reduce sweat long-term, there have been studies that suggest deep-cleansing and taking a break from antiperspirant can have its benefits.

Who can benefit from an armpit detox?

For Zeichner, since the only organs in the body that have true detoxing capabilities are the kidneys and liver, an armpit detox should be thought of as more of a deep cleanse. Of course, as with many skin conditions, experts also suggest that those with more severe sweating conditions and questions visit a dermatologist for a diagnosis and information regarding the latest treatment options.

What does Bare Pits weekly pit detox consist of?

Our #1 pit detox paste consists of organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic shea & mango butter, activated charcoal food grade, rhassoul clay, diatomaceous earth food grade, and aloe vera powder. This paste leaves your armpits feeling completely cleansed and smooth. You may even notice you don't need deodorant for days.