If you’re not looking after your armpits with a natural care routine, you could be causing irritation, discomfort and even smelly odours. Isn’t it about time you cultivated health in this often overlooked part of the body by showing your armpits some love?
Too much negative attention
When it comes to our armpits, most of us focus on what we don’t want them to do: We don’t want them to be bumpy, to smell, to chafe, to sweat or to stain our clothes. But despite demanding so much of them, even those of us with an extensive face and skincare routine are happy to slather on deodorant and call it a day.
It’s time for an attitude change. Our armpits our hardworking, delicate, beautiful parts of our bodies—let’s give them the nurturing they deserve!
Learn more about the anatomy and the functioning of the armpit in Mental Floss’s article 13 Surprising Facts About the Armpit.
Our underarms are one of the warmest places on our bodies. And because they get limited access to fresh air, they’re often moist as well. These warm wet conditions are ripe for inflammation, irritation, itchiness, bumpiness—including painful bumps—ingrown hairs, and unwanted odour-causing bacteria.
If these conditions have plagued your enjoyment of your underarms (because, yes, even underarms should be enjoyed) then it’s time to consider a gentle, therapeutic armpit care routine.
5 Natural Care Tips for Healthy Armpits
These extra (easy) steps will enhance the health of the underarms while reducing the chances of infection, irritation and discomfort.
1. Cleanse Daily and Exfoliate 1-2 times per week
Use a mild, nourishing cleanser to wash your armpits daily and prevent the overgrowth of bacteria.
Dr Mahers Vitalize Cleansing Bar is a deeply hydrating, non-irritating, therapeutic treatment. Perfect for the sensitive, delicate skin of the underarm.
Once or twice a week, exfoliate with a gentle exfoliant, especially before shaving. Exfoliating stimulates cellular turnover, gets rid of dead skin cells and unclogs pores—so bumpy underarms and ingrown hairs become less of an issue.
We love Trilogy’s Exfoliating Body Balm for its gentle, clarifying ingredients and ocean-friendly biodegradable crushed rosehip seeds.
2. Tone and Moisturise Daily
After cleansing, thoroughly dry your armpits and apply a toner to sweep away residual buildup in the pores.
You need nothing more than simple Rosewater to cleanse the skin of impurities without drying it out. It also brings anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and promote smooth skin.
Once the toner is dry, support the skin’s hydration levels by moisturising with a gentle balm or lotion.
Harebell Herbs Organic Chamomile Cream is a handmade protective cream made in West Cork. Chamomile offers anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that calm the skin and help heal damaged skin.
3. Keep Your Razor in Good Shape
If you shave your armpits, it’s important to maintain a clean, sharp razor. Shaving creates micro-tears in the delicate underarm skin that can become infected. Use a blade no more than 5 times and store your razor outside the shower where it can completely dry.
4. Use a Natural Deodorant
We’re in love with natural deodorants for so many reasons:
- they work with your underarms instead of against them
- they nourish the armpits instead of drying them out
- they are full of beneficial ingredients that improve the look and feel of your skin
- they don’t include any of the potentially harmful ingredients of conventional deodorants
- they’re better for the environment
The natural deodorants from Ben & Anna, Pit Putty, and Warrior Botanicals are all ethically-produced, cruelty-free, vegan, packed with skin-loving ingredients, and packaged in plastic-free containers.
A natural deodorant made especially for men is Sante Homme Deo Spray. The formula of white tea, organic witch hazel, organic calendula, organic aloe vera and natural essential oils deodorize the skin, offer long-lasting freshness and promote anti-aging benefits. Best of all, the mild formula works without irritating the skin.
Extra odour protection
If you’re transitioning to a natural deodorant for the first time, it’s helpful to know that worse-than-normal odours can occur for a short time. It’s not clear why this happens—it could be the microbiome of the armpit adjusting to a healthier product—but it’s good to have a backup plan. During the transition period, be prepared to give your pits a quick wash and another application of natural deodorant during the day.
And if you find you’re particularly smelly, there’s one extra line of defense for you to try: Colloidal Silver. The antibacterial liquid helps banish the bacteria that create stinky odours and it provides an extra protective boost when used with a natural deodorant.
The problem with antiperspirants
Many conventional deodorants are also antiperspirants. They contain various forms of aluminium salts which completely block your sweat ducts and pores to eliminate sweating. Over time, trapped sweat builds up in the ducts and causes bumps, painful inflammation and (here’s the kicker) bad odour—causing you to reach for even more deodorant. To make matters worse, the acidity of the aluminum can cause yellow staining on your clothing.
We believe sweating is a natural process of detoxification. If it’s an issue for you, be sure to use a toner to minimise your pores, and choose a natural deodorant that contains baking soda which will absorb dampness.
5. Wear Breathable Fabrics
The final way to naturally combat underarm dampness? Wear breathable fabrics that allow moisture to evaporate. This includes natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, bamboo and hemp.
Silk, though natural, traps moisture just like synthetic fabrics such as polyester, viscose/rayon, nylon and lycra blends.
And if you’re worried about pit stains, remember that very dark-coloured clothing and bright whites are the best at hiding moisture stains. It’s the shades in between that are most telling when it comes to sweat spots.
Happy, healthy armpits
Give this routine a try and see if you don’t develop a newfound love and appreciation for your armpits! As with any part of our bodies, a little mindfulness and appreciation go a long way.