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Baking soda turns my armpits black :(

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Isn't that the oddest subject line?

It's true, tho. I quit using commercial deoderants and I was loving the baking soda/aloe combo. So easy, light, allowed me to sweat and not stink all day- but after a few days my armpits look like those of a diabetic. The skin gets velvety and turns blackish and then after a few days I can scrub it all off.



Tried the Funk Butter too, from Oyin and I love the smell... but I cant' tell if it's the funk butter or the baking soda that's changing my skin. Any ideas?
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Doh! Wrong forum! Had two windows open at once and clicked the wrong one!
post #3 of 8
I have the worst skin irritation with armpits, and I use baking soda. It's the only thing that prevents the black armpit phenomenon for me. I don't leave it on though. It could possibly be the funk butter.

The blackness can be from constant contact with something (funk butter combo with baking soda), your clothing, etc. It's a form of contact dermatitis.

If you can scrub the blackness off, it's an external problem, probably your skin oxidizing with something.

Try just the baking soda/aloe combo, or baking soda/lotion, or just scrub your armpits with the baking soda, but rinse it off. Try a few combinations and see if it makes a difference. A dull blade on a razor will cause blackness too.

I'll write more later, let me know any more details if I'm missing something.
post #4 of 8
Any chance you've been wearing a lot of dark colored shirts lately? My pits sometimes get black but it's lint or dye from my shirts.
post #5 of 8
Try diluting the bs with a little lotion. I've noticed that when I put it on without lotion, I get the same results, but not when I mix it with lotion. HTH
post #6 of 8
Spastica--now that you've talked me into using bs in my laundry and I've picked up my 50# bag at the feed store, could I use this for deodorant? It says feed grade on the bag. And how do you use it in the shower? What do you store it in? If I'm to use it w/lotion as deodorant, does any lotion do? And how do I mix this?

Gosh I wish Spastica lived next door to me!!:
post #7 of 8
Y'all are just pourin' it on THICK today with the Spazzy compliments today, aren't you? I LOVE IT! :

Feed grade should be small enough in granular structure to use as personal use.

Though I don't even own 50 pounds of baking soda in my apartment (how impressive is THAT?), I do keep what I'm immediately using in a variety of shaker containers and a plastic pour-top lidded container, the same kinds used for bulk quantities of cereal of flour. See this post for my container types:


Baking soda is pH basic, so plastic is a great place to keep baking soda. It doesn't harm the plastic and it keeps moisture from clumping your baking soda.

As to armpit stuff, I have an Arm and Hammer plastic shaker bottle that I reuse. You can buy them at the grocery store, baking aisle. I buy the kind that says "Baking, Deodorizing" - so I can use it for personal use and then refill with more regular baking soda. There is another shaker bottle that has a picture of a stainless steel sink. These granules are big and are a little harder to use on the body (it'll flake off and doesn't dissolve so well in liquids or lotions) - so don't get this one for personal use.

Speaking of which, I don't actually mix the baking soda with anything. My guess is that baking soda would be kind of irritating on my armpits all day, a lot like keeping soap on your armpits all day, so I don't mix it and leave it on.

(DynamicDoula, maybe that's the problem? Constant contact with something that's grainy and pH basic? PLUS other stuff mixed in to irritate? -- perhaps if you want to leave the baking soda on, you can dissolve the baking soda first in a spray bottle with water and the aloe vera/lotion. This way you won't have any granules and it'll dilute the baking soda a little. It will soak in your skin better too).

Otherwise, if you're using lotion, perhaps diluting the baking soda in a little water and then adding a lightweight lotion will work better. I have found some deodorant recipes, I'll post them below:


http://www.elysiandream.com/recipes.htm This one is interesting. These recipes use a combo of essential oils, some of which use baking soda. The trick is to kill odor causing bacteria, which equals stink-free pits:

Basic Deodorant Powder: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup cornstarch, a few drops essential oils such as lavender or cinnamon, or try cedar and sage for men. Place the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Sprinkle a light covering of the powder on a damp washcloth. Pat on. Do not rinse.

Basic Liquid Deoderant:1/4 cup each witch hazel extract, aloe vera gel, and mineral water, 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin, a few drops antibacterial essential oils such as lavender, or tea tree. Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Makes 3/4 cup with an indefinite shelf life.

Here's what I personally do.

I just shake about a tablespoon of baking soda into my hand, divide it, and use one hand to scrub one armpit, the other to do the other one. I rinse it off, then spray apple cider vinegar (1/2 ACV, 1/2 water). I keep that on while doing other stuff in the shower for a few minutes and then rinse that off.

I finish off after I shower by spraying a Lavender essential oil spray on my armpits. This spray dries in a minute. You can make your own by putting a capful of lavender in a small spray bottle and adding distilled water to it. My particular mix has bergamot and cedarwood oil too. These oils are all bacteria killing and astringent (pulls moisture). So the spray keeps me smelling dainty and dry.

If it's particularly hot or disgusting outside and I'm going to be out and wearing something light colored, I'll put baby powder (cornstarch based) on my armpits.

So, in short:

- Baking soda scrub: Grab some baking soda, divide for two armpits, scrub in circular motion. Rinse.

- Apple Cider Vinegar: Spray apple cider vinegar on armpits. Leave on a few minutes if you have time, but if not, no biggie. Rinse.

- Burt's Bees Lavender Spray (now homemade): Spray essential oil combo (lavender is main. You can add tea tree oil too).

- (Optional): Baby powder with cornstarch on occasion/if needed.
post #8 of 8
By the way - using more of each thing is definitely better than less.

Today, I hurried through everything and used very little baking soda and probably a little less of the other stuff. I'm a bit unusually excited and hyper today and it's hot and muggy outside. Maybe I got extra sleep last night, but I'm bouncing off the walls.

I smell a little, um, off today. Actually, it's been a long day and I'm finally starting to smell a bit, but thought you'd like to know. lol. It's rare though. This is like one day out, what, 4 months that this has happened. I guess I'm jacked up for no reason.

Anyway, just pointing out that more is better in the case of armpits.
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