Debunking the Armpit Detox Myth

Jason and Erica Feucht

Separating Facts from Fiction

Most deodorant companies sell you a line about detoxing as soon as you report a problem with their deodorant. Here at Distilled Bath & Body, the home of Pit Liquor deodorant, we promise to tackle finding your solution with you.

The fact is, you don't need to detox unless you've been using aluminum-containing deodorant. And detoxing is simply the act of not giving up when your pits stink until they stop doing so. It's not a fancy mask or a new product. We think you're smart and we know actual facts about deodorant are hard to uncover, so we're sharing our research and journey with you. We want you to make informed decisions more than we want you to come to our conclusions. So read on and decide for yourself.

Armpits in the Limelight

With all the attention armpits are receiving, there is also a lot of misinformation. We've done years of eye-straining research (we're a bunch of nerds who have been up to our noses in armpits—yep). We're proud to share the results of our deep dive into pits with you. We don't believe in just telling you we're the best, we want to show you how we reached this conclusion ourselves. We want to bring you along on the journey and let you draw your own conclusions.

"You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose." -Dr Seuss. And if you have stank in your pits, you've come to the right place. Read on, stinky friends.

When switching from an aluminum-containing antiperspirant deodorant, your road to recovery is going to look a little different from someone who's simply been bathing in chemicals like antifreeze. (There's some alarming chemistry going on in daily-use products on the U.S. market.) Your body has a lot of recovery to undergo, and that means you're going to have to give some extra care to your stink-makers. The good news is you can wrap up your pit recovery with smelling completely delicious

Detoxing is just patience and sweat. Actual sweat.

  1. The most important thing for an effective detox is using a science-based NATURAL deodorant with ingredients you recognize.
  2. Get something that actually KILLS bacteria without also harming humans (that means a deodorant that is strictly a "No Toxin Zone.").
  3. Stick with it. Apply extra if you need to during the extra-stanky times (about 2-3 weeks). Sweat lots. Go to saunas and Get. That. Sweat. OUT!
  4. Girl, wash your shirts...with hot, hot water and make sure you kill bacteria in the pits of shirts, undershirts, and bras. 
  5. Keep using a bacteria-killing deodorant (ahem—Pit Liquor) and watch your pits take a walk on the clean side. You'll notice that the more thorough you are about banishing bacteria, the longer you can go between freshen-ups. It's really all about bacteria. You're not neutralizing odor, you're obliterating it at the source.

You're now armed with some stellar pointers for an effective detox (should you need it) and how to make the most out your pit bacteria-zapping efforts. Let's move you even closer to pit perfection as we examine and debunk some of the most common armpit and deodorant myths.


Myth 1: Antiperspirants are a normal thing in any deodorant.

Deodorant Detox Myths vs Facts: Fact 3

Only aluminum causes your pores to swell to prevent them from releasing sweat. This is dangerous since the body uses these sweat glands to cleanse toxins from your system. Plus, the body is a smart thing and it isn't going to simply stop adequately cooling you down because you're embarrassed by pit stains. Antiperspirants only have to reduce your sweating by 20% to be considered effective. Then your body is going to overcorrect and cause you to sweat more from other pores.

When you quit using aluminum-containing deodorant, you'll have a lot more sweat for a while. Stick it out. It's about a week of sustained extra sweating as your body gets used to functioning fully again. Aluminum HAS been found to cause cancer in several scientifically-conducted studies. (Metal on or in the body tends to not be awesome and the cosmetics/hygiene industry isn't regulated well in the United States.) However, the FDA then followed those studies with a very small study that simply contacted people who'd had cancer to basically see if they survived and then determined that breast cancer wasn't caused by aluminum. Um, what?! Quality matters and we're calling bunk on this "research" by the FDA.


Myth 2: I should use the same amount of deodorant as my body cleanses itself.

Deodorant detox facts

During your first two to three weeks, bump up that Pit Liquor usage. It'll help you keep up as your body chemistry in your pits changes. Not all natural deodorant is actually, you know, natural. In fact, a lot of them simply don't contain aluminum, but they keep the slurry of other poisons and toxins. When switching to a truly natural deodorant, you may smell worse for a little while, especially if you've been reaching for aluminum-containing antiperspirant, which will take about 3 weeks to fully purge from your system since it's really worked its way into those pores and (yikes) lymph nodes.


Myth 3: Once and done is where it's at. 

You may need to reapply more frequently for a while. See, bacteria is very good at its main objective: reproduction. You can win this battle if your deodorant is formulated to impede bacterial growth. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can't do this, in fact, it creates a friendly pH for bacterial growth and only neutralizes the odor-emitting byproduct (bacteria poo). If you have a deodorant that contains alcohol, arrowroot, or, in our case, an entire cocktail of bacterial doom, you simply need to stick with it long enough to overcome. This may include changing your washing habits for your clothes for a while to remove bacteria that will otherwise repopulate your armpits, reapplying deodorant throughout the day for a little while, and always wearing freshly (and properly) laundered clothes.


Myth 4: I should use an armpit mask or special detox formula.

Deodorant Myths and Facts: Detoxing

While using a mask might feel luxurious, your armpits are not your face. (duh, but srsly, tho) Sometimes, these masks are made by companies that are just seeking to make an extra buck instead of companies that have given ANY time to developing a product that works with your body chemistry. Many (I'd say most if not all) of the masks out there are just good for your skin and don't take into account the special needs of an area like your armpits. That means you could actually strip away important microbes and throw off your body's natural cleansing process, resulting in a longer time in the trenches of ultra-stink.

If you stick with it and really commit to killing off all those stinkers, you'll end up with pits so clean you will have less need for deodorant. We all often find ourselves surprised at how long we can make it without any stank even in situations where we would normally quickly smell like a gym bag.


Myth 5: All deodorant should work.

If it's not backed by thorough scientific research, then likely, it's just a nice idea and doesn't work in real life. The trouble is that a lot of the more scientific deodorant contains toxins, a laundry-list of unreadable ingredients, and literal poison. The more natural deodorants tend to lean on sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to "neutralize" odor. This ingredient commonly causes itch and irritation on delicate armpit skin and you need to kill the bacteria, not neutralize their poop. The great news is that science, and our Pit Liquor deodorant products, are on your side. Literally, in some cases (get it, on your SIDE?!). You CAN have a THOROUGHLY NATURAL and THOROUGHLY EFFECTIVE deodorant. We have a formula so unique, it holds a pending patent.

We take customer feedback very seriously. You make us better!

Please reach out at and let us know if you have any experience that doesn't match up with the results we've shared here from our research and trials. 

We are scientists ourselves in this deodorant journey, and we are relying on our research as we grow and improve. We value your feedback more than we could ever fully explain. Cheers, friends! Here's to stink-free pits with a side of happily healthy!

Pit Liquor Deodorant

Jason and Erica Feucht are the dynamic duo behind Pit Liquor Deodorant and its parent company, Distilled Bath & Body. They're enthusiastically self-proclaimed nerds (i.e. lovers of knowledge). They're partners in parenting and in life. And they're two humans who genuinely aim to do good for others and the planet. 

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  • Posted by Kate Brownell on

    This is a very helpful post to get rid of all the issues with the sweating. I am thinking of implementing these things and also buy the stop sweat spray that is natural and it can control sweating for 7 days. I just read about that product before this post and let’s see if that works. If you have any idea about that then please share. Your post helped me clearing so many myths and I am going to do what is here, but let me know if anti sweat spray for body ( is really good. Does it work?

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