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What is a DIY Armpit Mask?

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Why armpit care should be on your radar in 2023

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Upgrade your next home spa session with this buzzy beauty trend, courtesy of TikTok. Find out why everyone is talking about DIY armpit masks (and how to make them) below…

What is a DIY Armpit Mask?

An armpit mask, otherwise known as an ‘armpit detox’, is a home-friendly way of getting rid of any harmful chemicals that have built up around the underarm from deodorant and antiperspirant use. These masks are usually made up of several ingredients, typically charcoals, clays and apple cider vinegar, and are applied directly to the armpit (much like a clay face mask).

@jademesqhealth ✨Armpit Detox Mask✨ #armpitdetox #armpitmask #holisticwellness ♬ Intimidated – KAYTRANADA

The practice has recently taken off as a trend on TikTok, with users claiming that it helps to unclog pores and release impurities. But how true is that?

What are the benefits? (& what are just myths?)

It may sound like a quirky internet trend, but an armpit mask can actually do a lot more good than we think. ‘Applying a mask on our skin is beneficial for almost all parts of the body, whether that’s the face, chest or feet,’ says Salome Dharamshi, dermatologist and co-founder of SKY Clinic. ‘Masks clean, remove congestion and impurities, hydrate and detoxify the skin, so it makes sense they would help similar issues with your underarms.

‘Your armpits are an area of the skin that needs a lot of looking after, especially when factoring in the likes of sweat glands and daily product application and shaving. Detox masks for underarms can smooth and treat erosion caused by daily shaving, as well as remove cell build-up and congestion left from deodorant.’

But while many TikTok users maintain that an armpit mask can help detox your body, there’s unfortunately no real proof that you can remove toxins through the skin in general. It’s also suggested that while a detox mask can remove antiperspirant from your skin, you could achieve similar results from just washing the area thoroughly with a gentle scrub.

On the bright side, though, armpit mask mixtures including apple cider vinegar can indeed help eliminate odour-causing bacteria, due to the liquid’s antibacterial properties. Just make sure to dilute it with water first to avoid irritating your skin.

What type of mask should we use?

If you’d prefer a pre-mixed mask, it’s important to remember that your armpit is a very sensitive area on the body and is prone to irritation. Salome recommends using something gentle: ‘Try a product that smooths, detoxes and hydrates the skin, rather than something with a high content of active ingredients, like chemical acids (these can cause irritation, rashes and pigmentation).

‘For someone who experiences excessive sweating, a salicylic acid-based mask is quite good as it reduces the bacteria that cause odour and helps leave skin feeling smooth and healthy.’

How do you make a DIY armpit mask?

You can make a very simple armpit mask yourself at home, using just three ingredients: bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar and water. Many of the masks we see in the shops contain these ingredients, sometimes combined with a few extras, but it’s easy enough to DIY it. Here’s how:

  1. Combine one tablespoon of bentonite clay with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a couple of teaspoons of water (how much water you put in determines whether they mixture will be runny or gloopy, so feel free to add until you have a texture you’re happy with). Mix together.
  2. Apply the mask to your underarms (preferably a generous layer).
  3. Wait 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water and soap.

If you’re still unsure where to start, Salome has pointers: ‘I usually mix face or body products, which are formulated specially for the skin, as DIY masks from my experience can result in more side effects. For example, for underarms I mix a salicylic acid mask, Vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid serum – it’s great for reducing odour, bringing and hydration. Another favourite is a chlorophyll firming mask mixed with hyaluronic acid, which is great for detoxing, unclogging pores and softening the roughness caused by shaving.’

Featured image: Sakshi Patwa, Pexels