Experiencing an Underarm Rash From Natural Deodorant? Here’s How to Help

Do your armpits itch? 

When you start using natural deodorant for the first time, your pits may need some time to adjust. Some people experience the dreaded armpit rash from deodorant once they decide to go all-natural.

But don’t stress! Like any big life change, give your body time to grieve the loss of conventional deodorant. 

We know you loved that shower fresh scent, but it's time to move on and prepare for better things. We’re talking:

→ No smell
→ Less sweat
→ Safe ingredients

Yep. It IS possible to love your natural, non-toxic deodorant and find one that truly works.

This adjustment period (aka detox phase) can take anywhere from a few days to weeks. And we won’t lie – in some cases, can come with a few irritating side effects. 

So if you're experiencing an underarm rash or other frustrating issues, we’ve got you covered. There are a few causes + lots of ways to treat and prevent that pesky deodorant armpit rash. 

Underarm Rash Reason #1: Perspiration 

So you’ve switched from an antiperspirant that stops your sweat glands from actually doing what they’re supposed to do. Props to you – this is huge for your body’s detox processes + overall health! 

But fair warning: you’ll most likely start to feel a bit more sweaty. 

→ Remember, that’s a good thing since sweating helps to expel toxins + regulate your body temperature. Once your body becomes acclimated to natural deodorant, you’ll find you actually sweat even less. 

However, in the meantime, excess sweat can potentially get trapped in your pits and cause an underarm rash – aka itchiness, inflammation, or irritation.

Solutions for Excess Sweat

Thankfully, there are a few simple solutions you can easily incorporate into your routine to remedy an underarm rash from excess sweat.

  • Make sure you are cleansing your pits every. day. Especially in the heat of the summer, after a hard workout, or a seriously stressful day. Keeping skin clear of trapped sweat and bacteria buildup helps minimize your chances of developing an underarm rash. 
  • Use a gentle body bar that effectively cleanses + lightly exfoliates. You don’t want to over-cleanse with harsh surfactants or chemicals – this will only further irritate any deodorant armpit rash that may have formed. Keep it clean + gentle for best results.
  • Spritz our Everything Spray after showering (and throughout the day as a refresher). The pure formula will keep pores clear + calm inflammation when it comes to your underarm rash. It contains only organic essential oils of tea tree and lavender, along with magnesium oil and raw apple cider vinegar to heal + repair. 
  • For even more perspiration protection, you can apply our talc-free baby powder. Baby powder will help absorb excess moisture while also helping reduce friction + irritation. This will go a long way in preventing any deodorant armpit rash from forming – or getting worse!

With these few modifications to your routine, you should start to see some relief. If you don’t feel like you’re sweating excessively, maybe your issue has to do with one of the main ingredients in natural deodorant – baking soda. But don’t give up – there’s hope. 

Natural Deodorant Rash Reason #2: Baking Soda 

Baking soda might be to blame for an underarm rash. Why? 

→ Because of its alkaline pH. 

Baking soda is a key factor in preventing BO and protecting sensitive skin. But if there’s too much baking soda in deodorant, it can become abrasive and possibly cause a reaction. 

So if you’re on the fence about our non-toxic deodorant containing baking soda and potentially creating an underarm rash, don’t worry. Our expertly formulated natural deodorant is different because:

  • It contains lower doses of odor-blocking baking soda
  • It’s more finely ground for less friction
  • It’s fortified with skin-soothing + detoxifying ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide and kaolin clay 

Even still, some people may be extra sensitive to baking soda. A common reason for baking soda irritation: your skin’s protective outer layer, the acid mantle (aka moisture barrier), might be impaired. 

→ One culprit could be your body wash. Take a look at the bottle in your shower – is your skin being stripped with harsh sulfates and cleansing chemicals? Washing your skin with these kinds of ingredients on the daily can break down your acid mantle. Without a strong moisture barrier, your skin is more vulnerable to irritation.

Solutions for Repairing Your Moisture Barrier

Try this 3-step system to maintain your skin’s strength, soothe skin conditions, and prevent irritation.

  • Wash pits (and all of your delicate places!) with mild soap. You’ll want to choose one that safely cleanses without stripping skin and actually helps to repair skin tissue.
  • Spritz your pits with our Everything Spray. This will help to bring your pH levels back into balance + eliminate odor-causing bacteria. Spritz generously on your underarm rash to reduce redness and calm inflammation.
  • Rebuild your moisture barrier with body butter. Body butters are rich in essential fatty acids and healing oils.

If you’ve eliminated baking soda and excess sweat as the cause behind your underarm rash, it could be a few other ingredients. 

Underarm Rash Reason #3: Irritating Ingredients

Contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash caused by an ingredient that triggers a reaction in the skin. Some may show signs of irritation immediately, and others may develop an underarm rash from irritating ingredients over time. 

Every body is made differently and responds uniquely to each ingredient, which makes finding the specific cause a bit difficult.

Solutions for Contact Dermatitis

Here are some suggestions that will make a big difference in preventing + calming contact dermatitis.

  • Examine the origins of the fragrance.

While you may think you're in the clear of chemicals or irritating ingredients when you use natural deodorant, the formula may not be as natural as you think. Take a look at the ingredient list to find out what gives the product its fresh, floral, or seasonal scent. 

