Real Beauty

Detox Your Pits + GIVEAWAY!

Finally! I am ready to share about TWO natural under arm solutions that work, are non-toxic, and don’t hurt my sensitive skin! And, from 1/15/18-1/22/18 you can enter the giveaway to win both! Instructions for the giveaway are simple and at the end of this post. ♥

Seriously, I have tested a LOT of brands. Over 20 brands for nearly 5 years. Ever since my first Paleo(f)x when I realized I was the only one not rubbing coconut oil and baking soda on my pits every few hours I started my quest to find one that worked for me. Turns out, natural deodorant can be really irritating to the skin though – so it’s taken me years of trying out different things to figure out a solution that works.

Over in my Healthy Inside & Out group this is one of my most frequently asked questions. And understandably, considering how bad conventional deodorant is for us. Antiperspirants are linked to everything from dementia and Alzheimer’s to cancer. From aluminum and hormone disrupting ingredients to the dreaded ‘fragrance,’ over the counter antiperspirants are full of things that hinder our health [details here].

I’ve tried ALL of the brands people suggested. I had such high hopes; I went through DOZENS and all of them made my skin break out with irritated bumps. I’m talking raw skin with open sores – from using “natural” products. Or, I smelled weird. No, thank you. That’s the whole point of what I was trying to avoid!

You guys, the struggle has been real.

But, determined I kept trying. I learned a few things I want to share along the way.

What Doesn’t Work

  • Baking Soda – sodium bicarbonate can be irritating to the skin. The Material Safety Data Sheet for sodium bicarbonate warns of hazards: “Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.” The following are listed as potential symptoms with prolonged exposure of baking soda to the skin: rash, redness, and dry, cracked skin. [that’s me!]
  • Coconut Oil – I really like this article on Coconut Oil – I feel it’s balanced and well-researched. As noted, some people get dry, irritated skin from it – and that’s definitely me. And, when used on the face it can also cause acne – another thing I didn’t realize I was doing to myself!
  • pH – sensitive skin needs a low pH, most skin-friendly solutions are under 5.5; sodium bicarbonate is 8.3

The Supposed Detox Period

For those making your own deodorant or using a more natural brand, please be mindful of the above and ensure you are using ingredients that nourish your skin in a balanced, healthy way. I used some products for a long time because I was told my skin needed “adjust” or “detox” to the new product. Unfortunately, that meant I let the use build-up to cause irritation that led to raw, open wounds. I wanted natural to work and was sure it was another reason or excuse (working out, sweating, shaving, etc.). Now, my body is even more sensitive to it.

If you are experiencing rash, discomfort or any other reactions to your baking-soda-based deodorant, it is NOT because your body is “detoxing” – it’s because your body is telling you it doesn’t work for you, don’t keep using it!

So what to do instead?

It is true that your body will like “adjust” a bit as it comes off of using any product you’ve been using long term – be it on your skin, hair, or under arms. However, the goal is to nourish and heal your skin – not make it worse. You may be a bit stinky as your body’s chemistry adjusts – but skin irritation is never to be ignored! These are the 3 things that have worked for me – WITHOUT inflamed, rashy skin.

1 – Use a charcoal-based detoxifying products

Help your body adjust to change by using the Charcoal Cleansing Bar to wash my armpits daily. I still do this to help pull impurities out – BEFORE the sweat brings them out! And, I apply the Charcoal Detoxifying Balancing Mask weekly.

Wait – don’t run away!

Hang with me here. I know this sounds crazy. Like I’ve gone over the crunchy-granola-hippie edge and you’re not ready to trust fall with me. I get it. But, this mask is FANTASTIC for your face. So, worst case you either a) already own it since I talk about it ALL the time [what’s the harm in giving it a try!], or b) if you purchase it for your pits and end up not liking it, you can instead use it on your face.

