Tips for Switching to Natural Deodorant
By now, you’ve probably heard about some of the reasons so many people are switching to natural deodorant, but in case you haven’t, let’s break it down.
Our skin is our largest organ and studies estimate that it absorbs over 60% of what we put on it. On top of that, studies of over 10,000 Americans over the last 15 years have shown that the average person has hundreds of synthetic chemicals in their bloodstream. Deodorant is one of the only products that most of us use every single day, and if you’ve been using conventional drugstore deodorant, that means you’ve been wearing ingredients like these all day, every day:
Phthalates - This group of chemicals has been banned in the EU since 2005 because they’re a known reproductive toxicant, which means they’re linked to birth defects and compromised fertility - yet they’re still found in most conventional deodorants here in the US.
Triclosan - It’s an antimicrobial used to kill the bacteria that cause smelly sweat - but it’s also classified as a pesticide by the FDA and as a probable carcinogen by the EPA.
Parabens - They’re used as preservatives in tons of personal care products and they contain estrogen-like properties that are notorious for hormone disruption.
Aluminum - This is the stuff in antiperspirant that keeps your sweat ducts shut - but our bodies sweat out toxins for a reason! Aluminum is also linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, and a study showed that cysts in the armpit area of the breast had 25x more aluminum than what’s typically found in our blood.
“Fragrance” - That scent is typically a mix of mystery chemicals that can cause skin irritation and even hormone disruption.
Cool, I’m sold. What should I expect?
If you’ve been using a conventional deodorant for years, you might not notice a difference the first few days after switching to a natural deodorant as there’s still a build-up of antiperspirant chemicals hanging out in your sweat ducts.
As you near the end of the first week, you’re going to sweat - like, a lot. But trust us, it’s a good thing! We sweat for a reason: it’s our bodies’ way of regulating temperature and getting rid of toxins. As you begin to really sweat again, your pits are purging years of built-up bodily waste that has accumulated in your sweat glands. At the same time, you’ll have a significant increase in bacteria in your armpits for the first few weeks after you ditch the antiperspirant. So yes, you’re probably going to be stinky for a couple of weeks (check out our tips below to help with this), but once your body’s had a chance to detox for 2-3 weeks, sweat will be nearly odorless.
By now, your body should be readjusting and regulating sweat production, while your armpits’ microbiome (yep, that’s a thing) will be naturally rebalancing without synthetic chemicals. You should notice the moisture and smell starting to subside.
You’re free! For most people, it takes 2-3 weeks to transition to natural deodorant, but by 30 days, your body should be fully adjusted and you can return to life as usual - minus all the questionable ingredients and stress on your body.
How can I make this detox as painless (or odorless) as possible?
- Hydrate. Yeah, it’s always a good idea, but it’s extra important to help flush your lymph system, especially since you’ll be producing more sweat for a while.
- Keep your natural deodorant nearby. For the first couple of weeks after the switch, your body is going to produce a lot more sweat than you’re used to, and it might be smellier than usual. Until this subsides, you may need to apply more often for the first couple of weeks.
- Try a mask or spray. To keep the bacteria to a minimum and help speed up the detox process, try applying few sprays of apple cider vinegar or even our Face Toner to your pits after you shower, then allow to dry before applying deodorant. You can even apply a mask of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to your armpits, allow it to dry, then wash it off to help control odor.
- Clean up your diet. The smell of our sweat has a lot to do with what we eat, so make sure you’re getting lots of leafy greens and probiotics, and consider avoiding unhealthy oils and alcohol.
- Sweat it out. Hit the gym, the sauna, a hot bath, whatever you need to sweat out those toxins. Just make sure to dry off well to keep bacteria at bay.