The Nala Guide to Detox

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The Nala Guide to Detox

Nala Care natural deodorant blog post guide to detox

Why Detox?

If you’re interested in health & wellness trends (or, let’s be honest, if you’re on Instagram), you’ve probably noticed that “detoxing” is all the rage. There seems to be no end to what you can detox – your diet, your home, your clothing, your pet food, your pet’s clothing… it’s this close to officially being out of hand.

Unlike some health trends, however, the concept of detoxing originates in medical science: we are exposed to dozens of different environmental toxins on any given day, thanks to things like industrial pollution, the tragic state of our food system, the cleaning products we use in our homes, and, yes, the beauty products we apply to our bodies.

These toxins are stored in the tissues and cells of our body (including our brains!), sometimes for years, and can have a devastating effect on our metabolism, behavior, and immune system, (leading to diseases like cancer).

The act of “detoxing”, then – when done properly – can help us flush toxins from our bodies, and can drastically improve our health.

Why Detox your Armpits?

Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants contain a whole smorgasbord of chemicals (including aluminum, phthalates, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, and parabens, to name a few) in order to halt our natural sweating function.

This is worrisome for two reasons:

  1. Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and what touches the skin can easily enter our bloodstream – and send these endocrine-disrupting chemicals on an all-expenses-paid tour of our body.
    Our armpits house our lymph nodes, an essential part of our immune system. Layering harmful chemicals directly on top of them suppresses the immune function, leaving us much more vulnerable to illness and disease.
  2. Switching to a free-from deodorant is a great way to stop introducing toxic chemicals into your body.

However, there’s still the matter of those toxins lodged in the tissues of your under arm. This is where a detox deodorant full of ingredients (like charcoal) that naturally draw toxins out of the skin comes in.

The stages of Detox (aka what to expect)

Detox deodorant is meant to be used in a very specific way: it can ease the transition to a natural or free-from deodorant, and/or help you detox if you’ve used an antiperspirant (more about that below).

Consider the use of detox deodorant a short-term process, with the following stages.

Stage 1: Detoxification

What’s happening:
Your pores are opening up and pulling out toxins that have accumulated in your armpit.

What to expect:
Your body may sweat more than usual, and it’s even normal to smell a bit during this stage.

How long it lasts:
1-2 weeks

How to ride it out:
Drink lots of water, to assist with flushing out the toxins.
Use the detox deodorant at night to help remove toxins while you sleep, or right before you work out (when you’ll be sweating a lot, anyway).

Important to remember:
The sweat and the smell mean that it’s working, so keeping using it! Your body is flushing out toxic particles that have embedded themselves, and the heavier sweats and odour won’t last forever.

Stage 2: Adjustment

What’s happening:
Your armpit has shed ~50% of the toxic particles stored there, and is starting to function more naturally again.

What to expect:
Sweating and odour will start to subside (yay!).

How long it lasts:
1-2 weeks

It’s important to remember:
This is just the beginning of the regulation process, so keep using the detox deodorant every night, while using a free-from deodorant during the day.

Stage 3: Acclimatization

What’s happening:
Your armpits are well on their way to being toxin-free, and your body is acclimating to a new pattern of self-regulating sweat.

What to expect:
Odour will subside because the worst offenders (the conglomerated toxins that have been accumulating in your lymph nodes) will have been flushed out. You will sweat less – but you will still sweat. Sweat is a daily detoxification process that our body naturally regulates.

How long it lasts:
Forever, as long as you don’t introduce the top offenders back into your pits.

It’s important to remember:
At this point you can stop using the detox deodorant, and simply use your free-from deodorant during the day.

NOTE: if you need to use an antiperspirant or traditional deodorant for any reason, see the Detox When you Retox section below.

How to Make the Best of a Sweaty Situation

Detox fundamentally means that toxins are leaving your body, which can have some uncomfortable side effects. You will sweat more than usual, and some people may notice more or a different body odour during the process.

Things you can do to support the detoxification and mitigate the side-effects include:

  • Drink lots of water – get your 8 cups, minimum, per day to help flush out toxins
  • Cut out refined foods & alcohol – the fewer toxins you introduce during the detox process, the less work the detox deodorant has to do.
  • Choose your sweatiest times – We recommend using the detox deodorant before bed and before a workout, because these are times when it’s socially acceptable to sweat a little more than usual. Extra sweat is a-okay during the stages of detox, so embrace it!
  • Let your body sweat! Even post-detox, a little sweat is important: one of most dangerous things you can do is clog your pores when they are trying to keep you cool and regulate your body’s temperature and natural pH balance.

Detox When you Retox

Listen, we get it: sometimes you can’t risk the natural sweat that comes with being human. We wouldn’t expect you to accept an academy award in a silk dress while wearing detox deodorant.

We know there will be days when you have client meetings, a big presentation, or a bigger date and reach for your antiperspirant, and we don’t blame you.

This is where ongoing use of the detox free-from deodorant comes in: if you need to use a more chemically-laden underarm solution during the day, layer on some detox deodorant at night, for 3-5 days after the event, and go back to using your free-from deodorant during the day. You’ll unclog your pores and flush your system of the harmful chemicals in traditional deodorants.

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