Here’s my charcoal routine:

  • The soap: If I’m not showering that day, I wash my underarms with the Charcoal Cleansing Bar in the sink and a wash cloth. If I do shower, I just wash under my arms with the bar soap in the shower (before I shave, to ensure all impurities don’t go into the pores when I open them). I use the Body Wash all over the rest of me.
  • The mask: I apply the mask on a day I’m showering. I first wash under my arms with the soap in the sink, then I pat dry, and apply a thin layer of the Charcoal Detoxifying Balancing Mask to the area under my arms where I can visibly see pores. I allow to air dry while I brush my teeth, use the restroom, etc. About 5-10 minutes later, I hop in the shower and rinse off with warm water. Voila, it’s really not that crazy!

You can find the charcoal products I use and recommend by clicking the links above or shopping HERE.

2 – Go longer in between product use

When my under arm skin was at its worse, nothing I was doing was helping to relieve the soreness. I went weeks with raw open wounds and was desperate to heal, it was so painful. The only relief I got was from putting nothing on the skin at all and just washing in the shower. It was during this period that I allowed my body to “adjust” from using products because I literally couldn’t stand to use them.

It was then I discovered how helpful charcoal was since I wasn’t using any other products. Over time, this has allowed me to go longer in between product uses as well. I find that on days when I’m particularly stressed (physical or emotional) is when I do need product. Which brings us to the one I use…

3 – E&M Apothicaire Charcoal Deodorant

When I saw this on I was intrigued. I’d never heard of them before but loved that their first ingredient was Ottos cassava flour – plus no baking soda or coconut oil, things I know irritate my skin! I gave it a try but was worried it would stain my skin or clothes – it doesn’t, even on my fair skin! Here’s a list of some of the ingredients and why I love them:

  • Cassava Flour & Arrowroot – natural starches to absorb moisture without clogging the pores with aluminum
  • Magnesium Hydroxide – magnesium deficiency can cause body odor, so adding this helps your body be less stinky!
  • Palm Oil & Shea Butter & Cocoa Butter – all natural fats that are less irritating for my skin than coconut oil. And safe for the earth when ethically sourced (lots of info available via google if you want to learn more)
  • Rose Water – a natural hydrant frequently used in Beautycounter products
  • Witch Hazel – an natural essential oil that’s also an astringent anti-inflammatory compound, produced from a shrub
  • Vitamin E – nutrient that’s good for the skin
  • Bamboo Charcoal – detoxes
  • Essential Oil Blend – no fake fragrance!

The one gripe I have is that I’m not a huge fan of the scent, but it is gender neutral (Cole and Finn use it too). The starches do an excellent job acting the way aluminum does in antiperspirants, and I find myself sweating less – not just less smelly when I do sweat. Because of that, I don’t smell the scent on myself the way some other natural deodorants leave me smelling. I’m actually working with the brand to see if we can’t come up with another version that’s more floral – haven’t had luck so far, but keep your fingers crossed!

If you purchase this product using THIS LINK you’ll be support FOUR small businesses: me (it’s an affiliate link), OneStopPaleoShop (where I recommend buying it, since they offer free shipping), Otto’s Cassava Flour (an ingredient used and brand we love), and of course – E&M brand itself. WIN-WIN!


I’m giving away my two favorite products here: the E&M Apothicaire Charcoal Deodorant + the Beautycounter Charcoal Balancing Mask. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment!

fine print: you will be added to our Safer Skincare list for entering; giveaway is open internationally; entry period is open from 1/15-22/18; winner will be contacted vie e-mail (you must use a valid e-mail to comment and enter).

Want More?

If you want to learn more, I posted a video about this in the Healthy Inside & Out group HERE, just join the Facebook group to get access to it and lots of info about safer skincare, cleaner cosmetics, non-toxic personal care, and healthy living. You can join our Safer Skincare list directly, too – I share exclusive sales and specials there, including a free gift with your first purchase through me for Beautycounter!

You Might Also Like

  • Maggie Raptis

    Been struggling with this since last winter and have the same issue with baking soda and coconut oil.

  • Heather Siebert

    I am looking forward to trying it!

  • Kristine

    I sweat a lot and have troubles with finding a natural deodorant that really works for me. Would be fun to try a new brand

  • christinac

    I play roller derby and sweat a lot and it stinks. Feel like tried every natural deodorant on the shelves

  • Robin

    I’ve been going back and forth on trying a natural deodorant for a while. I’m worried that I’ll stink and no one will tell me. I know I should take the plunge and do it so this would be AWESOME to win!

