What No One Tells You About Switching to Natural Deodorant
In terms of personal care, natural alternatives—from toothpaste and deodorant to shampoo and body lotion—seem to be everywhere. Where once it felt like you could only find natural products tucked in a small section in a store, the offerings have skyrocketed, both in stores and online. The choice to switch to natural deodorant is very simple, but the transition will not go as well as planned. Here’s why 👇🏼
During the first week, you’d be thinking “hmm I’ve never been overly sweaty in the armpit area. I’ve never needed to reapply deodorant multiple times a day. But after switching to a natural deodorant, that’s exactly what I find happening. How could natural deodorant actually be making my odor and perspiration worse? If anything, I thought perhaps it wouldn’t work, but not this.”
BUT this is only because your regular aluminium-based antiperspirant deodorant was blocking your sweat pores ALL THESE YEARS!
Research suggests that aluminum-containing underarm antiperspirants, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and have estrogen-like (hormonal) effects. Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue.
Sweating is important!
The absence of sweat can contribute to overheating because the body cannot regulate its temperature. We have three million eccrine and apocrine sweat glands in our body, so a little extra sweat is a good thing. It’s what we are designed to do.
And while you may associate sweat with smell, sweat doesn’t actually smell. The odor is caused by bacteria that grows on sweat. Although aluminum is efficient in its end goal of stopping sweat, it actually operates by plugging your sweat glands. When switching from an antiperspirant to a deodorant, you are removing the aluminum and releasing waste which has been blocked. This is a natural process as part of our body’s built-in mechanisms, but it may contribute to releasing some slightly unusual body odor in comparison to what you are used to. So when you first make the switch, it’s not that your natural deodorant isn’t working—but your body is—and naturally!
The adjustment will take about 3 weeks or less
While this transition is very common and completely normal, it can still be very unsettling. We suggest giving your body time to adjust.
If you need some backup during your transition, frequently wash your underarms. You can also use an underarm mask made of bentonite clay and vinegar. Both can help speed up the process.
What to look for in a natural deodorant
Choosing a good natural deodorant is a lot like choosing to give up processed foods. Avoid products with novel-length ingredient lists when possible. A helpful resource is EWG.org, which provides “clean” ratings for more than 120,000 food and personal care products.
“You want to look for natural, active ingredients that work to rid and neutralize underarm odor, such as kaolin clay, peppermint, etc. You should also look for ingredients with antibacterial properties, such as tea tree oil and coconut oil.
Ingredients like witch hazel, shea butter, and beeswax have soothing agents for razor burn and can also help shrink pores. Other ingredients you would want are soothing, creamy ingredients like coconut oil, and vegetable powders that absorb wetness.