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The Science Behind Yellow Pit Stains

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White tee shirt girl

Nothing ruins a good outfit like a pair of yellow pit stains. Anyone who has worn a white shirt has likely encountered the heartbreak of what we at Curie like to call "golden pits". 

The first step to stopping those pesky yellow sweat stains is to know thy enemy.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not your sweat itself that causes yellow stains. It's a chemical reaction that happens between your sweat and aluminum in antiperspirants. So, if our previous blog posts about the harmful effects of aluminum on your body haven't sold you on natural deodorant, here's yet another reason. Do it for the clothes, ladies!

Why does the combination of sweat and aluminum stain your clothes, you ask? 

Humans have different types of sweat glands. Eccrine sweat glands cover the entire body and are an important mechanism for temperature control. Eccrine sweat usually evaporates quickly and usually doesn't cause an odor. Apocrine sweat glands, which cover your underarms, produce a different type of sweat that's packed with fats and proteins. It is the proteins in apocrine sweat that react with aluminum chloride to create yellow stains on cotton shirts.

The solution?

Ditch the aluminum. We *happen* to know of a great aluminum-free deodorant that won't cause yellow staining on clothing. Hello Curie, goodbye golden pits. 

If you have a favorite shirt with yellow stains you want to salvage, Brittany Natale over at Popsugar, gave a great recommendation in her recent article on the topic. She recommends mixing 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide with five teaspoons of baking soda and a quarter cup of water. She also recommends swapping your antiperspirant out for Curie Sensitive Skin Deodorant (thanks Brittany!). 

Do you have any other tips on removing or preventing yellow armpit stains? Let us know in the comments below!

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