  • Heidi Ashner

    I was just talking about how I needed help with my stinky armpits and someone mentioned using a charcoal mask. I think it’s a sign 😉 I need this!

  • Kimberly

    I feel like I’m in the same boat you were. Irritated red sore pits from trying numerous natural deodorants and smelling less than appealing. I’m intrigued to see if this will help me. It would be great to win…fingers crossed!

  • Jamie Newton

    I have just recently decided to switch to something more natural and find that the first one I tried did not leave me smelling very “fresh” after a few hours. Want to try others without spending and arm and a leg in the process.

  • Jamie Rowland Davison

    Oh my goodness!!! If this actually works I’d pay a million dollars. I can’t wait to try it. I am a serious sweater and can smell worse than a teenage boy. I have tried so many nature deodorants it’s not even funny.

  • Olivia

    Love the mask, but haven’t tried the deodorant yet!

  • mom2childs

    I’m still stinky when I use a natural deodorant.

  • Katy Reiser

    Thanks for the great info! I’m heading over to check out the charcoal soap and deodorant now!

  • Jill

    This deodorant sounds wonderful!

  • Angela Wong

    I haven’t had irritation with my homemade deodorant, but my husband can’t use it for the sensitivity reasons. We’ve tried deodorant with clay, but it ruins our shirts! Learning more about charcoal, so this is going to have to be our next attempt!

  • Sally Garber Randolph

    I am excited to try both. Been wanting to try beauty counter for a while now just hesitant to not see makeup in person when choosing colors etc but maybe I’ll start with the charcoal products first. Thanks!

  • Sara

    I’ve got the charcoal mask – I will give it a try! I’ve been having pretty good luck with Primal Life Organics reformulated deodorant, but I may have to try this brand as well.

  • Liesl Gansch

    I’m excited to try this out. I had a nasty experience with a natural deodorant last month that my skin is still recovering from.

  • Marissa Potts

    This is the post I have been waiting for. So many brands tried. I am very excited to try this combo!! 💗💗

  • Bethany

    I have been looking for a natural deodorant that doesn’t irritate my skin AND actually works to control the smell! This one sounds very promising!

  • Angela Hendricks

    I would love to try this! Natural ingredients is the way to go!

  • Jennifer

    Interesting information – makes sense as charcoal is used in filters to absorb odor! I have been making my own for a little over a year using baking soda and coconut oil among other ingredients. So far my sensitive skin is holding up, but now I know what to do if things change. Thanks for the post and chance for the giveaways.

  • I would love to try these!!

  • Kristen Teaff

    Oh my gosh, I NEED TO TRY THESE YESTERDAY. I’ve been having reactions to all the natural deodorants recently and it’s so uncomfortable and embarrassing! When it turns into an open wound is terrible! It makes me want to not leave the house. Anyways, I’d love to see if this routine would work for me!!!

  • Mandie Lincoln

    I just assumed my armpits would always stink, so I just slather the Tom’s on every day and put up with the persistent oder. I was excited to read your article and have some hope that I don’t have to smell. Thank you!

  • Melissa

    I have been struggling with natural deodorants and have been having the same issues as you. I have been using the bar on my pits but not the charcoal mask. Will have to try. Thanks for sharing!

    • Melissa, congratulations! You have won our giveaway! Please email us so that we can coordinate your prize!

      • Melissa

        So exciting!! Thank you! I will send you an email!

  • Heather Mroz

    I’m interested to try this! I’ve had issues with natural deoderants in the past so I gave up on them. I’m going to look into the charcoal soap too.

  • Emma

    Omg, I am so excited by this post! Deodorant is my last hurdle in safer skin and body care – I just cannot find one hat doesn’t leave me stinky! And I’ve made so many of my own that also don’t actually work! I love love love the Beautycounter charcoal mask and use it twice a week in my face with great results, but using it on my pits is intriguing! Thanks for all the info and knowledge over the years ❤️

  • I would love to try this! Thank you!

  • LD

    Would love to try this deodorant!

  • Lucy S

    So interesting!! I have yet to try a natural deodorant that I like!

