6 Tips to Keep Armpit Irritation at Bay (Plus an Easy DIY Pit Detox Recipe)

As a holistic skincare company, we’re all about clear, smooth skin. No one enjoys dealing with irritated or inflamed skin – especially on your pits! Armpit irritation is more than just annoying – it’s itchy, painful, and just plain embarrassing.

Don’t fear! Today, we’re talking all things armpit irritation. This is a common fear when switching from drugstore deodorant to a non-toxic alternative. You’ve probably heard the woes of a friend or family member who attempted switching to a natural deodorant, only to deal with terrible armpit irritation. 

Sometimes, this can be a (normal) part of the detox process – or a reaction to an ingredient. But armpit irritation can usually be avoided or easily soothed. So hear us out – don’t give up on natural deodorant just yet. A little armpit irritation can’t hold you down with these tips in your back pocket. Consider us the armpit irritation pros. ;)

So without further ado, here are our top tips to prevent underarm irritation + how to stop armpit burning ASAP. 

1. Less Baking Soda = Less Armpit Irritation

In natural deodorant, baking soda is often a key ingredient to combat odor – but it can sometimes be the culprit for underarm irritation. 


Baking soda has an alkaline pH. This can make it feel abrasive and potentially irritating if there are large quantities of this odor-blocking ingredient in the formula. 

→ So what can you do? Glad you asked. ;)

To avoid armpit irritation from baking soda, you can opt for a natural deodorant with less baking soda. Some deodorants (like ours!) also have combative ingredients to prevent armpit irritation.

On that note, many people ask if Primally Pure deodorant contains baking soda. 

The answer: yes, BUT! Our baking soda is naturally mined, which means it’s a finer grain and less likely to irritate your pits. And rest assured, we’ve spent years perfecting our formula to include the smallest amount of baking soda possible. Plus, our deodorant is loaded with nourishing and protective ingredients to keep irritation at bay.

*The proof: Many customers who made the switch to PP deodorants from other natural deodorants with baking soda experienced zero issues or armpit irritation!

2. Protect Sensitive Skin

If you’re experiencing armpit irritation, your skin may simply be extra sensitive. You might be more susceptible to irritation if your skin’s protective outer layer (aka acid mantle) has been damaged. Without this protective layer, your skin is at risk for rashes, redness, or other reactions. 

So, take a look at the products you’re currently using on your pits. Pay attention to the ingredient list to see if your skin is being stripped with harsh sulfates and cleansing chemicals.

Keep in mind + check all products that come in contact with your skin, including:

  • Body wash
  • Soaps
  • Shaving creams
  • Ingrown hair solutions
  • Lotions

With the wrong ingredients, these kinds of products can break down your acid mantle. This compromises your skin’s integrity and makes it more vulnerable to irritation. Your skin’s microbiome depends on having a solid barrier to keep armpit irritation under control. 

So, to rebuild + strengthen your skin’s acid mantle, use a gentle, natural cleanser in the shower. You can also treat any current inflammatory conditions with our Everything Spray. Plus, rebuild hydration with this deeply nourishing balm that’s gentle enough even for sensitive baby skin. ;)

3. Keep It Fresh to Avoid Irritated Armpits

Many deodorants today are antiperspirants. That means they block your production of sweat… with dangerous ingredients that completely block pores. 

Sounds nice in theory, but it’s actually not good for you…

Your body is meant to sweat – there are many benefits from sweating. We’re big advocates for non-toxic deodorant (obviously!), which means we’re also big supporters of sweating.

Safe, natural alternatives to antiperspirants allow your skin to breathe + your body to function as it should. Once your body adjusts to natural deodorant, you’ll find you actually sweat even less than you did before! But in the beginning stages of transitioning, excess perspiration can potentially create some pit problems, aka armpit irritation.

To prevent sweat from causing itchiness or inflammation, it’s important to properly cleanse your pits. Proper cleansing will keep skin clear of trapped sweat and bacteria buildup so you don’t end up with irritated pits. Try this gentle body cleanserthis gentle body bar to effectively cleanse + moisturize. Follow up with a spritz of our Everything Spray after showering to keep pores clear and calm inflammation. 

