July 15, 2022 4 min read

Underarm irritation is common but not normal. It can happen to about 10% of us. It's our body's way of communicating that it's just not happy.

Redness, itching, or flaking skin can be a sign that your underarms are reacting to something in your deodorant. Detox is not the answer, you need to remove what is triggering this response.

What can cause armpit rash?

All deodorants, whether synthetic or natural, can cause underarm irritation. For synthetic deodorants and antiperspirants, the common cause of underarm irritation are :


🧪Propylene glycol




    For natural deodorant the ingredients that can cause irritation are:

    🍃Essential oils

    🍃Sodium bicarbonate

    🍃Coconut oil

    Chaffing can also cause irritation. If you've been using an antiperspirant and move to a natural deodorant, the increase in moisture and friction can cause irritation for some. While your body adjusts, wearing breathable natural fabric that wick moisture away can make a difference. Merino is one of the best fabrics you can wear against your skin. It is naturally antibacterial and is uber effective at absorbing and evaporating moisture.

    Fragrance causes many underarm irritations.

    How do you know what is causing the irritation?

    Fragrance is the most common culprit, it's responsible for 40% of all skin reactions to cosmetics.

    As a rule of thumb, if fragrance is the cause, your underarms will react in the first 7-days of use. If the irritation starts around 20-days it is usually sodium bicarbonate.

    Why does Sodium Bicarbonate cause irritation for some?

    Natural deodorants primarily work by changing the pH of the underarm. If the formulation isn’t carefully balance this change in pH can result in a chemical burn to the underarm. This is a more common experience with DIY deodorant recipes than ones you buy instore.

    If you are making your own natural deodorant, never have sodim bicarbonate making up more than 20% of the ingredients. 

    But chemical burn is not the main cause of underarm redness.

    For some people when their armpit environment changes to alkaline, a normal yeast that is found on the body turns into a fungal infection. Candida is a yeast that normally lives on the skin and inside the body, when it grows out of control it can cause a fungal infection called, Candidiasis.

    Armpits with a yeast infection develop a bright red rash. This rash is normally itchy, and there can be a burning sensation. There can also be pimple-like spots, scaling, or swelling. 

    When people apply a vinegar to their underarms this can take the environment back to acid and the irritation my subside, but the irritation is likely to come back when you resume using a sodium bicarbonate based deodorant.

    Choose a fragrance free marine magnesium for super sensitive underarms.

    What should you do if your underarm react?

    You should stop applying the deodorant. All deodorants recommend not to apply to broken or irritated skin, and that’s because keeping applying will just make things worse. Let your underarms settle. If you stop at the first sign of itching or redness, irritation should resolve within 24 hours.

    Once your underarms have settled, we recommend, Sunshine - a fragrance-free marine magnesium deodorant. This will provide the gentlest odour protection. If your irritation began at around 20-days of use, then for your next deodorant step up to a scented marine magnesium deodorant. Your underarms will love you for it!

    You can also soothe the area with your own DIY armpit masks.

    While your underarms are settling you can soothe the area with a DIY armpit mask.

    Aloe Vera gel and coconut oil make a soothing paste. Apply a couple of times a day and rinse off after 20 minutes.

    You can also apply a well diluted apple cider vinegar mask. Mix 1tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp bentonite clay and 1 tbsp water. Mix in a ceramic bowl and spread a thin layer on your underarms. Leave for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off.

    Why is sodium bicarbonate used in natural deodorants?

    Sodium bicarbonate is the best active ingredient for natural odour control. For most people, a sodium bicarbonate deodorant provides awesome odour control and creates a beautiful deodorant that smells and feels amazing.

    Every body is different though, and we each need to find our natural fit.

    How do you pick the best deodorant for your body?

    The quickest way to find your natural fit is to take the Deo Quiz. Answer a few questions and we’ll recommend the best formula for your unique needs.

    We’re in the business of happy underarms, which is why we offer a 100% happiness guarantee. Together we can find the best deodorant for your body. If you’ve struggled to make the switch to natural, please reach out, we’d love to help!

    Triumph a sensitive skin deodorant that really works for strong odour.

    "Best deodorant in my life!
    I've always struggled with deodorants reacting to my skin, even natural ones. However, not anymore, yay! This is awesome! does it's job keeping me smell free and my body loves it, no reactions, absolutely stoked! Thanks heaps Everkind!! Highly recommend for EVERYONE!!" ~ Jo, review of Triumph

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