→ If you see the word parfum, fragrance, or even natural fragrance, this could definitely be contributing to your underarm rash. 

These fragrance formulas are engineered scents (and protected by the FDA) that can contain any combination of 3,000+ chemical ingredients – including hormone disruptors and allergens.

  • Look for pure, organic essential oils on your deodorant label.

This will help minimize the potential for any allergies or irritations. Our non-toxic deodorant uses only pure essential oils along with a powerful combo of fair-trade coconut oil + baking soda to prevent odor. Essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, geranium, and lemongrass have skin rejuvenating + odor-busting benefits.

Tip: Sensitive to active EOs? Our unscented deodorant effectively protects against unwanted odor + soothes sensitive pits without any essential oils.

By choosing the cleanest + purest ingredients in your non-toxic deodorant, you’ll have the best chance of a smooth adjustment to natural deodorant. But maybe your underarm rash has nothing to do with ingredients, perhaps it’s excessive friction... 

Natural Deodorant Rash Reason #4: Friction 

Irritation from friction is more common than you may think and has nothing to do with deodorant itself.

Intertrigo is the scientific name for a skin rash that results from friction between the folds of skin, aka armpits. This inflammatory skin condition that presents as an underarm rash is due to a few factors like:

  • Friction between skin folds
  • Lack of air circulation
  • Moisture
  • Bacteria
  • Heat

No wonder our pits would be the perfect place for this rash to show up! While this condition causes your skin to feel raw, itchy, cracked, and red, there are some natural solutions. Here’s how to help prevent and treat intertrigo.

  • Shower daily with this gentle cleansing bar + be sure to dry off thoroughly.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes to allow your underarms to breathe.
  • Sprinkle our talc-free Baby Powder on your pits to prevent friction and moisture.
  • Spritz your pits with our Everything Spray for anti-bacterial, anti-fungal + anti-viral properties.

And, of course, if your rash isn’t clearing up after these steps, you may want to seek medical care. Though there’s one more common concern to address when it comes to underarm rash. 

Underarm Rash Reason #5: Shaving Blunders

Have you ever applied deodorant immediately after shaving and felt the sting, the burn, and the inevitable itch? Shaving causes tiny cuts on our pits, so there are a few ways to avoid + prevent underarm irritation.

  • Always shave at night and apply deodorant in the morning. This ensures your skin has time to heal up before applying anything to it.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth. This will minimize inflammation.
  • Never shave with a dull blade. Your pits will thank you for this – it’s far easier to cut yourself with a dull blade, as counterintuitive as that may seem. 
  • Use our Everything Spray to keep skin clear of buildup and breakouts. This will be especially helpful if you’re prone to ingrown hairs.
And you know we won’t leave you without a few more detox tips, just because. ;)

Detox Tips

Here are some tips to help make the transition to natural deodorant even more smooth...

  • Drink more water to support the detoxification process.
  • Start dry brushing to stimulate lymph flow + flush out toxins.
  • DIY Underarm Detox: Applying a DIY detox paste has been beneficial for so many people as they have transitioned from traditional deodorants to a natural alternative. While excess sweat and smell may be an inevitable part of the initial pit detox, this 3-ingredient DIY detox paste can help minimize odor, painful rashes and sweat! Mix 1 tablespoon bentonite clay, 1 teaspoon ACV, 1-2 teaspoon purified water and apply thin layer to each pit for about 5-20 minutes (depending on how your skin responds). Apply daily for up to 2 weeks - or until your pits are detoxed, smooth and odor free.
  • Eliminating processed and refined foods, eating lots of leafy green vegetables and getting regular exercise can help support the detoxification process and promote balanced pits – and better B.O.!
  • Get a massage. The perfect excuse to book a spa appointment! Pit detox ;)
  • New to natural deodorant? Start with our charcoal deodorant which has added detoxifying properties, attracts 1000x its weight, and powerfully binds to toxins + impurities. Here's what a couple of our customers had to say:
"I have tried for years to get my husband to switch to safer deodorant, but they all left him smelly or broken out in a huge painful rash. He has now used an entire Charcoal Deodorant with no complaints and I just bought his second one!" -Tara
"Awesome product for sensitive underarms. I have tried so many natural deodorants and always break out. This is a game-changer!!" -Tonya


What are you waiting for? ;)

    Ready to Say Goodbye to Toxic Deodorant + Embrace Radiant Pits?

    We hope this post has helped reveal some of the reasons behind your natural deodorant rash! 

    If you're still experiencing underarm irritation or an underarm rash after a few weeks of trying these tips and it becomes unbearable, please discontinue using the deodorant and shoot our team an email at hello@primallypure.com. 

    We'd love to hear your story and help you find a solution!


    Irritation from Natural Deodorant

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    Courtney O’Connor

    Courtney Joy O’Connor is Primally Pure’s In-House Holistic Esthetician and Content Curator. Being in the beauty industry for over a decade, her experience + expertise with pure products, the healing power of touch and holistic skincare rituals are at the core of all she creates. She has trained extensively with industry experts across the country to offer her community the most educational content and transformative treatments. Courtney lives at the beach with her plant babies and loves road tripping, blending superfood bliss balls and exploring our big, beautiful world.