For even more sweat protection, you can use our talc-free baby powder to absorb excess moisture and reduce underarm irritation.

4. Keep It Fragrance-Free

While you may think you’re in the clear of chemicals or irritating ingredients when you use a natural deodorant, their formula might not be as natural as they claim. 

Take a look at the ingredient list to find out what gives the product its fresh, floral, or seasonal scent. Do you see the word “parfum,” “fragrance,” or even “natural fragrance”? 

These fragrance formulas are synthetic scents that can contain any combination of 3,000 (or more!) chemical ingredients, including:

When the skin comes in contact with an ingredient that triggers a reaction (such as artificial fragrances), you can quickly end up with armpit irritation. Yep, inflamed, red, and itchy rashes. No thank you! 

To help minimize the potential for any allergic reaction or irritations, look for pure essential oils (EO) on your deodorant label instead of fragrance blends. 

→ Still experiencing armpit irritation with active essential oils? 

It’s rare, but some people have to avoid scents altogether. Try our unscented deodorant. It effectively protects against unwanted odor + soothes sensitive pits – sans essential oils.

No matter your preference, our deodorant selection has you covered.

5. Prevent Friction

Armpit irritation can sometimes be a side effect of using natural deodorant. But there are a couple of other causes that can also create irritated underarms – such as friction. 

Friction between skin folds, lack of air circulation, moisture, bacteria, and heat can all contribute to armpit irritation. Makes sense, huh? 

No wonder our pits are the perfect place for a rash to show up! 

But don’t worry. While this delicate area can be prone to problematic + inflammatory skin conditions, there are several simple solutions and products to prevent + calm irritation.

→ It may seem like common sense, but a daily shower with a gentle body washcleansing bar and drying off thoroughly goes a long way. 

→ For added benefit, spritz your pits with our anti-bacterial, anti-fungal + anti-viral Everything Spray. Follow up with this talc-free powder to prevent friction. 

Avoid wearing tight clothes as much as possible to allow your underarms to breathe. If all else fails, follow up with your healthcare provider.

6. Shave + Wait to Swipe

A simple solution to avoid armpit irritation is to never, ever apply deodorant after shaving. We’ve all done it – you shave your underarms and then immediately put on deodorant. And then you feel the sting, the burn, and the all-day itchiness that follows. 

Ever wondered why this discomfort happens? 

Because shaving creates tiny cuts on your pits. They’re not visible to the naked eye, but we all know putting any kind of product straight onto an open wound is a recipe for disaster. 

It’s essential to allow ample time between shaving and swiping that deo.

To make it simple to avoid + prevent underarm irritation, you can shave at night and apply deodorant in the morning. Remember to shave with a fresh blade and always in the direction of hair growth to minimize inflammation. And if you’re prone to ingrown hairs after shaving, this spray is a must to keep your skin clear of buildup + breakouts.

Bonus for Armpit Irritation: DIY Pit Detox

An easy way to care for your pits and prevent irritation is to create this 3-ingredient DIY detox paste. Whether you’re about to make the switch to non-toxic deodorant or you’re already experiencing irritation + inflammation, this concoction helps minimize:

  • Odor
  • Painful rashes
  • Sweat

A win-win, right?!

How to make it: Mix 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1-2 teaspoons of purified water.

How to use it: Apply a thin layer to each pit for about 5-20 minutes (depending on how your skin responds). 

→ How often to use it: Apply daily, for up to 2 weeks – or until your pits are detoxed, smooth, and odor-free.

Say Goodbye to Irritated Armpits

Healthy pits are a big deal to us! Our goal is to help protect your pits from unwanted body odor with non-toxic, natural ingredients + create smooth, healthy pits in the process. We hope these tips help to keep yours smooth and, most importantly, rash-free. 

With a few new ideas under your belt, you can wave goodbye to armpit irritation. And if you haven’t swapped to natural deodorant yet, check out our lineup of organic, non-toxic deodorants.

Have you discovered any other tips to prevent armpit irritation? 

We’d love to hear!


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An armpit rash is more than just annoying - it's itchy, painful and just plain embarrassing. Here are our top 6 tips to prevent armpit irritation! | Primally Pure Skincare

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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.