Cornstarch For Smelly & Sweaty Armpits- Benefits & Risks

Cornstarch For Smelly & Sweaty Armpits- Benefits & Risks
Cornstarch For Smelly & Sweaty Armpits- Benefits & Risks

Due to the controversy surrounding baby powder also known as talc, many people have turned to more natural alternatives to combat armpit moisture and odor.

And one of the most common remedies is cornstarch. But how effective is cornstarch for smelly & sweaty armpits? Let see.

Will Cornstarch Help Smelly & Sweaty Armpits

Cornstarch can temporarily help to lessen sweat and odor from your armpits. 

Odor occurs when the bacteria on your skin mixes and reacts with sweat and other debris that settles on the surface of the skin of your underarms. Therefore, we can lessen the odor by controlling how much sweat (moisture) is present. 

Cornstarch is very absorbent. The powdery material nicely absorbs the sweat and moisture from your skin to keep your underarms dry for a few hours (depending on how much you regularly sweat). 

Keep in mind that cornstarch will not kill bacteria and will not keep your armpits dry for 24 hours, especially if you sweat a lot. You may need to reapply the powder throughout the day, and you will still need to cleanse your armpits to get rid of bacteria. 

Click here to read more about Why Armpits Smell Even With Deodorant & Bathing: How to fix.

If you suffer from excessive sweating consider using:

Benefits of Using Cornstarch For Armpits 

1- Absorbs Moisture

The absorbent properties of cornstarch make it great for keeping the skin dry from sweat which can cause odor and bacteria build-up to get worse throughout the day. 

Related Article – DIY Baking Soda & Lemon for Underarms: Benefits & Risks

2- Soothes The Skin

Cornstarch has a high zinc content which makes it great for soothing inflammation and irritation. If you have sensitive armpits or razor burns from shaving, cornstarch is great for soothing your angry skin. 

Related Article – Best Essential Oils for Armpits & How to Use Correctly

3- Talc-Free

Cornstarch does not contain talc. Talc is associated with many studies that cite its link to lunch cancer and some forms of skin cancer due to its asbestos content.

Cornstarch is free of asbestos and is therefore a safe and non-toxic ingredient that does the same job as talc in regards to absorbing sweat and refreshing the skin.  However, some people still choose to use talc.

Related Articles:

Deodorant Powders- Are they Effective, Best Brands & Risks

Baby Powder for Armpit Odor & Sweat – Benefits & Risks.

4- Helps To Prevent Acne Breakouts

Cornstarch does not only absorb sweat, but it also absorbs oil. Excess oil on the skin and in the pores can cause acne breakouts on acne-prone skin, even in the armpits.

Therefore, cornstarch’s ability to absorb excess oil helps to prevent oil build-up and acne breakouts. 

Related Article – Witch Hazel for Underarms: Benefits, How to Use & Effects

5- Brightens Skin Tone

While cornstarch is not a bleaching agent, it does contain adequate levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and calcium which are ingredients that help to gradually decrease pigmentation in the skin. Over time, it can help to even skin tone and lessen hyperpigmentation. 

Related Article – 10 Quick & Easy DIY Natural Remedies For Smelly Armpits

6- Helps To Prevent Fungal Infections

Your skin does not only have bacteria that can build but it also has fungi that can build up. Moisture encourages the growth of fungus, which can result in a fungal skin infection when the fungi overgrown.

By absorbing moisture and keeping the skin dry, cornstarch helps to prevent fungal skin infections. This is especially good for people who are diabetic and sweat a lot. Diabetes and excessive sweating put these people at an increased risk of developing fungal skin infections more easily. 

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Side Effects/Risks Of Using Cornstarch For Armpits

The major side effects associated with using cornstarch for smelly & sweaty armpits are skin dryness and allergic reactions. 

If you already have dry skin, then using cornstarch on your armpits regularly may cause your skin to become even drier since it absorbs moisture and oil. 

However, an easy way to prevent excess dryness is to moisturize your underarms regularly as well. If the cornstarch still makes your skin too dry, then you may need to find another alternative. 