  • Katrina

    Thanks for the recommendations. I too have tried many natural deodorants and I have reacted to some the same way. I’m curious if you’ve tried Schmidt’s charcoal deodorant and what your thoughts are on that one.

    • I tried not to call out names of brands that didn’t work for me, because we are all so individual it could work for others – but, yes, I tried it and was not a fit for my skin.

  • Amanda McCurdy

    I’ve been using Schmidt’s, but I’m definitely happy to try something new. The charcoal is a great tip! Thanks

  • Cheryl Kreinbring

    SO HARD to find natural deodorants without coconut oil! Ugh! Glad to have found another product to try. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dana

    I need to try this. I have the same reaction as you, and I have tried alllllll of the ones you mentioned, plus two specially made for me by two local farmers market crafters who make body products.

  • Candice

    I’m going through this trial and error phase now. I would love to try your remedy.

  • Teresa Adler

    My resolution this year is to take better care of my skin and I switched to a non-conventional deodorant and have been having the dreaded stink/ouchy pits. I did this a few years ago and a full layer of skin came off under my arms and I had to go throughout the day with my arms away from my body (ugh!). I’ll have to give this a shot!!

  • Miranda Geneal

    I would love to win this! I started working again after my daughter was born a year ago. I work part time in a physical job. I neeeeed a deodorant now! I haven’t used any in years (desk job prior to baby)

  • Sarah Bartz

    I’ve switched over to Schmidt’s but would be willing to try other brands as well to see if they work better. I never thought to use the charcoal mask on my armpits and will have to give that a try!

  • Samantha

    Thanks for the great info! I have issues with breakouts in my pits too. I found that ACV toner helps get things back in balance. I am currently using an Alaffia charcoal based deodorant, but I would love to try these products too.

  • Athena Riesenberg

    I was literally just googling deodorant recipes because I’m struggling to find one that doesn’t irritate my skin, when all of a sudden this pops up on my FB feed. I would love the opportunity to try these products.

  • Sandie Wilson Dyke

    Looking forward to finding a deodorant that works through the whole day.

  • Maria Robinson

    I just started using charcoal soap. I am intrigued by the idea of using a charcoal mask. Thanks for the post and the product recommendations.

  • Stacey Roberson

    I have tried a few natural deodorants that haven’t worked the greatest. I do use a charcoal toothpaste that I have come to love.

  • Kari

    I have been looking for a good natural deodorant. Never thought of using a mask too to help remove toxins. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rosanna

    I am very much intrigued by this Deodorant and mask. I have 3 teenage boys and this will likely be the answer to my long search for an effective deodorant and pimply skin issues!

  • dmhaen

    I prefer natural deodorants over less natural ones. Would love to try a charcoal mask!

  • lewaletzko

    Love leave a comment giveaways! I already put this on my list to try the next time I need to buy deodorant.

  • This is seriously so intriguing. I have been mercilessly shopping for as many chemical-free products after starting my search for better egg quality during IVF. I switched out nearly everything EXCEPT for deodorant, always assuming the natural stuff would never work as effectively for this sweaty gal! If it works well, along with your suggestions for the soap and mask, then I am ALL. IN. Would love to win the chance!!

  • sofiane

    Great prize fingers crossed

  • Karen S.

    I’ve tried several different brands, without good luck. I’m off to try a detox now… thanks!

  • Kathryn Bergmann

    I started reacting to my deodorant when I was pregnant and would love to try a different brand!

  • Nicole

    I would love to win this!! I have extremely sensitive skin and use Beautycounter’s charcoal bar on my face but have never thought to use it on my underarms.

  • The Morgans

    I’d love to win this! I feel like I’ve tried every kind out there!

  • Annamarie Voss

    What a great idea I have never thought of using a charcoal face mask on my arm pits. I love Beautycounter products but have not tried the charcoal mask yet.

  • DanaQueen

    I too have a collection of products that I was unsatisfied with. I am excited to try these 2 charcoal products!

  • jberry

    I’ve tried several alt products in the past year. Nothing w/ charcoal as the base.

  • Candace

    Would love to try the deodorant, i get the worst ingrown hairs

  • Nik

    Would love to try

  • Jolene Johnson

    I was just telling my husband last night I wanted to get his pits detoxed with charcoal! I’d love to find a better deodorant option for him too. Thanks for the info, I didn’t know coconut oil could be bad for your skin! I know it doesn’t agree with my hair though, lol.

  • Jennifer A

    I tried a recipe for deodorant from a healthy lifestyle blogger, and ended up with red raw patches under my arms. After reading this, I realize it must have been the coconut oil and baking soda. Can’t wait to try the charcoal bar and mask on my pits! Thanks!

  • Kelly M.

    I would love to win! I’ve had such a hard time finding an effective deoderant!

  • Cassie B

    I’d love to win this! I’ve tried so many natural deodorants, and they are not cheap! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Cheri Skidmore

    I would love to try these as I have sensitive armpits.

  • Pensivevirgo

    Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing all of this information and these products!!

  • Sara King

    Id love to make the switch to natural deodorant.

  • Roni.

    Would love to win this, I’m just learning about the benefits of taking care with what we put on our bodies.

  • Tammy

    I am really interested in this for my daughter and myself…we both seem to sweat a lot.

  • T. Rendleman

    Thank you for this post. I’m making my own deodorant (which is currently working for me) but I’d never heard of charcoal deodorant. Would love to try that at some point.

  • Susanna Austin

    I have the same issues as you with baking soda. One product that works fairly well is

    Weleda Wild Rose spray deodorant. I would love to try both of these products out!

  • Heidi

    I have been in the hunt as well with no luck. Would love to ty E&M as well as the charcoal mask. Thanks Stacy!

  • Jennifer

    I was using my baking soda/coconut oil homemade deodorant successfully until I got pregnant. Then I got the horrible burning rash under my arms. I haven’t found anything I’ve liked since, and have resorted to conventional anti perspirant. I definitely want to try this one. Thank you!

  • Emma Banks

    I really need to try the charcoal deodorants. Glad to know about the coconut oil too….

  • Thanks for all this information! I am ready to try the mask this way!!

  • Josephine Perrucci

    I would like to try this!

  • Rachel

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Helen Herrador Arco

    These sound awesome! I had no idea there were other choices.

  • Natalie Wylie

    Would love love love to win this!!

  • Laura Bullach

    That deodorant sounds wonderful!

  • Tanya

    I would really love to give these a try. I have been trying different natural deodorants, but I haven’t found one that works for me.

  • Trisha Saunders

    I thought I had found a solution with a particular brand of natural deodorant that I’ve been using for about a year now but recently my pits have been more irritated than usual. After reading about your experience, I’m going to re-read the ingredient label. I’d love to try this product. I already have the cleansing bar and mask so I’ll try that trick too. Who new finding decent deodorant would be so difficult! I’ve even tried making my own! Lemongrass would be a wonderful scent to try as you are working with this company.

  • jessi eno

    My wife thought I was crazy to want to detox my pits! I would love to the E&M deodorant!

  • Julie Blot

    Would love a chance to try these products!

  • Jessica Staszak Abitz

    Love natural deos and very excited to try that mask.

  • Alex

    I’ve never tried a charcoal deodorant, but I’d love to give it a shot!

  • Joannabanana1989 .

    Id love to try out this deodorant! I have to make my own and it can be time consuming.

  • Jeri

    I have tried about 10 different baking soda and/or coconut oil based deodorants. So glad to hear it isn’t just me that those don’t work on. I really need something different like the ones you suggest here cause I can get really stinky as the day goes on.

  • Terra Santos

    Very interested but the links are not working to purchase the product. Tried a general search on the that website and still not finding anything. Help?

  • Katrina Touchet

    I’m in search of a great natural non-irritation deodorant & would love to try this! Never thought to try a mask on my arm pits either!

  • Nikki T

    Please tell me where to find the deodorant you recommended. None of the links are working!?!

    • Nikki, shortly after this post went up, E&M went out of business, unfortunately. They may have more of their Men’s deodorant which Stacy uses herself and is neutral smelling. Check their website:

      Otherwise, the other brand of charcoal deodorant is Schmidt’s. You can find them here :