Click here to read more about Dry Armpits: How to Correctly Moisturize & What to Use.

Other than dryness, there is a possibility of people with corn sensitivities having an allergic reaction to cornstarch. However, this is rare. 

Otherwise, there are not many other side effects associated with using cornstarch on the skin. There is some debate by researchers about whether they can increase infection in open wounds but that is still being studied. 

Related Articles –

Best Antibacterial Soaps for Armpit Odor & Potential Risks

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How Good are Salt Crystal Deodorants & Best Brands to Use

Best Ways To Use Cornstarch For Smelly & Sweaty Armpits (DIYs)

You can use cornstarch for armpits daily as a powder for your skin or you can incorporate it into a deodorant. 

1- Cornstarch Skin Powder

The easiest way to use cornstarch is as a skin powder by just dusting it directly onto your armpits. 

  1. Cleanse your armpits as you normally would. Ensure to remove any residue from deodorants or antiperspirants that may have been left on the skin. 
  2. Pat your skin dry and let it dry off a little. 
  3. Sprinkle some regular cornstarch powder into the palm of your hands. 
  4. When your skin is dry, use your hand to apply the cornstarch all over your armpits. You can also use a sponge, puff, or makeup brush if you want. 
  5. Gently keep rubbing the cornstarch around your armpits until you feel like all the moisture has been absorbed. 
  6. Ensure that you apply enough of the cornstarch to absorb your skin’s sweat and moisture but do not apply too much. You do not want to have a thick layer of powder coating your skin when it gets thick from the moisture it is absorbing. 
  7. Before dressing, let the cornstarch dry on your skin. It should not feel sticky, but rather, powdery. 
  8. You can keep this powdery cornstarch on your armpits for a few hours or all day if you can. 
  9. At the end of the day, or when you are ready to remove it, simply wash your underarms as you normally would. This will remove the cornstarch. 
  10. If your skin feels too dry after washing, apply a good moisturizer. 

Related Articles –

Can You Make DIY Antiperspirants- Best Ways to Fight Sweat

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2- Simple Cornstarch Deodorant

A great way to use cornstarch on your armpits is by incorporating it into your natural deodorant. 


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa butter
  • 3 tablespoons shea butter (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (can be left out for persons who are sensitive to baking soda)
  • Oil from 2 vitamin E gel caps
  • Essential oil (any scent of your choice)
  • Double boiler or a glass bowl and a pot
  • Deodorant container
  • Table Spoons


  1. Melt all your solid ingredients together in a double boiler (or a bowl placed in a hot water bath). 
  2. Add in the cornstarch, baking soda (if you are using it), and vitamin E oil (cut the caps and squeeze out the oil). 
  3. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined. 
  4. Add a few drops of your essential oil and stir. 
  5. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture into your deodorant container. 
  6. Let the mixture cool. It should be at least semi-solid at room temperature. 
  7. Apply as you would regular deodorant. 

Video: Natural Cures – Easy Homemade Deodorant Recipe That Really WORKS!

Remember that natural deodorants, especially those without baking soda, are not as strong as commercial deodorants. You may need to reapply them more often. 

If you are exploring natural deodorants check these articles out on some that we have found to be quite interesting:

Milcu Deodorant Powder Review – Does It Work & Side Effects

Lume Deodorant Review- Is It Really Safe & Side Effects 

Charcoal Deodorants- Are They Good, Benefits & Side Effects

How Good are Salt Crystal Deodorants & Best Brands to Use


6 Benefits of Cornstarch For Skin Care | Updated 2023 – Credihealth 

Is Cornstarch Safe For Underarms? | CLEAN BEAUTY COACH 

7 Crazy Ways to Use Cornstarch in Your Beauty Routine  

Corn Starch Powder | Forest Essentials 

19 Household Uses for Cornstarch 

Physicochemical properties and antibacterial activity of corn starch-based films incorporated with Zanthoxylum bungeanum essential oil 

Antibacterial activity, optical, mechanical, and barrier properties of corn starch films containing orange essential oil – ScienceDirect 

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